Letters to County Board: Listen to people about proposed Rockton Township subdivision

Dear Members of the Winnebago County Board:

The subdivision proposed by Chris Cannell has a multitude of reasons why it should not become reality in Rockton Township. Please take a few moments to consider the following points.

Traffic: The proposed subdivision would add approximately 1,120 vehicular trips per day to the area. Will Prairie Road, Rockton Road, South Bluff Road, Yale Bridge Road and Prairie Hill Road support this traffic? Is the township or county prepared to pay for these road improvements when suddenly area roads deteriorate? How will traffic be regulated until the necessary turn lanes and traffic signals can be installed? Suddenly, the rural feel of our area will turn into a suburban traffic nightmare.

Groundwater and Septic: How will groundwater be affected? Will 112 septic systems installed impact the groundwater quality of other nearby residents, particularly those to the south who depend on this water for their wells and the 700 acres of the Nygren Wetlands? Area residents’ health problems point to contamination from sludge spread over 20 years ago.

Have groundwater impact studies been performed?

Stormwater: State and national standards have been set for infiltration regarding stormwater. Will these houses be required to meet these standards?

Area Schools: Hononegah is already overcrowded. No one can argue that point. In the Jan. 26 edition of the Rockford Register Star, the school board was reported as asking communities to balance industrial and residential growth in order to balance revenues with student needs. Although Shirland School could welcome approximately 40 students, suddenly doubling the student numbers and needs could easily overwhelm even a quality district such as Shirland. Why not take a controlled approach with half the number of homes?

Noise Issues: Remember the recent issues with the noise from ATV tracks annoying nearby residents? How will new residents who are unaware of Blackhawk Farms Raceway feel the first time they try to sit on their decks on a Sunday morning with their morning coffee?

The proposed subdivision as it stands today is “too much, too soon” for roads, for schools, and for the environment. Yes, money talks; but you don’t need to listen. Please think and vote carefully.

Colleen Gill

Rockton, Ill.

Dear Members of the Winnebago County Board:

What is important? Only the developer?

The Special Use Permit for the Planned Community Development leaves all the adjacent landowners no freedom to share their concerns to the powers that be. These landowners—all adjacent to the proposed development—have all supported the Rockton Village and the surrounding area with their real estate taxes and purchases in the Village of Rockton. Does one realize the amount of money brought into Rockton? Are the people not important to Rockton?

In past years, I have seen at least four serious accidents at the end of South Bluff Road. There is a stop sign on South Bluff, but it gets difficult with all the traffic on Rockton Road. With 112 houses proposed, does one realize what the traffic will be from Prairie Road onto Rockton Road?

Who is going to pay for problems after the developer builds the houses, then says the homeowners cannot be assessed a special use tax, after they own the home, to increase their property value? Where are the septic drains going, and what happens to the well water? Rockton, are you listening? The land is very poor soil. Has the health issue been settled? What about policing the area complying with the law? We’ve never seen where it has happened before.

We were told at the beginning of the application, it had to comply with the statutes, and local neighbors know that it does not comply.

Ruth Dillet

Winnebago County resident and farmer

Open Letter to the Winnebago County Board

Editor’s note: It came to the attention of The Rock River Times that this document was sent to every member of the Winnebago County Board.

Before you vote on the Cannell-Puri development at Prairie and Rockton Road, please take time to read the letters and data submitted to you regarding why this PCD petition should be denied.

The ZBA met in Rockton at the community center and took testimony from the attendees. Approximately 200 people were in attendance for this meeting. The petition was unanimously denied by the ZBA, and one member of the board said it was “the wrong subdivision at the wrong place and at the wrong time” in his closing statement.

At the County Planning Commission meeting, it was obvious that some of the board had not even read the material presented to them. The proposed PCD was approved at that meeting.

The health issues from the sewage dumping have not been satisfactorily addressed. Four samples taken by Cannell do not give adequate assurance that heavy metal contamination is not present. Neighbors watched as full tanker loads were dumped in one spot. What is the likelihood that these spots were sampled? Also, how can you explain the current elevated heavy metal analysis in well water across the street from this proposed development? This contamination had to come from somewhere.

Those of you on the County Board who have taken campaign money from Puri, Cannell, the law firm (or subsidiaries of same) that represents Rockton, Roscoe, Caledonia and Loves Park, or other developers, should abstain from the vote on this PCD development. The loophole that does not allow objector status should also be removed from the PCD policy.

We have formed a grassroots committee, including Rockton, Roscoe, Caledonia, Winnebago and Cherry Valley citizens, to return our government to the people and away from the developers. If you vote in favor of this type of development which benefits only the developers, we will target you at your next election.

Committee For Responsible Government

From the June 7-13, 2006, issue

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