Why are you running for (want to be on) city council?
I believe my years of government and military experience along with my experience managing a private business and my MBA provide me with a unique set of perspectives on the challenge our community will face in the future. I have spend over 25 years attending, watching and participating in city council and other city committee/board meetings. I see these challenges mainly being the changes in business & retail resulting from the Pandemic and the need to keep our community progressing and staying germane as a family friendly and safe community.
What do you see as the Future of land use in Naperville?
Properties that are not kept up or are vacant for a long time can attract negative attention to our community. We have a lot of property that is in need of a “makeover” to attract new businesses and residents to our community. The developers needed to make this happen will need to be incentivized in someway to make these considerable investments in our community (tax breaks, variances, public/private partnerships, etc). But the greatest and most needed incentive will be the ability to redevelop these properties for higher density use. This is a natural progression in a vibrant, progressive growing community.
Should City Council approve a Mask Mandate Ordinance?
There is not doubt that masks work in remediating the spread of the SAR-CoV-2 virus but they are just one of several means of remediation available. I am sure the intention of this propose mandate is well intended, but an ordinance mandating use in public would present many difficulties (if the governor can not enforce closure of indoor dinning how is a city going to enforce the wearing of masks in public?) The reality is the first time someone is ticketed for this offense they will fight it and any competent lawyer would have little trouble convincing a judge the mandate is unconstitutional. The fastest way to get people to stop wearing mask would be to have a judge tell them they don’t have to wear them. The reality is some fights are better not fought.
Should the proposed redevelopment of Market Meadows be approved?
I understand the concerns of residents neighboring this Mall
that have watched its steady decline and increased undesirable activity in the
area. The quickest and surest way to address these concerns is a “reset” or
"refresh” of the area that can only be accomplished by redevelopment.
The challenge in redeveloping this area is the fact that the Pandemic has caused a shift in both the business and retail industries that has resulted in reduced demand for business and retail space. Simply redeveloping this area a “new” retail will not solve any problems if the demand is not there to fill these retail spaces. A half empty mall attracts the same problems whether it is new or old. Successfully redeveloping these areas will require out of the box thinking that re-imagines how this is used.
The proposed redevelopment of Market Meadows to include rental storage spaces is such an out of the box solution that replaces low demand retail space with high demand public storage units. If done correctly this new land use will be a benefit to this area as well as Naperville in general.
Is the proposed 4th and Loomis redevelopment appropriate for this neighborhood?
The proposed redevelopment is a higher density use then the current use. But this area already has a new three story apartment building and the city just approved a much higher density use a few block from these properties with the Heritage Place development. Finally you only need look of the opposite side of the tracks from these properties to see a much large, high density use with the 5th Avenue Station building. So, yes it does seem appropriate. The sound abatement benefits of the new buildings proposed will also be a benefit to resident in the area.
What about the 5th Avenue Project?
While the 5th Avenue Project currently seem to be in limbo I believe it is only a matter of time until this project happens. This area’s need for redevelopment is the one thing almost everyone can agree on. The challenge is reaching an agreement on land usage which is now further challenged by the changes in retail and business demand created by the Pandemic. This shifts will require rethinking how best to use this land that will likely include greater residential use and hopeful some out of the box thinking for alternative use for some of this land.
Should Naperville approve the Nokia Residental development (PUD)?
This 67 acre lot with its proposed 240 residential units would be the larges residential PUD on the North side of Naperville in years. It has the potential of adding 1% to the city’s residential property tax base. This property should be incorporated and granted the zoning needed to make this PUD happen. I know some people in the area have gotten use to using this land as they pleased but they do not have a right to access this land and showing their appreciation to the current owner by trying to stop this sell and development is not what I would call an neighborly thank you.