Washington neighbors raise concern as council reconsiders proposed plans at Trails Edge subdivision

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WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A plan to develop part of a Washington neighborhood is back on the Washington City Council docket Tuesday night. It’s the same plan council considered at its meeting on Aug. 16.

“Given that we already have problems with drainage and runoff in our neighborhood, everyone is very concerned that that’s only going to exasperate the issue,” said Trails Edge neighbor Beth Black.

The plat of land could become more homes in Washington. The current proposal adds 37 lots.

Neighbor Beth Black said it is concerning, and more homes means more problems.

“Which would increase the impervious surface that is covered by cement, roofs, sidewalks, driveways etcetera by 33 percent over the previous plan,” said Black.

Now, the city council is re-considering the same plan. Black said they voted against it in August.

“The mayor is allegedly pressuring the alderman to change their votes because of a threat of a lawsuit from the developer,” Black said.

WMBD reached out to Washington Mayor Gary Manier and asked why council is reconsidering the proposal. He declined to comment, citing legal reasons. Black said flooding issues are common across the subdivision.

“Sometimes the streets are full, people have had flooded basements, and so there really is a grave concern about what this additional impervious surface is going to do,” said Black.

A memo from the city engineer showed he believes the plan is up to code. Yet in July, the Planning and Zoning Board denied it over concerns about the impacts on stormwater control facilities.

“I just think it’s really disconcerting that the way the city code is being interpreted right now favors and protects a developer and gives no consideration whatsoever to the citizens of Washington,” said Black.

WMBD also reached out to the Planning and Development Director who declined to comment. WMBD also called the city engineer, who did not immediatey return calls.a

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