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By on August 9, 2012

Elburn Station annexation hearing remains open
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—There’s still time to make your voice heard concerning the Elburn Station annexation agreement with ShoDeen.

Village trustees decided not to take a vote at the board meeting on Monday, and the hearing, opened nearly three months ago, will remain open. With the absence of vacationing trustee Ken Anderson, the board agreed to put off the vote until Monday, Aug. 20, when all the board members will be present.

During the continued hearing, some community members expressed their views. All were against the development, except for one.

In a letter received by trustee Jerry Schmidt, one family supported the annexation citing the high quality of work ShoDeen has done in other developments.

Two other letters, also read aloud at the meeting, were opposed to the development. One letter with 15 signatures argued that with so many foreclosures and unsold homes, and Blackberry Creek development incomplete, another development did not make sense. Another message talked about choosing to move to Elburn for its rural nature, which would be changed by a large development.

Community members in attendance at the meeting also addressed the board with their concerns. Paul Molitor spoke against the development, reminding the board that during the concept meeting, Village Hall was standing-room-only with people against the project. He told the board that some of the people who came then believed they had done what they could.

When asked if they would come back now that a vote is about to be taken, many said they had already voiced their opinions. Others said that it’s happening anyway and there’s nothing to do to stop it.

Elburn resident Ron Rosecky expressed his lack of understanding that the board has been hearing negative feedback and yet is appearing to go forward.

“I’m bewildered that, on hearing the responses from the general population, I don’t know if it’s going to affect your decision or not,” Rosecky said. “I’ve found out (by hearing other negative responses) that I’m not the only one. There are other people. I don’t know if you’re listening or not.”

Trustee Bill Graberek summarized his concerns with the Elburn Station development. He cited a lack of clarity and form regarding the water and sewer and other parts of the project until the final presentation.

“It’s down to the zero hour, and I still have problems with all this. Like trustee (Jeff) Walter said, we need a time line of how this will play out,” Grabarek said.

Grabarek said he had initially agreed to go forward with the planning under the condition that a bikeway-pedway be built. Now that he has seen the figures, it’s clear that ShoDeen is not paying enough, he said. The developer will pay $25 per unit for the pedestrian bridge—much less than it would cost to build even at total build-out of the development, according to Graberek. He called that amount “insultingly token” and “stingy.”

Another objection Grabarek expressed was that the village is under pressure to approve the development in order to get the Anderson bridge built. He stated that it would be better to let it happen and not tie it to the development.

“That is a pressure we should not have let ourselves get into. We’ve been held hostage to this whole damn thing. The county has been hesitant to take it by eminent domain,” Grabarek said. “We’ve been talking about a bridge for years and years, but I don’t want to be held hostage with a symbolic gun to my head.”

“I suggest we plan on voting on this issue Aug. 20,” Village President Dave Anderson said.

3 Comments

  1. OneWhoCares

    August 9, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    “That is a pressure we should not have let ourselves get into. We’ve been held hostage to this whole damn thing. The county has been hesitant to take it by eminent domain,” Grabarek said. “We’ve been talking about a bridge for years and years, but I don’t want to be held hostage with a symbolic gun to my head.”

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    Well lets not be held hostage by the greed of a developer that if you send out a certified letter to respond to ALL home owner’s that pay the taxes for our town with the question are you for or against the project. My understanding is that you’ll get 4:1 against the project just like when it was first presented with all the fancy promises of a bridge to get to the train station(hut)lol. Then too what about all the parks that were talked about? But wait how about the walkway(bike path) that was to be a center hub for Elburn residents to get from the north side of the track to the Elburn Hut (station) I personally feel that the whole scenario is being kept quit so a select few can get it passed. If not send out the certified letter to all tax paying home owners and get a yes or no response. Seems very simple to me and REALLY wouldn’t cost that much to get the respect and consideration of the people who are really responsible for Elburn.
    Please notify the county to take the land necessary by eminent domain for the bridge and will deal with the developer after the bridge and connections are in place then we can deal with any and ALL development projects that have interest on our terms or tell them to go pound sand.
    A lot of the people that I’ve talked to agree with Ron Rosecky

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    Elburn resident Ron Rosecky expressed his lack of understanding that the board has been hearing negative feedback and yet is appearing to go forward.

    “I’m bewildered that, on hearing the responses from the general population, I don’t know if it’s going to affect your decision or not,” Rosecky said. “I’ve found out (by hearing other negative responses) that I’m not the only one. There are other people. I don’t know if you’re listening or not.”

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    From what I’ve heard by people is that you can’t fight city hall even though the people tat did voice their concerns against the project where basically ignored and made to feel small as if why did they make fools out of themselves by notifying against the project.
    From what I see its 4:1 against the project with what people that have voiced a concern So again I say lets send out certified letter’s and get a true consensus of the feelings of for or against the project.Real simple and would END THE CONFUSION of the member’s the misinformed board of trustees.

  2. elburn skeptic

    August 10, 2012 at 7:21 AM

    They heard your complaints, they know the project is not wanted and they are going to ignore you.

    Development never pays for it’s self, ever! This will cost the Village tax payers in the long run. As they continue to dip into savings to balance the budget how will future services be paid for ? Higher taxes and fees !

  3. rak40

    August 10, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    Of great concern to me is that it appears that the Trustees are not “on the same page” with respect to their understanding of the details of the Elburn Station Project. Indeed, some are not even in the same book! My sense is that the vast majority of Elburnites don’t want this to proceed.