Huntley's I-90, Route 47 corridor proposal based on best economic outcome, developer says

HUNTLEY – Many Huntley residents came out Thursday to see proposed long-range land-use plans for the Route 47 and Interstate 90 corridor, wondering whether a hotel or retail space might be coming.

The village hosted an open house to review draft plans of commercial, office and light industrial property surrounding the tollway interchange.

Houseal Lavigne Associates senior associate Michio Murakishi said the plan was designed based off what is projected to do best economically.

The plan looks to maintain office land use at the northwest corner of Route 47 and Jim Dhamer Drive. The Stade property north of Freeman Road is proposed as a business park and flexible space, and south of I-90 is proposed for light industrial use, according to plan documents.

The area northeast of the I-90 interchange includes the General RV dealer and vacant Huntley Outlet Center, and it is proposed for mixed commercial development.

Sunday Graham, executive director of the Huntley Area Chamber of Commerce, said that she thinks the traditional days of outlet malls are not an opportunity anymore.

“It articulates what we’d like to see versus what is currently viable in the changing market of retail,” Graham said. “It is hard to predict what might be a viable option, but they are creating zoning that is not so narrow to provide opportunities, whether it is a hotel or something that may not be at the top of our minds that a developer might be willing to invest in.”

Visitors were able to fill out comment cards that will be reported to the village in the form of what residents would like to see altered about the plans, Houseal Lavigne Associates co-founder Devin Lavigne said.

Next, Lavigne said they will look at developing specific zoning ordinances for the area, and another public hearing will be held before the end of the year, when the Village Board looks to adopt the plan.

“These are not development plans, but a long-range policy guide,” Lavigne said. “It’s important that the community anticipate development and articulate what they’d like to see. When communities don’t do that, they are back on their heels responding to a developer’s future request.”

The land development plan largely looks at developing unincorporated areas surrounding the corridor that are under Kane County jurisdiction, Lavigne said. No new residential zoning is planned for the corridor.

“When they are annexed into Huntley, this will help trustees decide what zoning they should take on and what they should develop,” Lavigne said.

Much of the undeveloped properties west of I-90 are proposed for newly constructed office and light industrial developments. The plan calls for a business park and flexible space developments.

Some nearby residents questioned whether the developments would effect traffic in residential areas. Lavigne said that any development would go through a traffic study before being approved, and the village would keep nonresidential traffic away from the homes.

“It can be loud,” Huntley resident Jean Edmunds said. “The other day I woke up at 2 a.m. and there were either motorcycles or fast cars going through.”

Dorthy O’Donnell of Huntley said she would like to see new restaurants and a new hotel come to the area, but not too close to the residential homes.

She said she would love a Weber Grill Restaurant to open in the former space of Niko’s Grill and Pub.

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