Elburn’s future takes center stage

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

ELBURN – Village leaders and residents took a look at Elburn’s future on several levels Monday.

Details were worked out at an open hearing on Elburn’s 2013 comprehensive plan, as Village Board members and residents pointed out final suggestions to those from Images Inc., who were there to gather feedback in anticipation of the plan being brought to a vote March 18.

Although the village pushed back its scheduled vote on allowing video gambling in town – becuase board members Jerry Schmidt and Ethan Hastert were not in attendance – some residents voiced their opposition and backed board member Ken Anderson, who has spoken against it.

And residents talked about the plans for the Elburn Station development, which is set to face a vote March 18. The project would bring 2,200 new homes to the village over a 20-year period in the area near the Metra Station. A resident, Tammy Osborne, brought up questions residents have had about the development, which were answered by the board.

The comprehensive plan has been an ongoing project in the village for about a year. Images Inc., a consulting firm, has been working to update the plan. Carrie Hanson, the firm’s director of planning and government relations, was in attendance Monday and went over the plans, which are available to view online at www.elburn.il.us. The work is funding through the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

Trustees questioned areas that were zoned industrial and commercial. Hansen said the plan was to boost industrial use, which she identified as a need in the village. There are commercial zones planned along Route 38 and on Route 47, past Keslinger Road. But the commercial zone didn’t extend to Hughes Road, with zoning instead calling for single-family residential in that area, which trustees said was unlikely. That is something that could be changed.

Hansen stressed the plans could be altered, but having such zoning in place could help village leaders deny future projects if they don’t fit into the plan.

Resident Alan Herra said he wants the village to offer options for youths in the future – specifically playing fields, parks and a swimming pool. He said a park district would be welcomed. Hansen said that was a “legislative decision, not a land-use plan.”

Resident Fred Houdek said he saw only minor issues with the plan, and he said there would be opportunities for parks in the future.

“There is plenty of room for smart growth to make it the community we want it to be,” Houdek said.