HINSDALE, IL — Hinsdale’s village president this week indicated support for the latest version of proposed senior housing along Ogden Avenue.

But neighbors said the development would be too dense and increase traffic.

The complex would consist of a 180-unit building on the northwest side of Ogden Avenue and Adams Street. On the northeast side would be 20 units of independent living duplexes.

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The total units would be 200, down from the 267 proposed a couple of years ago. It would be on the local site of the Texas-based Institute in Basic Life Principles, which plans to sell the property.

The development is proposed by Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies.

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At Tuesday’s Village Board meeting, Village President Tom Cauley said he lived closer to the proposed development than many of its opponents.

“Like many of you, I would like this property to stay vacant,” Cauley told the audience. “If this property were never redeveloped, that would be perfectly fine with me, both as a resident and the village president.”

Under the village code, the property in question is mostly zoned for buildings for government agencies and nonprofit groups, which would be the type of dense development that neighbors oppose.

Yet if the village kept rejecting Ryan’s proposals, it may eventually become the site of a four-story government building, Cauley said.

“I’m not saying that as a threat. There’s not something in the wind about that,” Cauley said. “That’s a possibility if we keep it vacant forever.”

At a village meeting in July, he said a couple of neighbors said they were fine with 200 units and a middle lane on Ogden for traffic issues.

So that’s what Cauley said he requested of the developer. The result was the latest proposal, he said.

“I don’t think you’re going to get a better deal than this,” Cauley said. “I have no horse in this race. I view my job as village president to bring to the community and to the board what I think is the best possible development for a particular property. I think this is that.”

He said traffic is a lesser concern because it involves people in memory care and assisted living — in other words, those who don’t drive much or at all.

A number of neighbors criticized the village for its handling of the project.

“Last time, I was very polite,” Bonnie Brae Road resident Bob Ludwig said. “You know what, we’re not going to be intimidated. We are voters. We are not going to be intimidated by the attitude of this board.”

He said the village noted its work with Ryan and the Institute in Basic Life Principles. But he said residents have been left out of the loop.

Cauley said the residents gave their feedback in July.

“The residents told me they wanted 200 units or less and a middle lane,” he said. “That’s what we’re delivering. If that’s not acceptable, that’s fine. I’m not telling you that you have to accept that.”

Ludwig also said traffic matters little because the development would cause his neighborhood’s property values to fall.

Glendale Avenue resident Dan Hemmer said none of Ryan’s other senior complexes around the county have been in neighborhoods like his. They are in commercial areas, he said.

“This will turn a residential neighborhood into a commercial project,” Hemmer said.

Trustee Luke Stifflear said he would want everything around his house to stay green.

“I wouldn’t want anything else being built,” he said. “But everything here seems to be more advantageous — less dense, greater setbacks, lower height, less traffic than what would otherwise be allowed.”

Hemmer said barely anyone in his neighborhood wanted to bar all development on the property.

“We don’t want vacant, abandoned property in this neighborhood,” he said. “No one wants giant institutional buildings with windows knocked out, barely maintained.”

The Village Board plans to vote in two weeks on whether to refer the matter to the Plan Commission. Hearings before that panel could last four to six months, officials said.

On another part of the institute’s property, Burr Ridge-based McNaughton Development has proposed houses, but its plan received criticism from the board last May. McNaughton’s owner said he would consider offering a new plan.

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