Guest Column: Rockton Township opposes zoning for Cannell Farms Subdivision

May 4, 2011

Editor’s note: The following letter, addressed to The Rock River Timeseditor & publisher Frank Schier, is presented as a guest column.

By Thomas Jencius
Rockton Township Supervisor

Frank,

As your paper has written stories about the issues surrounding the Cannell Farms Subdivision before, I am writing you today to bring you up to date on the matter.

Since the Cannell Farms Subdivision was proposed as a planned community development (PCD) on a special-use permit in 2005, it has been a source of controversy in Rockton Township. (This was done to prevent local residents and Rockton Township from being legal objectors.)

Recently, it has reached what may be its final stage. April 27, the Winnebago County Board Zoning Committee approved the final plat of PLAT I, consisting of five lots, by a vote of 4-2. Next, it will go to the Winnebago County Board.

Rockton Township is on record opposing this PCD as no more than a subdivision, incompatible with other development in the area (one of the requirements of the special-use permit). Rockton Township is also on record opposing the number of lots (too many) and their size (too small) for the subdivision to be on well and septic for the soil types present. The Winnebago County Health Department will have the final word on the number of lots and sizes.

The landscaping plan for this subdivision—that made it “special”—averages around 1-1/2 trees or bushes per acre. The Winnebago County Highway Department will have the final word on the plans for the roads (not meeting standards) and the stormwater management (half the subdivision does not have adequate stormwater capacity). The common areas of green space in this subdivision are supposed to be the responsibility of a homeowners’ association. Yet, at the Zoning Committee meeting, County Board member Frank Gambino (R-14) stated that a number of these homeowners’ associations have failed, and the responsibility for the common areas fell to the local public government. Rockton Township is on record as having no intention of assuming ownership or responsibility for these areas.

So, if the Winnebago County Board moves forward approving the subdivision, Winnebago County must assume responsibility for the previously stated problems and defects of this subdivision.

Thomas Jencius is Rockton Township Supervisor.

From the May 4-10, 2011 issue

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