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Ravine Woods proposal sparks concern among Channahon residents

Residents worry about potential truck traffic during construction of new single looping street orientation

Channahon on Thursday, March 22, 2018, in Joliet, Ill.
Channahon on Thursday, March 22, 2018, in Joliet, Ill.

A proposal for a change in the continued development of the Ravine Woods subdivision in Channahon is creating some concern for established residents of the neighborhood. Several told their elected village trustees of their worries at the November Village Board meeting.

Most of the apprehension involved the truck traffic that would move through the neighborhood during construction.

“I’d like to know what can be done to make it better for us,” said Dominic Sanfilippo, who lives on Ravine Woods Drive. “That’s all we’re asking is for some consideration for us. ... I think it kind of took everyone by surprise, how fast it happened. Maybe the parts can all be set in place before this construction happens.”

An ordinance amending the plat for the project is up for approval before the Village Board. The original annexation agreement recorded in 2003 called for two dead-end culs-de-sac, which the schools and fire department said were too tight to maneuver vehicles.

The new design, if approved, would have a single looping street orientation. Developer REO Funding Solutions III wants to build single-family homes on 72 lots of the 51 acres just east of the current Ravine Woods subdivision. The new plat also would be less dense than the original one.

Construction traffic would move back and forth on Ravine Woods Drive, as there is no other access. Resident Mary Lu Ploczynski asked whether a temporary construction bridge could be built that would re-route the vehicles, but Channahon Director of Community Development Michael Petrick said the area’s topography is a problem.

The property is bordered to the south by a steep ravine, he said, and by a lake to the north and marshland on the east, in addition to hills and wooded areas throughout.

A second access could be possible, some suggested, via a stub connection that could be extended through farmland, but Petrick said that land is privately owned.

Putting speed bumps along Ravine Woods Road was a suggestion to slow down construction traffic, but some said the bumps would cause debris to be thrown out of trucks, ending up on the road.

The board will vote on the plat at a future meeting.

Two other items that were approved at the meeting were modifying ordinances concerning leaf burning and massage businesses.

Leaf and landscape waste burning will still be allowed on private property, but the material may not be wet, and it may not be burned when wind exceeds 10 mph. The fires also must be constantly attended until they are fully extinguished. Minimum distance between the fires and structures and vehicles was set at 50 feet.

Other outdoor burning of materials is banned in Channahon, except for grills, recreation fires and small bonfires.

Trustees also approved an ordinance spelling out application, licensing and inspection requirements for massage businesses. Application procedures were set more stringently, Village Administrator Thomas Durkin said.

Village Attorney David Silverman said the goal is to allow legitimate establishments and to weed out ones that are not. Owners and therapists of such establishments must “fully adhere to applicable state and federal laws.”

“We can’t outlaw businesses,” Village President Missey Moorman Schumacher said. “But we can regulate them.”

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