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Keeping pace with development

Keeping pace with development

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    Rick Powell stands beside Illinois Route 47, one of the arteries that carries people and industry through fast-growing Yorkville. Photos: Paul Schlismann

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    Kendall County continues to growKendall County has experienced rapid growth since 1970 and was recently listed by the U.S. Census as the second fastest growing county in the nation. Source: U.S. Census

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    Right: Subdivisions are popping up like weeds all across Kendall County. This one in Yorkville is on what was previously farmland. Above, right: Eric Dhuse (right), Yorkville's public works director, works with Brian Sorensen (left) and Joe Moore at one of Yorkville's new water treatment plants that will serve a new subdivision.

Addressing Local Roads

Yorkville has participated in the Prairie Parkway Study in addition to concentrating on its own transportation system. The special census has ensured that the city will receive the correct amount of motor fuel tax dollars from the state because this distribution is based on population. A $2000 per unit impact fee also is assessed to each new subdivision to help pay for regional road improvements. “We are also trying to concentrate on maintenance projects to help keep our good roads in good shape and use our road funds as efficiently as possible,” said Wywrot.

Addressing can sometimes become a problem as a city experiences rapid growth into rural areas. The U.S. Post Office has created boundaries defining each postal address. If a city grows past these boundaries, people in new homes can actually end up with a postal address in a neighboring city in which they do not live. Changing this can be difficult and time-consuming.

Fortunately Yorkville has not experienced many issues related to addressing. “We have a grid system that uses Route 47 as the east-west divider and the Fox River as the north-south divider,” said Wywrot. “Luckily we updated it about eight years ago, just before much of the recent growth occurred.”

To name new streets, citizens are encouraged to submit names of people from the community, living or dead, who deserve to have a street named in their honor. “One of our previous; aldermen, Larry Kot, suggested this to help us keep connected with our past,” said Wywrot. “We require a new development to pick at least one name from our approved list. Initially some developers objected because they wanted to have a consistent theme to their street names, but for the most part they have accepted it willingly.”

By meeting the avalanche of population migration head-on, staying focused on addressing emerging needs, and following previous examples of sister counties, Kendall County and its major cities are managing to keep up with the developers. Wywrot offered a few words of advice for areas facing similar growth. “Planning for land use and regional improvements before development occurs is very important,” he said. “You need a strong subdivision control ordinance that is very clear about standards. You need to develop and maintain good relationships with developers and their consultants by being firm, fair, and consistent, and you need a good staff and consultants that you can rely upon.”