Kane delays hiring consultant for Fabyan Parkway property
By Matt Brennan For The Beacon-News July 10, 2012 4:48PM
Updated: August 14, 2012 6:08AM
The Kane County Board has delayed hiring a consultant to help them with a fiscal impact study of the Fabyan Parkway and Settler’s Hill property for future development.
The plan was to hire Market Feasibility Advisors LLC for $39,000 to help determine the feasibility of building a concert venue, mountain biking trails, a cross-country running site and other amenities into the 750-acre property. Since the details of the plan are not finalized, board member Jim Mitchell, R-North Aurora, said it was too early to spend taxpayer money.
“Until we have a plan that’s been approved, it’s premature,” he said.
Tabling the item ended the discussion at the County Board meeting. However, the discussion continued at the Fabyan Property Utilization subcommittee on Tuesday.
According to subcommittee chairman Mike Donahue, R-Geneva, while the plan is still in draft form, there are unlikely to be any further large-scale changes. The plan is set to go in front of the Forest Preserve Planning and Utilization Committee on July 26, and Donahue is hoping to get it in front of the county’s Development Committee in July or August, he said.
Subcommittee member Phil Lewis said that there could be billions of dollars worth of revenue coming from the site. Making sure that the plan is executed responsibly is important.
“I believe the fiscal impact study is part of the due diligence that needs to occur,” he said.
The subcommittee also fielded some questions and comments from concerned citizens. Among them was Geneva resident Kathleen Valle, who is concerned about the last standing remnants of the Fabyan forest, north of Fabyan Parkway along Route 25.
“Why is it that you’re considering doing things that actually endanger this last bit of forest?” she said.
Valle was concerned about the discussion at a recent Geneva Committee of the Whole meeting that revolved around lit paths within the site. The detail of lighting will have to go the forest preserve level, down the road, Donahue said. There is no plan for lighting along the paths within the master plan for the property, he added.
The original plan called for a music venue and mountain bike trails through the woods, but Valle and other concerned citizens spoke out, and modifications were made. Donahue said they have worked hard to tread lightly on the property.
“I’m not in this office to destroy my district,” he said.