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Developer plans to take 62-acre residential proposal to Crystal Lake City Council

No new subdivisions built in city in past decade

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission members generally weren’t in favor of a developer’s preliminary plans for a 62-acre, all-residential development off Main Street.

But the developer is undeterred.

Kenneth Rawson said Thursday that he intends to detail his plan to the Crystal Lake City Council during its Nov. 21 meeting. He said it will be a similar type of presentation to the one he gave before planning commissioners Wednesday night, but he’ll have more information and a more in-depth PowerPoint for council members.

There will be no votes or action taken. Rawson would have to apply with the city for a rezoning – from manufacturing to residential – as well as annexation to the city. The land is north of the Crystal Lake Business Center on the east side of Main Street.

The land currently is cropland, and it is bordered by Main Street, offices, light industrial buildings and the Union Pacific Railroad. Crystal Lake Public Works facilities and their compost site also are nearby.

Part of Rawson’s pitch for a combination of New England-style row houses, townhouses and single-family homes was to attract millennials who want minimal upkeep when buying a home.

Planning and Zoning Commissioner Jim Batastini said Wednesday that although he likes the design of the community Rawson proposed, he isn’t sure whether millennials would move to Crystal Lake.

Several commissioners liked the design of the community but said they are unsure it would work in that location – even with downtown and the Metra station within walking or biking distance.

Rawson said his plan for 360 living units was designed to meet the needs of three different types of homebuyer – the 55-and-older crowd who doesn’t want to live in a senior community, millennials looking for their first or second home and those looking to downsize. The plan includes several courtyards, common areas and dog parks – to create a “sense of place” – and a homeowners association.

Bob Boncosky is one of 12 people who bought the property more than 10 years ago. Boncosky said Thursday that he’s the manager of the group, elected by other owners.

The property is under contract with Rawson’s company, Windsor Trent LLC. If the city eventually approves the plans, Rawson’s company would purchase the land from its current ownership group. Rawson is an attorney.

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