Kane County Board member Drew Frasz urged a St. Charles committee this week to reject a 285-unit residential development proposal he says would conflict with the county’s 2040 plan and “rustic road” initiative.
In an interview Tuesday, Frasz called the proposed Bluffs of St. Charles project “obscenely dense and totally out of place” and said the proposal conflicts with Kane County’s 2040 Land Use Plan and the city of St. Charles regional planning efforts. He spoke Monday at a St. Charles Planning and Development Committee meeting, a committee of the whole made up of all St. Charles aldermen.
Frasz said four Kane County roads — Brundige, Thurnau, Kedeka and Pouley — have been approved or are in the process of being approved as Kane County Rustic Roads. The Rustic Road program is “sort of like a historic district in a town. But instead of preserving only buildings, it protects rural features,” Frasz said.
Frasz said Kane County’s Rustic Roads program is unique to Illinois.
“We spent a long time trying to get this done,” he said. “We spent many of those years on the Settlements of LaFox, originally called Grand Prairie, trying to preserve open space and green space.”
Settlements of LaFox was a 1,200-acre parcel that had been targeted for development as a Planned Unit Development, but the project stalled with the economic downtown. The owners of that property now are hoping to sell a 96-acre parcel on the southeast corner of Brundige and Route 38, just south of the Illinois Youth Center, to Avanti Properties Group.
Avanti, in turn, is seeking annexation to St. Charles so it can develop the 96 acres.
“We think it would be much better developed as part of a PUD for LaFox because it had a lot of shared open space,” Frasz said. “That whole thing was designed around preserving the rustic roads.”
Among the other developed properties in that area are the Heritage Prairie Farm, which provides organic food for Whole Foods Market, Blue Goose Market, and Potash Markets, as well as at the Heritage Prairie Farm Store, Field of Dreams Horse Rescue and Mill Creek Vineyards & Winery.
Frasz said he hoped that whatever development comes to that area is in keeping with those uses, but he would be in favor of Kane County purchasing the 96-acre parcel for open-space preservation.
“We would like to see it stay under county jurisdiction and possible open space acquisition,” he said. “I can’t speak for whole board, but if we could find a funding solution, we would like to pursue that piece. It just think it would be ideal to wrap that up.”