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Pouley may get ‘rustic road’ designation in Elburn

ELBURN – Driving on portions of Pouley Road near Elburn can produce feelings of having rolled back in time – or, at least, having driven into a different place. 

Now, Kane County historic preservation staff wants the county to make sure it stays that way for years to come.

The County Board is considering a request from preservation officials at the Kane County Office of Community Reinvestment to designate a stretch of Pouley Road – from Keslinger Road south to Hughes Road in Blackberry Township – as a “rustic road.”

The designation would make the road the fourth such stretch of rural roadway to earn inclusion in Kane County’s Rustic Roads program.

Beginning in 2000, the program was designed to help “preserve ... Kane County’s rural character while incorporating new development ... as subtly as possible,” according to a program brochure published by the county.

The program allows the county, working in concert with residents, to draft a “corridor management plan” that gives the county a greater hand in guiding development along the roads.

Julia Thavong, Kane County preservation planner, said the county allows residents to nominate roads for the program, then drafts a management plan with the residents’ and landowners’ cooperation.

“It’s the people along the road that tell us what they think is significant about their road,” Thavong said.

To date, the county has designated three roads – Brundige Road in Campton Township, Ka-De-Ka Road in Sugar Grove Township and Thurnau Road in Rutland Township – as rustic roads.

But the stretch of Pouley Road up for consideration has been desired by the county for some time, Thavong said.

“It really is the poster child for the whole program,” Thavong said.

A county calendar, featuring roads county officials like Thavong, consider rustic, featured Pouley Road, saying the road “exhibits many features typical of a rustic road,” including “dense foliage and an arching tree canopy” that “produce a tunnel-like effect for those who travel the gravel lane.”

The measure is expected to go before the full County Board in April.

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