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Pingree, Elgin hammer out development details

Updated: February 12, 2013 2:35PM

PINGREE GROVE — Village officials hope to reach agreement with Elgin officials on issues concerning a nearly 3,000-home development in Elgin that would border Pingree Grove on its east side.

Village trustees took up discussion of the matter at this week’s committee-of-the-whole meeting. According to Village Attorney Dean Frieders, talks between the village and Elgin about the parcel have gone on for nearly six years.

Geneva-based Shodeen Inc. owns the 780 acres and has developed plans for the Pingree Creek residential development. It would consist of nearly 3,000 single-family, townhouse and apartment units on land north of Route 20, south of Highland Avenue, east of Reinking Road and bisected by Damisch Road.

Trustee Steve Wiedmeyer explained that past village boards have been opposed to the plan partly because of the traffic congestion it could bring to Reinking Road. They once had proposed only one access point on Reinking, across from Centennial Park.

The current plan, which Frieders reviewed in detail at the meeting, has three entrances on that road, one across from the Pingree Grove police station and two more to the south.

Frieders described a traffic signal at one of those entrances as a “sticking point” in the negotiations. Pingree Grove officials worry that because the entrance faces homes on the Pingree Grove side of the street, residents will be disturbed by headlights at the intersection. Frieders said Elgin officials have agreed to install berms and landscaping between the stoplight and the homes to block it from view.

Would reopen Highland

Frieders said that among the concessions made by Elgin officials was an agreement to re-gravel and regularly maintain Highland Avenue and open it to the public. According to Frieders, Elgin maintained the road at one time but closed it because of continuing complaints from the village about the road’s condition.

Pingree Grove’s village engineers estimate the improvements to Highland, not including parking improvements, would cost around $1.5 million.

The latest plan includes significant increases in landscape plantings compared to previous versions. Elgin also agreed to scuttle plans for parking on Reinking, and to ban overnight parking on Highland.

Several village trustees expressed concern about the logistics of Elgin police enforcing traffic restrictions so far from the city proper.

Trustees asked Frieders to return to negotiations with Elgin officials, asking for changes to one of the Reinking access points and to discuss how parking restrictions on Highland Avenue would be enforced.

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