Evanston aldermen will be asked tonight to adopt a resolution objecting to construction by Cook County of an access road across land leased to the city by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to provide access to a landlocked potential residential development site in Wilmette.

Last year the owners of the Wilmette land, the Keefe Family Trust, sought City of Evanston backing for the proposed roadway, which would run just east of the CTA tracks for about 300 feet north of Isabella Street, but ran into opposition from neighbors who objected to destruction of trees on the property, which borders the Canal Shores golf course.

The county now is seeking a 75-year easement for the roadway from the MWRD.

City officials say most of the 55 trees on the site would either have to be removed or would likely be damaged by the road construction project. Under the city’s tree preservation ordinance the trees would have to either be replaced or payments made to the city for new trees to be located elsewhere.

Under terms of the city’s lease from the MWRD the city would be required to surrender possession of the roadway site to the MWRD if the MWRD determines the road construction is needed.

Related story

Path to development sought through Evanston (11/4/16)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. So according to the previous

    So according to the previous story, Keefe expects to make $2 million by selling these lots to a developer. Yet somehow, in 2016, Keefe appealed a $50,000 (aka $500,000 value) assessment by the Cook County Assessor’s office, claiming the two parcels’ assessed value was only $36,000 (aka total $360,000 value).

    So which is it?? The claim seems to shift depending on what’s financially convenient for the owner. And if the $2,000,000 claim is accurate and the Keefe expects to make that much on the sale of the properties, doesn’t that make his 2016 appeal a form of tax fraud?

    1. Valuation for tax purposes

      Hi Greg,

      Assessments for property taxes are based on the current use of the property. The current use is an unbuildable vacant lot.

      Subdivided into four buildable lots, with an access road in place, the value that the property could be sold for would be substantially greater.

      So there’s no inconsistency.

      And there’s no crime in appealing an assessment. If you’re a home owner, you’re missing a bet if you haven’t done it yourself.

      — Bill

  2. Roadway by Canal Shores

    Since this road would run NORTH from Isabella, it would be in Wilmette . . . .

    so, Evanstonians aren’t content with NIMBY’s we now have NIYBY ?    How greedy of us !

    NIYBY = Not In Your Back Yard.

    Sheesh people, GET A LIFE ! 

    1. Border anomaly

      Hi Hal,

      Actually, as explained in our first story on this dispute, While Isabella forms the boundary between Evanston and Wilmette for most of its length, at this spot the muncipal boundary is about 300 feet north of Isabella. So the proposed roadway easement is in Evanston.

      — Bill

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