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Elburn Planning Commission recommends approval of new residential development

ELBURN – The plan for a new subdivision north of Route 38 and the Prairie Valley North Subdivision on Route 47 is on its way to the Elburn Village Board for consideration, following the Elburn Planning Commission’s unanimous vote to recommend approval Tuesday night.

Developer Lennar Homes’ plans are for 156 homes on the 76-acre parcel, currently known as the Meredith Farm property, with 76 single family homes and 78 cottage homes. The cottage homes will be age-targeted, with the “active adult” market in mind, said Rich Olson of the Wheaton-based planning firm Gary R. Weber & Associates.

The single-family homes will be between 2,000 and 2,900 square feet, with three to four bedrooms and a two to three-car garage.

According to Olson, the homes designed for the active adult “gives them the best of both worlds.”

The active adult homes will be from 1,200 square feet to 1,800 square feet, with two to three bedrooms, a slightly narrower lot, a two-car garage and the option of a slab foundation. A management company will take care of the maintenance.

This demographic is looking to downsize; wants less responsibility for the maintenance of a home, including mowing and general upkeep; and doesn’t necessarily want to isolate themselves from other age groups, he said.

Lennar’s model for the development is termed “everything included,” with luxury features such as quartz counter tops, a video doorbell system and wifi-enabled devices considered standard.

The main entrance will be at the center of the development off of Route 47, and Engineering Enterprises Inc. engineer John Whitehouse said that a left-turn lane and a right-turn lane should help to ensure the steady flow of traffic on Route 47, as well as a safer entrance into the development.

Nearby resident Ralph Koos wondered if there had been any thought given to decreasing the speed on Route 47 near the entrance, but Whitehouse said that would be up to the Illinois Department of Transportation, and he didn’t think IDOT would do that, based on this development plan.

Prairie Valley North Subdivision residents Dawn and Kevin Turner attended the public hearing and asked if there was a possibility of remediating the large grading difference at the connection between their residence and the new development.

“I live next to the sidewalk that goes nowhere,” Dawn Turner said.

Village Administrator John Nevenhoven spoke with the Turners after the meeting, and Dawn Turner said she was looking forward to hearing more about what might be able to be done to create a safer connection between the neighborhoods.

“I’m looking forward to neighbors to the north,” she said.

The main entrance on Route 47 leads to a large central park space in the middle of the development, which will be a gathering area for the community and will include a tot lot, a seating area and open space.

There are 26 acres of what Lennar has designated as “open space,” although portions of these areas include detention areas.

A large “greenbelt” area on the north end of the development includes a detention area with prairie grasses and other features.

A smaller area of open space on the southwest corner of the development includes four pockets of detention with 6-foot deep “duck ponds” and features wetter prairie plantings. Buffering along Route 47 which will somewhat shelter the development from the highway features evergreens, shade trees and shrubs. There are also plans for a walking and bike path throughout the development.

The name for the development suggested by Lennar Homes is Melbourne Estates, in a nod to Elburn’s former name.

“I think it’s going to be a fantastic development,” Planning Commission Chairman Jeff Metcalf said.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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