Kaneville talks priorities

By on August 21, 2009

Draft of village plan addresses top concerns: Prairie Parkway, encroaching growth
by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—The Prairie Parkway, a proposed and partially funded highway intended to connect Interstates 80 and 88, and the growth of the neighboring villages remain two of the biggest concerns Kaneville residents have about the village’s future.

During an open house last Thursday set up for residents to view the Kaneville comprehensive draft plan, a number of the approximately 40 people who attended ranked what happens with the Prairie Parkway as their highest priority for the future.

Lynette Werdin said she feels it is vital that the Prairie Parkway does not cut the village off from other destinations, such as Aurora and other nearby towns. She thought the plan addressed her concerns, in that it included overpasses to keep access open.

She said she realizes that plans for the Prairie Parkway will not be based on Kaneville’s feedback alone, but now that it is an incorporated village, its officials at least have a seat at the table.

She and her husband Dave live outside of the village limits but within Kaneville’s planning area. Werdin said she thought the plan commissioners who worked on the plan did a good job of representing the desires of the residents for slow and planned change.

“They know we like things the way they are,” she said.

She said she was somewhat surprised by the commissioners’ attention to detail in the plan, including a plan to upgrade the sidewalks.

“I roller-skated those sidewalks when I was a girl,” she said. “And they were bumpy then.”

Plan Commissioner Joe White said he and the other commissioners tried to address as many of the issues that people had raised as possible. The two-year process has involved a number of meetings with local landowners and a survey of the residents to ask for their input.

Among the 15 areas included in the plan are land use, natural resources, transportation, economic development, housing, historic preservation and community facilities.

Residents were asked to place stickers on six items, to identify their top six priorities.

White said Julie Ann Fuchs, a Kaneland School District official and Kaneville resident, asked where a school site might be located. He said that Kaneland Superintendent Charlie McCormick told him that 600 homes would be needed before a school would be built in town.

With only approximately 435 residents within the village, that would be a number of years down the road, he said.

Jody Springsteen, who lives near the corner of Dauberman and Harter roads, said that one of her biggest concerns was that village officials keep residents informed of what their neighboring communities, such as Elburn and Sugar Grove, are doing.

The village has tentatively scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, Sept. 24, which will be the time for formal feedback on the plan. White said he does not anticipate any major changes in the text. The plan will then come before the Village Board for approval, likely on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Once the plan has been approved, one of the next priorities will be to engage in boundary agreements with officials from neighboring villages, such as Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Big Rock. The current maps show some overlap in the villages’ planning areas that will have to be addressed.