In an article published December 1, 2020, on the Shaw Media website, business owners are bracing for the upcoming road project on Route 47 in Woodstock, Illinois. While some are looking forward to the work being done, others are worried that the disruption to business will be severe during construction, which isn’t something that happens overnight.
The article points to the business owners receiving offers for the land that will be needed for the state to widen the road from US Route 14 to Illinois Route 120 and construct roundabouts at Lake Avenue and McConnell Road. Property owners may receive offers as early as Spring 2021.
It also states that the City of Woodstock officials are working on zoning and code variances for the businesses, but that is not what the Illinois Eminent Domain Act requires when a government authority takes private land. The Act requires that the government authority, in this case, the state, must pay the property owners not just for the land taken, but for the loss in value to the land not taken, which is legally referred to as the damaged remainder. Damages in this project widely vary, but can include loss of parking, setbacks of buildings and signs no longer complying to current code (known as zoning nonconformities), the removal and relocation of signs and landscaping, circulation impacts to traffic in and out of parking lots, and much more.
While the end result should benefit everyone, including the property owners, a project like this does not come without a cost, which should be paid by the state. You can learn more about IDOT takings, as they are called, here.
“Businesses Prepare – Some with Comprehension, Some with Excitement – for Expansion of Route 47 through Woodstock.” Local News, Shaw Media. 1 Dec 2020. Accessed 29 Dec 2020.