Village Council supports Home, Inc.’s ‘Glen Cottages’
- Published: July 13, 2017
At Village Council’s July 3 meeting, Council members unanimously voted to waive utility tap and zoning fees for Glen Cottages, the newest project of Home, Inc., a walkable pocket neighborhood of rentals and homes on the south end of town.
Council’s show of support for the Home, Inc. project is the “other side” of Council’s recent support for Community Solutions and Tecumseh Land Trust’s conservation effort in preserving the Arnovitz farmland on the western edge of the village, according to Council member Marianne MacQueen.
“That was permanently preserving land outside the village, and this is permanently preserving land inside the village for affordable housing,” she said.
The Council vote took place following a presentation from Home, Inc. Executive Director Emily Seibel regarding the upcoming Glen Cottages project at 1133 Xenia Ave. The 1.02-acre parcel will be developed with a combination of rentals and homes for sale, both single-family dwellings and attached garden cottages.
“Village residents have long vocalized a desire for a type of residential living that encourages community, walkability, shared outdoor spaces, energy efficiency, accessibility and smaller footprints,” Seibel wrote in a document to Council.
Home, Inc. requested from Council either a full or partial waiver of sewer and water tap fees, plus zoning permits, for phase one of the project, which will include six rental units and two owner-occupied units. The cost for a full waiver of the fees is $6,505, while the cost of a partial waiver is $4,225.
The waiver is significant not only in lowering the cost, but also in showing community support for the project, according to Seibel, who said such Council support could assist Home, Inc. in winning a $350,000 grant that it seeks for the project.
During discussion, Council President Karen Wintrow suggested that Council might provide a partial rather than full fee waiver, given the desire to address the needs of all villagers.
“I absolutely support what Home, Inc. does, but recognize that other citizens’ bills are going up, and any money we can retain within the system is something to consider,” she said.
But the full waiver amount is small, and Home, Inc.’s work is critical to the village, according to Council member Judith Hempfling.
“This isn’t the place to be stingy, and it’s not that much money,” she said. “Affordable housing is such a dire need in the village.”
Other Council members expressed support for Home, Inc., with Brian Housh praising the nonprofit for its ongoing efforts to create affordable housing in the village. Since its inception in 1998, the organization has constructed 22 affordable homes, and in doing so brought $3.5 million in economic development to the village, according to the Home, Inc. document. It’s also beginning several new projects, including Glen Cottages and Forest Village Homes.
“I don’t know other organizations that are being as proactive,” Housh said.
Other items of Council’s July 3 business will be covered in next week’s News.