Residential Development Is Rejected

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Tuesday night the ZBA heard testimony for a Special Use Permit. The ZBA had to decide if a proposal for 112 homes meets six criteria for a Special Use Permit. The ZBA voted to deny the petitioners request.

Dyn Cannell wanted to change agricultural land to residential. The applicant was looking to develop 123 acres of farmland just north of Rockton road on the west side of Prairie Avenue. The Shirland School District said the development would close the K-8 district. The district stated that they don't have the capacity for a massive jump in enrollment. The Winnebago County Farm Bureau testified that the homes would forever change the land.

But the most heartfelt testimony came from property owners. Many residents in the area have a long history in the area and fear contamination of their groundwater. Many questioned why the soil had never been tested for heavy metals.

Marvin Keys, who represents Dyn Cannell, says, “The special use permit process gives them the ability to condition their approval on us meeting those things later on by allowing us the flexibility and assurance that there is some agreement on the concept.”

Ian Linnabary, who represents residents, says, "The most compelling element is probably the incompatibility of the proposal with the surrounding uses that's one fact they need to consider."

This will know go before the Winnebago County Board. With this being a Special Use Permit property owners, townships, and municipalities can not be legal objectors. So that means that a super-majority of the county board is needed for approval.