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updated: 9/27/2017 5:19 PM

Libertyville imposes 60-day moratorium on some building projects

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  • Residents kayak down flooded Crane Boulevard at Nicholas-Dowden Park in Libertyville after portions of the village flooded during record-breaking rains in July. Village leaders are working to address flooding problems in the community.

      Residents kayak down flooded Crane Boulevard at Nicholas-Dowden Park in Libertyville after portions of the village flooded during record-breaking rains in July. Village leaders are working to address flooding problems in the community.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, July 2017

  • Heavy flooding at the intersection of Crane Boulevard and Dawes Road in Libertyville forced several residents out of their homes in July.

      Heavy flooding at the intersection of Crane Boulevard and Dawes Road in Libertyville forced several residents out of their homes in July.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, July 2017

 
 

Permits for building projects that increase the amount of impervious surface in Libertyville are on hold for 60 days to give village officials more time to determine how to deal with flooding issues in the community.

Village leaders imposed the moratorium Tuesday while also agreeing to make financial assistance available to residents who install equipment that prevents sanitary sewer back ups in their homes.

Both measures come as village officials consider short- and long-term measures to improve the flow of stormwater in the aftermath of heavy rains in July that flooded parts of town.

"The whole purpose of this is to give us time to catch our breath and determine what changes we need to make," Trustee Donna Johnson said.

A villagewide analysis of the stormwater system was in progress before a record rainfall July 12 caused flood damage to an estimated 400 homes. The flooding magnified a variety of issues, mobilized neighbors and prompted a well-attended public open house and special sessions of the village board.

The analysis will produce a list of more than a dozen prioritized projects, but it won't be complete for about a year. Village officials have been working to determine what short-term steps they could take sooner.

With that, the village board Tuesday imposed the immediate 60-day moratorium on permits for projects that add impervious surface to town. The move comes after a village resident weeks ago suggested a moratorium for "flood prone" areas.

"We had flooding all over town," Mayor Terry Weppler said of the board's decision to impose the restrictions villagewide. "To come up with a definition of what's flood prone would probably take longer than two months to do."

Weppler is adamant the measure be short-lived.

"I don't think anybody wants to see a long-term moratorium on building in the village. We want to make sure our ordinances protect everybody," he said.

The measure was approved 5-0, with Trustee Scott Adams absent. Projects already in progress are not affected.

Trustees also agreed the village would reimburse homeowners up to $5,000 if they install flood control measures. Residents who've already installed such measures also are eligible, officials said.

The reimbursement will help fund the cost of both backflow preventer (check) valves and a sanitary sewer overhead conversion. Valves cost between $3,000 and $5,000 and the conversion runs from $5,000 to $10,000. The application window runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 30.

The village has set aside $200,000 for the program, and the reimbursement maximum could be less than $5,000 based on the number of applications.

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