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Local News

Yorkville staff to fine tune streetscape master plan

Form-based code expected to move on to City Council

YORKVILLE – There’s still more work that has to be done regarding the downtown overlay district plans, Yorkville city officials said during an economic development committee meeting Tuesday, June 4.

Krysti Barksdale-Noble, community development director for the city, said the streetscapes master plan will have to go back to city staff to make some additional changes addressing comments and concerns made by committee members during the meeting and outside of the meeting. She said the plan will come back to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission at a later date.

“We don’t know how soon we’ll be able to get to those comments,” Barksdale-Noble said.

The City Council sent back the plan during their meeting last month due to concerns about gravel shoulders adjoining the roadways around nearby residences, along with some building classification errors within the proposed form-based code that needed to be corrected.

Barksdale-Noble said during the Tuesday, June 4 meeting that city staff is still recommending gravel aprons for those residential streets, but they’re open to other suggestions. She proposed other alternatives like a rolled concrete apron or a concrete ribbon-type of curb.

City officials expressed concerns about street runoff issues with the gravel apron on some downtown streets, along with aesthetic inconsistencies with some parts of the streets already having curbs.

Barksdale-Noble said the streetscapes master plan’s purpose is to assign a hierarchy to streets and the city’s preferred architectural treatment for those “B” residential streets that don’t have any type of curb or shoulder already. She said the point isn’t to suggest that approach to areas where it wouldn’t make sense.

City Administrator Bart Olson said one example could be if the city were to look at redoing Heustis Street. During the repaving and engineering process, he said, the city can identify that there is already a sidewalk and curbs there.

“So we look at this plan and say the preference is to have the rolled curb ribbon but there’s already curbs in here and they probably did that because of storm water issues,” Olson said. “So we would have that conversation at that point and say it would make sense to leave the curbs in there. ... So that would be something that whoever’s designing would take that into account.”

Yorkville Ward 2 Alderman Jacquelyn Milschewski said she takes issue with the plan with the person who created it walked the streets, looked up the hill and saw what was already there. She said didn’t understand why the gravel apron still was suggested.

“I just don’t get the mentality of the person that did it,” Milschewski said.

Barksdale-Noble said the point of the plan was to provide an interim step, including that street treatment, to clean up the look of the streets in between large capital improvement projects.

Olson said there were no questions asked during the Tuesday, June 4 meeting about the form-based code from people present at the meeting. He said if any committee members not at the meeting – which included Joel Frieders and Chris Funkhouser – end up having additional questions following the meeting, it will come back to committee.

“But if nothing has to do with form-based code, we’ll move it to the City Council for approval,” Olson said.

The proposed streetscapes plan and form-based code was initially approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission in April following a presentation and open house and went before the City Council last month.

Olson said he anticipates the form-based code going before the council during their meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. June 25 at City Hall, 800 Game Farm Road.

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