River Road residents blast 'Waukegan sprawl'
The debate over whether or not 155 townhomes will take root near River Road and Route 120 began in earnest Thursday night when the city's planning & zoning commission listened to more than two hours of often-emotional testimony from a capacity crowd.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Lake County News-Sun.
#1 Jan 12, 2013
This development does not fit the rural nature of the River Rd area.
It's 7 , count 'em, 7 times the average density of current subdivisions of River Rd. It's not 50%, 75% or 100% more dense, it's 700% of the average density which currently exists among River Rd subdivisions.
The developer is asking Waukegan to rezone from single family to multifamily.
From what I can tell, the development also backs up to the Des Plaines River Trail. There isn't another development of this density anywhere near the trail between Providence Village and Independence Grove.
There may also be visual impact (negative) from the trail to the rear of the subdivision.
155 homes in just 22 acres is an extremely high, out of character density for the area.
Starting at the south end of River Rd (137) and working up to the intersection at 120:
River Bend 36 acres 34 homes
Huntington Lakes = 55 Homes
Nickles and Dimes = 62 Homes
( 150 Acres 117 Homes combining the above two subdivisions)
Daybreak Farms = 117 Acres 52 Homes
Daybreak Farms = 0.4 Homes/Acre
River Bend = 0.9 Homes/Acre
Nickles and Dimes & Huntington Lakes = 0.8 Homes/Acre
Proposed subdivision = 7.0 Homes per Acre
If you try to maintain the average density of current subdivisions on River Rd, you would need at least 172 acres in order to fit 155 homes.
If you exclude the above named subdivisions, there are only about 40 other homes along this 3 mile stretch of River Rd.
Traffic: It's already difficult, time consuming and dangerous making a left hand turn from River Rd onto westbound 120.
Schools: The higher density and lower average sale price (compared to other homes on River Rd.) will provide less money per pupil for the school system.
This is a lose-lose deal for everyone but the land owner and developer. It's all about the money. If you put 20 homes on 22 acres at $450,000 to $600,000 your total gross might be about $10.5 million. If you can shoehorn 155 homes into 22 acres, at an average $275,000 your total gross is $42.6 million.
The reason this is before the Waukegan zoning board is the approximately $32 million dollars additional revenue (not profit, I understand that) from the project.
The problem here is that if this project goes through, everyone else covers the costs for additional students in the schools, additional road modifications to 120 and/or 137, and the reduced home values of the property owners on River Rd. There may also be a lessening of the rural "tranquility" of the river trail area. Yes, I know it passes under major roads, but every little incursion lessens the experience/advantages of the forest preserve system.
We have zoning laws in place to protect us from exactly what this land owner and developer are trying to do. They are the poster child for the necessity of zoning laws.
Homes and acreage were determined using Google Maps Satellite view and the built in "ruler" located in the lower left hand corner of every map.
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