ELBURN – Elburn residents will have an opportunity beginning the week of Jan. 21 to review a draft of the village’s recently-revised comprehensive plan prior to a public hearing held by the village before the final version is approved.
The development of the plan was accomplished in a participative process led by land planner Kon Savoy of the Kon Savoy Consulting Group, in which he obtained input from village staff, groups of residents and other stakeholders. It is a revision and an updated version of the village’s plan last completed in 2013.
Elburn’s planning commissioners reviewed the draft plan presented to them by Savoy at their meeting on Jan. 7, when they voted to recommend it to the Village Board for its approval.
Savoy’s presentation included a summary of the comments he received from each of the stakeholder groups he met with since the $27,000 project was approved in July 2019. The plan includes the vision Elburn has for itself as it moves forward into the next 10 to 20 years, the village’s land use plan, growth strategies, the transportation plan, the current and proposed community facilities and character, and a natural resources, local food and sustainability plan. Maps provide a visual representation of each topic.
The village has experienced a number of changes over the last six to seven years that have had an impact on the specifics planned out for Elburn’s future. However, the village’s overall vision for itself has not changed much, if at all, from the one developed in 2013.
Elburn’s vision statement describes the village as “a thriving community with a welcoming and family-friendly atmosphere” that continues to be “known for unique destination businesses and events, and providing opportunities for local, independent businesses.”
“Elburn has a good perspective of itself and its value for the region,” Savoy said. “It wants to keep the sense of itself as a tight-knit community.”
The plan defines several overall objectives for the village, such as creating more diversity in the types of housing available, expanding the local tax base, improving connectivity throughout the village, and ensuring there continues to be enough open space. In addition, it also provides specifics on how each geographic area within the village will grow.
Participants in focus groups expressed an interest in adding more affordable housing, including start-ups for younger home-buyers and some senior-targeted housing for older people who wish to downsize but still remain in the area near family.
“This is why planning is so important,” Savoy said. “When developers come to town, you’re in the driver’s seat – you’re not reacting to their ideas. You’re communicating your vision, your goals, and your desires to the developer.”
There was general agreement in maintaining a compact growth plan, with infill development the priority, and the desire not to grow farther than the 1.5 miles outside of the village’s corporate boundaries has remained constant since the previous plan.
Route 47 and Route 38, Keslinger Road and the downtown area were identified as the priorities for commercial growth, with the commercial growth at Route 47 and Keslinger scaled back from that in the previous plan, leaving that area somewhat more flexible. “A number of people said they didn’t want to see large warehouse distribution centers,” Savoy said. “They also wanted to see retail expansion scaled back along Route 38 near Anderson (Road).”
Many people expressed interest in exploring the possibility of a community center sometime farther out into the future, perhaps in partnership with the Kane County Forest Preserve District, Kaneland School District or the Y.M.C.A. The timing could be when the population reached 15,000, at which time a park district could also be considered.
The draft of the comprehensive plan will be available at Village Hall, as well as online at elburn.il.us. The public hearing will likely take place on Feb. 12 or Feb. 19.