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Local News

Kendall County Board OKs stormwater variance request for Pickerill-Pigott preserve

Philip Smithmeyer, who lives near the Pickerill-Pigott forest preserve in unincorporated Yorkville, talks during a Kendall County stormwater management oversight committee public hearing on Thursday, Dec. 12 in the county office building in Yorkville.
Philip Smithmeyer, who lives near the Pickerill-Pigott forest preserve in unincorporated Yorkville, talks during a Kendall County stormwater management oversight committee public hearing on Thursday, Dec. 12 in the county office building in Yorkville.

UPDATED 3:15 P.M. TUESDAY, DEC. 17:

YORKVILLE – A requested stormwater variance for the Pickerill-Pigott Forest Preserve south of Oswego was approved by the Kendall County Board.

The Kendall County Board voted, 10-0, during their Tuesday, Dec. 17 meeting to approve a requested stormwater variance and a related payment of $1,250 for an application fee for the project. The line item was part of the consent agenda for the meeting, meaning there was no additional discussion during the County Board meeting.

The vote comes after the Kendall County stormwater management oversight committee held a public hearing on Thursday, Dec. 12 for a requested stormwater variance and a related payment of $1,250 for an application fee for the project. Committee member Elizabeth Flowers was absent from the public hearing.

Forest preserve officials had said the site would require up to 0.3 acre feet of detention per the county's stormwater ordinance. They are requesting that requirement for the proposed project to be varied to save environmental resources, including native trees.

Phil Smithmeyer, who lives near the forest preserve in unincorporated Yorkville, was the only person who spoke during the public comment portion of the hearing. He said he has monitored how much runoff comes off of the retention areas of the forest preserve during dry seasons and during heavy rainstorms.

Smithmeyer said he has not seen any overflow of the pond and wetland on the Pickerill property or the pond on the Pigott property.

"From my particular standpoint, I support approval of their petition," Smithmeyer said.

Dave Guritz, executive director for the Kendall County forest preserve district, had said the proposal includes the preserve's entrance, signage, parking, trails by a pond, a picnic shelter and bathrooms. He said he still anticipates the preserve to be open by summer 2020.

"The project should get out to bid in January, and then I would think we would be under contract by March for a [construction] start date as early as April," Guritz said.

The update comes after the forest preserve district commission approved a requested stormwater variance and a related payment of $1,250 for an application fee as part of a first phase for opening the Pickerill-Pigott Forest Preserve to the public. The variance request is set to go before the Kendall County stormwater ordinance oversight committee during its Dec. 12 meeting.

The proposal does not include renovations to the Pickerill house on the property, but the update comes after the forest preserve district commission started taking a second look at project costs for the Pickerill estate house to better address outdoor safety concerns.

Guritz had said the first phase preserve opening project is anticipated to cost $633,000 in total. He had said half of the project would be funded by grants and the rest would come out of forest preserve district capital funds.

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