Local

Crystal Lake mayor praises new development despite concerns

Trees were cut down near the 4800 block of Wyoming Way in unincorporated Crystal Lake to make room for development of the Woodlore Estates subdivision.
Trees were cut down near the 4800 block of Wyoming Way in unincorporated Crystal Lake to make room for development of the Woodlore Estates subdivision.

Work to build about 500 homes on 310 acres near Routes 176 and 31 is moving along, but some residents are concerned about the environmental effect the project could have.

Lennar Homes is creating the Woodlore Estates subdivision, constructing hundreds of single-family and age-targeted single-family homes, as well as 68 townhomes, in the northeast corner of the city.

Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley said the developer is doing everything according to a plan the City Council previously approved, but some residents are concerned with the amount of trees being felled to make room for the development.

Meredith Reid Sarkees, who lives in the 4800 block of Wyoming Way in unincorporated Crystal Lake, called the area a “scene of environmental destruction.”

“The City Council has commended the builders for preserving trees, and they aren’t,” Sarkees said, adding that most of her neighbors have attended council meetings to voice concerns. “They have clear-cut everything and taken off the topsoil.”

Sarkees said neighbors of the property have experienced flooding because vegetation was removed, and she worries neighboring communities won’t be separated from Woodlore by adequate buffer zones of mature trees.

Sarkees joined a group of College Hill subdivision residents opposed to the noise, traffic and population density she said they fear the project could bring. Lots in College Hill are larger than the proposed 12,000-square-foot lots in Woodlore.

Shepley said he is impressed with the work.

“The plan did contemplate the preservation of a very substantial number of trees, but it also contemplated that a number of trees would be taken out,” he said.

Shepley said new trees will be planted.

“This is a top-shelf developer, and trust me, they’re doing exactly what the development calls for,” he said. “If they weren’t, then we would immediately address it.”

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