Board gives cautious ‘thumbs up’ on development proposal

By on May 9, 2014

ELBURN—Elburn Village Board members on Monday gave a general nod of agreement on a pre-annexation proposal for a 137-acre plot of land west of Route 47 south of Hughes Road, and north of Kenmar Drive, although they did express some concerns about the property.

Developer Art Zwemke of Robert Arthur Land Company presented a general plan for the property, which would include approximately 150 single family homes, 120 townhomes, 10 acres of commercial property adjacent to Route 47, and 55 acres of open space, for an average density of two units per acre. He asked for more flexibility in keeping the plan looser, and letting the market help to determine the specifics.

“This recovery has been excruciatingly slow,” he said. “But it is coming back.”

The main concerns, which Zwemke acknowledged, were the cost of providing water and sewer services to the property, as well as its proximity to the St. Charles Sportsmen Club. Zwemke presented information based on a study conducted on the site, which he said showed that it is feasible, both physically and fiscally, to put in water and sewer services.

Zwemke addressed the shared border with the gun club by saying that no homes would be located directly along the border, and that language disclosing the existence and operation of the club would be included in each purchase contract and deed, to ensure that prospective buyers would be fully aware of the facility.

Village President Dave Anderson also brought up his concern about the existence of wetlands on the property.

“Since I was a kid, that land has always been wet,” Anderson said. “Once you start putting impermeable surfaces on it …”

Trustee Ken Anderson suggested that Zwemke create for the board a diagram of the property that would show all of the unbuildable space, and then draw in a bubble plan that would demonstrate the usability of the property.

Trustee Pat Schuberg said that she would like to see the 40 percent open space exclusive of the detention and retention areas and flood plains, so that the space could actually be used.

Although the board members had concerns about the property, they were interested in seeing it go forward.

“It’s an opportunity for us,” Dave Anderson said.