Neighborhood News & Events

Getting Comfortable
Developers, residents agree on look of new subdivision near LaFox
Daily Herald, August 9, 2007
By Lisa Smith

Developers of a huge subdivision in LaFox will donate $1.3 million to a citizens group over the next 10 years for community improvements beyond the town square and other amenities outlined in the official development plan.

Wyndham Deerpoint Homes and Foxford LLC also agreed to back residents' plan to incorporate should they decide to do so. In return, the citizens group will continue supporting the developer's plans for the Settlements of LaFox, approved recently by the Kane County Board.

Those are amond the stipulations outlined in a 12-page agreement between the developers and the LaFox Civic Association filed in the Kane County recorder's office in late July.

Association president Mike Jessen said the developers' financial pledge will allow his group to turn its community development ideas into reality sooner than if residents had to raise the money on their own.

"Not many civic organizations have been in the position we're in where we can improve the town with money from the developer, working with the developer to do that," Jessen said. "It's a win-win for the developers and the people of LaFox."

Located on 1,247 acres between Route 38 and Keslinger Road just east of Harley Road, Settlements of LaFox will include 1,917 residential units, 100 acres of open space and 200,000 square feet of commercial space. The development is expected to add 5,000 people to the area, which now has a population of 300.

Jessen was among the residents who fought the original development, then called Grand Prairie. But over the past six years, neighbors and the development team revamped the plan to include fewer homes and more open space.

The development agreement between the civic group and the developers was written in the same spirit of cooperation, said Peter Brennan, president of Foxford LLC.

"All the money that's going to be spent will be spent for the benefit of the LaFox area," Brennan said. "We feel like we're investing in the long-term health of the overall community."

The $1.3 million pledged by the developers includes $250,000 already donated to the civic group. Eventually, the funds will be used to build an outdoor ice skating rink, install a public art display, construct a 19th century-style covered bridge over Mill Creek and implement wireless Internet access in the town square, among other things.

An open-house style community meeting is tentatively scheduled to take place in September to learn residents' vision for the area, Jessen said.