Keep Batavia Neighborhoods
Missner Group, an industrial park developer, approached the City of Batavia with their request to rezone, to Light Industrial, the 55 acre lot at Kirk Rd and Wind Energy Pass.
Kane County Planning presents their "Homes for a Changing Region" Plan (specific to Batavia) at the Batavia Joint Committee of the Whole meeting on March 18. This Plan states that to meet the forecasted demand of housing through 2040, there is currently a considerable lack of affordable housing in Batavia. The metrics provided during the presentation included the count for the 242 townhome complex (Prairie Commons) which was slated for the 55 acres at Kirk and Wind Energy. Therefore, even with the 242 townhomes, there is a still substantial shortfall of affordable housing to meet future demands.
Batavia Plan Commission held public hearing regarding the proposed rezoning, which included a forum for attendees (residents) to speak. The vast majority spoke in opposition to the rezoning.
A report was issued from the Batavia Plan Commission that indicated the vote by the Commission was 4 to 3, in favor of the rezoning proposal. This means that Missner Group has been given the go-ahead to present more detailed plans to Batavia City Hall about their projected industrial development.
Keep Batavia Neighborhoods citizen groups begin to form, in opposition of the proposed rezoning.
Keep Batavia Neighborhoods develops several action plans to defeat the proposed rezoning.
Keep Batavia Neighborhoods presents a brief summary about their findings and concerns about the rezoning to Batavia City Council at the July 29th JCOW City Council meeting at Batavia City Hall. Over 150 opposers attend that meeting. City Council agrees to add an agenda item to discuss the proposed rezoning with Keep Batavia Neighborhoods at the Aug 19th JCOW meeting.
Batavia City Council, on Aug 12th retracts their decision to discuss the proposed rezoning at the Aug 19th JCOW City Council meeting. Batavia city staff states that they are "waiting for submittal information from the [Missner Group] before it will be on the formal agenda". Note that Keep Batavia Neighborhood does not agree nor comprehend why Batavia City Hall would not want to understand NOW the evidence that is contrary to the non-substantiated information that City staff continues to put forward as reasons (albeit not factual) that the rezoning is good for the City of Batavia.
Keep Batavia Neighborhoods continues to investigate the rationale that Batavia City Hall is using to justify the rezoning and finds there is little to no facts to base that rationale on.
Keep Batavia Neighborhoods hires legal counsel to provide assistance. Anyone on our mailing list will receive details about the legal assistance that has been performed on behalf of Keep Batavia Neighborhoods.
In late August,2014, KBN’s legal counsel presented a letter to Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke that stated that, per Illinois Municipal Code, 90 + days had expired between the Public Hearing and Plan Commission vote in April, 2014. Since City Council had not yet voted on the rezoning, there would need to be a new Public Hearing. Batavia City Hall acknowledged this, and confirmed that they know they are now obligated to hold a new Public Hearing; thereby the process for rezoning would need to start all over again. There is no date set yet for this new Public Hearing
.KBN's Legal Counsel issues a letter to Mayor Schielke requesting FOIA documents, with 25 categories of requests. If you haven't already done so, please SIGN THE PETITION TO OPPOSE REZONING
Encourage your friends, family and neighbors to sign the petition. We continue to collect petitions to grow the list of Batavia and Aurora residents who oppose the rezoning.
Meeting with City Hall on Sept 17, 2014
Keep Batavia Neighborhoods receives 1,200 petition signers; most are from Batavia. This signifies to Batavia City Hall that Batavians are opposed to the rezoning.
Keep Batavia Neighborhoods is monitoring, on a weekly basis, whether Missner Group is (or is not) going to submit a final plan. Keep Batavia Neighborhoods will not give up until this rezoning is defeated!
As of 10/7/14, there is still no word from Missner Group. Therefore, Batavia City Hall has no update about this rezoning issue. They are still waiting for Missner Group to present a final proposal for the development of an industrial park.
On Oct 20, 2014 Batavia City Hall announced that they are closing the petition from Missner Group. This means that the application for rezoning that Missner Group filed with Batavia City Hall in March, 2014 is no longer active. If Missner Group wants to rezone, they will have to apply to Batavia City Hall again, as if they never did so in March, 2014.
For those Batavia and Aurora residents who signed petitions, wrote opposition emails, put up yard signs and attended City Hall meetings, thank you! Your actions made a significant difference in defeating this rezoning.
On Nov 17, 2014, a group of KBN members made a presentation at Batavia City Council during the "Matters of the Public" section of the regularly scheduled Nov 17, 2014 City Council meeting. This presentation, introduced by KBN's legal counsel, provided a summary of the history of the proposed Missner project, as well as requests and questions to Batavia City Council that focused on the multitude of errors made by Batavia City Staff in the process used by Batavia City Staff to justify their recommendation to proceed with the rezoning for the industrial park.
KBN is awaiting City Hall's answers. KBN is committed to finding answers and ensuring that Batavia City Hall makes changes, that thoroughly address the problem that caused KBN to spend $5,000 and hundreds of man hours of effort and feet on the street to prove to Missner Group that Batavia City Staff erred in their initial recommendation, for reasons, amongst others, that many Batavia east-side residents were opposed to the rezoning (Batavia City Staff did not recognize this) and that the errors that City Staff made in their evaluation of compliance in the Comprehensive Plan were now properly flushed out by KBN.
For a transcript of this Nov 17th presentation, please contact us.