Peoria Heights leaders looking to add affordable housing, splash pad in 2020

News

PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. — This Thursday, Peoria Heights hosted its third and final town hall of the year.

Mayor Mike Phelan said creating a ‘Neighborhood Comprehensive Plan’ will be a priority for Peoria Heights leaders next year.

Phelan said Chicago-based consultant Houseal Lavigne Associates will be helping the village put together that plan.

Residents were asked to provide input about what they want to see next year.

A Houseal Lavigne representative will address the Village Board at its regular meeting starting at 6 p.m. next Tuesday, Nov, 19.

At the meeting, Thursday, ideas for brighter lighting along Lake Avenue, better-maintained curbs and sidewalks, holding the line on garbage pickup fees, and keeping up the staffing of the Peoria Heights Police Department were brought up.

Ideas came up to create a splash pad for families, a community garden, and more parking downtown were also talked about.

“The Heights has enjoyed significant commercial growth particularly in its downtown corridor for several years, but has long faced a housing shortage in the face of high demand,” said Mike Bailey, who sends news releases for the village.

“To that end, the village is pursuing a $500,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to help provide affordable housing,” Bailey added.

“We really want to bring back the middle class,” said Phelan, noting the loss of some 2,000 residents following the closing of the Pabst plant in the Heights nearly 40 years ago.

While the Heights has an abundance of two-bedroom, one-bath structures, middle-class families want more options with three bedrooms, two baths, he said.

The village has an agreement to sell five lots that had landed in its lap over the years to a local builder, who plans to put $150,000 to $200,000 homes on them, said Phelan. Meanwhile, developer Katie Kim has begun her Samuels Avenue residential development.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.