Providing Addison With Significant Control

Susan M. Halpern Former

Addison Councilmember (1992-1999)

At the forum on April 12, 2017, Dale Wilcox stated that in rezoning property for the AMLI development, Addison had failed to ensure proper controls over what was built there. His comment is inaccurate and inexplicable on several levels.

Saying that Addison lacks control over the AMLI development is simply untrue. The land was rezoned as a Planned Development District, which is very different from simply rezoning land to a category like multi-family. A Planned Development District is the most restrictive type of rezoning that exists, and allows for the imposition of significant controls and requirements. Which is exactly what Addison did with respect to the AMLI development.

Specifically, the Ordinance establishing the Planned Development District for the AMLI development contains countless requirements that significantly enhance the quality of the development. Those requirements are enforced by Addison, providing it with significant control over what is built. Start with the first page of the Ordinance, which specifically states:

  1. The entire multifamily building and parking garage shall be LEED certified;
  2. There will be no linoleum or Formica surfaces in the units;
  3. All units shall be equipped with energy efficient appliances;
  4. All countertops must be granite, stone or better material.

The Ordinance also requires AMLI to construct the development in accordance with detailed plans and renderings that are attached to the Ordinance. Those plans contain requirements dealing with all sorts of issues. As but one example, the plans require that the north elevation on Edwin Lewis Drive contain 95% brick/stone material. That requirement is one of many higher standards reflected in the plans, that will ensure that AMLI builds a quality development.

Further, because this is a Planned Development District, changes to the plans that are included as a part of the Ordinance can only be achieved by going back through the zoning process all over again. So, AMLI is committed to what is in the Ordinance and the attached plans, and it will be very difficult and cumbersome for AMLI to change anything.

Given all this, saying that Addison has inadequate control over what is being built is nonsense.

So, here’s the real question that I believe is raised here. If any member of the council – whether for or against the AMLI rezoning to a Planned Development District – believed that the Ordinance was not specific enough, or contained inadequate requirements, then why didn’t they speak up at the meeting?

Being on the council is about doing what is right. It’s not about using the council process to set up attacks on perceived opponents. Or to create campaign issues. And it should never be about misinforming or deceiving the public. Unfortunately, Meier’s tenure has been characterized by suppression of opposing viewpoints, attacks on those who disagree, misrepresentations of issues, and deceit. It is not what our government should be doing, and it has divided our community and caused significant harm to Addison and its previously sterling reputation.

Addison can do better. We must reclaim the Addison Way.