Northbrook school revises plans for addition
Proposed plan for Countryside Montessori
Updated: November 30, 2012 8:25AM
NORTHBROOK — The Countryside Montessori School has completely revised its original plan to add junior high school space on to its Northbrook campus.
Its first presentation to the village’s plan commission Sept. 4 resulted in concerns about a private residence in the middle of the school’s property, circulation and queuing of vehicles, adequate parking and landscaping to screen adjacent neighbors.
The new proposal is to build around a 4,700-square-foot single story addition to the existing 4,500-square-foot single story home at the project’s center instead of constructing a new building, said Tom Poupard, Northbrook’s director of development and planning services.
A contract is pending for the purchase of the home, part of which will be used as office space, staff living quarters and employee functions, he added.
The new plan also calls for a larger loading area where vehicles can maneuver more easily, and 33 parking spaces, an increase from the 26 originally requested. And the school has introduced staggered drop off and pick up times to control traffic congestion, noted Northbrook’s Senior Planner Michaela Kohlstedt.
The new landscape plans call for more and heavier greenery at the north property line near a dry water detention area. Six-feet-tall arbor vitae will be planted along the East property line, she added.
Wendy Calise, the Northbrook resident who heads the school, noted that she visited neighbors to inform them about the proposal. As a result, the school also installed fencing, trimmed trees and promised to remove diseased and dead trees from the campus. The school also now plans to install a berm to move water away from its neighbors.
Architect Thomas Dobbins, who created the new plan, said he would like to remodel the existing house to match the addition. He also will match the building’s roof shingles to those on the elementary school building to create a cohesive look.
However, while that might please the village plan commission, Calise has asked that it reconsider its request for the school to bury overhead utility lines, as well as to waive the fee in-lieu of the burial.
“There are overhead utility lines along Pfingsten Road from Willow Road to approximately a half mile north of Dundee Road, a distance of 2.7 miles. Most, if not all, of the other properties have been developed and it is unlikely they will come under the purview of the Subdivision and Development Code and require the overhead lines to be buried,” Calise said in a letter.
She added that Com Ed alone estimated a $250,000 charge for burying its cable along the school’s 600 foot boundary. Comcast and AT & T didn’t provide a dollar figure, but also said it would be expensive.
“Countryside Montessori School is a not-for-profit entity and the cost of the in-lieu fees will substantially impact our ability to implement the plan to the extent we would have to undertake significant redesign measures,” Calise said.
The village board is to discuss those issues Dec. 11.