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Fontana begins discussing master plan update

Should the plan include town homes?

March 11, 2009 | 09:36 AM
Fontana — Protecting the village from the consequences of large development, and attracting families with children to fill the school are two potential goals of the village's next master plan.

The Village Board and Plan Commission met with Village Planner Mike Slavney March 2 to discuss updating its master plan.

The village last updated the plan in 2001. It is required to update the plan by the end of the year to comply with Smart Growth legislation.

The board discussed developing town homes to attract more families to the village, downtown development and preventing large development and growth.

To develop a master plan, Slavney wants board members and plan commissioners to provide feedback on what they want the village to look like in 2030.

"In 2030, I would like to walk around the village and not have it much bigger," Trustee Bill Turner said.

Turner also discussed the village's downtown development. During previous discussions, village residents and plan commissioners discussed a desire to bring small shops to the village.

However, Turner doesn't believe "quaint shops" can survive in the village's downtown area.

"Our best hope is to get more professional operations in town," he said. He suggested the village plan for a professional business park.

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He also said the plan needs to take into consideration the need for more students to fill Fontana school, which has experienced declining enrollment. How much tax revenue the school is able to receive is directly correlated to how many students attend the school.

"Our planning has to include time and effort to find more affordable housing," Turner said.

Slavney said town homes, with three or four children, usually attract families with children.

Turner said the plan might need to include an area for town homes.

"If we don't have a plan to attract kids are schools are going to close," he said.

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The village also discussed the importance of preventing large-scale development.

Trustee and Plan Commissioner Chairman George Spadoni said the village has an unwritten rule to approve one subdivision about every seven years.

Village Attorney Dale Thorpe said he is concerned about large scale development proposals such as Mirbeau and Hummel in Lake Geneva and the Sho-Deen development in the town of Delavan.

How the plan will be developed

During the meeting, Slavney said from an outside perspective, it seems that the village is in good shape with its master plan.

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He asked the board to look at the previous plan and evaluate its strengths and shortfalls.

"We put a plan out there and we did a lot of it," Turner said.

To complete the master plan the village will need to receive a recommendation from its plan commission, hold a public hearing and the village board will need to approve it.

Also, state agencies, the county and other neighboring municipalities will have a chance to review the plan and submit suggestions to the village. The village could have participated in more public forums, which included an additional price tag, but the plan commission and board decided to forgo those options.

The cost for updating the plan is $39,860. The additional public hearings would cost about $58,565. The village budgeted $40,000 for updating the plan.

Previous master plans were adopted as recommendations for the village. This one is adopted as an ordinance.

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