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May 12, 2017 / jeffnward

Quick Hits – The May 12, 2017 Geneva Report

Ya gotta love Genevans part one

Unless you’ve served on a city council or covered as many board meetings as I have, most folks have no idea just how powerless local governing bodies can be!

One alderman gets one vote. If they can’t consistently form a consensus among their peers, they get nothing done. And I bet you didn’t know the vast majority of Illinois mayors only get to vote in the case of a tie.

Yes! These boards can dictate zoning, enact ordinances and set all sorts of village standards, but if they go a scant millimeter over the line, they will be sued and they will lose. Worse yet, non-Home Rule communities like Geneva cannot be stricter or looser than State statute in many cases.

So when I found this flyer attached to my mailbox this morning, all I could say to myself was, “This is why I’ll never run for alderman!” Trust me, Monday’s city council meeting is gonna be one for the ages.

No Prairie Wind

You see, despite this anonymous missive’s dire declaration; “Don’t let St. Charles dictate your day,” St. Charles can do exactly that and there’s not a damn thing Geneva can do about it. The Prairie Winds apartment complex is a done deal!

For the uninitiated, Prairie Winds is a 250 plus apartment development which will be built behind the Meijer – Loew’s mall at Randall Road and Rt. 38. And the only way in and out of the complex will be via Bricher Road.

So, of course, my the-sky-is-always-falling Fisher Farms compatriots are up in arms about having to leave for work two minutes early to avoid the imminent Dan Ryan-esque traffic jams. And they’re directing their ire at Fourth Ward Aldermen Jim Radecki and Jeanne McGowan as well as Mayor Kevin Burns.

Welcome to municipal government Alderman McGowan!

As long as St. Charles follows all the applicable laws – and they have – the apartment complex is coming in. But even Ms. McGowan seemed kinda perplexed by this very basic concept at Monday’s (5/8) city council meeting.

It would require a St. Charles rebellion of vast proportion to derail this project and that isn’t about to happen because that location doesn’t affect any of ‘em. Don’t even think a about a lawsuit because either, because it would go down in flames. Lastly, those businesses will be thrilled to have the extra customers.

So while I would never dissuade anyone from showing up at City Hall to wail and rend their garments, it will accomplish absolutely nothing. Much like Geneva has the right to develop within their borders as they see fit, so does St. Charles.

 

Ya gotta love Genevans part two

Because everything we already discussed also applies to the potential redevelopment of the old Campana building which, at Rt. 31 and Fabyan Road, lies squarely within Batavia’s boundaries.

Campana Building

To fill in those blanks, Evergreen Real Estate Group has petitioned the City to redevelop that building into 80 apartment units, 64 of which would designated as “affordable.” In real estate parlance, that means “low income.”

And I haven’t heard Genevans shriek and howl this much since the East Side CVS ran out of Spanx!

Facebook has been literally littered comments like, “the trash this will bring in,” “those people,” “freeloaders” and “blight.” And we all know the term “those people” doesn’t refer to Swedes!

If Aurora is The City of Lights, can Geneva be “The City of Whites?”

There’s nothing quite like good Christian Republicans, is there? As least they’ll have something to talk about in the St. Peter confessional.

Once again, Batavia has all the power and, since there aren’t any nearby Batavians to protest. So, unless the requested parking variance does it in, the development’s coming in.

Your family may have to listen to your unfounded and semi-bigoted rants, but the Batavia City Council does not!

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