To the Editor:
The proposed land swap between DeKalb School District 428 and developer ShoDeen is not in the best interest of our community.
The 41 acres of land known as Kiwanis Park is a “community asset” that needs to be preserved. This proposed land swap has the potential to affect the entire DeKalb community. The whole community (city, school district, park district and the public) needs to fully understand the details – some known and some unknown – concerning this proposal.
This proposed land swap has more implications than just displacing 14 AYSO soccer fields. The developer proposes to fill the Kiwanis Park land with 190 housing units with an estimated population of around 490. This is not the place for high-density housing. Issues needing clarification with this proposal are: land values, use of land, ShoDeen financial issues, DeKalb High School expansion, impact fees and the rush to rezone the land.
I believe the primary mission of DeKalb School District 428 is providing a quality education to the children of the district. I became a concerned citizen of DeKalb when I read in the public notice section of the Nov. 10, 2012, Daily Chronicle that the school district would be petitioning the DeKalb Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 28, requesting that Kiwanis Park land be rezoned from single family to commercial and planned development (high-density housing) before the land swap occurs.
We as a community (city, school district, park district, public citizens) have an opportunity to work together to preserve this “community asset” known as Kiwanis Park and see that it continues to offer hundreds of children a place to play soccer, as well as many other activities.
I would encourage members of the DeKalb community to contact the school board, city of DeKalb and DeKalb Park District Board and ask questions and express your concerns regarding this land swap proposal.