Attorney: SG, Elburn boundaries agreement not possible now

By on May 21, 2009

by Martha Quetsch
Two new Elburn trustees want the village and Sugar Grove to establish a boundary agreement. But according to one of the village’s attorneys, that is not possible now because the villages are too far apart.

The Illinois Muncipal Code states that municipalities may not establish a legally binding boundary agreement unless the distance between the two towns is three miles or less, attorney Brian O’Connor said.

The two villages’ limits currently are approximately seven miles apart.

Trustees Jeff Walter and Ken Anderson recently said they want a boundary agreement to ensure that Sugar Grove does not annex close to Elburn’s limits in the future. Walter said he is concerned about rapid development, and Anderson said he would like a green buffer zone between the villages.

Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said he wants a boundary agreement with Elburn, too; he said would be willing to enter into a gentleman’s agreement with Elburn officials regarding boundaries, if a legal agreement was not possible.

O’Connor said a “handshake” agreement would not prevent future village officials from voiding it.

“It’s unenforceable,” O’Connor said. “Every two years, who’s in (trustees’ offices) changes. “If a future board does not want to abide by the agreement, it’s out.”

Even a written agreement signed by officials from both villages would not be legally binding.

“It wouldn’t even be worth the paper it’s written on,” O’Connor said.

If Sugar Grove annexed property extending its limits to within three miles of Elburn’s, the two villages could enter into a legally binding boundary agreement, O’Connor said.