The Chicago-based planning firm hired by Yorkville to guide development of an updated comprehensive plan suggested the city needs a more solid sense of itself and the annexation of several nearby unincorporated neighborhoods would be a good first step.
"One thing we heard quite a lot from community residents is that even though they live in the subdivision, they don't necessarily associate themselves living in Yorkville," Nick Kalogeresis, vice president of The Lakota Group, told the city council. "What we wanted to try and do was try to have some [place making] that would allow people to understand and feel that they belong in Yorkville.”
"There are subdivisions that are less than 60 acres," he said. "I bring that up (and) we highlight that in the plan because as a city you can annex those areas. Other subdivisions that are being developed in the county are within your extraterritorial jurisdiction."
Downtown revitalization, roadway improvement, and the overall visual appearance of the community were other issues that arose as the consultants talked to residents. The council was getting an initial briefing on suggestions for the plan, which was last updated in 2008. The review process began two years ago and will culminate with a likely vote in September.
"We feel that we've garnered very big community support in implementing this plan," Kalogeresis said. His firm emphasized a strategy it calls "place-make Yorkville" throughout the plan, addressing the need for a stronger sense of community, he said.
Annexing the subdivisions on its fringes should be part of the strategy, Kalogeresis said.
Alderman Joel Frieders questioned how the city can annex unincorporated portions of Kendall County.
"When's there's 80,000 pockets of people who get city services but don't pay city taxes, is that what you're describing?" he asked. "You're describing the way to actually do it? That's the part that's confusing to me."
Kalogeresis said the answer is not easy, but possible by highlighting the advantages of becoming part of Yorkville.
"You have to understand where those areas are at first and then start the discussion with them," he said.