Approval of the I-55 Corridor Plan is nearing for Edwardsville aldermen.
It’s been a 13-year process.
“It’s a goal of all of ours to get this done,” Alderman Tom Butts said.
At Thursday’s Administrative and Community Services meeting, City Planner Scott Hanson walked the aldermen through the changes to the map and several enhancements. It left some in attendance of the special meeting in disapproval, including Kyle Anderson, of the Greater Gateway Association of Realtors, and Tracy Butler, of the Home Builders Association of Greater Southwest Illinois.
The talking point wasn’t about the map, which surprised Butts, but rather a rule that states “all structures have a minimum of three sides of the exterior walls constructed of at least 50 percent brick, brick veneer, stone, masonry, masonry veneer, EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finishing System), stucco, precast concrete and/or split face block from the ground level to the building’s eaves.”
This rule is for villas/attached, single-family detached. estate and countryside tract lot building types.
Anderson argued that the rule could price Edwardsville out of the market for affordable homes, and developers could go to O’Fallon or Shiloh.
“We need to maintain quality,” Alderman Janet Stack said of having architectural standards.
Butler also argued about the brick, but was met with the same resistance by the aldermen and several residents of Arbor Lakes subdivision.
Affordable homes may not be available with the new plan according to Anderson and Butler, but Alderman Barb Stamer and Stack both said Edwardsville has affordable homes in other parts of the city.
Butts said that the 50 percent rule of brick comes from “input on what people want to see out there.”
“We have a duty to protect those people that are here, and we welcome those that want to come here,” Butts said.
The aldermen, along with city officials, will continue to discuss the plan and is “open to suggestions.”
The proposed timeline for the plan from here on out starts with it going on the ACS agenda for first reading on Wednesday. It would then go to city council for first reading on June 21, back to ACS for second reading on June 30 and then to city council for final review on July 5.
The I-55 Corridor Plan is for the 4,843 acres of land in Glen Carbon, Edwardsville and Madison County that remain largely undeveloped. There would be 742 acres of mixed use/commercial, 128 acres of general neighborhood, 2,184 acres of neighborhood/residential, 1,455 acres of rural/residential and 334 acres of two town centers.
Glen Carbon approved the plan in December, while Madison County will wait to vote after Edwardsville completes the process.
There could be differences in the plan for the three municipalities.
“Minor differences between the three is OK. Those minor differences between the communities is OK, and it will be up to the city council to decide … if it’s a minor difference or not. They don’t have to mirror each other exactly,” Hanson said.
The I-55 Corridor Plan can be found on the Madison County website, and all meetings are open to the public at City Hall.