Barrington gives the final OK to townhouse plan

Barrington village board members Monday night granted final approval to a proposal for townhouses off Dundee Road just east of the Motor Werks automobile dealership, which initially attracted criticism from nearby residents.

M/I Homes will build 61 townhouses on 11 acres previously used for “country offices” at The Grove. M/I originally had pitched 65 homes for the site, but revised the proposal after criticism at three sessions of a public hearing held by the advisory Barrington plan commission.

Matthew Pagoria, vice president of land acquisition for M/I, said after Monday’s village board meeting he expects to break ground for the Brentwood subdivision in the next 30 to 60 days. He said the first townhouses could be ready next spring.

“We have been very successful across the Chicagoland area with an attached product,” Pagoria said. “We feel it’s positive and we’ll keep going down this road.”

Brentwood will be at the northeast corner of Dundee and Grove Avenue between Motor Werks and Barrington Middle School-Prairie Campus.

Speaking before the village board vote in favor of granting a residential rezoning classification to accommodate M/I’s plan, Barrington Trustee Jim Daluga said he had to consider what already was allowed on the property. He said office and research uses would have been more intensive uses, such as by creating more traffic, than the residential development.

“It is important when exceptions are requested that we take those very seriously and consider them seriously,” Daluga said. “However, no zoning map and ordinance is ever perfect. And many times what drives the best development on any piece of property is the market.”

Much of the objection to the M/I proposal came from Park Barrington subdivision residents north of Grove and Dundee. Concerns about there being too many townhouses for the 11 acres and additional traffic were expressed at the plan commission meetings in June and July.

Although one plan commission session drew about 70 residents, Barrington resident Bill Hartman was the lone objector at Monday’s village board meeting.

M/I representatives said the townhouses will provide a greater and more affordable housing choice in Barrington, likely appealing to older “move-down” buyers and young professionals. With a base price in the $400,000s, the two- or three-bedroom units will have a two-car garage and a full basement, covering 1,584 to 2,231 square feet.

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