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Local

Lauzen morgue letter stirs St. Charles neighborhood

'Let’s do this like a smart person'

A concept drawing of what new buildings north of Route 38 could look like on land Kane County owns. The Administration Committee is looking at a new coroner's office among other uses that officials said would be low density and low traffic. Chairman Chris Lauzen alerted nearby St. Charles homeowners who said they will attend the next meeting on Feb. 13.
A concept drawing of what new buildings north of Route 38 could look like on land Kane County owns. The Administration Committee is looking at a new coroner's office among other uses that officials said would be low density and low traffic. Chairman Chris Lauzen alerted nearby St. Charles homeowners who said they will attend the next meeting on Feb. 13.

ST. CHARLES – Some homeowners in the in the Harvest Hills subdivision in St. Charles are against a county plan that could put several buildings – including a new coroner’s office and morgue – north of Route 38, but just south of where they live.

Residents were alerted by letters from Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen, which urged them to come to the next Administration Committee at 10 a.m. Feb. 13 at the Kane County Government Center, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Geneva, to state their opposition.

The committee is discussing whether to put a multi-use building north of Route 38, or to have the buildings or just the coroner's facility located south of Route 38, as part of the judicial center campus.

Administration Committee member Drew Frasz, R-Elburn said a single multi-use building on the north side of Route 38 would save money and be screened from residences with trees and berms.

But Stephan Meuyou, who lives in the 500 block of Horizon Drive West, St. Charles, said even if a multi-use building were screened, that would not be enough.

“I just bought my house last year,” Meuyou said. “I think the value of my house would go down drastically.”

Dan Murphy, who lives in the 500 block of Heritage Court, St. Charles, also said no amount of trees or berms would mitigate the situation.

“I think all county buildings would be best housed on one campus, the area south of Route 38,” Murphy said. “How far back from the street how close to homes? Any idea of what this thing is going to look like or the costs associated with it? It’s not enough information for a concerned citizen to say, ‘That makes sense.’”

Bonnie Gillespie, who also lives in the 500 block of Heritage Court, St. Charles, said she wanted to be educated about why that site is being considered.

“I didn’t know about any of this until Chris Lauzen’s letter came out,” Gillespie said. “I just want to be educated. I don’t have an ax to grind, I just want to know and I want my neighbors to know the pros and cons . ... Let’s do this like a smart person and think this through. One man’s need is another man’s poison.”

Real estate attorney Kathryn Whitlatch, who lives in the 500 block of Valley View Drive, St. Charles, said she is against putting it so close to their subdivision, and trees and a berm won’t make a difference.

“These are uses that are not compatible with residential uses,” Whitlatch said. “We’re talking about the back yards of people’s houses. These are noxious uses not compatible with residential use. I plan on going to the Feb. 13 meeting.”

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