Amendment-German Church Rd Sub-Area Plan

ORDINANCE NO.  A-869-01-03




Subsequent to the adoption of the Village of Burr Ridge Comprehensive Plan on April 12, 1999, several actions have occurred in the German Church Road Sub-Area that have caused the Burr Ridge Plan Commission to reconsider the plan for the particular area at the southeast corner of German Church Road and County Line Road.  The area being reconsidered consists of 59 acres located south of German Church Road and east of County Line Road.  It is bounded by the Arrowhead Farm Subdivision to the east and the Highland Fields Subdivision to the south.

Subsequent to adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, the Highland Fields Subdivision has been annexed and developed and other annexations have caused this area to be completely surrounded by the Burr Ridge corporate limits.  As a result, the Village Board of Trustees has initiated actions to unilaterally annex this area.   Additionally, there was an estate-type home built within the 59-acre area on a five- acre parcel, and the Village has received inquiries from individual property owners including another estate-style home and a proposed subdivision with one-acre lots.  The discrepancy between these various development proposals, i.e. subdivision development versus estate homes, has spurred the Plan Commission to reconsider the plan for this area and establish a more detailed plan that will provide specific direction to property owners and developers interested in future land use and development of this particular area.

Existing Conditions
The most significant conditions that impact the future development of this 59-acre area are the existence of substantial woodlands, ravines, and wildlife in its northern 40 acres (eight parcels). These environmental conditions have been the primary inspiration for the estate-style homes that have existed in the area and for the new estate homes recently built or proposed.  Field surveys and aerial photographs have confirmed the environmental conditions prevalent within the northern 40 acres of this area and statements from property owners within the area have confirmed the desirability of preserving this environment.

The southern 19 acres (four parcels) have a substantially different topography and environment than the northern 40 acres.  These four parcels are relatively flat, and existing trees are limited to the periphery of the parcels.  The flat, open areas on these parcels have been maintained by homeowners as yard areas.  There are three homes on the property all of which are quality homes but may be undervalued compared to the underlying land values.

Public Utilities and Infrastructure
The entire 59- acre area is currently not serviced by public water or sanitary sewer.  Upon annexation into the Village of Burr Ridge, all of the properties should be able to access the Village’s public water supply system.  There are currently water mains on German Church Road and County Line Road.  These water mains are subject to recapture fees, but there do not appear to be any physical limitations to providing water service to this area.

Public sanitary sewer service is inherently more difficult to provide than public water.  Although there are sanitary sewer service lines on County Line Road at Deer Path Trail and at Hidden Lake Drive, those services are provided by the DuPage County Public Works Department, and the subject area is within the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.  Recent correspondence from both agencies has indicated that it may be possible to connect the County Line Road parcels to the DuPage County sanitary sewer.  The east half of the subject 59 acres may be serviced by a sanitary sewer stub located at the west edge of the adjacent Arrowhead Farm Subdivision.  Alternately, the Village of Burr Ridge Zoning Ordinance permits requests for private sanitary sewer systems for properties equal to or exceeding one acre and 150 feet wide subject to Village Board approval upon showing that access to a public sewer is not practical and a commitment is provided to connect to public sewer within six months after it becomes available.

In summary, it appears that public utilities may be accessible for this area.  Private sanitary sewer systems may be an option if public sewers are not available and lots remain at or above one acre and 150 feet in width.

Surrounding Zoning and Development
Surrounding zoning of the 59-acre area is entirely single-family residential but varies from the R-1 District with a minimum lot size of five acres to the R-3 District with a minimum lot size of approximately ½ acre.   Other than German Church Road and County Line Road, there are no street connections between the 59 acres and the surrounding subdivisions.  The surrounding residential zoning clearly dictates that the 59 acres remain single-family residential.  However, the variety of zoning in the surrounding area, the lack of direct connections between the 59 acres and the surrounding subdivisions, and the size of the area permits consideration of any of the various Burr Ridge zoning districts.  In other words, the 59-acre area which is the subject of this Plan amendment is relatively self contained.  As long as it is developed with single-family homes consistent in quality with other Burr Ridge homes, development of this area will not have an adverse impact on existing subdivisions or homes in the immediate area.

Recommendations for Future Zoning and Development
As noted above, the most significant condition of this area relative to future land use and development are the existing environmental conditions on the northern 40 acres (eight parcels).  This area contains significant woodlands, topography, and wildlife.  Preservation of such environmental conditions has already been established as a goal of the Village via the 1999 Comprehensive Plan (see Section 4.3).  The primary goal of this amendment to the Comprehensive Plan is to provide a mechanism for preserving the existing environmental conditions within the north 40 acres of this 59-acre area.  Therefore, the following conclusions and recommendations are provided:

  • The R-2 Single-Family Residence District should be utilized for the north 40 acres (eight parcels) of the subject area.  The R-2 District permits low density development of approximately two units per five acres.  The low density of the R-2 District reduces the environmental impacts from the construction of homes, accessory structures, utilities, and stormwater management facilities -- all of which contributes to the Plan’s desire to preserve existing environmental conditions.
  • The subject R-2 District should be accessed via rural cross-section streets consistent with the regulations of the Village of Burr Ridge Subdivision Ordinance.  Rural cross-section streets are more narrow than traditional suburban streets and do not include curbs, gutters, or underground storm sewers.  Thus, the R-2 District with its allowance of rural cross-section streets substantially contributes to the goal of preserving the existing environmental conditions.  The recommended rural streets may be private if deemed appropriate by the Village.
  • The Village should consider measures that would allow the existing properties, all of which are 4.5 to 5 acres in area, to be divided into two parcels.  This action would be intended to dissipate some of the development pressure currently placed on this area by the real estate market while still allowing property owners to obtain an increased value for their properties.  Measures to allow the split of these properties may include allowance of private street easements in lieu of dedicated right-of-way or relief from the R-2 District lot size requirements.
  • Street access to the R-2 District should be limited to the existing private streets that service the east half of the proposed R-2 District.  If any of the properties are split into two parcels, the existing private streets servicing those parcels should be improved to provide adequate access for emergency and service vehicles.
  • The south 19 acres (four parcels) may be considered for future subdivision development most preferably under the R-2A District standards.  The preferred development of this area would be a consolidation of the four parcels into one development tract.
  • Access to the southern parcels should be via a fully improved and dedicated suburban cross- section street with curbs, gutters, and storm sewers as required by the Burr Ridge Subdivision Ordinance.   Access from County Line Road should be limited to a single street located in compliance with the Subdivision Ordinance.

The entire 59-acre area is expected to be annexed by the Village in the near future at which time it will automatically be placed within the Village’s R-1 Single-family Residence District as per Illinois State Statutes.  The Village may choose to initiate a rezoning of the entire area consistent with the recommendations of this Plan amendment or may choose to allow the property to remain within the R-1 District until such time that individual property owners approach the Village with the desire to rezone or subdivide their property.  Consideration of relief to allow properties within the recommended R-2 District to split their properties may also be considered as a whole or as individual properties approach the Village for rezoning or lot division.