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No new developments in Sugar Grove’s talks with Crown Community Development

There were no developments to report on the village of Sugar Grove’s talks with Crown Community Development, but the controversial project remains at the forefront for several residents at a July 16 meeting of the village board.

A prior proposal submitted and later withdrawn for the site at Route 47 and Interstate 88 had drawn opposition from hundreds of residents at public meetings earlier this year.

Village President Sean Michels said Crown Community Development does not have a public presentation scheduled at this time.

“They’re talking to the different board members and staff about changing their plan, but they have not made any commitments,” he said.

Sugar Grove resident Fred Morelli, who lives across from the prior proposed Crown development site, said he hopes that a conflict of interest does not interfere with the village’s ability to do the right thing.

“I am not going to say anymore about the conflict of interest at this time,” he said.

Morelli suggested “that any negotiations include a buffer zone between not only real estate development owned by McCue, but by existing private housing owned not only by myself, but by my neighbors and by anyone whose residence will be affected by this project.”

Morelli said he takes issue with the minutes compiled by the village after its July 2 meeting, at which point the board was given an update on discussions with Crown.

“It seems that whoever is assembling the minutes for the last meetings is trying to give the impression to the public and the press that there are people out there who favor the Crown development but they are in a vanishingly small minority,” he said. “I do not recall anyone other than people associated with Crown speaking in favor of the development.”

Sugar Grove resident Joe Wolf wanted to be clear that he is not in favor of Crown Community Development.

Wolf spoke at the village board’s July 2 meeting, asking officials to make the best of negotiations and reach a decision that is in line with the interests of the public.

“My only intention was to encourage you to do something or Crown Development will surely do what they wanted to do and that is to put warehouses there,” he said.

Open burning regulations under review

Also at the meeting, the village board weighed in on the idea of amending a municipal ordinance regulating open burning.

Currently, Sugar Grove allows open burning from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Several officials spoke of an interest in changing the hours in which it is permissible to 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Many homeowners associations in town do not allow open burning, in accordance with their covenants. Village board action does not override the covenants that homeowners associations may follow.

Officials will consider amending the ordinance at their first regular meeting in August.

Settlement agreement for land acquisition OK’d

The village board also authorized a settlement agreement to acquire land near the intersection of Prairie Street and Gordon Road.

Board action is subject to attorney review.

On April 2, the village filed a complaint for condemnation against the Alexander Family, the owners of the property in question.

Board action allows Sugar Grove to move the Prairie Street intersection south on Gordon Road.

The village is acquiring the property to help provide a way to set up a quiet zone along a nearby railroad crossing.

Other business

The village board discussed the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding with Kane County for potential participation in a bike sharing program, which is expected to launch in August of 2020. The Kane County Department of Transportation would like to have all the signatures by Aug. 23.

Trustees reviewed the village’s 2019 sidewalk repair program. A sidewalk budget of $10,000 is included in Sugar Grove’s infrastructure fund for fiscal year 2019-2020.


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