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updated: 5/6/2011 4:44 PM

Campton Hills plan a balancing act

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  • camptnhills_2ne032007ls Photo05993333 Laura Stoecker photo Tri Cities /// Campton Township Open Space sites at the corner of Silver Glen and Corron (?) Roads.

      camptnhills_2ne032007ls Photo05993333 Laura Stoecker photo Tri Cities /// Campton Township Open Space sites at the corner of Silver Glen and Corron (?) Roads.

  • camfence_ne110707RW photo0654812 Rick West tri /// ATV riders, teen parties, and other nuisances have prompted Campton Township officials to install a large fence around the Headwaters public open space area just north of Route 38. Some folks are complaining, but officials say this is not a cornfield and can't be treated as such.

      camfence_ne110707RW photo0654812 Rick West tri /// ATV riders, teen parties, and other nuisances have prompted Campton Township officials to install a large fence around the Headwaters public open space area just north of Route 38. Some folks are complaining, but officials say this is not a cornfield and can't be treated as such.

 
 

At this week's public input session, Campton Hills residents voiced a plethora of ideas and issues that they think need to be a priority for the village going forward.

Lowering taxes, preservation of open space and protecting property values were some obvious and predictable areas of attention.

But some residents also said the village needed access to a public library, an indoor pool, Lake Michigan drinking water and a community recreation center.

The fact that those items would raise taxes was not lost on officials helping to craft the village's first original comprehensive plan.

What likely will occur in coming months -- and perhaps years -- is balancing the village's wants with its needs.

"What we're trying to say is what will the future of Campton Hills look like in 2025?" said Jason Navota, planner at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), which through a grant is helping Campton Hills author the plan. "We're trying to get a more detailed comprehensive plan with as much input as possible."

The village has a history of asking residents what they want, especially when it comes to spending money.

Last month, Campton trustees received voter opinions on two advisory questions: Whether the village should negotiate to buy electricity in bulk and pass savings along to residents, and whether the village should explore creating its own fire department.

"The village of Campton Hills is doing all it can. We have a zero property tax," Village President Patsy Smith pointed out.

In February 2008, voters also chimed in on three advisory ballot questions: Whether to spend $14,000 on tornado warning sirens, whether to tax themselves to spray for mosquitoes, and whether the village should assess impact fees to developers to pay for parks.

The first two received a thumbs-down from voters while the impact fees question was endorsed.

Residents know what they don't want: Excessive strip malls, a stoplight every couple hundred yards and traffic congestion.

"I think there's a real issue of traffic flow to the west. It could really devastate the area," resident Helen Edwards said.

CMAP officials will host another planning meeting in the fall.

Trustee Jim Kopec was pleased with the 100-plus residents that came out this week.

"It's a good sign. Everybody counts," Kopec said. "This is a way of figuring out what we want to do."

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