Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few of the frequently asked questions.
Why do you think a senior’s project will be successful?
The senior population is severely under-served across the county and within the Naperville market. As a matter of fact, the City of Naperville established a Senior Housing Task Force in 2014, with the mission to address the needs of NapervilleвЂ™s growing senior population. While recent developments in Naperville will create new for-sale supply, most of these developments are targeted at the very youngest segment of the senior population and many seniors do not want the burdens of ownership.
If we could introduce you to the residents in an Avenida project, hereвЂ™s who they would be: happy, vibrant, active, fully independent and thoroughly engaged. The average age would be 74 years old; 65 percent of our residents are single females; less than 75 percent have a car (0.85 cars/unit); 80 percent have sold a home and are downsizing to move into our development; and 70 percent lived within 10 miles of the project. So, in other words, they could be your neighbor or relative.
Could a developer just build single-family homes on the site?
The property is presently zoned R-3 single family in DuPage County. Under any development scenario, the property would need to be annexed to the City of Naperville where future land use plans call for the property to develop in an industrial or business-zoning district, such as OCI, where OCI would be consistent with adjacent properties along Mill Street. The proposed senior housing use is the lowest intensity land use consistent with the cityвЂ™s future land use plan. In meetings with city staff, it has been clearly been stated that they would not support single-family development of the property.
Under the proposed OCI zoning, isn’t the maximum number of residential units 110?
The lot area requirement (LAR) in the OCI district uses acreage of the property to calculate a maximum unit count of 110 “units.” There is no consideration in that calculation for the occupancy of each unit, which could include families with multiple children and multiple cars. The city’s zoning ordinance doesnвЂ™t account for the unique nature and very low occupancy per unit of a senior housing development. We believe that the unique attributes of the proposed 146-unit senior housing facility justify the increase in units because they will have a lower cumulative impact on the community, traffic and lower demand for city services than a 110-unit unrestricted development. The average Avenida resident is a 74-year-old widow and approximately 70 percent of Avenida residents live alone. A typical apartment community would include two- and three-bedroom units, with a population that would be more than double the population of senior citizens in an Avenida project. The small and unique nature of the Avenida resident population translates to a quiet community with less traffic that produces substantial property tax revenue benefit and no burden to the school district.
By way of comparison, a typical age-restricted apartment building has an average of 0.86 cars per unit, which would be approximately 125 cars. That is 40 percent fewer cars than a typical apartment community parked at 2.25 spaces per unit. An office building of the same size as our project would translate to up to 1,850 daily trips!
You mentioned the average number of cars per unit for your age-restricted apartment type is less than one car and that similar projects nationally average 1.13 parking spaces per unit. Please expand on that. I’m concerned there will not be enough parking for residents and potential guests.
Our direct experience in other communities is that there is an average utilization rate of only 0.86 cars per unit. To verify this information, Walker Parking, a national recognized expert on parking, conducted a study to evaluate national trends on parking supply and utilization for comparable age-restricted apartment communities. The study concluded that the average project provided 1.13 parking spaces per unit while the maximum provided was 1.48 parking spaces per unit. When evaluating utilization of parking, the mean/median utilization was 0.72/0.73 spaces per unit and the maximum utilization was 0.98 spaces per unit. Avenida Naperville far exceeds the national averages and provides 1.55 parking spaces per unit. The parking study has been submitted to the City of Naperville for review.
How are you legally allowed to discriminate by age?
The Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) is a Federal Fair Housing statute signed into law by President Clinton on December 28, 1995. This act amended the housing of older persons with exemptions against familial status discrimination. HOPA modified the statutory definition of housing for older persons as housing intended and operated for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit. It required that facilities or communities claiming the exemption establishing age verification procedures. It is important to note that these provisions do not require limits or restrictions on rent amounts. There are multiple age-restricted communities operating in Naperville today under the Federal Fair Housing Laws.