YORKVILLE – Unbuilt parts of the Raintree Village subdivision on the city's south side may get another chance at development.
The Kendall County Board voted, 7-1, during their May 7 meeting to approve a settlement agreement for Lennar Homes to develop homes in the subdivision, which hasn't seen any development in a decade. Under terms of the agreement, the developers would agree to pay the county $550,000 in interest for delinquent taxes to develop 366 homes
County Board members Tony Giles and Elizabeth Flowers were absent from the meeting.
County Board member Judy Gilmour, who represents District 1, voted against the measure at the May 7 meeting. Gilmour, a retired school teacher, said she understood it wouldn't be felt all at once with an already crowded Yorkville school district, but with 366 houses planned for construction over time and generating two children per house, the effect could be nearly two schools' worth of children.
“It’s going to be a big impact on the school system,” Gilmour said.
About $2.5 million was owed in diliquent taxes to the county from the undeveloped properties, County Board member Amy Cesich, who represents District 1, said. The subdivision is in a special service area, or SSA, and the agreement would not take away the SSA designation, other county officials said during the meeting.
Rick Murphy, land planning and entitlements manager at Lennar, said part of the deal will involve a donation to the Yorkville Educational Foundation. Scott Guerard, vice president of land acquisition at Lennar, said the site, which was contemplated in 1999, has already generated $1.29 million to the district, along with an additional $579,000 in fees.
Guerard said the group has talked with Superintendent Tim Shimp about the proposal, offered to speak in front of the school board and Shimp said it wasn't necessary. He said Shimp's response was that he's not opposed to it and the district would just have to figure out if they're a one high school town or two high school town.
"If it was a new site that we're coming in and we're developing that they haven't had a chance to plan for everything else, that would be one thing," Guerard said. "But again, these were already built and developed and sitting there. They were contemplated many, many years ago."
The County Board vote comes after the Yorkville City Council passed an economic incentive agreement between the city and the development group for the Raintree Village subdivision during their April 23 meeting.
City Administrator Bart Olson had said residential development started in the subdivision prior to the Great Recession in 2008, but then stopped. He had said the subdivision is a special service area and nobody paid the SSA fees on the vacant properties for about 10 years, so the developer is offering a deal for bond holders to take less money than it's owed currently on bonds for the properties.