South New Towne Drive is being brought up at Rockford City Council once again. It's the site of what could be housing for low-income residents, but aldermen have to weigh in on one important step first.
Aldermen haven't talked about S. New Towne Dr. since August, when the federal government told city leaders they need to come up with a plan to move low-income public housing residents out of Fairgrounds, a decaying housing complex. Now, the southeast Rockford location is back and this time, council members will vote on it.
"I have a referral memorandum from Scott Capovilla, Zoning & Land Use Administrator regarding the final plat #3 of the New Towne subdivision," Ald. Joe Chiarelli said at Monday night's meeting.
Now that plat moves to a City Council committee. A plat is a list of details about a property, things like where its boundaries are and utility hook-ups. Developer Gorman & Company has given that to the city and aldermen will vote on it. It's still unknown what type of housing could be built on the site. Back in July, Gorman & Co. pulled its plan to build mixed income rentals for Fairgrounds Valley residents. Neighbors around New Towne worried the development would drive up crime and lower property values. The Rockford Housing Authority says Gorman & Co. is still working on a new plan. CEO Ron Clewer tells 13 News that S. New Towne Dr. would be a way for Fairgrounds residents to get out of poverty.
Aldermen are not commenting on the plat. The chairman of the committee that'll discuss it, Ald. Joe Chiarelli, says he is disappointed that it's been submitted, but wants to see what his committee has to say next week before making any other statements.