WHAT ABOUT THE FOX RIVER?
Updated: Oct 25, 2022
The Frontier Development riverfront proposal is potentially devastating to the Fox River. The river and surrounding watershed is home to 96 species of fish, 250 species of birds, 21 species of reptiles and 14 species of amphibians. (Fox River Increasingly Home to Fish, Wildlife and Draw for People, Suburban Chronicle, Oct. 31, 2018) Our community treasures the river and riverfront and takes care of it. (Volunteers Flock to Fox River for Massive Cleanup Project, Chicago Tribune, Sept. 17, 2020) St. Charles residents know that the Fox River is the true heart of our downtown.
Frontier Development disagrees, and makes the somewhat crass claim in its development proposal that its 85,000 square foot concrete Plaza San Carlo “was created to be the heartbeat of downtown.” (Frontier Proposal, Project Narrative, p. 3) But the plaza will negatively impact our beloved river. It is inevitable that stormwater runoff from that huge concrete slab will flow into the river, rather than soak into the ground. In its efforts to protect river water quality, the EPA has noted that stormwater runoff carries pollutants such as oil, dirt, chemicals, salt and fertilizers directly into streams and rivers and seriously harms water quality. (Protecting Water Quality from Urban Runoff, EPA publication 841-F-003) Instead, “[r]esponsible developers and city planners should attempt to control the volume of runoff from new development,” not turn a blind eye toward it. (EPA publication 841-F-003)
This city council has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to affirmatively and responsibly protect a large publicly-owned parcel of riverfront property which is right in our downtown! All it has to do is READ and FOLLOW the 2013 Parks and Open Space Plan which was adopted our city:
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FOX RIVER
To protect and enhance the appearance, health, and longevity of the Fox River, the City should regulate riverside development
to minimize environmental impacts, balance the need to develop while maintaining access and views, and avoid uses
that do not fit with existing development and that would work against the character desired for riverfront areas.
(City of St. Charles Comprehensive Plan, Part 6 – Parks & Open Space Plan, adopted Sept. 2013)
Those are wise words, endorsed by a prior city council and mayor, and our current city leaders should respect and promote those recommendations. The Frontier Development plan flies in the face of our Parks & Open Space Plan. REJECT THE FRONTIER DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL which is irresponsible – it disrespects and will inevitably and irreparably harm the Fox River, the true heart of our downtown.
PLEASE VOICE YOUR VIEWS TO OUR MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL – SEND YOUR EMAILS TO firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Please share with mayor and city council.” Sign the petition at https://chng.it/tKpnSntM