Village of Roscoe takes another look at Township's proposed multi-use pavilion


The proposed pavilion is shown in medium brown. An alternate location might be north of the parking lot. The Gardens on Prairie Rose is shown on the right.

The room was filled at the June 6, 2023 Village of Roscoe meeting, mostly by residents of Hodges Run. But it's likely to be filled again by 6:30 p.m. at the Tuesday, June 20 meetings, as the board considers approval of Roscoe Township's proposed multi-use pavilion at Founders Park on Hononegah Road. 

Though the Village's zoning board (ZBA) unanimously approved the existing design, Township officials believe the Village Board plans to reject it and require that the pavilion be relocated. Township officials are asking residents to attend the Village meeting in support of the current location.

The pavilion was discussed at length at the previous ZBA and Committee of the Whole meetings, but for the full board, this counts as a first reading. So no final decision will be made unless the board votes to suspend the rules. Normally for resolutions, two readings are required before a final vote.

At a special meeting of the Village and Township held on June 14 at The Gardens of Prairie Rose, developer Dennis Gillig, who ran the meeting, told his residents that the pavilion would mean "loud music seven days a week," even though Township Supervisor Bob Nowicki and Township Attorney Tom Green repeatedly stressed that no amplified speaker system will be allowed at the pavilion, one of several restrictions in the special use permit. Anyone using a speaker system - or alcohol - in the park would be ticketed. 

The management of Prairie Rose sent several messages to residents urging them to attend Village meetings and to "Thank you to those who came out and voiced their concerns at the zoning meeting." 

Most Prairie Rose residents seem pleased with the park and the pavilion. Township Supervisor Bob Nowicki says the few who were interested were given a tour of the park. Some residents have asked about using the Community Center for their own events. At the June 14 meeting, one woman said she is outside her home much of the time because she has Stage 4 cancer and all she can hear is the air conditioners. Gillig interrupted her, saying, "Okay, you're in favor of noise." Gillig had previously attempted to purchase and develop the property which has become Founder's Park. 

Though they welcome the restriction against amplification, the management of Prairie Rose say they are still concerned about traffic, disruption, noise, security, and lighting. Most of those objections seem to relate to the public park, which has already been open for a few months, but Township officials say they have addressed these concerns. For example, they say they have no plans to extend Prairie Rose Drive into the park and they have figured out how to reprogram the park's lights so they dim better at night.

At the June 6 Committee of the Whole meeting, several trustees seemed concerned about law enforcement and the presence of a pavilion.  Because Founders Park is part of the Village of Roscoe, Village of Roscoe police are responsible for patrolling it, just as they are for Swanson Park. The management of Prairie Rose warn that large groups can reserve the pavilion for gatherings, weddings, and parties.  But police say the pavilions at the Village's Leland Park or the Township's Kelly-Myers Park have caused no problems.

Most of the Prairie Rose messages mistakenly say that the private "Roscoe Township Historical Society" has requested the special use permit, when it is actually Roscoe Township. Counties in Illinois are divided into townships, which are responsible for tax assessment and some road and bridge maintenance. Roscoe Township extends to the Wisconsin border. However, several of the Roscoe Township trustees are active in the Roscoe Township Historical Society, which leases the Cross home from the Township and is using private funds to restore it into a museum. 

Village Administrator Scott Sanders has drawn up an alternate plan which would put the pavilion northwest of the new Community Center.

View from an alternative site for the pavilion: the Gardens of Prairie Rose is on the left, the Community Center is on the right
The current planned location for the pavilion. The Community Center is on the left, with part of Prairie Rose visible to the right

Township trustee Elizabeth Lindquist says that moving the pavilion past the the parking lot "will be far more expensive to build (due to utility line placement), dangerous to children attending events there (it’s surrounded by parking lot), and possibly have a greater sound impact since there’s nothing around to absorb the sound."

Lindquist says, "Prairie Rose is 130 feet from the pavilion, facing away from the apartments, and will have have two sets of trees between them. We did our own sound study, and there’s no detectable increase in sound at Prairie Rose, even from amplified sound at the pavilion site."

In fact, the Township says the pavilion was already moved - in 2019 - when it was "reoriented, and redesigned to address the neighbors' noise concerns. Now all sound will project into the square, towards the Cross home, and away from the neighbors." The pavilion's one wall, which faces Prairie Rose, has no doors.

According to the agenda, the Special Use Permit will "allow construction of a multi-purpose Community Open-Air Pavilion, including live musical performances, at 4562 Hononegah Road." But Tom Green says the Township doesn't plan any music festivals. Lack of amplification would make any musical performances rather intimate.

Founder's Park’s buildings include the 1840's home of Roscoe’s founders, Hannah and Robert Cross, a 1940’s quonset hut barn with horse stalls, and the new community center. The multipurpose pavilion is planned for the northeast. Township officials say the town square concept, with all the buildings together, is one of the reasons they were awarded these large grants. For example, in their OSLAD grant application, they said, “The Founders Park multi-use pavilion will serve as a town square-type focal point for the community, bringing together people of all ages, within a space dedicated to the preservation of all aspects of Roscoe Township history - natural, indigenous, and immigrant.”

Also at the Village of Roscoe meeting, President Carol Gustafson will reconfirm several appointments within the village administration: Sam Hawley as Chief of Police, Mark Olson as Village Treasurer, Josef Kurlinkus as Village Attorney, and Fehr-Graham & Associates as the Village Engineer. Brandon Boggs, a civil engineer with Fehr-Graham, has worked with the Village of Roscoe for some time. Scott Sanders, who has served as Village Administrator, will be confirmed as Zoning Administrator.

Police Chief Sam Hawley will swear in a new officer, David Mordt.

The Board is expected to approve a Special Event Permit for National Night Out. The annual family event will be held Aug. 1, 2023 from 6 -8 p.m. on Main Street from Bridge Street to River Street. The police and fire department have food trucks, dunk tank, kid stations, vendor tables, car show, music, and giveaways.

The ZBA has recommended approval of a request to change the zoning for 11076 Main Street from CR: Commercial Retail to CG: Commercial General. The lot is on the corner of Williams and Main Streets. 

But the ZBA voted against allowing duplexes to be built on Main Street at Hodges Run. Many residents of Hodges Run respectfully spoke in opposition to the owner's request to change the zoning from Commercial Retail. The owner explained his intentions and options at a previous meeting.

The board will consider authorizing an agreement with Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, Dicianni & Krafthefer, P.C. to serve as special counsel for the Village of Roscoe in relation to certain zoning and land use issues. Most municipal attorneys in this area work for several municipalities. For example, long-time Village of Roscoe Attorney Josef Kurlinkus also works for the City of South Beloit. 

The Village of Roscoe is also expected to hire Fehr Graham for $32,100 to provide professional survey and engineering design services for construction of a new parking lot on the new McDonald Road portion of Porter Park . Also, Norwest Construction and Blacktop will probably be hired to make improvements to the Village’s disc golf course at Porter Park.

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