Public speaks at annexation hearing

By on July 20, 2012

by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—A small crowd at the Elburn Village Board meeting on Monday voiced their concerns about the annexation and planned development agreement between the village and Elburn Station.

The hearing has been open for two months, and prior to Monday, only one person has contributed their opinion. The hearing will remain open and will be continued at the Aug. 6 meeting.

“We’re doing the best we can, but we need your input,” Village President Dave Anderson told the crowd. “The responsibility is on all of us.”

Four people spoke and asked questions of the board. All were opposed to the development. Their concerns centered on the idea that, with businesses missing in downtown, foreclosures abounding in Blackberry Creek and a good portion of the Blackberry Creek subdivision still undeveloped, there was no value in bringing in a large development.

“Do we want to do it again (bring in a development) with fresh property that hasn’t been touched?” one speaker asked.

Others emphasized that the plan to essentially double the population of Elburn and bring in 400 apartment units doesn’t fit with the rural character of the community.

“Is it really in the best interest of the community? There’ll be more people, more traffic, more pedestrians. Where does it add up? I would plead with the board to consider what the people of Elburn want. If it were put to a vote, (it wouldn’t pass),” Elburn resident Ron Rosecky said.

While it is close to being too late to put the question of the development on the ballot in November, board members expressed their frustration that, even though a copy of the plan is available at Village Hall and at the public library, they have received very little feedback.

“In an Elburn Herald poll, the largest response to the question (of whether the public approved of the Elburn Station development) is 52 people,” Anderson said.

Another concern expressed was the $400,000 fee that the village must pay if the Anderson Road extension is approved.

“Do we have that budgeted for next year?” Elburn resident Jim Peterson asked. “It’s asking a lot of citizens to come up with that.”

Village Administrator Erin Willrett said that the money is there. It was collected in a transportation impact fee from the Blackberry Creek subdivision.

Some asked for clarification about the connection between the Anderson Road project and Elburn Station. Anderson explained that Anderson Road is a county project, not a village project. Kane County must first secure a right of way from ShoDeen in order to build the bridge. Whether ShoDeen will do that is not known because, Anderson said, the developer is in negotiations with the county at this time.

“I feel we need this bridge in the village of Elburn more than we need anything. Not everyone is negative,” trustee Jerry Schmidt said. “Are we postponing this project (by not approving the annexation agreement now)? I’m worried we’re going to lose the bridge. Without the bridge, I don’t see how we can get more development.”

Anderson replied that the village has no influence over whether the bridge is built. Trustee Bill Graberek said that the county could take the land by eminent domain. He also said that Dave Patzelt of ShoDeen said in a public meeting that ShoDeen was not going to sign over the land unless there was an annexation agreement.

“I personally won’t vote just to get the land without feeling totally comfortable with the development,” Grabarek said.

Trustee Jeff Walter agreed that the board can only do what’s right for the village.

“If it takes longer, then that’s what it takes,” Walter said.

Anderson encouraged the public to call or email him or Willrett with any questions they might have concerning the proposed plan.

“Everybody on this board has spent hours and hours busting our stones to protect this village,” Anderson said. “What better time to look at this when we’re not under the gun. We’re setting up ordinances and policies for future development.”

About Lynn Meredith

5 Comments

  1. OneWhoCares

    July 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    “I feel we need this bridge in the village of Elburn more than we need anything. Not everyone is negative,” trustee Jerry Schmidt said. “Are we postponing this project (by not approving the annexation agreement now)? I’m worried we’re going to lose the bridge. Without the bridge, I don’t see how we can get more development.”
    ——————————————
    Let the county take the land by eminent domain,and tell ShoDeen clan to go pound sand. Better yet let’s see what they can do with all the vacant Blackberry Creek subdivision ( still undeveloped)there was no value in bringing in another large development

    For what ever reason there is still consideration of more development to add to the burden of Elburn tax payer’s is insane. The current people of Elburn don’t want it and don’t need it until maybe if and when all the current financial and cutbacks are taken care of.
    If the village board wants the development lets take it to the Elburn voter’s and maybe…just maybe they will understand that we don’t want more development until the answer’s are plainly in place on just WHO IS GOING TO PAY for all the added sew and water needs for one . Then too what about taking care of out streets and sidewalks that in some areas are kind of dangerous.I could go on but I’m sure that many folks feel the same way.

  2. Zombieeye

    July 21, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Well I for one don’t like that Shodeen is crying in the sand box, saying they will not give the land to the county for the road unless Elburn annexes the property.

    There are a lot of new developers who are saving money and cashing in on HUGE tax cuts offered by the government for low income housing. So here is how i see these apartments playing out. All built up and only half get filled. The rest will be labeled as low income housing and bam!!! Shodeen gets paid and we just inherited our very own Jericho Circle!!! Shodeen moves on with pockets lined and Huge Tax breaks and we get stuck with bottomed property values and crime… Shodeen cannot guarantee that these properties will not be low income nor would it even be legal for them to do so. With most developments a percentage must be acclimated for section 8.

    My vote would be to wait. There will be other developers. What is the rush, and wait for the market to make a comeback. Then we will be fighting off developers with a stick. When the market is in shambles why build? Other villages are building and look at what they are ending up with. LOW INCOME HOUSING. Why does the village feel that it won’t happen to them? Are they that high and mighty on their ivory tower to not see what is going on? We are no different than any other community so let’s learn from their mistakes and NOT DO THIS!!!

    Growth is great and I am all for it, but it should be on OUR terms not some developer and when they choose.

  3. BBCreekRes

    July 23, 2012 at 6:28 AM

    About this Question & Quote;
    Another concern expressed was the $400,000 fee that the village must pay if the Anderson Road extension is approved.
    Question “Do we have that budgeted for next year?” Elburn resident Jim Peterson asked. “It’s asking a lot of citizens to come up with that.”

    Quote;”Village Administrator Erin Willrett said that the money is there. It was collected in a transportation impact fee from the Blackberry Creek subdivision.”

    Blackberry Creek is INCOMPLETE, the roads are INCOMPLETE, the Pond system is INCOMPLETE, and it was mentioned recently that the original developer bonds are not enough to complete the work.

    So WHY are we taking Impact fee’s generated by Blackberry Creek to fund a Shodeen project?
    In Blackberry Creek we pay an SSA, we also pay an HOA to handle a good number of items that most villages have a park district for.
    Shouldn’t the impact fee go for the roads here?

    Elburn officials need to start stepping up and taking care of what they ALREADY have, this includes a fair attempt at correcting the last failed development.

  4. informed

    July 25, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    @BBCreekRes – the fees mentioned were collected specifically to finish roads in BBC. In this case, the connection of Anderson Road to Keslinger. This is not funding a Shodeen project. If the residents of BBC don’t want to connect Anderson to Keslinger they should take it up with the Board.

    As to your suggestion that “Elburn officials need to start stepping up and taking care of what they ALREADY have, this includes a fair attempt at correcting the last failed development”, what do you condsider a fair attempt? I don’t agree with the Shodeen development but I am definitely not in favor of the Village getting into the development business. It has been proven time and time again that government at any level doesn’t succeed in business matters. The last thing we need is a Village Board trying to develop land.

  5. Zombieeye

    July 26, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Well people have posted in the past that “The village of Elburn Does not want this Shodeen anyway” Well i can tell you this the village has had MINIMAL contact with the public who are in disagreement with this. So if those people who do not want this to happen need to put forth some effort and email, call, post artical, and/or show up for the village meetings and voice there pro or con for this. The village has been on record in stating that only around 50 people in the past 6 months have voiced their cons against this. That is not even a blip on a radar from a village of over 5000 residents. This is our town and if we don’t let it known PUBLICLY then the village will have to figure that since there is not enough “recorded” cons, that the majority of the village must think it is ok to proceed. The August meeting is probably going to be the last meeting before they close the open forum for good. I suggest you GO and fill the HALL with either yay or nay for this. 50 people is not enough. It is too late for the village to spend the money on a vote, so this is going to be the only way.
    The bridge is going to be built soon enough so if it takes another 5 years then it does. But it will be built reguardless if Shodeen gets the approval or not. PERIOD. Hope to see a packed room at the next meeting!!!

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