A developer’s plan to build 130 townhouses on 15 acres of land on Hopps Road, providing a vital connection to Bowes Road, is presented to Elgin City Council with the blessing of the Elgin Planning and Zoning Commission the city.

The Avalon Trails housing development, proposed by North Mark Homes, would be built on land west of the Iglesia Apostolica De La Fe En Cristo Jesus and south of the 266 townhouse The Reserve of Elgin development, located south of Bowes Road.

The development would have an access point to Hopps Road, with the developer committing to improvements that would bring Hopps up to city standards, associate planner Denise Momodu said at the commission meeting.

“This internal street alignment would complete a critical north-south connection from Bowes Road to Hopps Road,” Momudo said. “The subdivision would also provide two future east-west links. The road to the east would begin an important east-west connection that would eventually lead to Randall Road.

Currently the property is located in unincorporated Kane County and zoned for agriculture. The property must be annexed to Elgin and obtain approval of its preliminary and final plans before construction can begin.

There are currently two single family residences and several farm buildings on the land.

The property south of the Avalon Trails site is unincorporated farmland, which is also under consideration for possible annexation and development. An application submitted to the city proposes the construction of a 280-unit apartment complex and retail space at the southwest corner of Randall Road and Hopps Road, Momudo said.

The commission will likely review those plans in a few months, she said.

Avalon Trails would consist of 23 three-story buildings containing three to seven units. Townhouse sizes would range from 1,600 to 1,900 square feet with two-, three-, and four-bedroom options with attached garages. A neighborhood park with gazebo, rest areas and landscaping are also offered.

Elgin-based North Mark Homes has been building homes in the Fox Valley for 35 years, Chairman Jeff Pelock told the commission. “We plan to use high quality materials. We plan to build a really beautiful project,” he said.

A third-party market analysis was done to determine how many units are on the market and how many should be built, Pelock said. “Our efforts say it’s a good place for us, that’s why we chose it,” he said.

Townhouse prices would start at $300,000, he said. “Construction costs have taken a very big hit over the last 12 months, so that will naturally drive up our sale prices as well,” he said.

Neighbors at The Reserve have expressed concern about the density. When Tim Kaar, president of the homeowners association, saw the plan, he said his first thought was, “Wow, this is very intense.”

The association is also concerned that there is not enough green space in the plan, Kaar said.

“My question is where are the children going to play? Where do the dogs go for walks? he said. “Where do people go when they do things?

“We are concerned that they will come into our community and (use) our green space, which we maintain privately,” Kaar said. We believe this is a growing problem.

Gloria Casas is a freelance journalist for The Courier-News.