Developer Bradford Equities and the Wheaton Park District will present plans for the at a public hearing tonight. Bradford is seeking Council approval of a Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the site, where the developer plans to bring a Mariano's Fresh Market.
While city staff is recommending approval of the PUD, it lists 17 conditions in its memo to Council that would include changes to the developer's current plans.
Some of the conditions are: moving the Mariano's main entrance, an increased setback off of Roosevelt Road, removal of existing field lights, removal of the tennis courts at Central Park, sidewalk construction, additional planting, taller shrubs, additional turn lanes at Naperville and Roosevelt roads and added street lighting.
"I think you'll find traffic being the main (issue)" discussed at the hearing, said Wheaton Mayor Mike Gresk. “Everything else we can work our way around.”
Gresk said the park district’s use of the gym space it plans to buy at the site will exacerbate the traffic issue, as peak times for shopping, such as noon on a Saturday, could match peak times for park district activities.
Park Commissioner Phil Luetkehans said traffic for park facilities will remain the same as it is now, and that the site is used mostly at night.
According to the memo, peak hours at the proposed Mariano’s Fresh Market would be weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
City staff wrote in the memo for the hearing that the intersection of Naperville and Roosevelt roads are already congested. With the added development and future growth, staff wrote, "these existing conditions will deteriorate.”
One of the city's proposed conditions would involve construction of a second left-turn lane for northbound cars on Naperville Road at Roosevelt Road, to accommodate dual left turn lanes, according to the memo.
Bradford currently plans to create an “access road” for loading trucks north of the Mariano’s store, between Naperville Road and Main Street, and a right-in/right-out drive on Roosevelt Road to provide access to the store. IDOT Deputy Director of Highways Diane O’Keefe wrote in a Jan. 4 letter that the developer should change the right-in/right-out driveway to a right-out drive, or move the point of access further west on Roosevelt Road, and add an alternate access point at the northwest end of the site.
Bradford also proposed the following roadway and traffic control improvements in its PUD application to the city:
- Naperville and Roosevelt roads: extend the southbound right turn lane on Naperville Road at Roosevelt Road north of the proposed full access driveway. Right-of-way will be reserved as part of the development on the west side of Naperville Road, north of Roosevelt Road, to allow for future widening of Naperville Road when the county reconstructs the intersection.
- Roosevelt Road: A westbound right-turn lane will be provided on Roosevelt Road at the proposed restricted access serving the Mariano’s development.
- Naperville Road: Northbound left turn lane at intersection with proposed access driveway to facilities.
Bradford Chief Financial Officer Chad Jones said Monday while there are a lot of conditions set by the city, “we realize this is a complicated site and a complicated development… If we have to go back and negotiate with staff we’ll be happy to do that.”
He said the developers are excited to present to City Council, and hope to hear feedback about the project. He said a representative from the firm that performed a Traffic Impact Study of the site will be at the hearing to address traffic concerns.
Gresk said he expects the hearing will remain open and continue on a later date, allowing Bradford and city staff to work to determine the terms of the PUD.
“I’m confident we can get this done," he said. "We just need more time to negotiate it.”
Council will meet for the public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13 at City Hall.
CORRECTION: Bradford CFO is Chad Jones, not Brad Jones.