Mt. Vernon Register-News


May 7, 2007

Council, condos and cleaning up


MT. VERNON — Two issues up for second readings at tonight’s city council meeting are expected to garner debate: the proposed rezoning of property to make way for senior citizen condominiums and an ordinance which would stiffen penalties for those who don’t abide by the nuisance guidelines.

The meeting begins 7 p.m. at the Rolland Lewis Building.

Several residents voiced opposition to the Doe Valley Golf Course development issue when first reading was held April 16. The proposed ordinance would rezone 22 Fairway Drive from flood plain to residential zoning status so that 200 condominiums and 40 to 50 duplexes could be built on the 78-acre piece of property.

Neighborhood members against the proposal say the project, spearheaded by partners Roger Campbell and Mark Miller, will mean more traffic in the area, along with other disruptions in their neighborhood. Another big concern, residents said, was that the streets cannot accommodate large trucks bringing building material, and the streets would be damaged because of the heavy loads.

At capacity, it’s anticipated the population of the development, restricted to those 55 years old and older, would be between 300 and 400 residents.

The property has been approved as for tax-increment financing, but it would be several years before those funds materialize for the city. However, once the money would start flowing, City Engineer John Porter said, the money could be used to widen Homestead Drive from Illinois 37 to Fairway Drive to 24 feet, and sidewalks could be added.

Opposition was also heard at the April 14 meeting to the proposed nuisance ordinance which ups the fines for residents who do not keep their properties clean and who do not maintain buildings up to code. The issue was tabled on second reading until tonight’s meeting.

Property owners would face a $50-per-day fine for each day the nuisance is not corrected; the second time per calendar year the property is deemed a nuisance the property owner would pay a $100 per-day fine until the nuisance is corrected; and the third time per year a property owner is cited with a nuisance, a $200 per-day fine would be incurred until the nuisance is corrected. Nuisances include lawns with grass more than 12 inches high, trash in yards, unsafe housing and inoperable vehicles.

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