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Altered Irongate plan gets hearing

Published: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

DeKALB – City Council members are expected to consider a revamped proposal for the 1,200-unit Irongate subdivision.

Over the past several weeks, the DeKalb Park District and DeKalb School District 428 have worked with the project’s developer, ShoDeen, to revise the proposal so both entities can support it. On Monday, the City Council will review the changes and discuss the annexation agreement the project needs to move forward.

“When it was before the City Council previously, the park district had indicated that they wanted to re-engage the developer and talk about some of the locations of the parks and sizes of the parks,” DeKalb’s Principal Planner Derek Hiland said. “It appears that both parties have been satisfied.”

To make room for more parks, the proposal now includes 31 fewer housing units and two church sites instead of three on 458 acres of land located between Bethany and Dresser roads near DeKalb High School. About 11 acres have been set aside for a possible elementary school.

Park commissioners approved the latest revision with a 4-1 vote Sept. 12.

“The plan they have, if it goes through, will have more parks in one area than anywhere else in the city,” Park Board President Phil Young said. “I’m excited that, if they do approve this, it’s going to be really nice for the citizens.”

The plan now includes the provision that no townhomes will be built until 350 single-family homes – up from 300 – have been constructed. The plan also stipulates that the townhomes may not be leased.

City Council members won’t be required to take action on the proposal and its accompanying annexation agreement Monday, but they could. Annexation agreements require six “yes” votes to proceed.

On July 22, when the council last voted directly on the issue, the vote was split, 4-4.

Mayor John Rey and Aldermen Bill Finucane, Bob Snow and Ron Naylor voted in favor of the agreement. Aldermen David Jacobson, Kristen Lash, Dave Baker and Monica O’Leary voted no.

A 6-2 vote at the Aug. 12 meeting authorized a postponement to Monday after the issue resurfaced.

Hiland believes the only issue to be worked out is an unassigned parcel of land in the revised proposal that the city could give to the park district, school district or itself. Alternatively, that land, near the intersection of Normal and Dresser roads could be left for church development.

“That’s the one thing that may get discussed [Monday].” Hiland said. “That’s the one thing that doesn’t really have a home yet.”

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