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updated: 9/4/2014 6:36 PM

Opponents of Batavia industrial plan to city: Start over, you missed deadline

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A lawyer hired by Batavia residents opposed to a plan to build industrial or warehouse buildings on the east side of Kirk Road says the city has to start all over again with the approval process, because the city council blew a deadline.

According to lawyer Patrick M. Kinnally, the council had 90 days under state law in which to act on an April 9 recommendation from the city's plan commission to amend the city's comprehensive plan to designate a 56-acre site at Kirk and Wind Energy Pass for light industrial use. It is currently designated for residential use.

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Kinnally, of the Aurora law firm of Kinnally, Flaherty, Krentz, Loran, Hodge and Masur P.C., notified the mayor and city administrator via letter last week. His clients want a new public hearing and plan commission vote. "Govern yourself accordingly," he concluded.

Joel Strassman, the city's planning and zoning officer, said Thursday officials have sought an opinion from the city's lawyers.

To put in industrial buildings, the developer would have to get the city council to change the comprehensive land use plan, and to amend the 2004 annexation agreement for the land by changing the zoning.

A 2007 agreement allowed 252 townhouses and duplexes, plus stores and restaurants.

The developer, the Missner Group of Skokie, has not applied for a planned unit development agreement, a subdivision agreement and for building design review, Strassman said.

Residents of the Kirkland Chase neighborhood west of the proposed development have criticized the lack of specific details about what would be built on the site. Different kinds of businesses generate different kinds and amounts of traffic, about which they are worried.

About 150 opponents attended a July council committee meeting to express their disapproval. The committee agreed to discuss the matter with the crowd at an Aug. 19 meeting, but then canceled that plan, saying it would be contrary to the city's established procedures for handling zoning and annexation matters

Drawings submitted with the application for the comprehensive land use plan amendment showed two buildings, totaling about 800,000 square feet. But the drawings were merely for illustrative purposes, according to a city memo on the plan.

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