Rezoning Sparks Controversy Amongst Wheaton Residents

Andrew Moore, Staff Writer

WHEATON﹣Residents have been at odds this fall over an assessment of the Roosevelt Rd. corridor, issued by the City of Wheaton that proposes rezoning the majority of Wheaton’s land along Roosevelt Rd. The plan–formally known as the“East Roosevelt Road – Comprehensive Plan Update”–has yet to be decided on, though many citizens have voiced their concerns about the plans.

Drafted February 2019, the proposal suggests rezoning sections along Roosevelt Rd. between Carlton Ave. and Lorraine Rd., removing architectural restrictions and increasing the maximum building height. Designed to stimulate economic growth in Wheaton in the era of e-commerce, many fear the changes would dramatically alter the look and feel of Wheaton.

The proposed changes to the corridor have been widely opposed. Wheaton Central High School alumna and 65 year Wheaton resident Shelly John said, “I cherish my home and the small-town aspects of Wheaton and it’s neighborhoods. The proposed zoning changes will remove the charm and unique qualities [of Wheaton] many of us enjoy.” John also fears the changes may negatively impact property values in the very neighborhoods the proposal advertises as “attractive, stable…and [that] represent a key component of Wheaton’s overall image and character.”

Other concerns according to Diane Moore, Wheaton resident and business owner, include “severing the south side’s pedestrian access to Downtown Wheaton,” as well as “increasing population density and traffic around these neighborhoods.”

Wheaton City Council’s next Planning Session has yet to be announced, however, they intend on reworking the original proposal to better accommodate the community’s wellbeing.

More information on the comprehensive plan can be found on the City of Wheaton’s “Agenda Center” website, as well as the “Concerned Citizens – Roosevelt Road” Facebook group.