Neighbors voice concerns, Oswego Village Board debates plans for new subdivision off Wolf’s Crossing Road

Village board vote expected at special meeting set for April 5

Site map of the proposed Piper Glen Subdivision in Oswego from developer M/I Homes.

OSWEGO - Some residents of Oswego’s Southbury subdivision are concerned the development of a new subdivision on a farm parcel that borders their subdivision will compound existing problems with stormwater drainage, street maintenance and traffic in their subdivision.

As proposed by M/I Homes, the Piper Glen subdivision would include 326 single family homes on a 126 acre parcel south of Wolf’s Crossing Road between Douglas Road and Southbury Boulevard, just east of the Southbury subdivision.

During a March 21 meeting, Village Board members moved to table a vote on final plans for Piper Glen until a special meeting set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 5. Though the board vote was tabled, the subdivision plans were debated at length by Southbury residents and board members.

The meeting began with a public forum in which four Southbury residents spoke of current problems in the subdivision and expressed concerns over the impact the development of Piper Glen might have on their neighborhood.

Dan Fograse, a resident of the Seasons at Southbury townhome development, spoke first on three topics: the dedication of Lake Shore Drive to the village, traffic concerns with new developments near Southbury, and the existing stormwater issues in Southbury and on the Piper Glen site.

Two other Seasons at Southbury residents charged Lake Shore Drive has not been maintained properly, citing problems with snow plowing and damage not being repaired. They asked that the village assist them in either holding the developer responsible or start maintaining the street.

This was the third meeting at which Fograse and other Seasons at Southbury residents have voiced complaints about the lack of street maintenance in their neighborhood.

Fograse said Southbury Boulevard is already used as a thoroughfare between Wolf’s Crossing and Woolley roads and he is concerned the new development will worsen the speed and traffic through their neighborhood.

The proposed plot of land for the Piper Glen subdivision is also on a drainage divide.

Southbury resident Daniel Bergan, whose home backs up to the proposed Piper Glen site, showed the board several photographs of flooding, both on his property and on the Piper Glen site dating back to 2009.

Bergan asked that the village have the Piper Glen development plans approved by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Federal Emergency Management Agency before moving forward with approval.

Greg Collins, M/I Homes’ land acquisition manager, presented the development plan for Piper Glen to the board. The plan calls for over 20 different models of one and two-story homes, with two to five bedrooms and offering between 1,500 to 3,500 square feet of living space.

Site map of the proposed Piper Glen Subdivision in Oswego from developer M/I Homes.

Collins said M/I Homes intends to purchase the land and begin development this summer, pending board approval.

Collins said M/I Homes is very aware of the floodplain issues. He said their engineers are prepared to deal with the stormwater issues on the Piper Glen site and, in doing so, will also fix the pre-existing issues along Southbury’s property line.

“We’ve been on top of this since day one, so everyone should be very comfortable with that,” Collins said, “We’re taking an un-managed situation and we will be managing it correctly.”

M/I Homes has already built homes in close proximity to the Piper Glen site. From 2013 to 2015, they built several homes at the corner of Douglas Road and Wolf’s Crossing Road and in the Southbury subdivision.

After hearing residents’ concerns and the developer’s presentation, board members questioned Collins and raised additional concerns.

Village Trustee Kit Kuhrt questioned the possibility of developers switching the homes from owner-occupied to rental properties after starting development, which he said is what happened in Ashcroft Place, just south of the proposed Piper Glen site.

Kuhrt suggested adding a clause to the annexation agreement that would forbid developers from changing their business model to rental properties.

“Those people did not sign up to have a 192 rentals built in their area,” Kuhrt said. “The only way we can stop this from happening is if we put something in an annexation agreement.”

Village Attorney Karl Ottosen advised Kuhrt that he was likely incorrect in thinking that type of clause could be enforceable, and said it would probably be prohibited by federal housing regulations.

“We can’t legislate what the property owner does with that house,” Ottosen said. “The ownership aspect of the property is not within the village’s control.”

Trustee James Marter II said that M/I Homes has not given any indication of wanting to build rental properties, which Kuhrt argued was the case with several developments in the past.

“Are you going to personally fund the litigation if we stop this?” Marter asked Kuhrt, before Village President Troy Parlier broke up the discussion.

Collins assured the board that their intentions are to build for sale homes.

According to a village staff memo, the project is estimated to bring $6,236,375 in total impact fees and land cash donations. An estimated $3,797,898 in impact fees would be split between Oswego SD308, the village, the fire protection district, public library and transportation.

Breakdown of the estimated impact fees to be paid by developer M/I Homes for the Piper Glen development.

M/I Homes would also pay $793,899 in land cash donations to the school district, $927,378 in land cash donation to the Oswegoland Park District, which includes a 4.5 acre park, and $717,200 in water tap on fees.