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Local News

Yorkville City Council OKs more 3-bedroom homes in Grande Reserve

A local building developer now has the authorization to build out its retired lifestyle community in Yorkville’s Grande Reserve subdivision with as many three-bedroom homes as the company wants.

The Yorkville City Council voted, 6-3, during the meeting Tuesday at City Hall to approve an annexation agreement amendment removing the restriction on the number of three-bedroom homes that Ryan Homes can build in The Colonies of Grande Reserve, which is in the city’s fourth ward. Ward 4 Aldermen Seaver Tarulis and Jason Peterson and Ward 2 Alderman Arden Joe Plocher voted against the amendment, but Mayor Gary Golinski and the rest of the council voted in favor of it.

Peterson said he voted against the additional three-bedroom homes because he has had a few homeowners in the area reach out to him with concerns about more three-bedroom units attracting more younger families to the subdivision, which was meant for retirees. He said residents also shared concerns about nearby schools being at capacity as is.

“I wanted to make sure that I shared the rest of those concerns with the rest of the City Council,” Peterson said.

The vote comes after it previously was put on hold during its Feb. 26 meeting and no one spoke during the public hearing for the project. Yorkville City Administrator Bart Olson had said Peterson did not attend the last City Council meeting and one of the aldermen wanted to further discuss the proposed project with Peterson in attendance.

The amendment allows Ryan Homes to continue to build out the remaining 227 lots within the neighborhood without a restriction on the maximum number of three-bedroom homes that can be built. Currently, the developer can only make up to 50 percent of the units three or more bedrooms.

The original annexation agreement was created in 2003 and construction for the units started before the 2008 recession. Olson had said the project sat for a few years after the recession and the current developer found that retirees overwhelmingly wanted three-bedroom units instead of two.

Plocher said he wouldn’t mind allowing more three-bedroom homes in the neighborhood but he also didn’t want to see the subdivision be overwhelmed with those units, either. He suggested raising the cap from 50 to 75 percent, which did not make it into the final vote.

“We need to find that happy medium there and that’s where it is,” Plocher said.

Two meeting attendees that talked to Peterson after the vote Tuesday declined comment on the matter.

Yorkville city staff previously recommended the home builder to request a letter of support for the change from School District 115. The Board of Education had declined, saying the district has only received three students from the existing 63 homes but there is no guarantee that number would stay low if more 3-bedroom units were added to the neighborhood.

Ward 1 Alderman Carlo Colosimo said he doesn’t see a problem with allowing the developer to build more three-bedroom homes in the subdivision, especially with only three children in the school district coming out of 63 homes.

“We’re not talking overwhelming numbers here,” Colosimo said.

Ward 3 Alderman Joel Frieders said he was hoping the school board would provide more commentary on the matter. He said he would like to see a finished neighborhood.

“I don’t see any detriment to the school board,” Frieders said.

Fiscal 2020 budget

The City Council also listened to the first and only presentation about the city’s proposed fiscal 2020 budget during the Tuesday meeting. The about $16.5 million budget is expected to be balanced and includes capital projects like road and water treatment improvements, Olson said during the presentation.

Olson said the city has proposed to freeze water rates for the third year in a row and to freeze sewer rates this year. He said the city isn’t planning for any additional tax rate raises or fee increases for the next budget.

Olson said there will be a public hearing for the proposed budget on March 30, where there will be more discussion amongst the City Council anticipated.

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