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Keep Batavia Neighborhoods


The Facts

  What Rezoning Means for You

The Batavia Plan Commission and City Council members have offered the following insight to Keep Batavia Neighborhoods (KBN) as to why they are in favor of rezoning:

City of Batavia:  Industrial park real estate taxes would perhaps bring in more money than the townhome/retail complex would.

Keep Batavia Neighborhoods (KBN)' reply: This is not true.   KBN's financial analysis proves that an industrial park would not help your real estate taxes.

Missner Group  has not submitted a detailed development plan in over 14 months  discussions/negotiations with the City of Batavia.  Without a concrete proposal, there can be no credible projections of tax revenues, comparisons or evaluations.

City of Batavia The 242 townhomes that were originally slated to be built will cause a significant burden on Batavia schools  if they are ever built on this property.

KBN's reply:   This is not true. One of the main reasons that the Plan Commission voted "yes" for the rezoning was based on the "significant burden" on Batavia Schools with the 242 townhomes.  Recently KBN did a detailed investigation and discovered that Batavia Public Schools are all under capacity, some as much as 25%.  

In fact,  Hoover Wood or JB Nelson elementary schools, which are most likely the school that the estimated 45 students from Prairie Commons (242 townhomes) would go to, was at 75% instructional capacity in 2013/14, leaving 25% still available for additional students. No analysis was done by Batavia city staff to determine what burden there would be so this critical vote by the Plan Commission was based on hearsay about "overcrowded schools" , rather than the fact that no Batavia public school is even at instructional capacity.  And financially, the real estate taxes from the 242 townhomes would more than pay for the $12,000 per year cost of educating each student in Batavia.  There is no burden.

City of Batavia The 242 townhomes that were originally slated to be built will cause a significant burden on Batavia parks if they are ever built on this property.

KBN's reply:   This is not true. One of the main reasons that the Plan Commission voted "yes" for the rezoning was based on the "significant burden" on Batavia parks with the 242 townhomes.  Recently KBN discussed this with the Executive Director of the Batavia Park District and she said "that KBN should ask the City Staff as to why they said this.  Batavia Park District" remains neutral to this [controversy]." She would not verify if there would be a burden or not.

City of Batavia:  The rezoning is consistent with many goals and policies in Batavia's Comprehensive Plan.  The MIssner Proposal furthers and detracts from the same amount of goals and policies.  Note, the Comprehensive Plan is a 350 -point official  statement and guidelines relating to land development in Batavia.

KBN's reply:  This is not true.  A thorough, professional review of the 350 points in Comprehensive Plan indicates that the rezoning to industrial complies with 2 and a half  points out of the 350 point Goals and Policies.  How does 2 and a half mean "many"?  It doesn't.  on the does not comply with much more goals and policies in the Comprehensive Plan. 

City of Batavia: The City will require the developer to protect property values and neighborhood character.

Keep Batavia Neighborhoods (KBN)' reply: How exactly?  The City of Batavia, in their evaluation of the Economic Policy (in the Comprehensive plan) of the statement:  "Balance increased commerce with protection of property values and neighborhood character" indicated that the City will require development and on-going business practices to protect adjacent properties through the annexation agreement".  This means that the City of Batavia will guarantee, through an annexation agreement, that property values won't go down and the neighborhood character will stay as is?  No evidence from Batavia City Hall indicates that this will be achieved.

City of Batavia:  The rezoning to "light industrial" will bring in more revenue and/or decrease costs.

KBN's reply: This is not true.  There is no financial evidence that supports this. 

City of Batavia:   It is "not ideal" to put an industrial park next to a residential area.

KBN's reply:  Who chooses what is "ideal" or not?  What is fair?  Is the rezoning fair to  the 2300 homeowners in the nearby Batavia neighborhoods whose property values will decrease 10-25% because of this industrial park ?  And is it fair that the City of Batavia will force upon these homeowner,s a new neighbor, a huge warehouse complex, complete with hundreds of semi-trucks?

Or is it Batavia City Hall who is looking for every opportunity to find monies to get out of the financial jam that they are in?  If there is no financial jam, then what's the rush?

Since the zoning 2005, Batavia has indicated to  prospective home buyers  that this 55 acre lot was zoned multifamily/commercial.  Since then, 2300 homeowners bought and stayed in their east-side Batavia homes with that understanding.  In all good conscience, how can the City of Batavia think it fair to switch to an unfavorable zoning (light industrial), without paramount consideration to those residents adversely affected by the "switch"?

City of Batavia:  There will more jobs with an industrial park.

KBN's reply:  KBN's investigation determined that there are small employment counts due to a high level of mechanization in large warehouses.  The City of Batavia has done no research as to the number or type of job, so it could be as few as 5 minimum wage jobs.  If this property was to stay zoned as it currently is, there would be many more jobs created by the retail/commercial propoerty.

City of Batavia:  The property is now sitting idle and the rezoning is an opportunity for revenue.

KBN's reply:The economy is on its way up.  What's the rush to develop now?   It is a well-known fact that the recession hit just at the time in 2007 that the Prairie Commons (townhome) developer was designing the plans.  One drive down KIrk Rd. and it is clear that new development is headed toward the 55 acre (Prairie Commons ) site.

The knee jerk reaction to spot zone this site by the City of Batavia to industrial use might actually slow down retail growth along that corridor.  In June, 2014 an interested party came forward to purchase and develop the property as Prairie Commons, the original 242 townhomes and retail.  Now that the economy is picking up, there is retail growth on Kirk Rd. edging up toward Batavia, and an identified need for much more affordable housing in Batavia.  So what is the rush?  An industrial park doesn't make sense, especially to the 2,300 homeowners on Batavia's east side (representing 30% of total Batavia homeownership). 

                      The Facts

Keep Batavia Neighborhoods (KBN)  is a group of concerned citizens that is dedicated to defeating the rezoning of the 55 acre lot at Kirk Rd. and Wind Energy Pass in Batavia, IL.  KBN as a watchdog group aims to ensure that the City of Batavia will perform a  thorough, responsible, detailed  analysis of these factors.

 If this property is rezoned, an industrial park at Kirk Rd. and Wind Energy Pass will:

  • Immediately decrease the value of homes on  Batavia  east-side (near this intersection) by 10-25%
  • Increase truck traffic on Kirk Rd, causing more delays and safety issues
  • Change the flavor of the east side of Batavia to an industrial area, rather than a "neighborhood", diminishing Batavia as an attractive place to call home. 
  • Cause potential home buyers looking in the Fox Valley area to tend to avoid Batavia's east side, since they will experience the congestion and traffic on Kirk Road, prone to more safety issues, and see the huge expanse of concrete, warehouses and semi-trucks, right at Batavia's main east-side entrance (Kirk Rd. and Wind Energy Pass).  
  • In the long run, this will devalue living in Batavia as a whole, as property values go down, so will the neighborhoods.  The City of Batavia will experience a decrease of property tax revenues, forcing Batavia City government to lower the now high standards we enjoy of our city services (e.g. schools, parks, streets,  Is this responsible planning for the future?
  • Make it easier for the CIty of Batavia to allow rezoning of more properties along Kirk Rd.  as industrial. Additional large lots just north of these 55 acres, not currently zoned for light industrial, will be available for purchase in the future.  If the City of Batavia allows this 55 acres to be rezoned to Light Industrial, what will stop them from further rezoning to Light Industrial of additional property on Kirk Rd? 
  •  Spot Zoning  hinders a community.  Spot zoning is defined as "the granting to a particular parcel of land a classification concerning its use that differs from the classification of other land in the immediate area.".  In the case of the 55 acre parcel of land, "spot zoning" is exactly what the City of Batavia is considering doing.   Responsible urban planners avoid spot zoning because of its negative effect on a community.