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Mill Creek apartment plan OK’d

GENEVA – Kane County has cleared the way for a developer to build apartments near Mill Creek.

Tuesday, the County Board unanimously approved a zoning change that would allow Geneva-based development company ShoDeen to build an apartment complex on a pocket of land along Keslinger Road in LaFox.

Under the approval, ShoDeen will be allowed to build 268 apartments in 13 buildings in the planned Vistas of Mill Creek development.

Before work can begin on those apartments, however, the county is requiring ShoDeen to build 123 more apartments in Mill Creek’s Village Center area.

That requirement came in response to concerns raised by a large group of Mill Creek residents who criticized ShoDeen’s proposal when it was first presented.

ShoDeen had promoted its Vistas plan since August 2011, when the company altered its earlier plans for the land along Keslinger Road. In 2005, the County Board had approved ShoDeen’s plans to build a shopping center, office park and 70 apartments on the 25 acres, east of Richardson Electronics.

But in the years since, the land development market changed, and ShoDeen altered its plans, believing the apartment complex proposal would better fit economic realities.

ShoDeen has said the project also will draw tenants willing to pay to rent the “luxury apartments” proposed for the development because it is about a mile from the LaFox Metra station.

Mill Creek homeowners objected to the proposal initially, saying ShoDeen’s initial plan for 290 apartments was wrong for the area.

An October 2012 meeting drew 160 objectors.

In response to concerns, ShoDeen and county officials altered the plan further, reducing the number of apartments proposed for the Vistas site and requiring ShoDeen to further complete its apartment development in the Village Center before building new apartments at the Vistas site.

County Board member Drew Frasz, R-Elburn, who represents much of Mill Creek, noted that the number of residents objecting to the plan has dwindled at subsequent meetings. No Mill Creek residents attended any of the meetings at which ShoDeen’s Vistas plan had been discussed.

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