By: Diane Benjamin
This agenda item made last night’s Normal Town Council meeting last almost 3 hours:
Ordinance Rezoning Property in the Town of Normal
(4.14 Acres in the Wintergreen Subdivision)
This is Jason Barickman’s company (Fairlawn Capital) plan to build houses that will most likely be rentals. The more than 100 houses will be on smaller lots than the rest of Wintergreen and valued much less as a result but still over $300,000.
5 area residents spoke at Public Comment – see them starting at 3:08. Residents are worried about four things:
-Value of their properties, many over $500,000
-Increased traffic where kids are outside playing
-Overcrowding at Prairieland Elementary
-Possible flooding issues
These residents decided to build in Wintergreen because of promises made by developers and the covenants protecting property rights. Years of inaction to finish the subdivision made the Barickman plans possible. One speaker is a month away from moving into the home being built that will now have rental property in their backyard.
Many of the issues could be solved if 2 entrances off of Beech were created so traffic wasn’t routed through Wintergreen 2. The Council refused to act on that. One resident stated work had already started in the area before Council approved the development last night. Being a State Senator evidently has benefits.
Without any proof to support her claims, Chemberly Harris claimed residents don’t want people who “look like her” living in their backyard. Even though the definition of “NIMBY” has nothing to do with race, Harris used that term more than once to claim racism.
NIMBY (or Nimby), an acronym for the phrase “not in my back yard“, is a characterization of opposition by residents to proposed developments in their local area, as well as support for strict land use regulations. It carries the connotation that such residents are only opposing the development because it is close to them and that they would tolerate or support it if it were built farther away.
Just hit play to hear Harris claim residents opposed to above average rental properties next to their homes are racist:
If Harris has proof I’m sure WGLT would love to show Normal is racist, give it to them Chemberly.
Last night Chemberly told future developers Normal is racist. Nice job.
Of course the zoning change passed as well as the preliminary subdivision plan. With Chris Koos out of town the vote was 5-1. Stan Nord was the one lone vote against.
One person during Public Comment mentioned no response from some Trustees when she emailed the Council. This is more proof citizens need their own Trustee, the At-Large don’t represent anyone.
This meeting will take more than one story!