By Dermot Connolly
The Orland Park Village Board gave the go-ahead Monday night to a development plan for a new residential subdivision to be built at 143rd Street and 80th Avenue.
Called the Villas of Cobblestone and built by Marth Construction on a 3.97-acre site on the northwest corner of the intersection, it will include nine duplexes with 18 total residences.
Ed Lelo, director of development services, said the plans are an improvement on an earlier one by another developer that was approved in 2018. That would have allowed 21 units. The new plan will include sidewalks and a through street, called 142nd Place, which will connect the development with both existing roads. The previous plan only had an entrance road off 80th that ended in a cul-de-sac.
While the new road will be maintained by the village, the development will also include a detention pond and a private park that will be owned and maintained by a homeowner’s association that will be established. A black ornamental fence with masonry pillars is among the upgrades from the previous construction plans.
Lelo said village staff is requesting that a special service area be created in order to collect maintenance fees from homeowners, if the HOA does not do so.
“This will not be a cost to the village,” said Lelo, noting that the planned duplexes are expected to be similar to those already a part of the Villas of Tall Grass subdivision.
“I see the work that this developer has done and I think it will be will be a great addition to the village,” said Trustee Cynthia Nelson Katsenes.
In other business, the board officially created the office of ethics officer and a new ethics commission, as called for in the new ethics ordinance enacted at the last meeting. Mayor Keith Pekau appointed local attorney Jim L. Stortzum to be the ethics officer, responsible for determining whether any ethics complaints should be brought before the new commission.
Finally, the board approved a resolution “encouraging the Illinois General Assembly to convene to address COVID-19 matters.
“As the legislation states, the general assembly is the appropriate body to deliberate (on these issues). It is time for them to reconvene and do their jobs,” said Pekau.
According to the resolution, the General Assembly has not been in session since March 5. Since then, Gov. JB Pritzker has issued 29 executive orders related to the virus outbreak between March 9 and April 28, including the extension of stay at home orders through the end of May.
Pekau said the governor should provide more information to the public about the prediction models and advice he is relying on to make his decisions.
“The intent of the resolution is to ask for full transparency and that the governor and General Assembly work together to provide a reopening plan,” said Pekau.
“I think this a good move to show that we are trying to assist our business owners to reopen,” said Katsenes.
Only Trustee Dan Calandriello voted against it.
“I want to open the businesses in a safe manner. But I take issue with some of the wording of the resolution,” he said.
Trustee Kathy Fenton was absent from the meeting. She is still recuperating after a recent hospitalization.
The meeting occurred before Pritzker laid out his vision for reopening the state at his daily press conference on Tuesday.
“This virus is serious and dangerous. I think we can reopen our economy in a measured way. I don’t believe this is an either/or decision,” said Pekau, referring to critics who say opening up now would endanger the health of residents.
“As a society we can walk and chew gum at the same time. I think of this as a problem that can be solved. Let’s work together to make that happen,” he said.