New subdivision planned in Algonquin

25 custom single-family homes in the works

ALGONQUIN – A developer who previously proposed a project along North River Road has presented revised plans for a new development.

Greg Pantos, the managing member of the AK Group, wants to build the River Ridge Estates subdivision with 25 custom single-family homes.

In 2008, Pantos presented a smaller project called Riverwoods on the Fox. It was rejected by the village for a variety of issues, including small lot sizes.

In River Ridge Estates, 25 houses would be on 26 acres of land.

Pantos said he expects the project to take three to five years to build out, depending on how well the houses sell.

“I think it’s going to turn out really nice,” Pantos said. “I think it will be spectacular when it gets done.”

Developers have bought adjacent land to make it easier to run water and sewer to the development. Lot sizes were increased and the street layout was improved, according to a village memo written by Community Development Coordinator Russell Farnum.

A portion of the property needs to be annexed to move the project forward.

Pantos said preliminary utility work may be done this year, and he hopes to have major work begin next spring.

The houses would be a minimum of 3,000 square feet for two-story homes, and 2,500 square feet for ranches. The homes will have three-car garages. Starting prices will be $700,000, project architect Tony Divizio said.

The proposed plan has riverfront improvements, including a riverwalk, individual boat slips for each new lot and a seawall along the river to help with erosion, Pantos said.

“In my view, this is what will sell the property; this is what will add tremendous value to the project,” Pantos said. “It’s really going to improve that area.”

Street layout and public improvements are designed to minimize the impact on high-quality trees, Farnum wrote.

“The developer recognizes the value of the wooded lots and is making the right efforts to preserve that atmosphere within the project,” Farnum wrote.

Water mains and sanitary sewer will be connected to the planned water mains built in the Prairie Path project or by tapping into new mains around the periphery of the Prairie Path project, Farnum wrote.

Two retention ponds are planned to hold stormwater.

A special service area also is proposed to make sure there is adequate maintenance of the common areas within the project.

“The project is now rational from a conservation design and tree preservation standpoint, compliant with the comprehensive plan, and includes the necessary extensions of water, sewer and roadway interconnections that increase desirability of the project,” Farnum wrote.

At a previous Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Thomas Hayward and Bill Kennedy, owners of the Prairie Path subdivision that has yet to be built, objected to the proposed subdivision as presented. The proposed road connections would affect open space, five single-family lots and utilities that have been planned, Hayward said.

Kennedy said the road connection would lead to Prairie Path being a cut-through for traffic trying to avoid East Algonquin Road.

Al and Sheryl Gafka, who live on River Road, are concerned about the loss of mature trees and the increased number of vehicles on North River Road. Pantos said five to six cars would be added to River Road around rush hour.

The Gafkas also are worried about the possibility of more flooding.

“The drainage system in the road now, there’s nowhere for the water to go; it just puddles,” Sheryl Gafka said. “The drainage problem there is ridiculous.”

Public Works Director Bob Mitchard said the design would not exacerbate drainage problems.

Pantos said that if water levels in detention ponds get too high after a large storm, water then would be diverted through a culvert, along curbs on the road and into the river.

“Today it runs wild,” Pantos said.

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