Neighborhood News & Events

LaFox shows way to grow
Kane County Chronicle, June 14, 2006

People who live in and aroudn LaFox might not prefer that 1,200 homes be built in their backyards.

Five years ago, a proposal by the developers to build 1,600 homes drew almost immediate and intense opposition in LaFox.

Opponents formed Concerned LaFox Area Residents to do battle with developers Town and Country Homes and Wyndham Deepoint.

The Grand Prairie subdivision would dramatically change the look of LaFox, where about 550 people live in unincorporated Kane County. The old section of LaFox is designated a Kane County Historic District. Garfield Farm Museum also is in LaFox.

Rather than fight the developers tooth and nail, leaders of Concerned LaFox decided outright opposition likely would lock them out of the decision- making process. So, they sat down in January 2005 with Town and Country and Wyndham officials to compromise.

They sat in a conference room, not in a courtroom.

"If you keep sitcking to that 'absolutely nothing' stance, you're going to lose the war," Concerned LaFox board member Drew Frasz told Kane County Chronicle reporter Tom Schlueter.

"It has all the attributes that we try to encourage," County Board Chairwoman Karen McConnaughay said. "They approached it with the right kind of mindset."

Now called Settlements of LaFox, the 1,254-acre subdivision has the support of Concerned LaFox Area Residents, which will act as a homeowners association. It will get a lump-sum payment of $125,000 and $1,275 for each salable residential lot.

LaFox is a new center of development. A Metra train station opened there in January. But developers will be required to finance an extension of Bunker Road from the underpass at the train station to Old LaFox Road to keep traffic away from the historic district.

Developers also donated a 12-acre site to Geneva District 304. Its 10-year plan calls for $25.6 million school in the Settlements subdivision.

This is a shining example of managing growth.