Arlington Heights wins MPC planning award for mixed-income Timber Court Condominiums - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Arlington Heights wins MPC planning award for mixed-income Timber Court Condominiums

Core News Facts

  • Metropolitan Planning Council is awarding the 2008 Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning to the Village of Arlington Heights for the Timber Court Condominium Development.
  • MPC will present the award at its Annual Luncheon, from noon to 1:45 p.m., on Monday, Sept. 8, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 East Wacker Dr. , Chicago .
  • Each year for the past 21 years, MPC has presented the Burnham Award – named in honor of Daniel H. Burnham, the creator of the 1909 Plan of Chicago – to the plan that:

· Promotes and implements sensible planning and development policies;

· Encourages public participation and follows an open process;

· Provides long-term benefits to the community and its surroundings;

· Is provocative, balancing realistic expectations with vision;

· Is innovative, breaking new ground in planning practices; and

· Is sufficiently completed to evaluate whether the desired results have been realized.

  • Timber Court is a 108-unit development that includes 20 percent – or 21 total – condominiums priced to be affordable for a family of four earning at or below $60,300, or 80 percent of area median income, as set by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
  • The units will remain affordable in perpetuity through a deed restriction, setting a precedent for other communities to follow.
  • The village’s approval of the development is, in part, a response to the region’s shortage of homes affordable to the local workforce. In Arlington Heights , 32.8 percent of homeowners and 45.3 percent of renters spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing, exceeding what experts recommend as the limit.
  • The village negotiated the inclusion of affordable housing in the development in exchange for granting the developer’s rezoning request from light industrial to residential. (The site was zoned for light industrial, but the village agreed that a multi-family building would offer a transition from existing commercial uses to the west and residential uses to the east.)
  • The village also supported a departure from its zoning regulation to allow the developer to build to 52 feet, rather than the code’s maximum height of 40 feet. The village supported this departure because a taller building meant the developer could provide a parking garage on the first level of the building, which preserved more of the nearby trees and provided more green space.
  • The development was approved after a public process that included 15 public meetings and four public hearings, all of which drew many supporters and opponents.
  • A PACE bus route is nearby and accessible to Timber Court residents, as are Arlington Heights Road, Dundee Road, and the region’s interstate system.
  • Arlington Heights deserves special recognition for joining the City of Chicago as the only Burnham Award winners to receive the honor more than once. In 1999, Arlington Heights won the Burnham Award for its Downtown Plan.
  • MPC will present the award at its 2008 Annual Luncheon. Keynote speakers at the luncheon will be surrogates for Presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain. Henry Cisneros, executive chairman of the CityView companies, former San Antonio mayor, and former Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, will serve as the surrogate for Sen. Obama. Sen. McCain’s surrogate is to be announced.

Quote Attributable to Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene J. Mulder “Arlington Heights residents, Housing Commission, Plan Commission, Village staff, Village Board members, and Tandem Realty Corp., all deserve this recognition for striking the right balance between bold leadership and savvy compromise to produce 21 new homes that will remain affordable in perpetuity in Arlington Heights. In addition to creating new housing opportunities near jobs, Timber Court condominiums are proof it can be done for communities across the region that are working to maintain a mixed and high-quality housing stock.”

Quote Attributable to Joseph Gregoire, president and CEO, Illinois Banking, National City Bank; and member, MPC Board of Governors “Arlington Heights and Tandem Realty Corp., were able to address community concerns about affordable housing with good information, creative solutions, and, ultimately, a beautiful product that didn’t cost taxpayers a bundle. Not only is Timber Court an asset to Arlington Heights, but the 21 affordable condominiums help to counter-balance the region’s overall shortage of affordable homes near jobs, and serve as a model for communities across metropolitan Chicago.”

Links to Related Content

Village of Arlington Heights Web site

Tandem Realty Corp. Web site, developer of Timber Court

An case study on Timber Court , published in the MPC 2006 publication Home Grown: Housing Strategies in Action

Welcome Home, Housing Our Community, a short video in which Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene J. Mulder speaks about the importance of workforce housing

A complete list of past Burnham Award winners


Mandy Burrell Booth
Asst. Communications Director
Metropolitan Planning Council
312-863-6018 (office)
773-640-1206 (cellular)

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Founded in 1934, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group of business and civic leaders committed to serving the public interest through development, promotion and implementation of sound planning policies so all residents have access to opportunity and a good quality of life, the building blocks of a globally competitive greater Chicago region.

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