- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

FAIRDALE, Ill. (AP) - DeKalb County is looking to rezone Fairdale to a mixed-use development in an effort to help residents hoping to rebuild after a deadly tornado that struck the small town earlier this year.

The designation would give residents more freedom when they rebuild their homes. The measure would allow residents to work around requirements such as the distance from a house to a street, property lines, the height of fences and septic system guidelines, The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle (https://bit.ly/1PNL4kT ) reported.

“When you want to do something different than simply replace the grandfathered house, the rules say you have to meet today’s rules,” said Paul Miller, DeKalb County planning, zoning and building director. “Unfortunately, today’s rules would prohibit most of the properties that are looking to be reused or replaced from ever being used.”

The April 9 tornado caused an estimated $7.9 million in damages, including about $2.76 million in uninsured losses, to 90 properties in the small community of about 150 people. Only 25 houses withstood the storm, according to Miller.

While speaking with residents about whether to rebuild or sell their properties, 15 people told Miller they wanted to rebuild and 13 others told him they’re considering it, he said.

A public hearing on the rezoning is tentatively scheduled for June 18, and a vote could be held July 1 at Planning and Zoning and County Board meetings.

“What such zoning will allow us to do… is identify, parcel by parcel, what can happen there, and what rules may be waived or relaxed to repair, replace or continue to use it in a way you always have,” Miller said.

If the zoning measure passes, Fairdale residents may be able to start rebuilding as early as July 2.


Information from: The Daily Chronicle, https://www.daily-chronicle.com

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