Washington City Council approves development plan for Trails Edge subdivision, residents upset

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WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — In a controversial decision Friday afternoon, upsetting dozens of residents, the Washington city council voted to approve the preliminary revised plat for part of its Trails Edge neighborhood.

This is the same development plan for Trails Edge sections 9 and 10 that the council voted against last month.

The, now approved proposal, would connect Stephanie Court with Debates Street and would consist of 37 lots with 22 of those as single-family and 15 as duplexes.

“If people want to look back at that entire Trails Edge subdivision, it’s actually going to have less duplexes than when it started in 2001,” Gary Manier, Washington mayor, said. “When it builds out, 9 and 10 will be the last ones to build out and that will finish the build-out, and it will actually have less duplexes than the original plan.”

The aldermen who voted to approve the revised preliminary plat were Mike Brownfield, Ward 1, Brian Butler, Ward 3, and Dave Dingledine, Ward 3.

Those sole “no” vote came from Lilija Stevens, Ward 1. Those who abstained were Brett Adams, Ward 2, Todd Yoder, Ward 2, Daniel Cobb, Ward 4, and John Blundy, Ward 4.

More than 50 of the city’s residents came out in opposition. Those in attendance said they weren’t against any development for Trails Edge sections 9 and 10, but they didn’t favor the revised version.

“We didn’t invest in that,” one resident said. “So, we’re just asking that you honor what we have all invested in as it was written.”

They also said new development adds to the subdivision’s traffic concerns and would increase the “impervious surface” contributing to more flooding, and runoff problems for those in that area.

However, Manier said the developers met all city codes and guidelines, therefore, he said he believes there could’ve been a legal battle if they didn’t approve it.

“I think we’d have been liable for not approving it because they did meet all of the guidelines that we set forth as a council, and it is our ordinance that we live by,” Manier said.

A memo from the city engineer also showed he believed the plan is up to code. 

Manier said he understands why the residents are upset but said he hopes over time they can grow to appreciate the development.

“I understand the residents and their concerns and unfortunately the council had to take the action they did to move it forward and comply with the landlord, the homeowner, the property owner. So hopefully as time settles and time will heal, I hope they understand it may be an okay thing,” Manier said.

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