Petition aims to stop proposed condo development near Krape Park in Freeport

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FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) – Freeport city leaders and residents have mixed opinions on a proposed condominium development near Krape Park, ahead of a rezoning vote.

The City Council will vote at its next meeting on Monday, Aug. 2 whether to rezone the vacant land at the corner of Park Boulevard and Demeter Drive, near the entrance to Krape Park. The land is currently zoned as R-2 (single family), and condominium developers have proposed to rezone it as R-5 (multi-family).

The project developers at Park Partners, LLC plan to build a 32-unit set of condominiums at the vacant lot, targeted toward residents 55 years of age and older.

The upcoming vote is on rezoning the land at 1601 S. Park Blvd. and not on approving the overall condo project. However, residents opposed to the development said this vote would make it easier for the project to go through.

“It [the development] is at the detriment of the unique character of the neighborhood,” the group Krape Park Neighbors said in its petition against the development, which currently has more than 600 signatures.

Freeport Mayor Jodi Miller, a supporter of the development, said she hopes the city “can be proud of” the project.

“Show support for those that are willing to step up and take the risk, all for the betterment of our community,” Miller said in a Journal Standard column on July 8.

Petitioners against the development have cited concerns regarding the appearance of the condos, traffic and construction-related interruptions that could take place if the land is rezoned and the project goes through. They also cited concerns over multiple unfinished developments in Freeport.

“History shows us that there are strong odds this project would end up incomplete as well,” Krape Park Neighbors said in the petition.

Freeport City Manager Randy Bukas recommended to the mayor and city council that the zoning change is approved, contingent on city staff having approval over final stormwater and landscape plans. He also recommended that if the project is not started within 18 months of the potential rezoning approval, that the land revert to R-2 zoning.

Freeport’s Zoning Board voted 3-0 on June 3 against the rezoning amendment (with 2 abstentions), while the planning commission voted 2-2 (with two abstentions) on July 8. If the city council votes in favor of the amendment, Mayor Miller can then grant formal approval.

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