By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff
A plan to build a recreation center at Bott Park in Plainfield has been put on hold, as the village waits on more news about traffic in the area.
The expansion plan came before the village board on Monday, Aug. 21. For the second time this month, neighbors in the Renwick Road area came out in droves to voice their displeasure about the proposal.
“I’m really concerned for the traffic on my street,” said Terry Brown, who lives along the Renwick Road corridor. “[People] speed down that road, every day, constantly. It’s impossible to get out of my driveway.”
Brown and other members who addressed the board at the meeting said they wanted the village to conduct a traffic study before proceeding.
The village was working on a plan with the park district for reconstruction and widening of Renwick, and to determine if a turn lane should be added for the new facility. However, with tentative plans to start that roadwork in 2018 or 2019, residents said they didn’t think enough planning was in place for the extra traffic a new rec center could add.
“I don’t know how you can go ahead without knowing all the correct information, how it’s going to impact the neighborhood,” Brown said. “This is a residential area where I live. There’s just too much traffic right now, I don’t know how putting more traffic on this road is going to solve anybody’s problems or help anybody in the long run… You need to wait until this traffic study is done, see if this site can even take the traffic.”
In addition to the traffic issues, neighbors argued that the new recreation center would be detrimental to the green space provided at Bott Park, and added that the proposed building looks more appropriate for a warehouse district. Many neighbors also worried that proposed detention could be problematic to their water. Part of the neighbors along the Bott Park area live in unincorporated Plainfield, and utilize groundwater and septic systems.
Additionally, some residents worried that the new rec center and additional traffic could negatively affect their property values.
Neighbors made similar complaints earlier this month. Village staff worked with the park district to address some of those concerns, however, neighbors said they were not fully satisfied with the efforts to address those issues.
The park district expansion was approved in 2016 by voters, who approved the issuance of bonds in the amount of $10.5 million, replacing expiring referendum bonds from 2001. That approval gave the park district the go-ahead to move forward on lighting projects, capital improvements, and the new rec center.
The project includes a 37,579-square foot recreation facility, with a total budget of $7 million.
The site plan includes a total of 106 parking spaces, a dry-bottom storm water retention area, landscaping, and lighting.
But residents along Renwick Road want the park district to look at other properties for the possible expansion.
The board voted 4-2 to table the measure to approve the special use and the site plan until a traffic study was completed. Trustees Bill Lamb and Larry Newton voted no to that motion.