Settler's Hill With 'Ravinia-Style' Events Center?

Kane County Board member Mike Donahue outlines some of the county's plans.

  • Editor's note: This story ran as a preview to Monday night's City Council meeting. We'll have an update on Tuesday.

There are two items on Monday night's City Council agenda worthy of note: the budget, and Mike Donahue's presentation on the Settler's Hill "end use" plan.

The budget, of course, is of immediate interest and impact. But perhaps the more intriguing of the two in the long haul is the possiblity of what might be at Settler's Hill Landfill.

The agenda packet doesn't include a lot of information except for a map. The map, however, includes some interesting footnotes. For example:

  • An executive golf course
  • Mountain biking course 
  • Ravinia-style concert and events center
  • Potential restaurant site
  • First Tee Center complex
  • Driving range 
  • Potential hotel
  • Potential medical and rehabilitation center
  • Small events stage (near Fifth Third Bank Ballpark)
  • Fishing pond
  • Overlook observatory
  • Hilltop endurance trail
  • Sled hills
  • Cross country course

The Ravinia-style concert area would be on existing Fabyan Forrest Preserve property across the street from the Fabyan windmill. The footprint of the plan extends all the way to the intersection of Route 25 and Fabyan Parkway.

There's a lot more, of course, but we'll have to wait until after the council meeting to share.

Meanwhile, a PDF of the plan is attached here. Look for a City Council quick story on the budget later tonight (Monday, April 16) and additional stories to come.

ken loebel April 16, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Music and live outdoor theater would create cultural balance, bring people to visit the area as a destination and augment our existing businesses while offering artists from the local area, regional, and national stage an opportunity to share their artistic talents.
Theo April 16, 2012 at 11:24 PM
An outdoor live music venue a la Ravinia is a terrific idea. You know with the former 302 west reopening as a live music venue - Geneva just may be able to transition itself from charming antique and gift shops to a live music destination. Nashville on the Fox, perhaps?
Dan Baker April 17, 2012 at 01:36 PM
While, some type of concert venue on the Settler's Hill property would be nice, I do not believe the county should be destroying an old growth forest preserve to have one. Why not build it along Kirk Road where you could have a sloping hill style venue (similar to Millenium Park) where conert goers could not only hear but actually see the performance. The same goes for the "Mountain Bike" course. The site for the course is in one of the most beautiful pieces of property in Kane County. To take that away from all Kane County residents, so that a small minority of mountain bike riders can enjoy it is absurd.
Terry Flanagan April 17, 2012 at 03:55 PM
As I listened last night to the long list of potential uses I half expected Chris Lannert to say they were is discussions about hosting the 2016 Olympics. There are a number of interesting ideas being proposed. I don't know how many will actually come to fruition, but the prospects are exciting as long as we carefully plan and don't place too much stress on the area and the environment.
James Cullen April 17, 2012 at 06:08 PM
With hundreds of acres of open land for development around Settler’s Hill, it would be a tragic loss to cut the heart out of the adjacent Fabyan Forest and pollute it with buildings, automobile and truck traffic, loud noise, and trash all over, which a huge music venue development would bring. Currently the Forest east of Route 25 is preserved for pedestrians only. Allowing hordes of fast bicycle riders in there would ruin the peaceful enjoyment for the children and other pedestrians that use it. There are plenty of bike paths west of Route 25. Jim Cullen
Augi Fesi April 17, 2012 at 09:14 PM
The forest preserve spends lots of money each year to obtain land for preservation. I didn't know it was for redevelopment into music venues, mountain bike race courses and such. What part of that has anything to do with Nature and or Preserve. Who is "Our View"? I'm still looking for an answer to that? We have to give our names to post a comment but, in some papers you can write an article without giving your names. Have you ever heard of rebound noise.? When you point something at a hill it will naturally bounce back, whether it be a ball or noise. Second of all to nestle a 15,000 seat theater and parking lot for at least 5,000 cars would require taking down thousands of trees. Let us not forget, we do have a 17,000 seat venue that could be used already, it's called a baseball field. Plus don't forget the new road we want to light and put through the forest from Kirk to Route 25. Don't forget about all the open ground at the Fair Grounds and all the money spent on improvements there. How about the fact the forest has nothing to do with the "Redevelopment of Settler's Hill"!!!!
Jim MacRunnels April 17, 2012 at 09:44 PM
All the talk about this and that.....the real question is how much is it going to COST!
Martha Hanna April 18, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I am running for county board 11 my opponent is Mike Donahue. The only thing I can agree with in this major plan of massive spending is to improve the golf course and put in a driving range. The rest of the plan I am against.
Augi Fesi April 19, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Martha, As a resident of Fox Run I would like to contact you, do you have a public site? I know I along with others would like to get your help and support.
John R April 20, 2012 at 07:49 PM
I am going to go hike around these woods on either Sunday or Monday. I suspect these woods are not the old growth jewell that some of you believe. They appear to be full of unburned fuel and dead or dying Ash tree's. Typically, there's a burn cycle for forest but that cycle has been repressed over the years. As a result these types of properties have become and are massive fire hazards as ton's of unburned fuel have built up on the forest floor. If you live in Fox Run you might want to take this into account when formulating your opinion regarding how this property is going to be used. The current state of these woods is actually an issue I had planned on taking up with the Kane County Forest presearve. Forest preseaves like these are also havens for all types of illicit activity. Think sex , drugs etc....The last time my wife and I pulled into a Kane County Forest preseave, the one north of St. Charles on Rt. 31, two male head's popped up in a mini van. Needless to say we sort of interrupted their little party. I've oftened wondered if our little wood lot isn't being used for various non family type activities. I'm neither for or against the rough usage plan which is beginning to take shape. But as you can tell I do lean toward some type of development. But there are a lot of questions to be answered and issues to be resolved. But it does seem that a well thought out plan could result in another economic piston for the area. John
Augi Fesi April 20, 2012 at 10:48 PM
John, I agree with you as for the clean up of over growth and the preservation of the forest itself. There are plenty of historical structures on these grounds along with Indian Burial Grounds. .As for the other activities you mention, I haven't seen it here, this is a very family orientated section of the forest. I do agree with you that there needs to be control and that is one of our major concerns. I would like to see the forest managed as you mentioned, cleaned up and used as an educational site.


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