YORKVILLE – Kendall County board members are calling for a full inspection of a local campground following several reported incidents there in the last couple of weeks.
The direction regarding Hide-A-Way Lakes Campground, which falls under county zoning and law enforcement jurisdiction, came during the county's planning, building and zoning committee meeting on Monday, Aug. 12 at the county's office building. All five committee members – including chairman Matt Prochaska, vice-chairman Matt Kellogg, Elizabeth Flowers, Scott Gengler and Judy Gilmour – were present for the discussion.
Prochaska said the line item was added to the agenda at the request of the Kendall County Sheriff's Office and other County Board members. He said he also talked to Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis shortly after the agenda was sent out about whether the county could revoke or amend the campground's special use permit with the county.
"And the answer to both was no," Prochaska said. "There’s really no authority to change that."
Prochaska said the discussions came in light of several recent events that happened at the campgrounds, including an apparent hit and run, an aggravated assault involving the unlawful use of a weapon and a crash involving a car and a train.
Prochaska said the discussion topic was also spurred by ongoing issues of suspected violations within the last couple of years. Those previous concerns included people living there permanently and residents accepting mail at the site, both of which are violations to the special use permit.
Prochaska said the county could take campground staff to court for not complying with their special use permit. As soon as the campground is in compliance with their special use permit, he said, the case is dropped.
Prochaska said the county has requested resident log books from the campground in the past and campground staff has provided those books, but they don't keep track of how many days people are there. He said there are also two separate county special use permits for the campgrounds, but there's nothing that says one rescinds the other.
Kellogg said the manager of the campgrounds is required to keep a registry of the names of campers, along with makes, models and license plates of cars that come in and out of the site. He said that registry also needs to be available to any authorized person.
"So when someone gets killed in a hit and run, they should know how many vehicles were there and what license plate numbers exactly were there at the time," Kellogg said. "It would be interesting to know whether the sheriff got that information in a timely fashion."
The campground, which is located at 8045 Van Emmon Road east of the Yorkville city limits in Oswego Township, has been operating under a special use permit through Kendall County since the early 1970s, according to county documents.
Prochaska said the committee is requesting Kendall County code official Brian Holdiman to conduct a full inspection of the site. He said the county is also looking at hiring a part-time code enforcer, which would help with the county enacting strict interpretation and full enforcement of the campground's special use permit.
Sheriff's office officials and representatives for the campground were not present during the meeting discussion.