Elburn tweaks agreement, pushing final vote
by Susan O’Neill
Elburn—The Elburn Village Board made further modifications to the intergovernmental agreement between the village and the Kaneland School District regarding fees for the Elburn Station development, pushing the vote out possibly another two weeks.
The Kaneland School Board is scheduled to vote on the agreement at its next regularly scheduled meeting, on Monday, May 14.
This will be the first time, since the dissolution of a district-wide school impact fee agreement, that a municipality in the School District will directly enter into an impact fee agreement with a developer.
Based on discussions between the developer and the School District, the district has agreed to reduce the land/cash fee from $80,000 per acre down to $34,000 per acre. In addition, the district has waived transition fees, which were originally created to cover school expenses for the additional students from residential development until the property taxes began coming in.
The result of these concessions, including a reduction in the impact fees per household, is a 25 percent reduction in the total amount of fees Shodeen will pay compared to those in the previous district-wide agreement. Under the old agreement, for example, the fees on a four-bedroom home valued at $300,000 in 2011 were $10,000. Fees for the same house would now cost Shodeen an estimated $6,240.
Shodeen Construction President Dave Patzelt said he thinks the fee reductions are fair, based on the current overall weak economy. In addition, he said that the current philosophy is that transportation-oriented developments, such as Elburn Station—where there are denser, more walkable neighborhoods—generate fewer children than subdivisions in which the houses are more spread out and have larger yards.
The board on Monday agreed to change the term of the agreement to coincide with the length of the annexation agreement, a time-frame of 20 years, and that it will begin when the first building permit is issued.
In addition, Patzelt asked that the board include in the agreement the option to modify the current fees if, in the future, another municipality within the Kaneland School District negotiates lower fees with the district.