Editorial: Oakbrook Terrace needs the space
Updated: June 4, 2012 11:23AM
The Oakbrook Terrace Park District has been working with the developer of the Lakes of Royce Renaissance project for more than three years, figuring out just how to use an expected 20-acre donation of green space. Such a donation would nearly double the open space for residents in the park-starved community. It looked like a great benefit to the community and it allowed developer Robert Krillich to meet his requirement of providing land or cash in exchange for taking open space near 16th Street and Michigan Avenue for his multi-use development.
However, Krillich pulled the rug out from the Park District recently when he told a DuPage County committee that he would still provide the open space, but would deed it to a homeowners association and not the Park District.
That smacks of some backroom deal in the works and Krillich, no stranger to controversy, trying to find some way around the regulations.
Why would you give a homeowners association the responsibility of taking care of 20 acres of land when you have an agency in the land management business waiting in the wings? It just simply does not make any sense and at least gives the illusion that Krillich has something up his sleeve.
The Park District had an excellent plan to turn the open space into a park for not just the 3,000 residents expected with the Lakes of Royce project, but the community as a whole. With Brandywine’s 4,200 residents and Versailles’ 1,000 residents figured in with Lakes of Royce’s 3,000 residents alone, you are looking at 8,200 people on the west side of Oakbrook Terrace and only 6 1/2 acres of green space. To show how poorly that bodes for the city, recommendations call for 5.5 acres of green space for every 1,000 residents. With just those three properties included, the city’s west side would have 1,261 people per acre of green space, nearly seven times what recommendations seek.
Sadly, the county’s Platting Committee viewed the park as unnecessary and said donating the land to the homeowners association is fine. That is not a decision benefiting the people of Oakbrook Terrace or DuPage County. By giving that land to a homeowners association, it will remain private when it should be public. It will have a few fountains when it should have kids’ running around having fun.
The county’s committee has the chance to right its wrong Thursday morning when it meets again. It should reverse its earlier decision and make the land be donated to the Park District.
Even if the county panel does give the long-stalled project the green light Thursday, the County Board members who represent Oakbrook Terrace - Pat O’Shea, Jeff Redick and Michael Ledonne - can get the full board involved in the matter. Contact O’Shea at (630) 620-8551 or via fax at (630) 620-8687, Redick at email@example.com or (630) 607-9681 and Ledonne at firstname.lastname@example.org or (630)-495-9187.
Don’t let this go uncontested.