DeKalb Park Fans Fight Land Swap Deal

Dec 4, 2012

A group of residents is trying to stop a land swap deal between a developer and the DeKalb School District. 

Kiwanis Park, on DeKalb's south side.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Protestors are expected at tonight’s School Board meeting: they oppose the district’s plan to trade a 40-acre public park on the city’s south side to developer ShoDeen Construction for land near DeKalb’s new high school. ShoDeen would also forgive a $42,000 debt owed by the district. But nearby residents such as Jason Hill say losing Kiwanis Park is too high of a price to pay. Hill says "there has to be a solution that smart, intelligent people can come up with that isn't taking away such a great resource."

Kiwanis Park is where all youth soccer games are played in DeKalb: those would be moved to other sites if the land swap goes through. ShoDeen may use the park land to create high-density housing. DeKalb’s School Board President is scheduled to deliver an update on the land swap at tonight’s meeting.