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Maple Park leaders hopeful for housing development in 2014

MAPLE PARK – At least nine vacant lots in the village were bought recently, bolstering Maple Park Village President Kathy Curtis’ hopes for breaking a long streak of homebuilding inactivity this year.

Although all of the village’s foreclosed homes have been bought and now are occupied, Curtis said, a new home hasn’t been built in Maple Park since 2007.

There are about 100 vacant lots in the village where homes could be built, including the Settlement and Squires Crossing subdivisions in Kane County and the Heritage Hills subdivision in DeKalb County.

It’s an issue that is hurting the village, said Liz Peerboom, Maple Park village clerk.

“When someone comes to look for a house and sees empty lots, they think twice about relocating to the community,” Peerboom said.

But Peerboom is optimistic that Village Board members’ discussion on lowering impact fees, which developers pay to cover the home’s increased burden on local services, will help.

“Even if we see one or two [new building permits pulled], it will be great for Maple Park,” Curtis said.

Commercial land also is available for development, but that is more of a wait-and-see situation, Curtis said.

“They have it advertised nationally,” she said. “It’s just a matter of interest before they build it out.”

Maple Park also hopes to install more playground equipment in Washington Park, which sits on the northeast side of the village in Kane County, Curtis said.

The village applied for an Airline Pilot’s Historical Society donation, which would add playground equipment for 5- to 7-year-olds, Curtis said. Maple Park would only add the equipment if it receives the funds, Curtis said.

Maple Park already received a donation from Airline Pilot’s Historical Society in April when Capt. Nick Louis, chairman of the Airline Pilot’s Historical Society, donated equipment that was installed at McAdams Park on the Civic Center property on Willow Street.

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