Feature, Local News

Oasis House of Refuge gets green light on plans for SW corner of 198th, Governors Highway

Plans for an Oasis House of Refuge facility in Flossmoor are moving forward after initially being pitched to the village board in March.

The village board voted 5-0 Monday, July 18, to approve an ordinance to annex two parcels of land along Governors Highway, and voted 5-0 again to approve a rezoning, a plat of consolidation, approval of a preliminary plan and a special use to make way for Oasis House of Refuge LLC to build a hospice and palliative care facility there. Trustee James Mitros was absent.

Renderings show the planned appearance of a hospice and palliative care facility Oasis House of Refuge LLC plans to build at the southwest corner of 198th Street and Governors Highway. (Photo courtesy of Apex Design Build)

The board previously discussed the requests in March, and board members had no additional inquiries on Monday.

“They did an excellent presentation the last time and pretty much answered all of my questions,” Trustee Brian Driscoll said.

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With the decisions, the village will annex 19810 and 19812 Governors Highway. The property also will be rezoned to R-7 Planned Multi-Family District, which allows for hospices as a special use, according to a report to the board by Building and Zoning Administrator Scott Bugner.

Bugner added that the Plan Commission held a public hearing May 19 to consider the rezoning, plat of consolidation, preliminary plan and special use requests. The commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the project.

“The plan commission did have some concerns, and they all were addressed,” Bugner said.

In March, former Flossmoor Mayor Paul Braun, serving as an attorney representing Oasis House of Refuge LLC, noted the facility is to be located on 2.24 acres on the southwest corner of 198th Street and Governors Highway that before annexation fell in unincorporated Cook County. The building is expected to be a single story of approximately 12,500 square feet. There will be a patio for each suite, parking and loading facilities, stormwater detention, and plans for a future memorial garden, according to the board report.

Braun noted those parcels were an old chicken farm surrounded by Flossmoor properties. The spaces are to be converted to accommodate a 14-bed facility. Sade Bello, one of the owners of Oasis, told the board in March the facility will be “like a mini ICU,” with services paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and insurance, giving people a place “to die with dignity and care.”

“We’re just really, really excited about this project,” Braun said Monday. “This is going to be a terrific addition to the community to provide a really needed service that we don’t have at this point in time.”

Flossmoor receives $30K grant to plant trees along Gem route

“We have run the Gem, we have cheered the Gem and now … we will plant the gem,” Stephanie Wright, the village’s program and event manager, told the board Monday.

The Village of Flossmoor Green Commission announced at the meeting that the village was awarded $30,000 from the Chicago Region Tree Initiative and Morton Arboretum to plant roughly 300 trees across the 13.1-mile Hidden Gem Half Marathon route.

The Green Commission is to work with arborist Dave Becker to determine which species will be planted and how many trees should be along the route, according to a written report to the board. The commission will also work with the Hidden Gem team to source volunteers. And there will be an opt-out program for residents who are not interested in having trees in their parkway, according to the report.

Prospective gas station buyer requests Class 8 property tax incentive

Windy Property Investments LLC is in negotiations with the owner of 3950 Vollmer Road to purchase the property with the intent to improve the vacant gas station, car wash and restaurant there, according to a report by Bugner. But before moving forward with the BP gas station, the company is requesting a Class 8 tax incentive to make it a viable endeavor.

Windy Property Investments has budgeted approximately $350,000 for renovations on the property and anticipates hiring 13 employees, according to Bugner. But the current annual property taxes there are roughly $219,203. Class 8 would reduce taxes to roughly $87,681, Bugner explained, which would help make the business profitable following renovation.

No action was taken on the request at the July 18 meeting.

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