Letter: Residents Opposed to Planned Parking Lot for Forest Preserve
Jun 03, 2015 04:30PM
● By Steven Jack
Attention taxpayers of the Kendall County Forest Preserve District
I have lived in Kendall County almost my entire life and am heavily involved with the community though many nonprofits and community organizations. I fully fund a scholarship at Waubonsee Community College and have sponsored more community events in the past decade than I can keep track of.
In 2007 my family moved from the Village of Oswego to the Henneberry Woods subdivision off of Grove Road in unincorporated Oswego.
Henneberry Woods is a rural subdivision with a total of 65 home sites available and about 30 homes currently exist in the development. There are no sidewalks in the subdivision, so residents and young children use the street and limited path system to walk and bike through the neighborhood.
Three years ago our community supported the sale of some of the undeveloped land to the Kendall County Forest Preserve. All of us were told that trail access would eventually be provided to our subdivision. Residents were NEVER told that our road (Cherry Rd.) would service as the only point of access to a future Forest Preserve park.
If we had known this all of the residents would have opposed the sale. Many Kendall County board members seem to be under the impression that we had knowledge that our subdivision would be used as the only entry point and a parking lot was to be constructed. This simply is NOT true. The map that we were provided at the time of sale to the Forest Preserve only had a walking trail connected to our existing path system.
On June 1st 2015, the residents found out that the Forest Preserve was going to develop the property and build a 24-space parking lot at the end of the block. I went door to door on the evening of June 1st to let everyone know that our small residential street was going to be turned into an access point and a parking lot was going to be constructed at the end of the block.
Everyone I spoke to in our subdivision is against using our small residential street as the only access point to this project. This project, which is in the planning phase, is supposed to be partially paid for by a state grant with tax dollars / reserves making up the rest of the cost.
On June 2nd many of the residents showed up at the public open house and a meeting later in the evening to express our feelings. Our group was a little heated.
We expressed our legitimate safety concerns for the project.
- Increased traffic on Grove Rd.
- Increased traffic on Cherry Rd. (main residential street in our neighborhood)
- Increased crime. Many teens already use the end of our street for drugs, drinking and sexual activities.
- Safety of our residents and children using the road to bike and walk to neighboring friends.
- Trespassing on association property.
- Lower home values.
- Neighboring areas using the property for dirt biking and quads.
The board members present politely listened to our concerns but no action or feedback was provided. In addition, the grant the County is seeking will not even cover the full cost of the project. The taxpayers will be paying well over $100,000 on top of the grant money according to the draft budget.
A good chunk of these funds would be used to extend Cherry Rd with gravel. The residents in our subdivision moved to Henneberry Woods to get away from the traffic. We all love nature and value our privacy.
I am asking that you stand by me and the residents of Henneberry Woods and oppose the construction of a parking lot in our small residential neighborhood. Please reach out to the Kendall County Board and let them know that you stand behind me and the residents of Henneberry Woods.
Please express to them that a parking lot is not warranted in a residential neighborhood with young children and no sidewalks that has only one access road. The entire Kendall County board can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also help me out by calling individual board members and attending the next meeting on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at 5:30 pm at the Kendall County Administration Building-Board Room, Second Floor, 111 West Fox Street, Yorkville, IL.
Here is a link to Kendall County Boards contact information. http://www.co.kendall.il.us/forest-preserve/contact-us/
I will be forever grateful for your support.
Andy Clements, President, Henneberry Woods Homeowners Association and CEO, Weblinx, Inc.