Sugar Grove residents still wary of possible Crown development

Residents opposed to building a business and industrial park at I-88 and Route 47 in Sugar Grove are renewing their objections after learning the developer has approached Elburn about a similar project at the same site.

Their concern is heightened because Crown Community Development met with Sugar Grove trustees individually this week and last to discuss their plan.

Crown had withdrawn the proposal from consideration after hundreds of people protested it at a Sugar Grove plan commission hearing in January and February.

Crown wanted to construct mostly warehouses and other business buildings on the majority of the 760-acre site along with some apartments, stores and houses. Its first phase would have consisted of about 4 million square feet of warehouses.

Sugar Grove annexed about 600 acres of the site in 2013, but there is a provision in that annexation agreement to de-annex the land. The village's comprehensive land-use plan calls for business and industrial uses for the site.

Sugar Grove trustee-elect Ryan Walter said his meeting with Crown officials lasted more than an hour and consisted mostly of company officials going over their desired plan.

Village President Sean Michels was due to meet with Crown Tuesday afternoon. Michels said Crown is trying to gauge his and trustees' stances on the plan.

Walter is one of two trustees elected, as write-in candidates, with the support of residents who oppose Crown's plan. They ran on a slate with current Trustee Heidi Lendi, who also opposes the plan. They were to be sworn in on Tuesday night.

On Monday, residents urged Elburn officials to be wary of Crown and reject any steps to become involved with the plan.

“It would be tragically deadly to our neighborhood in many ways,” said Caroline Anderson, who lives in the Nottingham Woods subdivision west of Route 47, near the Crown site.

Elburn Village President Jeff Walter confirmed that Crown officials have asked to speak with officials, but no plans have been submitted.

“Who knows what they want to do,” he told the crowd.

He also corrected information being posted on social media about how far south Elburn's planning area extends. Elburn's planning area goes only to Main Street Road on the south. The Crown property is south of Seavey Road.

“We're not contiguous, so we can't annex (the Crown site),” Walter said. To annex the property, Elburn would likely have to annex at least parts of a small unincorporated residential subdivision, plus some larger agricultural and residential parcels.

Opponents have said they were told Crown is also speaking with Aurora and North Aurora officials.

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