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Kenmore OKs apartments for St. Paul’s School

Plans for a “faith-built community” of apartments in Kenmore’s former St. Paul’s School received unanimous approval Tuesday night from the Kenmore Village Board.

Developer Larry Bicz of Double Eagle Kenmore LLC submitted a proposal to the village for 37 market-rate apartments in the 50,000-square-foot former school on Victoria Boulevard, which was built in the 1920s and added onto in 1962 but closed in 2010.

“It’s a nice, mutually-agreeable project for both the church and ourselves,” Bicz said after the board meeting. “It primarily is for St. Paul’s because all the people currently interested are all parishioners looking to sell their homes, stay in the village and stay involved with the church.”

The vote came after a public hearing attended by about a dozen residents who live on Victoria and Westgate Road near St. Paul’s. Many of their questions centered on exterior lighting, parking and whether water pressure could handle the project.

Bicz told Victoria resident Nancy Nathan, whose home is next door to the school, that exterior lighting would be made “neighbor-friendly,” shielded and focussed away from neighboring homes.

Bicz also explained that he has worked out a “friendly agreement” with St. Paul’s for shared parking between the church and tenants, and visitors may be encouraged to use abundant municipal parking in the area.

Officials from the village’s Department of Public Works assured residents that water lines in the area will be able to handle an additional 37 apartments.

“We never had an issue when the school was open,” said Superintendent of Public Works Andrew Mang. “We don’t foresee any problems in the future.”

Bicz said he expected work on the building to get under way within the next several weeks, once building permits are obtained.

“We’re very excited” he said. “We’ve been on it for a long time and had to go through a lot of hoops.”

Also Tuesday, East Hazeltine Avenue resident Greg Kuhaneck decried a lack of crossing guards at Mang and Elmwood avenues where people entered Mang Park for the recent Kenmore Days festival.

“A family crossed the street, trying to get across almost got hit by a car,” Kuhaneck said. “I mentioned it to one of the police officers. You know what happened? Nothing.”

Police Chief Peter J. Breitnauer promised to look into the complaint.