Tag Archives: Sugar Grove Village Board

Sugar Grove village notes

by Susan O’Neill

Board adopts 2009 zoning map
The Village Board adopted a 2009 zoning map that includes several revisions approved in 2008, including the Prairie Grove Commons annexation and rezoning, the Nickels property rezoning, the Hannaford Farm PUD amendment, Dr. Craig Zabel’s Main Street property rezoning and special use, and the township’s property rezoning and special use on Main Street.

The map does not change any of the current zoning districts. The adoption of a new zoning map each year is required by state statute.

Board approves LED signage ordinance
The Village Board on Tuesday approved an amendment to the village sign code that would allow for electronic message display (LED) signs, which the current code does not allow. The amendment includes standards for color, design, sign display area and setbacks, and prohibits rotating, flashing, blinking or scrolling effects.

The new Sugar Grove Library building ground sign and the sign for the new Walgreens will comply with the standards in the amendment, as well as future commercial buildings.

Work on water main continues
Village Board members approved a sixth grant of easement for the Route 47 and Wheeler Road water main improvement to service Kaneland Harter Middle School. The easement grants permanent and construction easements to the village to construct, install and maintain the water main.

Board establishes backup SSA for The Landings
The board on Tuesday approved an ordinance establishing a backup Special Service Area (SSA) for The Landings development located west of Route 47 and south of Park Avenue.

The ordinance allows the village to authorize maintenance, repair and replacement of storm water systems, landscaping, private roads, parking areas and signage, and to establish a mosquito abatement program.

The ordinance allows the village to levy an annual tax if the association fails to conduct the maintenance.

Sugar Grove joins Ride in Kane

Services to begin by May 1

by Susan O’Neill
The Village Board agreed Tuesday to participate in the county-wide Ride in Kane program, in conjunction with the Sugar Grove Park District, the Sugar Grove Public Library District and the Sugar Grove Township. The group named itself the Sugar Grove Paratransit Coalition.

Participation in the program is expected to begin May 1.

Each governmental entity will provide $1,000 in funding for the first year of the agreement. The Sugar Grove Library District will review rider applications and approve them based on criteria established by the coalition.

Ride in Kane submits a bill quarterly for services. If the allotted $4,000 is used up before the end of the year, the board members of the coalition can decide not to contribute additional funding and withdraw from Ride in Kane at that time.

The intergovernmental agreement will come before the Village Board on Tuesday, Feb. 17, for its approval.

Qualifications for eligibility
• Inability to obtain a driver’s license due to age or disability
• Low income residents with no other available transportation

Riders will pay $3 for the first 10 miles of the trip and
$1.50 for each additional mile.

Rides shall be provided for the following purposes
• Work
• Health care visits
• Dialysis
• Rehabilitation
• Adult daycare
• Child daycare
• Programs provided by the members of the coalition

For further information, potential participants may contact
Village Clerk Cindy Welsch at (630) 466-4507, ext. 24.

Firm to study drainage, flooding problems

by Susan O’Neill
The Village Board on Tuesday approved a contract with engineering company Trotter and Associates, Inc. to study drainage problems within the Mallard Point Subdivision.

The first phase of the project will be to inspect the retention basin to the south of the development in an attempt to determine what is causing the problems.

Issues with flooding and drainage go back to when the construction began on the development east of Route 47 and south of Prairie Street in the early 1990s. The first builder declared bankruptcy in the midst of construction, and two additional builders took over before construction was completed in the late 1990s. Causes and responsibility for the subdivision’s problems have been difficult to pin down.

Mallard Point’s storm water management was to be handled by water flow through the retention basin and an improved wetland to the south. According to village officials, the annexation agreement called for a homeowners association to own and maintain the storm water management improvements.

However, a homeowners association was never formed, and the retention basin property was purchased by the owner of the farm to the south through a tax sale. Many of the residents have said that the water level of the retention facility is higher than originally intended, leading to the subdivision’s drainage and ground water issues.

More than 100 Mallard Point residents attended a special Village Board meeting on Jan. 27 to report on their specific drainage and flooding issues. Several residents attended Tuesday’s meeting, as well.

Many of the problems include the constant running of sump pumps, flooding of basements and backyards when it rains.

The cost of the inspection is $8,000 plus expenses, which will be paid by the village. The study should take 21 days to complete.

After the inspection phase is completed, the Village Board will have to approve subsequent project phases, which include the identification of actions needed to rehabilitate the basin and restore the wetlands and the development of a maintenance plan. The last phase calls for individual lot drainage and resolution of residents’ groundwater concerns.

The residents of Mallard Point have set up a blog regarding the problems at mallardpoint.blogspot.com.

Village approves agreement for Prairie Grove Commons

by Susan O’Neill
The Village Board approved an annexation agreement for the 44-acre Prairie Grove Commons commercial development on Tuesday, a center on the west side of Route 47 and Galena Boulevard extended, where the Walgreens is expected to open a store.

Village officials also approved the final plan for the Walgreens store, even though the company has delayed its construction to 2012.

The village’s hope is to attract big box stores to the property south of Galena Boulevard; to that end, the annexation agreement includes a sales tax rebate for the property from Galena Boulevard south to Route 30.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said attorney James White, who represents the developers.

He explained that the agreement gives the developers an incentive with which to attract retailers to a “green” area, one in which little development currently exists. In addition, the village receives a share of the sales tax, and the School District receives its share of the property taxes.

The term for the rebate agreement is 14 years. The clock starts ticking either two years from the signing of the annexation agreement or when the first occupancy permit is issued, whichever comes first.

The amount the retailers receive back is higher (1.25 percent of sales) for the first four years, to offset the costs of infrastructure associated with the development. The percentage is reduced for the remaining 10 years, with the village receiving 1 percent and the retailers receiving the other 1 percent.

When the 14 years are up, the village receives the full 2 percent of sales in taxes. The Walgreens store is not included in the sales tax rebate agreement.

The Walgreens store and drive-through pharmacy will be located at the northwest corner of Route 47 and Galena Boulevard.

Local election brings opportunity to talk about new goals

As a matter of policy, the Elburn Herald does not endorse specific candidates in elections.
While we wish to continue that policy, newly announced candidate for the Sugar Grove Village Board Joe Wolf told reporter Susan O’Neill something that we would like to echo; and we hope that all local candidates and officials make it part of their short-term goals—more affordable housing.

Locally, growth has not merely slowed, it has virtually ceased. Under the surface of the most obvious reason—the general sagging economy—it is our belief that what is making an already existing difficulty significantly worse is the fact that there are few, if any, homes that are affordable to middle-class families.

We agree with Wolf’s desire of wanting to see more homes that a family of four with a household income under $100,000 can afford. It seems rather odd that the majority of service providers in the Kaneland communities cannot actually afford to live in the Kaneland communities—our communities’ teachers, fireman, policeman; very few can actually live in the communities they serve.

For the health of our communities, in economies of all kinds, we feel it is vital that the communities work on ensuring that families of all income levels can have a legitimate chance of calling our area home.

Whether Wolf is elected to office or not, we hope his number-one goal of bringing affordable housing to the area ends up being shared by his fellow candidates, as well as those already in office.

Growth shifts from homes to stores

by Susan O’Neill

            With a struggling economy in the background, the village of Sugar Grove saw a shift of focus in 2008. In previous years much effort was spent planning for residential growth, but this year it was spent on bringing commercial projects into the village.
 
Sugar Grove is recognized
            Sugar Grove began the new year by celebrating BusinessWeek.com‘s choice of the village as the best affordable suburb in Illinois. Sugar Grove was picked as a relatively affordable community that offers the lowest crime rate, finest schools and the best quality of life for the money in the state.

            Sugar Grove learned in June that Standard & Poors upgraded the village’s bond rating from an A to an A+.

            Settler’s Ridge, Sugar Grove’s conservation development, earned a Conservation and Native Landscaping Award from the Chicago Wilderness Corporation Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its landscaping and innovative water works systems. The water works system also received the Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association Chicago Metro Chapter.
 
The economy and growth
            The Settler’s Ridge Subdivision was dealt a blow in April when developer Kimball Hill Homes requested bankruptcy protection. The development, which was to include 2,678 homes, was put up for sale after only 100 residences were built. Kimball Hill announced it would go out of business at year’s end.

            New home starts dropped significantly, leading the village to renegotiate annexation agreements with developers of projects in progress.

            Although residential development lagged in Sugar Grove in 2008, commercial development continued to move forward.

            “It’s been a busy year,” Village President Sean Michels said. “There has been $65 million in investment in the village.”

            Multiple commercial/office developments either opened or expanded, and many new businesses opened, ranging from two new preschools to a family practice physician and other retail outlets, locations like The Landings, Sugar Grove Center and the Capital Professional Center saw growth throughout the year.
 
Municipal development
            Groundbreaking for the new Sugar Grove Public Library building took place on May 3, although voters rejected a measure to increase the tax rate to increase the library’s operating expenses.

            The Sugar Grove Fire District moved nine firefighters to the Oswego Fire District station on Galena Road in July to meet response time standards in the area from the station on Route 30 and Municipal Drive.
 
Airport growth
            Growth is taking place at the Aurora Municipal Airport in Sugar Grove as well, with two companies opening new locations: one in December and another slated for 2009.
 
New church in village

            The Rockford Diocese created the first new Roman Catholic parish in almost 20 years in Sugar Grove this year. The St. Katharine Drexel parish holds weekend masses at the Kaneland John Shields Elementary School until a church can be built on land donated by the Jerry Rich family. The parish priest, Fr. Robert Jones, began in time to conduct Advent services on Nov. 29.

            What began several years ago as a plan to build a new separate village hall and police facility based on population projections of 60,000 plus was ultimately reduced at year’s end to the reconfiguration of the Police Department reception area for increased protection and safety of police personnel.
 
Infrastructure
            Construction also began this year on the Municipal Drive and Galena Boulevard extension, and plans moved forward for the extension of the village’s water main out to the Kaneland Harter Road Middle School.
 
SG joins county program
            The Sugar Grove Village Board approved a measure to join Ride in Kane, a county-wide program to provide transportation to eligible residents in need. With participation by the Sugar Grove Township, Park District and Public Library, the village will receive $4,000 from the Regional Transportation Authority. Services will begin July 1, 2009.
 
Future growth
            Robert Arthur Land Company in October brought plans for an active adult community to the Village Board for its feedback. The 190-acre development would include a mix of single-family homes for active adults and rental apartments and condominiums targeting adults over 55 on land originally set aside for the Settler’s Ridge development.

            Village officials reviewed plans in November for a Walgreens store scheduled to open in 2009 at the northwest corner of Route 47 and the Galena Boulevard extension. Attorney James White said the developer, the Daly Group, LLC, hopes to attract some big-box stores to the development.

            Michels said there are a couple of other smaller retailers, including an auto service center and a small hardware store that the village is talking to for possible location in the Prairie Grove Commons, south of Galena Boulevard and west of Route 47.

            The village hopes to take advantage of potential infrastructure funding that may be available in 2009 through the new federal administration’s stimulus package. Village staff submitted two infrastructure projects to the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus for the Harter Road water main extension and the Municipal Drive extension from Galena Boulevard to Wheeler Road.

            Michels said the village is still working on a full interchange at I-88 and Route 47. There is currently a feasibility study underway for the interchange and that is going well, he said.

            According to Michels, when the construction market begins to pick up again, Sugar Grove should be in a good position to take advantage of it with the essential infrastructure in place.

Sugar Grove village notes

by Susan O’Neill

Progress made on water main extension project
            The Village Board accepted three public utility and drainage easements on Dec. 16 to pave the way for the construction of a public water main connecting to the new Kaneland middle school building on Harter Road. The easements are three of many needed to extend the water main to Route 47 and Wheeler Road.

Board grants special-use permit for parish office
            The Village Board approved a temporary special use permit to allow the newly formed St. Katharine Drexel parish to utilize the building at 264 Main St. for the parish office. Parish priest Fr. Bob Jones will also perform daily Masses in the building during the week. Saturday and Sunday Masses are currently held at Kaneland John Shields Elementary School. The special-use permit is effective until May 1, 2009.