Developers approach Kaneville about annexation

By on July 30, 2009

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—Long’s Meadow developers recently approached the village of Kaneville with an annexation proposal after the Kane County Development Department rejected their requests for concessions on county infrastructure requirements. However, village officials are not in a hurry to take on the potential risks such a decision would entail.

Infrastructure requirements from Kane County and the economic downturn have stalled progress on the Long’s Meadow Subdivision for the past two years. When developers presented plans for the 40-lot, 70-acre plat along Dauberman Road to Kane County for approval, county planners told them they would need to provide a turn lane into the subdivision and relocate power lines, at a cost of $500,000.

In an attempt to decrease the length of the turn lane needed, the developers requested a decrease in the speed limit along Dauberman Road from the Kane County Department of Transportation. This request was rejected, and several weeks later, the developers approached a subcommittee of the Kaneville Village Board with an annexation proposal.

The proposal included a decrease in the size of the lots, down from 1.5 and 1.25 acres per lot to 1.25 and 1 acres per lot. The resulting open two to three acres would be allocated for a public park or a ball field.

Developers also proposed a phased-in development timeline, in which three to four lots would be developed each year over three to five years. The first phase would start with lots on an extension of Locust Street, as opposed to Dauberman Road, which would have deferred the expense of the required turn lane on Dauberman Road.

However, village officials and the Kaneville Fire Department said they could not agree to only one point of entrance into the development, due to safety issues, and that Dauberman Road would still need to be used as a construction entrance.

Kaneville Village President Bob Rodney said that board members have expressed concern over the potential liability the annexation could create for the village.

“It’s highly improbable that homes would move within the next couple of years,” Rodney said. “If the developer goes belly-up, the village is still responsible for the maintenance of that property.”

Even with a homeowners association, three or four homes would not be able to afford to pay for street maintenance and mowing of the common areas should the development become stalled, he said.

Rodney said the developer is trying to remain optimistic about the future of the subdivision.

“But he doesn’t have a crystal ball about what’s going to happen over the next couple of years,” he said.

In the meantime, the property is becoming an eyesore and a potential health hazard, according to Rodney. Rodney said that although the village has requested that the developers mow the property, this has not been done, and the resulting un-maintained property has created a mosquito-breeding ground and a wildlife refuge, attracting coyotes and deer that have wandered into the adjacent neighborhoods.

In addition, he said that a farmer who owns a field next to the property has complained that the weeds are spreading to his cornfield and interfering with his yield.

The Kaneville Village Board will reach a final decision on the possible annexation at its next regularly scheduled board meeting on Aug. 20.