What is the Parker Hadley Corridor?
The Parker Road and Hadley Road corridor, Also known as Will County Route 1, is a county road in Homer and New Lenox Townships in NE Will county. The corridor is lined with old growth trees, dotted with small family farms, and well known as one of the most scenic drives in Northeast Illinois.
Read more about the corridor here, and what we’re trying to save.
What has the county proposed?
The county is proposing to do a “preservation improvement” to this corridor. A “preservation improvement” as the county DOT is calling it, is in fact exactly the opposite. The county wants to take land from nearly 200 homes and farms to widen the road, cutting down thousands of old growth trees in the process, detracting from the natural beauty of the area, and in short, NOT preserve any of what makes this region unique and beautiful.
Will county already has 1.3 billion dollars of funding shortfall on transportation projects. And yet, the county is proposing to spend money they don’t have, your money, to destroy this rural heritage corridor. After spending nearly a decade studying it, the county openly admits that this will not contribute to any current or future needs of Will County, that traffic today on these roads is lower than it was 20 years ago, and these roads haven’t had a single fatal car accident.
What we are doing about it
The county has suggested using the government power of “eminent domain’ to take the land required for this project. There are ONLY two possible avenues to stop an eminent domain project:
- FORCE the project to stop using eminent domain through the legally prescribed method in Illinois State law. This avenue involves demonstrating that the proposed project does not meet the requirements for eminent domain to be used and a Judge can order it stopped.
- Convince them to stop of their own accord. This broad avenue covers several sub-strategies including but not limited to: demonstrating that the financial cost to the county is not worth the effort, the loss of key historic and natural areas would make the project impractical or impossible, that environmental resources exist in the region that the county would need to address making the project too time consuming or costly to complete, that some of the above factors would disqualify the project from receiving state or federal funding, and conversation with officials to rescind the project.
While there is no guarantee of success, the best chance of success comes from pursuing both avenues. We, the residents of this area, are unified on stopping this project and preserving the rural heritage of the area, and when the county is getting pressure from us on BOTH fronts, the combined efforts each make the other stronger.
THIS website focuses on method 1 listed above – the prescriptive legal route.
How the Prescriptive legal method works
In order to widen the roadway, the county needs to take land from the residents. Per Illinois state law, the county must prove that “the acquisition is necessary for a public purpose.” Which carries two clauses – necessary and for a public purpose. Further, state law puts the burden of proof on the county. Case law sets that burden very low in favor of the county, so there is no guarantee. But with the help of another home rule municipality, such as the village of Homer Glen, we have a fighting chance.
Our team is working with several attorneys and approaching it from several avenues. Using the county’s own documentation, and traffic engineering studies, we’re demonstrating that the project is not necessary. We have the support of the Village of Homer Glen, and are networking with county and state officials, to demonstrate that it does not serve a public purpose, and in fact, it actually causes public harm, not just to the residents who live along the corridor, but all nearby residents, the entire village of Homer Glen, and tax payers who would fund or utilize the road. That’s where you come in. Sign the petition to state your agreement that you find value in the rural heritage corridor, and any right of way expansion causes public harm
How you can help
Take a few seconds and sign our petition.
If you’re looking to do more:
- Please spread the word. Get your family, friends and neighbors to sign the petition.
- If you live on one of these roads, put up one of our signs. Stop by the Smit Family Farm Farmstand at 17960 S. Parker Rd. Grab a sign with your street name and a stand, and put it up. Awareness, and supporting our government officials is key to success here.
- If you’re confused, Contact us We’re neighbors after all.
- Attend the village and county board meetings. Check our updates page for time and place