Program retains area’s agricultural roots
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—Take a turn down Pouley Road, between Keslinger and Hughes roads, and you’ll get a sense of rural Elburn before the train and the subdivisions arrived in town. Canopies of trees drape the still-gravel road; wooded areas with wild flowers flourish; and views of Johnson’s Mound and the Blackberry watershed are unobstructed. Both the historic Pouley estate and Blackberry Creek Farm speak to the area’s agricultural roots.
The rural character of this road could change on a dime if it weren’t for Kane County’s Rustic Roads Program.
Rustic Roads is a program of the Kane County Development Department and the Kane County Division of Transportation. Its purpose is to preserve rural roads and scenic vistas from residential and commercial uses and therefore protect natural and historic resources in these corridors. “Rustic” refers to both natural and built features that would be lost if not preserved and protected. Views, vegetation, farmsteads, unusual land forms and historical markers are just some of the features the program seeks to protect.
Both the County’s 2020 Transportation Plan and its 2020 Land Resource Management Plan identified the need to preserve and maintain the natural beauty of Kane County. The Rustic Roads program was established in 2000. It has since designated Brundige Road, between Keslinger and Route 38, and Ka De Ka Road in Sugar Grove as Rustic Roads.
Inclusion in the program is optional for property owners. For those who do opt into the program, certain restrictions apply.
“They must pull a permit to do (certain things),” Preservation Planner and Project Manager Julia Thavong said. “It protects structures from demolition or changes to the exterior that would compromise the historical significance.”
Thavong said that the process, however, is usually at the request of the residents. They take an interest and come forward to ask the county to look into the designation.
Kane County Forest Preserve has property on the east of Pouley and intends to keep the view of Johnson’s Mound unobstructed. It has plans to sync a trail from Blackberry Creek subdivision on the west, along the creek to Johnson’s Mound.
“It’s a positive for the entire area,” Village President Dave Anderson said.
For more information, contact the Kane County Development Department or visit www.countyofkane.org.