Mountain biking removed from plans for Fabyan Woods
By Matt Brennan For The Beacon-News June 13, 2012 12:44PM
Updated: July 15, 2012 2:57PM
GENEVA — Two wheels have been deemed bad, at least for the Fabyan Woods along Route 25, as Kane County continues its consideration of possible uses of the Settler’s Hill property in Geneva.
The Fabyan Property Utilization Committee has removed the proposed mountain bike trails from plans for the woods that cover the southwest part of the property, much to the joy of nearby property owners and the dismay of mountain bikers.
Both the Kane County Board and its utilization committee have heard from a wide range of people on the mountain-biking issue, as plans are discussed for the 750 acres that stretch from Route 25 to Kirk Road, north to the Union Pacific railroad tracks and south to Fabyan Parkway.
“One of the joys in working with this site is that there’s plenty of room out here,” said Mike Donahue, R-Geneva, who is chairman of the Fabyan Property Utilization Committee. “We can accommodate all the different constituencies.”
Instead of building a trail system within the woods, the plan now entails moving them onto the landfill portion of the property, where the forest cannot be harmed.
Geneva resident David Victor spoke to the County Board and warned of some of the troubles that have occurred in the Cook and DuPage county forest preserves, along with Naperville Park District properties.
“Mountain bikers have a detrimental affect on forests,” Victor said. “They go off the path and create new trails.”
Geneva resident Kathleen Valle also spoke out against a new system of paths in the forest. She can often hear the sounds of trail modification from her home, which backs up to the forest.
“We often hear the chopping, sawing and metallic hammering,” she said.
Mountain biker Ben Jenkins of Geneva, though, urged the committee to reconsider its decision to remove the mountain biking paths from the current plan. He is with CAMBr, a Chicagoland organization of mountain bikers.
“Mountain bikers love the trees just like anybody else,” he said.
Jenkins said that the group is being stereotyped because of a few people who have acted recklessly.
“Those few people who are out there are causing the whole group to look bad, and that’s being used against us,” he said.
The committee also removed plans for a music venue in the woods. That facility has been moved to the east side of the property. They also included an arboretum along the Fabyan Parkway portion of the property, in order to make the front entrance of the land appear more appealing.
Donahue said that the next steps will include more discussion, as well as hiring a financial consultant.