Commission endorses smaller lots, houses, mixed uses for a European feel
The Village of Belgium Plan Commission has recommended creating a mixed-use zoning district exclusively for the New Luxembourg development proposed by the Ansay Development Corporation.
The proposed district will allow a mix of residential, business and institutional uses, including a new Village Hall in a village square. The square will include the Luxembourg American Cultural Center, a community center with an art gallery, retail shops and offices and central green space that could be used for concerts and have a water feature, such as a splash pond.
An ordinance creating the district, which would permit smaller houses on much smaller lots than currently allowed, will be considered by the Village Board on June 10. A public hearing will be held prior to its adoption.
The purpose for the new district is to create a community similar to those in Luxembourg, where a mix of residential dwellings and businesses are grouped together with common green spaces for gatherings, concerts, public art and children to play, Village President Richard Howells told the Plan Commission Monday.
“This is going to be gorgeous,” he said. “It’s going to be very nice.”
The biggest changes from the current ordinance is that single-family lot sizes and side-yard setbacks could be half the size allowed now.
Under the proposed ordinance, single-family lots in the development could be as small as 6,000 square feet and 50 feet wide. Current single-family lots must be at least 12,000 square feet and 100 feet wide.
The minimum side-yard setback for single-family houses in the development would be 7.5 feet from the lot line, which means houses could be 15 feet apart.
Multi-family and business lots and setbacks in the development would be similar to current requirements.
Other uses allowed in the district would be multi-family dwellings with as many as eight units, foster family homes, community-living facilities for as many as 15 people, community-based residential facilities for as many as 24 people and all permitted uses in B-2 business and I-1 institutional districts.
All buildings will have Luxembourg architectural features and many will have courtyards.
The proposed ordinance would also allow narrower private streets that would be maintained by the developer, said Howells, who is chairman of the Plan Commission.
The commission will have the authority to control the development and change the ordinance if it is not going in the direction the village desires, he said.
“I want to see the whole plan,” commission member James Sprader said. “We don’t want 10 acres of these small houses.”
Howells said Ansay is working on a preliminary plat to present to the commission.
Brothers Mike and John Ansay have donated the lot and $600,000 to build a new Village Hall in the development.
Mike Ansay has said he hopes the village square will lure businesses and developers to the development, which is part of a tax incremental district that will close in 2022. All projects funded by the district, which includes the industrial park, must be completed by 2017.
The goal is to begin construction on the Village Hall in late August with completion next spring, Howells said.
The village has agreed to build a new lift station when it is needed to serve the development and other parts of the village. That will occur when 26 new houses are built, Howells said.