BATAVIA – It’s been a long and winding road, but construction is expected to begin later this month on the Winding Creek subdivision, bringing 198 new single-family homes and townhouses to Batavia.
The Batavia City Council is clearing the path for M/I Homes to begin moving earth for the 70-acre project on the city’s far west side, after the builder ran into a roadblock posed by two cell towers on the site.
Aldermen approved a revised annexation agreement at a Sept. 10 committee session and are expected to give final approval at the full council meeting on Sept. 16.
The undeveloped site, known locally as Landmeier Farm, is located about a quarter of a mile west of Randall Road and immediately north of McKee Street. It is virtually surrounded by existing residential subdivisions.
M/I Homes is a national builder with local offices in Naperville. The firm will construct 110 single-family homes and 88 townhouse units over the next four or five years, said land acquisition manager Greg Collins.
The company was forced to reduce the number of single-family houses from the original total of 113, by eliminating three home sites from the plan near McKee Street in order to accommodate existing easements serving the cell towers.
“The only way that M/I Homes can avoid any further delays and proceed towards the closing and development of this project is an approval of our revised plan which now excludes the tower area,” Collins wrote in a letter to the city.
The builder had intended to relocate an access road and electrical lines serving the cell tower site in order make way for the three houses, but could not reach an agreement with the towers’ owners and could wait no longer.
“We cannot afford to miss the fall development season,” Collins wrote.
The builder has already lost the summer construction season, for a project which was approved by the Batavia Plan Commission last December and was given final approval by aldermen in March of this year.
Batavia Planning and Zoning Officer Joel Strassman told aldermen that the change in the builder’s agreement with the city will result in a small unincorporated island for the towers and the easements, but this land can be annexed to the city later.
Collins said he hopes to see model homes sprout on the development site yet this year, but staffers in the city’s Community Development Department were skeptical that much more than site-grading and roadway work can be completed before winter sets in.
The new streets will provide important connections for the areas surrounding the development.
These will include the eastward extension of Branson Drive with construction of a bridge over the Mill Creek Tributary into the northwest portion of Winding Creek.
Deerpath Road, which now ends in a T intersection at McKee Street, will be extended north into the subdivision.
The curving extensions of Branson and Deerpath will link up inside the development and form the subdivision’s primary thoroughfare, creating important connections to Fabyan Parkway to the north and McKee Street to the south.
A roadway from Wolcott Lane in the Heritage Ridge subdivision to the immediate east of Winding Creek will cross the width of the new development and connect with Thorne Street in the Trout Farm subdivision on the other side.
Another connection will be made by extending Mill Street west into Winding Creek.
The new development extends north from McKee Street to a point just south of Hawks Drive near the 80-unit Windmill Manor senior complex.
South of McKee Street, the Weaver Landing and Deerpath Trails subdivisions complete the envelopment of Winding Creek.
Townhouses will be grouped together along the east side of the development, while the single-family homes would cover about 32 acres to the west. About 20 acres will be devoted to open space and storm water management.
The two-story single-family homes would range in size from three to five bedrooms, Collins said, with two- or three-car garages and average lot sizes of 8,890 square feet. Prices will start in the mid-$300,000 range, he said.
The townhouses, also two stories, would have two or three bedrooms, two-car garages and range in size from 1,500 to 2,116 square feet, Collins said. Prices will start in the mid-$200,000 range, he said.