SWANSEA, Ill. – Many residents of Swansea, Illinois are concerned over a new project to build rental homes in their community. The proposed plan consists of building 274 rental homes on nearby land that is currently agricultural.
If the plan is approved, Swansea would annex the land which is now in St. Clair County and rezone the property. Some residents in the Bristol Hill subdivision are concerned that it would not integrate with the current single-family homes.
“I’m not opposed to anything being developed on that property,” said Jeff Kaemmerer. “I would just like to see it be like quality homes like what’s already in this subdivision right now. That was my expectation when I spent my life savings to build this home, the only home I will ever build. Now, I feel we’re trying to put in all these rental homes so close together it’s not even a close match to what’s in this neighborhood.”
Other residents said no one has studied the impact on the school district, which is already crowded. They are worried about a lot of traffic. Here’s what Vannessa Crowder had to say.
“I don’t like the way that it’s been rushed,” said Vannessa Crowder said. “The process has gone forward than back. We’ve heard one thing than another. I really don’t think that they’ve taken the time to do the homework that they need to do for a development of this size.”
The residents also have concerns about the political side of this deal. The Planning and Zoning Board was divided on the plan, with half opposing it.
The proposal was still forwarded to the Board of Trustees committee. They were also divided on this deal. They were tied three to three. However, Swansea Mayor Michael Leopold broke the tie by voting in favor of the project.
The city attorney said the mayor was not allowed to vote on the issue.
The proposal will be sent to the Swansea Board of Trustees for a final decision. The Board will vote at its meeting on Monday.