OAK PARK, Ill. (CBS) — “Not in our neighborhood” – that is what some residents in Oak Park are saying.
They are fighting to stop a proposal to build a high-rise apartment complex. But as CBS 2’s Meredith Barack reported, the developer said the project will benefit the whole community.READ MORE: Chicago Police Rescue Ducklings From Uptown Sewer Grate As Mother Duck Waits
A two-story apartment building has stood for decades at 7 Van Buren St. in Oak Park, across Austin Boulevard from Columbus Park and the Chicago city limits. But a new one that is going to be developed at the site will look much different and will be much larger.
It is something that is not sitting well with residents who live just feet away.
“It feels disruptive, quite honestly,” said Jane Campbell.
Campbell and Theresa Carilli have lived at the corner of Van Buren Street and Humphrey Avenue for 27 years.
“We can see the trees from the park from inside our house,” Campbell said. “We won’t be able to see those anymore.”
That is just one issue the couple has when it comes to the six-story development slated to go up directly behind their house.
Along their street, neighbors echo their sentiment with lawn signs reading, “no high rise,” hoping they will change the village’s mind.
“It’s just so out of proportion, out of scale, out of character, for a very residential neighborhood of mostly families,” said Susan Gilchrist.READ MORE: 'Heartbreaking': Family, Friends On Englewood Mass Shooting With 4 Dead, 4 Injured
Drive around and you will see the neighborhood is made up of traditional two-story homes, with a few four-story condominium buildings nearby.
But it’s not just the size or design that neighbors are worried about.
“That could be as many as 100 people moving into that one little space,” Campbell said.
“Parking is also a problem,” said Jim Gilchrist. “There’s going be 44 units with 18 parking spaces in an area that’s already beyond its limit.”
We took those concerns straight to the man behind the project, who said 20 percent of the units will be affordable, the other 80 percent market rate.
David Pope is the president of Oak Park Residence Corporation. It is a not-for-profit organization, and the largest provider of affordable housing in Oak Park.
Pope says the new apartments will allow people to age in place and stay in the neighborhood. He said solar panels will allow the building to generate more energy than it takes to operate, and its proximity to the Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line along the Eisenhower Expressway will also eliminate concerns about parking.
“It’s a building that we’ve committed will be a truly beautiful building. It will also be the most significant net-zero (energy) building in the upper Midwest,” Pope said. “By advancing this project, we’re increasing the amount of affordability here in our community.”
The project will soon go before the village’s planning commission – a meeting neighbors say they plan to voice their concerns at despite reassurances from ResCorp.MORE NEWS: Son Of Man Beaten To Death By Guards In Prison 'Blind Spot' Demands Answers
“There’s a sense of fear that none of that will matter, but I feel like we need to fight for our neighborhood,” Campbell said.