Proposed house prompts flood worries in Fox River Grove

FOX RIVER GROVE – A proposed annexation of a half-acre of land along Gardner Road has some potential neighbors concerned.

A developer wants the village to annex three lots of vacant land at 212 Gardner Road in the Bayview subdivision so he can build a house and connect to the village’s sanitary sewer system.

The builder, Michael Graft, is planning to build on a parcel that is a little more than a half-acre, as well as extend a sewer line from 1,800 to 2,000 feet from the Victoria Woods subdivision along Gardner Road to connect to the $500,000 house.

Residents who live in the subdivision, but are part of unincorporated McHenry County, are worried about the possible stormwater runoff from the proposed new house. Other residents have asked whether the planned house would be too large for the neighborhood.

Neighbors have said the previous owner of the lot put in culverts and added lots of fill, which led to runoff onto nearby properties.

“It seems to me there is an ongoing issue with the property,” Village Trustee Michael Scheistel said. “What I want to be assured of is if we annex this, ... the drainage will be resolved.”

Before the project moves forward, it would have to comply with McHenry County stormwater ordinances.

If there is construction, runoff will have to be accounted for, Scheistel said.

“It will be dealt with much better than it is right now,” Scheistel said.

Graft said when people build houses today, the standards for stormwater drainage are much more strict than they were 20 to 30 years ago. Graft said company will meet those standards.

Neighbors have many concerns about the current conditions because they say there are stormwater runoff problems already.

“The fill the [previous] owner put in ... did make a significant impact on all the surrounding areas,” neighbor Sue Donnelly said. “The creek now floods more, our neighbors now flood more, the park floods more. By allowing R-2 [zoning], you’re allowing a bigger footprint to go in on this land already compromised by fill.”

As part of the project proposal, Graft wants to extend the village’s sanitary sewer line to connect to the house.

Residents in the area currently have sewer septic systems.

Attorney John Donahue said usually people annex to the village when their septic systems fail and they want to connect to the sanitary sewer system.

If the sewer line is extended, none of the current residents would be required to connect. Scheistel added forcible annexation is not in the plans for the village.

Graft said being on a sanitary sewer line allows for wastewater to be treated before its discharged into waterways.

Village Administrator Karl Warwick said homes that are fully surrounded by the village have not been forcibly annexed.

After construction of the sanitary sewer line, the village board would then determine a recapture agreement when the costs have been finalized, Warwick said.

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