Thursday, September 01, 2005

Proposed Stony Creek Subdivision (eastern site)
In light of new information that I didn't have before, my view of the Stony Creek annexation has changed. I don't think that in this particular case, the creation of a new subdivision on this specific site would benefit Elgin. This site possesses too much potential for natural restoration and preservation as protected open space in the form of a large Kane County Forest Preserve.

A large preserve, as I envision it, would be bounded by Silver Glen and McDonald Road to the south and north, respectively, and the Arlington Estates subdivision and Corron Road to the east and west, respectively (for now, I will ignore, the Kane County Forest Preserves on the west side of Corron Road). It would include the property now known as Corron Farm, which is I believe currently under the control of Campton Township rather than the Kane County Forest Preserves.

I support development in general and in other sites in the city, but there's a reason that this site has drawn more interest and opposition than others. Initially I thought the reason was just that it was encroaching on Campton, but in fact, it's a problematic project because it would destroy a site which possesses great potential for a forest preserve to be used by Elgin residents as well as the residents of neighboring municipalities. A forest preserve, with its myriad possibilities for recreation, is a major amenity and selling point. The presence of the large Poplar Creek Forest Preserves on the city's east side is one of the major selling points that Elgin has. To have something similar on the south side would greatly enhance Elgin's image as a modern, "green" city situated in the midst of beautiful woods, prairies and wetlands.

An ideal negotiated solution, in my view, would result in something like the following:
  1. Neither Elgin nor Campton Hills annexes both sites (at worst, the eastern site) making them available for purchase by the Kane County Forest Preserves
  2. Campton Hills agrees not to incorporate north of Silver Glen Road (at worst, McDonald road), respecting Elgin's planning boundaries
See some pictures of the site.


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