January 29, 2021

Naperville Resident Writes a Song Protesting Residential Development

Typically Naperville residents voice their concerns with proposed projects in the city through public comment. But Naperville resident Phyllis Betenia has taken it a step further, writing a song to protest a proposed residential development at the former Nokia property at Naperville and Warrenville roads.

Naperville Resident Concerns For The Project

“I’m very concerned about how it will impact the wildlife in the forest preserve,” said Betenia. “There are drainage issues, there are traffic issues, and the types of homes they’re building, and the density of the homes seems extreme to the surrounding community.”

Her music video, titled “Wooden Houses” can be viewed on YouTube.

Shot by Betenia and Jack Orton the video shows some wildlife and the neighborhood that would be affected by the development.

Inspiration For The Song

“I had the idea for it simply because I’ve grew up with protest music,” said Betenia. “I grew up with [Bob] Dylan, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie. And I wanted to do something to bring attention to this development.”

There are others that share Betenia’s concerns. Over 4,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org to protest construction of the development.

The Naper Commons project by Pulte Homes will be presented at the Planning and Zoning Commission next week.

Updated Plan

Russ Whitaker, an attorney for Pulte Homes, says the group has been in discussions with neighbors and have updated their site plans to help alleviate some concerns.

Those changes include a 25-foot landscape buffer between the project’s residential lot and the Fair Meadows and the Danada Townhomes neighborhood.

“We lost units and we’ve increased costs in order to make this happen,” said Whittaker. “But Pulte always approached projects in Naperville as a partner. They’re working with neighbors, they’re working with community organizations in order to create wins.”

Whittaker said the originally 241 residential units for the projects have been reduced to 239. He also said the plan has been updated to address concerns raised by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

The Naperville Zoning Commission is scheduled to hear further input about the proposed development at their February 3 meeting.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.

 

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