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OTTAWA - A LaSalle County committee is recommending a moratorium on new subdivisions to discourage a "rush" of development before a countywide zoning strategy is adopted, possibly as early as February.

The County Board's development committee this week voted unanimously to ask the full board Jan. 3 to block developers from submitting new plans for subdivisions. Developments already in the works will not be included in the ban.

"This is just to prevent a rush to development before zoning goes into effect," said Troy Holland, the county's legal adviser. Board member Mel Treschak of Streator introduced the resolution.

The fear that developers would rush through plans in advance of the vote probably are groundless, said Donna Renzi, head of the Warrenville-based Northern Illinois Home Builders Association.

"We've never been that lucky" about moving projects quickly, she said.

County development officer Mike Harsted also said reputable developers would not "try to sneak something in." He said the development process is long "and a few months aren't going to make a difference."

The county is scheduled to vote in February whether to adopt zoning despite its rejection in a 2001 nonbinding referendum. If passed, LaSalle would be the last county in the northern half of Illinois to do so. Zoning could go into effect as early as April.

The moratorium would cover any subdivision, which could be as few as two homes.

An example of what advocates ssay the county is trying to control happened at the same meeting Tuesday: A preliminary plat was approved for a 50-home subdivision near Millington in the northeast portion of the county. Millington is a village of 450 people with no sewer system to serve the proposed Silver Fox Estates.

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