After months of controversial discussion, a piece of property just beyond the corporate limits of South Jacksonville has been tentatively approved to be zoned into the village.
Roger and Janet Strang, owners of approximately 8.42 acres listed at 1721 Orlando Street, made their case for zoning and annexation during a South Jacksonville Plan Commission public hearing on Thursday.
The Strang’s have been frequent attenders of South Jacksonville meetings in the past, pleading their case for the zoning process to be addressed by the village.
During the public hearing, several village residents spoke to commission members on the history of the Strang’s request, construction plans for the property and the benefits the village would gain from adding the property to South Jacksonville.
One of the requests from South Jacksonville’s comprehensive plan was for the Strang’s to refrain from building permanent structures along nearly two-and-a-half to three acres of land.
Attorney Tyson Manker, who is representing the Strang’s, explains that the land requested by the village would be dedicated towards potential road construction.
“If and when the village decides to develop West Vandalia and the rest of Orlando Street, they can do so without difficulty,” says Manker.
“That enables the Strang’s to annex in, build the structures they desire and ensure that the village’s comprehensive plan is followed.”
Manker says the village’s original annexation agreement offered to the Strang’s was “an unfair bargain.”
“They wanted to make sure that if and when the land for the roads was developed, that they would be properly compensated,” says Manker.
“The mayor, on rebutle for behalf of the village, offered several circumstances where land had been given to the village for free. His examples were commercial sites and subdivision sites, not from individual owners. The Strang’s simply want to insure that their property rights, under the Federal Constitution and the Illinois Constitution, are recognized.”
After a brief discussion and review of the information presented, the seven-member commission made a recommendation for village trustees to approve the zoning request.
Larry Moore, Chairman of the Plan Commission, explains why the board was in favor of the zoning request.
“Obviously he needs to get zoned so he can start some construction. I know he wants to get moving on this project,” says Moore.
“I didn’t hear any opposition from the village and obviously they wanted it. If you add eight more acres of ground, a home and the tax, it will be beneficial (to the village). I know he is going to build a good structure. If and when he gets it done, it is going to be a nice asset to the village.”
Manker says the next step will be a presenting an annexation agreement to the zoning commission. If approved, the request will be passed on a final decision by village trustees.