Rockton residents say they have enough neighbors and don't want a huge development coming to town. They say it will lead to more traffic, pollution and students in an already crowded school. In spite of this, the Winnebago County Board gave the go ahead to the 112-home project, and it's got residents fuming.
"I promised my grandchildren I'd buy them a house on the farm. We bought the house. Nine months later, development comes up like that," says resident Mary Wallis.
Wallis was one of many residents who packed the Winnebago County Courthouse. Many didn't like what they heard after the board granted developer Dyn Cannell LLC the special-use permit it was after. Many didn't like what they heard after the board's decision was announced.
"We need our land, we need our country, and if we fill up all of our farms with subdivisions, what are we going to have left," Wallis says.
The proposal also includes over twenty acres of recreational areas.
"This won't be closed off so that only people in the subdivision can use it. It will be land that's open for anyone to use," says Marvin Keys, a representative for Dyn Cannell LLC.
One board member who voted in favor of granting the permit says the development will be good for the township.
"It’s just going to create more development in that whole area and I think we need that in this community," Board Member Gary Jury.
"If you look up on the wall, the motto even says 'we're for the people.' what about all the poor residents in the area? Like I said, we moved out to this area to be in the country," says resident Pam Timmer.
Wallis adds the board should have done a better job of listening to the people who voted them in.
"I'm very upset, I don't feel our county board has stood behind us on their own rules," she says.
Cannell's representative says he expects construction to begin next year.