DeKalb City Council to consider 17-unit apartment plan


DeKalb May 24 City Council agenda

The building at 444 E. Hillcrest Drive would feature seven one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom units.

By Kierra Frazier

DeKALB – The DeKalb City Council will vote on an ordinance Monday to establish 17 apartment units at 400 E. Hillcrest Drive and 444 E. Hillcrest Drive.

DeKalb business owner Chuck Shepard is requesting a special use permit to establish the 17 apartment units on the second floor of two buildings, according to the May 24 City Council agenda. Shepard is proposing 14 one-bedroom units and three two-bedroom units. 

In the smaller building, 400 E. Hillcrest Drive, there will be seven one-bedroom units and one two-bedroom unit with 800 square feet and 900 square feet floor sizes, respectively. The building at 444 E. Hillcrest Drive would feature seven one-bedroom units and two two-bedroom units with 675 square feet and 975 square feet floor sizes, respectively. 

Rents will vary from approximately $950 to $1,150 per month, according to the agenda. 

The DeKalb Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the special use permit on May 17. 

Shepard will need to update handicap signage within the parking lot in order to meet city specifications before any residents move into the apartments, according to the agenda. 

Consideration of bikeway on Lincoln Highway 

Council members will consider a bikeway to complement the Lincoln Highway configuration between First and Fourth Streets. 

Engineering plans sent to the Illinois Department of Transportation in March show the reduction of the four-lane downtown section to three lanes, with a center turn lane. The purpose of the reduction is to “soften the truck raceway through our downtown, while widening the adjacent sidewalks by 5 to 6 feet” for sidewalk sales and outdoor seating, according to the agenda. 

However, after contacting the Illinois Department of Transportation, City Manager Bill Nicklas was informed the proposed bikeway on Lincoln Highway would result in dangerous crossing for bicyclists and is subject to the state’s “Complete Streets” requirement. 

As an alternative, council members will consider a bikeway on either the parallel Locust Street or the parallel Grove Street, according to the agenda. Nicklas recommends the Grove Street bikeway because it would not have an adverse effect on local businesses. 

If the Illinois Department of Transportation approves the plan, a public hearing and vote on the proposal will be held at a future city council meeting. 

Monday’s city council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the DeKalb Public Library, 309 Oak St., or via Zoom