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Horse operation could open near Yorkville

Updated: October 16, 2012 8:38AM



YORKVILLE – It will take 10 Kendall County Board members to sort out a situation that involves horses, an internationally known horse trainer, some subdivision residents, two banks and several lawyers.

In the end, Russ and Denise Burks are hoping the County Board approves their petition to open Success in the Suburbs, a horse center in Equestrian Estates at Legacy Farms subdivision, on the west side of Ashe Road, in both Little Rock and Bristol townships, just outside Yorkville.

The County Board is expected to vote on their request at its meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Equestrian Estates of Legacy Farms was approved in 2006 to construct and operate a central horse stable and have stable manager housing in the subdivision. The horse stable was to be used only for the residents of the subdivision and their horses.

But the developer went bankrupt, along with the equestrian center. Only three lots out of a total of 18 were built on, and only one horse remains in the slowly deteriorating center.

The Burks have a purchase contract for the horse stable and center, and also intend to buy one of the subdivision lots to build a house on. Their contract is with Wells Fargo Bank, which owns the center.

“If our family could afford to do so, we would buy all of the lots. As it is, we’re putting more than $1 million into it,” Dennis Burks told board members last week.

To create the viable business, the Burks need to get rid of the original requirements of the subdivision, that only people living in the subdivision can board horses at the stable. To make the business work, Burks said she needs to be able to allow outside boarders so she can collect the revenue.

“Our boarding fees are significant, because we don’t get to do events,” she said. “We are charging $1,200 a month for board, and I have friends in the business who will be bringing horses, who are comfortable with that.”

One of those involved is an internationally known horse trainer, who has trained for European Grand Prix and the Olympics, who wants to bring in 13 horses. Burks said her goal is to get 24 horses. She said she would be willing to give anyone moving into the subdivision first shot on a waiting list to board there, if the facility is full at the time.

But that was not enough for Chris Fowler, an attorney representing Capstone Residential, who bought 11 of the subdivision lost from PNC Bank. He said Capstone cannot market the lots saying there will be a place for horses, if they cannot guarantee a place and control the boarding costs.

“We would have to say if you buy into this facility, you might not be able to board at this facility,” Fowler said.

Burks told board members she did not consider that “an authentic concern.” Several board members appeared to agree with her.

Board member Dan Koukol pointed out that if the horse facility is deteriorating, Capstone will have trouble selling the lots, anyway.

“Would you rather show a really nice horse farm, or one that’s going to hell in a handbasket?” Koukol said.

In addition to the stable, the subdivision includes an 18-acre common area that includes horse riding trails.



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