Chicory Ridge conflict—part two

Attempts to contact Chicory Ridge subdivision developer Jeff Petry or a representative have failed. Only one of his four businesses listed by the Roscoe Chamber of Commerce is in the phone book, that being Midcor Supply.

Besides Chicory Ridge in Roscoe, Petry has subdivisions in South Beloit, Rockton and Capron. Petry’s subdivision in Capron, named Shadowbrook, became controversial during its construction in the mid-‘90s and remains a source of resident complaints to this day. From ’95 to ’98, Shadowbrook conflicts seemed to be in the paper several times a month.

Problems at Shadowbrook began with complaints of inadequate and/or the absence of curbs and sidewalks. Petry seems to be attracted to building on land near or in water, and soon after, curbs and sidewalks were on everyone’s problem list; water began to percolate onto the complaint list.

Shadowbrook resident Maria Nino obtained a soil and water report of the Shadowbrook subdivision property. According to a Register Star article, the soil and water report said 42 percent of Shadowbrook was built on land that contains a fluctuating water table.

A fluctuating water table can cause a high ground saturation merely after a heavy rain. This ground didn’t need a flood to cause problems, just a heavy rain.

From 1995 to 1997, construction at Shadowbrook was halted three times by Capron officials. The first and second work stoppages occurred in 1995 because of water drainage and construction problems. In 1997, crews were ordered out of the subdivision when Capron filed an injunction against Petry Construction, saying the developer hadn’t lived up to the annexation agreement.

After the second work stoppage, which was orchestrated by Capron Village President Doug Meyers, Meyers received an unwelcome object in his mailbox—a pipe bomb. When detonated by a bomb squad, the homemade device proved to be strong. Boone County Detective Scott Yunk said the bomb would have killed anyone in the immediate vicinity.

On the very day of the bomb trauma, Meyers vowed that nothing would sway him from pushing for a new annexation agreement with Petry, which many viewed as being too one-sided in Petry’s favor.

After Capron, Petry was cited by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for failing to apply for state storm water pollution prevention permits for the 111-home Chicory Ridge development hugging the Rock River in Roscoe.

Petry agreed to clean up tons of silt that flowed into the Rock River from his development to avoid $250,000 in fines. A ditch on the north end of Chicory Ridge deposited silt directly into the river during rains. The heavier soil was getting deposited at the mouth of the ditch, while the finer parts ended up miles or perhaps hundreds of miles downstream, blocking precious sunlight and covering sensitive fish eggs, according to regional IEPA water specialist Jack Adams.

Petry has seven subdivisions outside of Capron in Roscoe, Rockton and South Beloit. At another Petry subdivision named Hawks Pointe, located on Old River Road, residents battled major runoff problems. Yards were carved with 2- to 3-foot ditches from runoff.

To this day, Capron Town Council meetings are not without Shadowbrook subdivision resident complaints. Vicky Vetter, a current Capron town trustee, was also around during those volatile Shadowbrook days in the ‘90s. Vicky has been communicating with some in Roscoe who are opposed to the Chicory Ridge flood plain phase. Vicky has a message for them: “Do what you gotta do to get a just deal for you and the environment.”

Capron recently had another developer knocking at the door for a subdivision of his own, but Capron didn’t give developer Gordon Nelson an area to build on. Nelson threatened litigation, but he has since run into some legal problems of his own in Caledonia.

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