New Lenox village officials approved an ordinance authorizing staff to make a final offer for land that would connect Nelson Road between Spencer Road and Haven Avenue. If the owners do not accept, the village "authorized, empowered and directed" village attorneys to begin condemnation proceedings. | Erin Gallagher/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 17, 2014 2:16AM
For years, New Lenox officials have wanted to connect Nelson Road between Haven Avenue and Spencer Road. Trustees took steps this week to do it.
The board approved an ordinance authorizing condemnation “if necessary.” The land needed for the road is part of five parcels within a planned unit development from 2004 that included the extension, but never started construction. The extension would connect Nelson Road the entire stretch between Delaney Road and Route 30.
“If the negotiations fail and the final offer is not accepted by (the owners), then the subject property shall be acquired by the village of New Lenox through condemnation,” according to the ordinance.
Mayor Tim Baldermann said the ordinance is the next step in the process. When asked if it was a threat, he said “not at all.”
“We don’t take condemnation of properties lightly,” the mayor said. “We want to exhaust every possible avenue.”
Baldermann said developers initially wanted to start building homes there without first building the road. The village balked at that, which started a series of delays, some because of the economic downturn. The housing starts were put on hold. Now, as the economy improves and the village’s business development continues, the extension is necessary, he said.
“We need it, it’s a matter of public safety for that north-south travel,” Baldermann said. “This is something that is desperately needed.”
Four parcels involved are owned by Pentagon Properties and one by AA Investments II. Pentagon is represented by John Voss, of the Crystal Springs subdivision Voss Developers.
John Voss said Tuesday he was unaware of the board’s action.
“In my opinion, the village of New Lenox does not negotiate, period,” Voss said. “That’s all I have to say.”
The village rejected a June 17 counteroffer from Voss, according to the approved ordinance.
If the village chooses to initiate condemnation proceedings, the road would not be open for three or four more years, Baldermann said.