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Four Fox Valley towns taking part in study of housing stock

Updated: July 3, 2013 7:00AM

NORTH AURORA ­— The Village Board voted recently to join Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles to conduct a joint study of housing stock in the central Fox Valley.

The study, sponsored by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, will help towns throughout the region decide what types of homes they should encourage developers to build for future growth, said Village President Dale Berman.

“The reason they picked these communities is our ability to work together. CMAP is the planning group for the whole Chicago area, but they wanted our perspective on this issue in our area,” Berman explained.

Community development staff and public officials from each town will work together to catalogue what types of housing stock their towns already have, and in what percentages, according to a CMAP memo explaining the study process. Then they’ll combine that data to get a regional housing picture, and compare that with the types of housing required by people who work at businesses within the region.

Finally, they’ll study population shift trends to determine what types of households are likely to predominate in the region in the next few decades. The study group will host at least one public meeting to present its findings, the memo states.

While CMAP and the Mayors Caucus are not giving the four towns money to spend on the study, they are offering the time and expertise of their own housing market experts. The study is expected to help the towns and their immediate neighbors to cooperate on long-range plans to provide appropriate homes for current and future residents, Berman said.

“They come to us with their resources, we come to them with ours, and we all try to figure out how we can help each other. It’s a good opportunity to promote North Aurora,” said Trustee Ryan Lambert.

Trustee Laura Curtis, though, had concerns.

“It seems to me we’re not going to get a significant benefit, but we’ll have a significant outlay of staff time,” Curtis said. “Right now it seems heavy on costs and light on benefits to the village.”

Community Development Director Mike Toth noted that he and his staff have already done most of the research needed for North Aurora’s share of the study.

“I think this gives us a good opportunity to focus on existing housing in the village,” he said.

The board approved the project 5-1, with Curtis casting the sole opposing vote.

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