Homeowners object to new landscape plan

Hinsdale trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to approve changes to the landscape and site plan for a two-story medical office building at 110 E. Ogden Ave., despite objections from adjacent homeowners.

The plan calls for 21 15-foot arbor vitae and two 9-foot Douglas firs to be planted along the property line to provide screening for Dr. Cara VanWormer-Hartman’s new chiropractic clinic.

“Our code says clearly that the only screening that is required is 6-foot trees,” Village President Tom Cauley said. “What the owner has done here goes above and beyond what they did in the first proposal. It goes above and beyond what our code requires and, in my mind, provides what the Stavers have asked for.”

Jarod and Kelly Staver, whose residence on Fuller Road abuts the property to the south, both spoke in opposition to the plan.

Jarod Staver said the meeting was held in violation of the Open Meetings Act due to lack of notice to neighbors and questioned why the revised plan did not go before the plan commission. He also said Cauley broke a promise he made to him and his wife.

“President Cauley assured us he would not even hear the owner of 110 E. Ogden until they presented a plan that was satisfactory to us and our neighbors,” he said.

Due to bad blood between the property owner and the Stavers, Cauley said he instead went to two independent landscaping companies for ideas on a design plan. He showed those two proposals to VanWormer-Hartman, who then presented a similar plan.

The Stavers said they want a row of eight to 10 maple or elm trees in addition to the row of arbor vitae to compensate for existing mature trees the developer cut down. The Stavers contend the removed trees were on their property, while VanWormer-Hartman claims they were on hers.

Village attorney Michael Mars said the village met all legal requirements to approve the plan.

Trustees voted 6-0 to waive a series of requirements and approve the second major adjustment to an exterior appearance and site plan review.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean