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Elburn Station vote might be pushed back

Board members question language in a key paragraph

ELBURN – There was debate Monday over a paragraph in the plans for the Elburn Station development, and it appeared the issue could push back the vote on the annexation agreement that was to take place at next week’s Village Board meeting.

Village leaders also seemed likely to delay a vote to adopt the 2013 comprehensive plan because trustees said there were too many unanswered questions on the topic.

The board looks to vote next week on allowing video gambling in the village, although Trustee Ken Anderson fought against putting the issue on the consent agenda.

Heading into Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, village leaders appeared poised to vote on all three issues at next week’s meeting. Village President Dave Anderson previously set Monday for the vote on the long-debated plan for Elburn Station, which would bring 2,215 new homes to the village over 20 years.

Dave Anderson and board member Ethan Hastert were not at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting. But Doug Elder, who has been serving as village administrator as Erin Willrett has been out on maternity leave, brought a paragraph in the Elburn Station agreement to the attention of the board. Village attorney Bob Britz said that the developer, Geneva-based ShoDeen, had an issue with an item that stated “area 1” must be completed first.

Britz said ShoDeen officials told him they would not agree to that. ShoDeen President Dave Patzelt did not attend the meeting. When reached Tuesday, Patzelt said that was accurate.

Trustee Jeff Walter took that to mean that ShoDeen wished to build apartments first. And Walter said he would not support that.

“My feeling is he’s going to come in and put in apartments right away … and I don’t want to see that,” Walter said. “That’s not the kind of development I’m looking for.”

Board members proposed changing the statement to clarify that the construction of improvements in “area 1” must be completed first, but they were not optimistic that ShoDeen would support that.

No homes would be built until the completion of a project to extend Anderson Road and build a bridge that would provide a crossing of the train tracks. The project includes more than $21.7 million in federal, state and local funding. A possible delay in the plans worried board member Jerry Schmidt, who has fought to move the project along, saying he fears that any further delays might put the funding in jeopardy.

“We need this development,” Schmidt said.

On the comprehensive plan, board members said they had too many questions to vote on the issue next week. Elder suggested that officials with Images Inc., which put together the plan, be contacted and asked to come back at a future Committee of the Whole meeting.

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