A 127-year-old Route 59 home will be torn down to make way for a parking lot.
With Mayor Mike Collins casting the deciding vote, the Plainfield Village Board on Monday gave Overman-Jones Funeral Home the OK to demolish the home at 15205 S. Route 59 to expand its existing parking lot by 24 spaces.
Village Planner Michael Garrigan said the house, built in 1885 and located north of the funeral home, is identified in the village’s comprehensive plan as part of the business transition district (BTD). The BTD designation encourages property owners to convert homes to low-traffic businesses rather than demolishing them.
Even so, the board voted 3-2 in favor of demolition, with trustees Dan Rippy, Jim Racich and Margie Bonuchi voting yes. Trustees Garrett Peck and Bill Lamb voted against demolition, while Paul Fay abstained, requiring Collins to vote.
The mayor's yes vote brought the total to 4-2, giving the funeral home the OK to proceed with plans to raze the house.
The board’s action paves the way for demolition, but Garrigan said the business will have to have the property rezoned for commercial use.
“They’ll probably be doing that before applying for demolition,” Garrigan said, adding it’s unclear how soon the home could be demolished.
Vision still unclear
The home is part of an area being looked at as part of the “Vision for Division” study, which is aimed at creating a vision, or plan, for the Route 59 corridor from Main Street south to Union Street.
At issue is whether the area should remain BTD, which consists mainly of office and other low-traffic uses, or become home to more intense, higher-traffic commercial properties.
Through a partnership with consulting firm Civic ArtWorks, the village is reaching out to residents via social media and public meetings to get input on the corridor’s future.
Garrigan said a “Vision for Division” public workshop is tentatively slated for Nov. 20.