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Local

Kane County committee adds stipulations to M.A. Center's plans

GENEVA – The religious organization that has taken over the former Broadview Academy property must wait another month for a Kane County committee’s recommendation concerning its long-range plan to improve the site with such features as additional housing and a Montessori school.

Over the next 10 to 15 years, the Mata Amritanandayami Center – or M.A. Center – wants to add 72 duplex units, 192 temporary residential units, a spiritual hub and – among other structures – a renovated farm stand to its property at 41W501 Keslinger Road in Blackberry Township near Elburn.

The proposed changes require Kane County Board approval to amend the property’s existing special use.

The Kane County Development Committee on May 17 heard from citizens concerned about potential tax exemptions for portions of the property, as well as the proposed temporary housing, which was described in some instances as apartments.

Attorney Peter Storm said he represented three adjacent property owners concerned about those residential buildings and the structures’ impact on their properties in terms of marketability and overall enjoyment.

“We have skipped over an important part of this,” Storm said. “And that is whether or not the requested uses are permitted special uses by the zoning ordinance.”

Another nearby resident asked the committee to table the matter for 60 or 90 days so the public could develop a rebuttal to the proposal.

The committee tabled the matter to its June meeting to give M.A. Center representatives and county staff time to put two stipulations in writing. The stipulations, which arose at the meeting, place height restrictions on the residential buildings and prohibit occupants of the temporary housing from attending Kaneland School District 302.

Noting the property is in his district, committee member Drew Frasz, R-Elburn, said it has been “really fun to see it come back to life” under the M.A. Center’s ownership.

“They’ve been a pleasure to work with,” he said.

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