Sho-Deen development discussion on hold
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURNâ€”Several village officials are not sure whether they want Sho-Deen Inc. to reduce the commercial scope of the planned Elburn Station development on Elburn’s east side. Others are concerned about the residential density of the project.
The Elburn Village Board on Monday with a 4-2 vote tabled a motion to approve the Geneva developer’s request to eliminate a commercial parcel from the project plan. However, the board intends to continue discussing Sho-Deen’s proposal.
â€œThis can be brought forward (again) at a future meeting,â€ Village President Dave Anderson said.
Sho-Deen no longer wants to develop the parcel that is just north of Route 38. That section includes most of the plan’s commercial development.
Trustees Jerry Schmidt and Patricial Romke opposed tabling the motion. Dave Anderson and trustees Jeff Walter, Ken Anderson and Bill Grabarek voted to table it.
â€œThe (potential) loss of that commercial bothers me,â€ Grabarek said.
Sho-Deen representative Dave Patzelt said that just because an area is zoned commercial does not mean businesses will want to locate there. However, his comment did not sway Grabarek.
â€œI can’t go with it right now,â€ Grabarek said. â€œNot without the commercial property north of 38.â€
Sho-Deen Inc. first proposed Elburn Station to the village in January 2007. The development property is on the east side of the village between Route 38 and Keslinger Road.
Plans for Elburn Station feature single-family homes on lots ranging in width from 30 to 80 feet; multi-family housing within a half-mile around the Metra station with density up to 12 units per acre; and commercial areas on the north and south sides.
Aside from the proposed removal of most of the Elburn Station commercial property, the development’s density concerns several trustees.
â€œHow does having more people â€¦ benefit the village of Elburn?â€ Ken Anderson said.
Walter said, â€œYou are putting too many people in a small area.â€
Trustees Walter and Anderson were not on the Village Board when it approved the existing concept plan for Elburn Station in March 2008. In that plan, the total number of planned residences was approximately 3,000, including up to 1,000 multi-family units.
Schmidt was not on the board in 2008 either, but he said he likes the existing concept plan’s multi-family housing, particularly if Sho-Deen builds condominiums rather than apartments.
â€œI like the whole (Elburn Station) concept,â€ Schmidt said Tuesday. â€œIn today’s market, things change. Sho-Deen said they could offer Elburn something it doesn’t have.â€
Romke said Monday that Elburn’s multi-family units would be a housing opportunity for singles, younger professionals and retirees, which could attract new businesses to Elburn.
â€œThe whole trend in housing is to go smaller,â€ Romke said.
Romke also said that she approves of Sho-Deen’s desire not to develop the commercial portion of Elburn Station north of Route 38, adding that she does not want the area â€œto turn into another Randall Road.â€
On Oct. 5, the Elburn Planning Commission voted 4-2 not to recommend Village Board approval of the proposed change.