Sugar Grove to review The Grove proposal and TIF districts

Village of Sugar Grove President Jen Konen delivers her 2024 State of the Village at Waubonsee Community College on March 20.

The Village of Sugar Grove is having a Joint Review Board to its tax increment financing (TIF) districts on Wednesday morning.

The meeting will be at 10 a.m. at the Village Board Room, 10 Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove.

State law requires municipalities to host an annual meeting of a Joint Review Board for its TIF districts One of districts that is gaining attention from residents is a proposed major development that would include mixed-used housing - single-family and apartments - and commercial properties for retail and restaurants and other business ventures.

“The Joint Review Board gets together to discuss the creation of a TIF,” Village of Sugar Grove President Jen Konen said. “The only way a TIF is created is based on the criteria in which it meets. And we published back in November the (I-88 and IL-47 Redevelopment Project Area Tax Increment Financing District Eligibility Report and Redevelopment Plan). It’s the qualification for the TIF. This was an analysis that was put together by SB Friedman and the document says it qualifies under the one factor which is chronic flooding.”

The Joint Review Board consists of reps from each of the various governments that receive property taxes from a designated TIF district, along with a single member of the public at large.

Blackberry Township, Elburn Fire District, Kane County, Kaneland Community Unit School District 302, Sugar Grove Fire District, Sugar Grove Library District, Sugar Grove Park District, Town and Country Library, Village of Sugar Grove and Waubonsee Community College District 516 each will have a rep at the meeting while Susan Smith of Settlers Ridge is representing the public.

“So what the Joint Review Board has to do is, they’re kind of like a planning commission,” Konen said. “They come together, they hear only about the creation of a TIF district and the creation of a TIF district is only based on - and you have to leave Crown aside on this - it’s only based on the factor in which it meets under the state statute. That’s what will be discussed at the Joint Review Board. SB Friedman will be there and our TIF attorney will be there. It has nothing to do with a redevelopment agreement or Crown.”

Crown has a proposed redeveloped project area -The Grove - that would be situated on nearly 800 acres near the Interstate 88 and IL Route 47 interchange.

The Grove would bring housing for all ages with multiple residential neighborhoods featuring single-family homes and apartments. Along with the various residences and job opportunities, The Grove would offer a town center, a few hundred acres of open space for parks, trails and other recreation, as well as areas for retail, restaurants, community services and more.

It would also bring business and traffic. Warehouses, data centers and other businesses would replace countless trees and farmland and in the process drastically change the landscape of Sugar Grove. For some, that’s too much.

“We will end up being the next Bolingbrook,” Blackberry Township resident Carolyn Anderson said. “When I talk to people who moved out here, they moved out here because they have an appreciation for nature and green space and wanted to get away from the hustle and the bustle and come into a peaceful, solitary community.”

Anderson also is a spokesperson for Thoughtful Progress For The I-88/Route 47 Corridor, a community of people opposed to large industrial development in Sugar Grove and Blackberry.

Members from the group are expected to challenge SB Friedman’s claims that the aforementioned land suffers from blight and flooding issues during the public comment period of Wednesday’s meeting.

“How are the taxing bodies perceiving this TIF and do they feel that it’s eligible? The clear answer is no,” Anderson said. “The blight that’s been quoted for a $350 million TIF is ridiculous. And actually if you look at the development and transpose it over the current land you will see that their statement of blight of flooding that is causing flooding into surrounding areas, there’s no proof of that.”

The Notice of Public Hearing for the I-88 and IL-47 Redevelopment Project Area already was sent to taxing bodies and interested parties. The Public Hearing for this TIF is scheduled for June 18 at 6 p.m. at Waubonsee Community College.

“It will be a public hearing for the TIF and it’ll also be a regular board meeting so we’ll have normal business on the agenda,” Konen said. “We’ll discuss it with the Village Board after the public hearing is opened and closed. The earliest it would be voted on would be the next Village Board meeting in July.”