The plans were big, bold, beautiful and put together in painstaking detail.
Now one media source says it looks like it's back to the drawing board for Mike Donahue and other members of the Kane County Board task force who had proposed a Ravinia-style campus on the Fabyan Forest Preserve property at the northeast corner of Route 25 and Fabyan Parkway.
The Daily Herald is reporting that the Ravinia-music-venue plans "died" after members of the Kane County Board listened to comments from audience members opposed to the plan Monday night.
But Donahue, the District 11 County Board member from Geneva and the head of a task force charged with looking at future uses for the 700-acre site that includes the former Settler's Hill and Midway landfills, says not-so-fast, please.
"No formal action has been taken to revise the plan," Donahue said by e-mail Tuesday. "Our task force will be meeting on May 8 to consider revisions to the plan, which will very likely result in the concert venue being relocated to the east side behind the Striker’s soccer facility.
"So in that sense the article’s statements are more or less a prediction of what is likely to occur; except the venue size need not become smaller, as suggested," he said. "We can accommodate 8,000 to 12,000 at the east side location if there is a market for that."
The mega-plans for Settler's Hill also include the former Kane County Jail site along Fabyan Parkway and—until Monday night, at least—the portion of the Fabyan Forest Preserve east of Route 25.
Donahue and land planner Chris Lannert had on the plans at a Geneva City Council meeting on April 16.
“This needs to be self-supporting," Donahue said at the April 16 City Council meeting. "This would not be something supported by local property tax levies.”
The concerns expressed Monday night were that too many trees would have to be removed from the forest preserve to make room for the parking necessary for the Ravinia-style music venue, the DH story said.
The other components of the plan appear to be still in play. They include:
- An executive golf course and driving range, in partnership with the "First Tee" program for young golfers.
- A mountain biking course.
- A potential restaurant site.
- A potential hotel resort and convention center on the jail site.
- A potential medical and rehabilitation center.
- A small events stage (near Fifth Third Bank Ballpark)
- A fishing pond / skating pond.
- An interior roads system.
- A hilltop endurance trail.
- Sled hills.
- Cross country course for 1K, 3K, 5K and 10K races, capable of hosting high school and NCAA events.
- An overlook observatory.
"You can see for miles," Lannert said of the proposed observatory site. "On a clear day, you can even see Chicago."
The convention center proposal on the former jail site almost certainly would be done by an outside developer.
"The county has recently authorized the demolition of those buildings," Lannert said. "Even though this will be a long time in the future, we think it will be a geat space holder."
The Geneva presentation and the Kane County Board Committee of the Whole are part of a long series of meetings in which plans will be discussed and developed.
"We’re just trying to get all the pieces on the table so that we can continue on with the design," Lannert said.
Geneva aldermen called the site plans "very exciting" and "awesome" at the April 16 City Council meeting.