ELBURN – With developer ShoDeen on board with Village Board members' changes to the proposed Elburn Station project, a decision on the plans likely will come by the end of the month.
Village President Dave Anderson said he will seek to designate the Committee of the Whole meeting Feb. 25 "as a full board special meeting for one purpose," which would be a vote on the annexation of the property needed for the development.
Elburn Station would bring 2,200 homes into the village over 20 years, and board members have been hammering out details the past few weeks, including limiting the number of rental units, sharing the cost of a planned pedestrian bridge and establishing that ShoDeen could not start work on a new phase of the project until the previous one was essentially complete.
The board has felt urgency because the project is part of a plan that calls for the extension of Anderson Road and construction of a bridge that will provide a crossing of the train tracks. Federal funds are tied to the project – planned for land owned by ShoDeen – and County Board officials have expressed concern that the funding could be lost if the board didn't move forward with its plans.
Dave Patzelt, president of ShoDeen, appeared at Monday's meeting and showed board members revised plans for Elburn Station. He said the revisions essentially met the village's suggestions.
ShoDeen would limit the number of rental units to 400, with the option to add 200 more so long as they were targeted to residents 55 and older. ShoDeen also established the cost of a planned pedestrian bridge at $900,000. Patzelt said ShoDeen would work together with the village to seek grants for the project, and that the parties would split the remaining costs, up to a maximum contribution of $450,000 by the developer.
Officials say the pedestrian bridge will be needed to connect the new development to the existing town. According to the plans, the bridge would begin at the corner of East Nebraska Street and South Third Street, or a "similar location," and end at the Village Hall parking lot.
Also, Patzelt said ShoDeen would not begin a new phase until at least 80 percent of public improvements of the preceding phase were complete, but he added an exception for commercial development.
The discussion took place even though board member Jeff Walter was not in attendance. Anderson said Walter was ill. Past discussions on the subject had not taken place when any board member had been missing, but Monday's session was a response from ShoDeen to alterations requested by the board.
Village officials had been poised to vote on the development last year, but board members voted to table the discussion in an effort to work out details. Trustee Bill Grabarek, who initiated the vote to table last year, said the board is making progress with the revisions. But he said he wants to take a closer look at the revisions, and he encouraged other board members to "mull it over."