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updated: 11/11/2013 10:38 AM

Geneva considers revising downtown plan for riverside housing

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The Geneva City Council will discuss whether to stick by its Downtown/Station Area Master Plan, which calls for multifamily housing to be developed on the Fox River south of the former Mill Race Inn, at its committee of the whole meeting Monday.

The council meets at 7 tonight at city hall, 22 S. First St.

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The plan called for putting in multifamily housing there as a way to get more people living in the downtown, as well as possibly provide housing for senior citizens. But the owners of two empty lots, currently zoned for single-family homes, have asked the city to remove the "multifamily" designation from the plan. According to a memo from the city's community development department, they believe the multifamily designation is hindering the sale of the lots. Neighbors also testified, at a meeting in May, that they don't want multifamily housing along the river in that area.

The plan commission has recommended retaining the single-family designation and revising the Downtown/Station Area Master Plan.

The memo is in the packet for the meeting, available at geneva.il.us/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/11112013-136.

The council will also discuss a proposal from Convergence Energy of Wisconsin to set up a pilot solar energy electricity generation program with the city.

Convergence Energy proposes to install a 650-panel solar energy collection system near the Geneva Gas Generation Facility off Averill Road. It wants a 25-year contract with the city, wherein the city would pay 13 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity from the panels. Convergence Energy estimates the panels would provide enough electricity to power 18 to 24 households.

Convergence Energy would pay for the panels and installation.

In May, the city council rejected a $370,000 plan for the city to install solar panels out at the Prairie Green Preserve off Peck Road, even though the state had agreed to pay $245,000 of the cost. Some aldermen felt the panels would be an unsightly addition to the preserve, and one aldermen said the state, in its current poor fiscal condition, had no business making such a grant.

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