York Commons Proposed Detention Site

Status as of June 17, 2016

The  Board's subcommittee met with the City on June 9 and discussed the status of the York Commons' plans and project. As regards York Commons, the City mentioned that they have encountered a “stumbling block” in gaining access across residential property from Crescent Avenue to connect under the railroad tracks to the park.  They are still working to secure an easement and as a result, confirmed that construction in the park will not begin prior to the closing of Smalley Pool on August 15.  The City also noted that they are still preparing a response to V3’s comments from May 3 concerning the location of the shut-off valve and proposing minor modifications to the valve to enhance aesthetics while allowing the City to keep the valve at its desired location.  In order to avoid visibility of the equipment at above grade, creative engineering will be necessary to meet the stated objectives of both the City and the Park District.  The next stormwater management meeting was scheduled for June 30, 2016.

City of Elmhurst to hold Open House April 20, 2016 to review plans for York Commons Stormwater Improvement Project

The City and Park District have signed an intergovernmental agreement for the use of a portion of York Commons Park for stormwater detention.  The City of Elmhurst will hold an Open House on April 20, 2016 from 4-6 p.m. at City Hall to review the plans for this improvement project.  Click here for more information.

Status as of February 22, 2016

Intergovernmental Agreement reached for York Commons Park. Elmhurst Park District and the City of Elmhurst reached an agreement, signing an intergovernmental agreement for stormwater detention in York Commons on February 22, 2016. 

Status as of February 13, 2015

Park Board maintains position on use of York Commons and Golden Meadows Parks for Stormwater Detention

The Elmhurst Park District Board of Park Commissioners sent a letter to formally notify the City of Elmhurst that the Park Board took action at their January 28, 2015 and February 11, 2105 Park Board meetings to maintain the Boards current position in regards to the use of York Commons and Golden Meadows parks for above-ground temporary stormwater detention as detailed in their previous letter dated October 29, 2014.

Status as of January 28, 2015

At the Park Board meeting held January 28, 2015 the Board reviewed the Burke Engineering data/spreadsheet provided for support of reconsidering the Boards October 22, 2014 decision to allow stormwater detention in only the West Lobe of York Commons Park.  V3 Engineering made a presentation to the board explaining the new information provided by the City and Burke Engineering.  Significant public comment and Board discussion took place regarding the reports.  The Park Board will again discuss this issue at their February 11, 2015 Board Meeting. Copies of the Burke Spreadsheet and the V3 Engineering Presentation are provided at the bottom of this page.

Status as of October 22, 2014

Park Board votes in the affirmative to assist the City of Elmhurst with stormwater detention in York Commons Park.

At the Park Board meeting held October 22, 2014 the Board voted in the affirmative to assist the City of Elmhurst with stormwater detention in York Commons Park.  Their approval was outlined in an October 29, 2014 letter to the City responding to their formal request dated August 14, 2014.

The conceptual draft shown above outlines the proposed solution approved by the Park Board and developed by V3 Engineering.

Excerpts from the October 29, 2014 letter to the City regarding York Commons Park.

Following months of study and subcommittee meetings, along with considerable public input and discussion, the Park Board voted in the affirmative in respond to the City's request for assistance.  In doing so, the Park Board used the following three criteria to guide its decision making:

  • Try to help the City meet stormwater needs if possible
  • Ensure that the park sites, if used for detention, retain their recreational function
  • Not adversely impact residents living in proximity to the parks

Using  the  evaluation  criteria  as  a  guide,  on  October  22 , 2014  the  Park  Board unanimously approved the following  related to the use of York Commons Park.

The Park District agrees to allow the City to utilize the west portion of York Commons Park (along York Street) to provide a stormwater detention basin with a capacity of approximately 11 acre feet in order to address the overland flooding concerns that exist for residents of Crescent Street. An additional requirement would be the installation of a shutoff valve to the line that would feed the detention basin from the Crescent Street area. Once the basin would be deemed full, the water would be shutoff automatically with a valve to be engineered by the City. In exchange for the use of York Commons as proposed, the City further agrees to construct, at no cost to the Park District, one (1) basketball court and two (2) sand volleyball courts in accordance with the Park District's York Commons Master Plan

Recognizing that the York Commons storage facility is only one component required to solve flooding in the Southwest Study Area , the City of Elmhurst commits to accomplishing the recommendations within the Comprehensive Flooding Plan Report for the remainder of the Southwest Study Area .

The October 29, 2014 letter in its entirety is attached below.

Status as of August 14, 2014

On July 28, 2014 the City of Elmhurst Public Works and Buildings Committee recommended an action plan for stormwater project prioritization that identifies four pilot projects for initial completion.  This action plan was unanimously  approved by a vote of 12-0 by the Elmhurst City Council on August 4, 2014.  According to the proposal, this approved action plan will serve as a foundation for the City to request commitments from the Park District to move forward with this project.  On August 14, 2014 the Park District received a letter from the City of Elmhurst respectfully requesting that the Park Board vote to approve the proposal by September 30, 2014, allowing the City to move forward with construction of above-ground stormwater storage at York Commons and Golden Meadows Park.  A copy of the letter may be viewed below. 

Burke Report and Rationale Overview

After the severe flooding experienced in June 2010, the City of Elmhurst hired Burke Engineering to conduct a study, the main objective of which was to analyze key flood problem areas in the City and to develop concept-level drainage improvements to alleviate the flooding in each area.  Of the 10 flood areas identified, Burke recommended that Park District property could be utilized to partially alleviate flooding in five of those areas. 

Burke utilized available data and calibrated computer modeling to simulate flood reduction benefits.  Proposed drainage improvements analyzed in this study included: increased storm sewer sizes, constructing relief sewers, creating flood storage in open space, providing flood storage underground, and increasing pumping rates of existing stormwater pumping stations.  No other possible improvements were considered. 

Burke provided conceptual-cost estimates, but these estimates did not include land acquisition, temporary/permanent construction easements, relocation of utilities, or the cost of recreation facilities in open space. 

Burke provided more than one alternative for most study areas with the goal of providing  50-year or 100-year flood protection. (The terms "50-year flood" and "100-year flood" are used to define a rainfall event that has a 1% probability of occurring every 50 years, or once every 100 years respectively.)

Burke proposed a number of improvements for each alternative.  Listed below are proposed improvements directly impacting  Park District property.   

Burke Recommendations for York Commons Park

Impacts Flood Study Area - Two of the Five Flood Problem Areas in the Southwest Study Area; Washington Street, Crescent Avenue and Cambridge Avenue

The Southwest Study Area is located between Salt Creek and York Street, between Butterfield Road and the Illinois Prairie Path. The area is further identified as five separate flood problem areas.

During intense rain events, stormwater runoff follows the overland flow routes to localized depressional areas scattered throughout Southwest Elmhurst, but there is no designated overland flow route out of the low-lying areas.   The only outlet is a single storm sewer, which during intense storm events is at capacity and does not provide positive drainage for the area.  The storm sewer inlets in the low areas may see stormwater runoff from areas that are 10-20 times the size of the tributary area that they were designed to handle.

Burke analyzed five drainage alternatives for the Southwest Study Area.  The objective of the alternatives is to provide a 100-year level of flood protection for each of the five flood problems areas within the Southwest area.  Alternatives #1 and #2 recommend the use of York Commons Park for detention and two of the flood problem areas benefit from this alternative; Washington Street, Crescent Avenue and Cambridge Avenue.   Burke alternatives #2A, #3, and #4 increase pumping capabilities and eliminate the need for York Commons Park water detention. 

Alternative #1  100-Year Flood Relief  - Gravity Flood Storage

  • Construct 65 acre-feet of gravity-drained flood storage, 36 of those acre-feet at York Commons Park.  This storage is created by excavating the open space areas of the park to an average depth of six feet (School and Church property are also part of the recommendation.)
  • Construct 6,100 linear feet of relief sewer to convey floodwaters to storage sites, which includes constructing 36-inch storm sewers between Cambridge Avenue and the York Commons Park storage area.

Alternative #2  100-Year Flood Relief - Gravity Flood Storage/Increased Pumping.

  • This alternative is an enhancement to Alternative #1, adding increased pumping capability.  It does not require additional storage at York Commons Park.

Burke alternatives #2A, #3, and #4 increase pumping capabilities and eliminate the need for York Commons Park water detention.  

Number of Homes Protected from a 100-year Event by utilizing York Commons Park as Detention Basin   Alternative #1 = 51 Homes

Alternative #2 = TBD