Kaneville will develop first comprehensive plan

By on February 12, 2009

Village to use input from residents, landowners in planning area

by Susan O’Neill
The village of Kaneville recently obtained a $16,000 Kane County Community Development Block Grant to hire consulting firm Land Vision of St. Charles to complete the village’s first comprehensive plan. The total cost of the project is $26,000, with the village paying the remaining $10,000 from its general fund.

The newly formed Plan Commission began work on the project in March 2007, shortly after the village incorporated in November 2006. Plan Commission Chair Joe White said that to solicit their desires for the future, commissioners met with more than a dozen residents, farmers and business owners with property within the one-and-a-half mile planning area of the village.

The Village Board obtained feedback from village residents through a community survey mailed out last year.

“It was very valuable input,” Village President Bob Rodney said. “Nobody wants dramatic change.”

Kane County Executive Planner Janice Hill, who has worked with the Plan Commission in gathering the information for the plan, said the village wants to ensure that it retains its history and character as it prepares for growth.

Rodney said one of the areas that residents provided input about was improving the walkability of the village. Residents want to be able to more easily walk and bike around the community.

“We’re missing a lot of sidewalks,” he said. “The state’s (financial) problems trickle down to the municipalities. We hope to find a grant a couple of years from now.”

Hill said the walkability issue is one of the most exciting parts of the village’s comprehensive plan. Recent gas prices and health issues have made people more aware of the desirability of getting out of their cars and being able to walk to activities and services in their community.

“Kaneville is one of the first towns to have a full chapter on walkability (in its comprehensive plan),” Hill said. “They will be viewed as a leader in this regard.”

The comprehensive plan will include a land use plan, transportation plan, a plan for agriculture, housing, economic development and the village’s natural resources, White said.

Rodney said Land Vision project manager Walter Madziarz will take all of the information the Plan Commission gathered during the past two years and put it into a meaningful format, with graphics, photographs and maps.

The plan should clearly communicate the village’s land-use goals for the future for the next 20 to 30 years, Rodney said.

The Plan Commission met with Madziarz twice since the beginning of the year. White said the commission will determine a way to obtain feedback from village residents on the plan before the first draft is completed, either with an open house or another survey.

After the draft is completed, the village will hold a public meeting in August or September for additional feedback before the plan is finalized.

White said he anticipates slow growth for Kaneville, with a focus on housing rather than commercial or industrial development.

“It’s a small community with limited development pressure,” White said. “It’s probably going to stay the way it is for a number of years.”

However, White said the Prairie Parkway will be a driving force that could affect development in the eastern portion of the village. The road crosses Main Street Road and ends at Dauberman Road before connecting to Interstate 88, but there is no access to the highway from either road.

White said the village will want to have a buffer between the highway and the village, using open space and landscaping to deal with some of the noise.

Rodney said the plan is a starting point that will provide a foundation for the future; it will be a living document that the village will modify as time goes on.

When the plan is finalized, the Village Board will sit down with some of the surrounding communities to create boundary agreements, Rodney said. One of the major reasons Kaneville residents decided to incorporate in the first place was to protect the village’s borders from unwanted growth from its neighbors, he added.

Village officials have already had some contact with representatives of Sugar Grove and Big Rock, and look forward to meeting with Elburn officials.