Subdivision clears County Board hurdle

A residential development will take more Winnebago County farmland.

The Winnebago County Board approved—by a 21 to 5 vote—Hauser Youssi, LLC’s planned community development application at its May 11 meeting.

That approval clears the way for beginning work on the proposed Stormont Highlands subdivision. Winnebago County Planner David DeGroot said the subdivision would have 233 residential lots and 90 acres of open space.

DeGroot said Edwardsville and Montague roads border the development on the north and south, respectively. Weldon Road borders the proposed subdivision on the west.

Potential neighbor George David Clay said, during public participation, the proposed development posed both traffic and health hazards. Clay said it would increase current traffic on roads traveled by farming equipment. Another potential neighbor, Warren Pollard, said the development would endanger his livelihood. Pollard said he was a sixth-generation dairy farmer.

“The proposed subdivision would be detrimental,” Pollard said.

But Pollard also worried about what trend could begin. He asked the board if they’d considered that observation, “Is this a precedent you want to start?”

Clay and his wife, Barbara Ann, issued the following statement in response to the board’s action: “Naturally, we are disappointed with the County Board’s decision tonight. We all knew, from the beginning, that we were fighting an uphill battle—David and Goliath, if you will.”

Although they lost the battle, the Clays said the situation helped unite them and their neighbors. They also said it inspires both the County Board and Zoning Board to more carefully examine their zoning policies in consideration of urban sprawl.

From the May 17-23, 2006, issue

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