Settler's Hill redevelopment talk gearing up again
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The proposed redevelopment of the former Settler's Hill landfill would occur in 11 phases. A study of the costs and potential revenues is still pending, but county officials say they're eager to move the work forward.
There hasn't been much public discussion of the major redevelopment plans for the 700-acre Fabyan Parkway/Settler's Hill campus owned by Kane County and the forest preserve district since the November election.
But that's about to change as officials gear up to make the first phase of the plan a reality.
There are 11 projects considered in the redevelopment plan. A full economic impact study of each phase is still in the works to determine the full costs and benefits.
County board member Mike Donahue, who oversaw the creation of the plan, said the first phase is a project everyone already agrees with — a trail and cross country track on the northeast portion of the old landfill. It will still be at least a couple of years before construction begins and is completed on that project, Donahue said.
"We're going to face challenges with anything we do there," he said. "It's not as simple as you may think because we cannot make any cuts into the landform. Everything we do will have to be infill."
Waste Management, which manages the landfill, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency also must sign off on anything the county and or forest preserve chooses to do on the landfill portion.
Donahue said his goal is to be deep into the cross country/trail phase of the redevelopment plan by the time he leaves office in 3˝ years. He wants to structure the remaining phases so that they can all either proceed, or be nixed, on an individual basis. Other phases might include the construction of a hotel/convention center on the old county jail site, a small concert venue, and an observation tower.
"Every time we start something on the site we'll be breaking the mold," Donahue said. "A lot of the work we're doing now will be applicable to subsequent phases. So once we get the first phase up and running it will make it easier for subsequent phases to follow."
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