Archive Issues

The following sections represent issues from an earlier version of the SUNA website. We are maintaining this information for archival information. The names and dates are not all current.

Carle Tax Exemption

Due to state legislation passed in 2013, Carle Foundation Hospital no longer pays property taxes to the city of Urbana.  The loss of Carle’s $61 million in assessed valuation significantly impacts the property taxes paid by Urbana’s citizens. The exemption given to Carle shifts its tax burden to Urbana residents and businesses, whose property taxes have increased by almost 11 %—-taxes going to the city, the school district, and the park district.

For detailed information on this issue and how you can get involved, go to:

Crime Reports and Map

In January 2011, the Urbana Police Department began its subscription to, a third party software vendor that displays police department crime data on Google maps. Essentially, the website shows on its maps  all of the data that is released by the department’s standard press releases (which go out approximately every 8 hours).

Gun Violence

In November, 2016, the SUNA steering committee leadership met with the leadership from the Lierman and East Urbana neighborhood associations (LNAC and HEUNA), because our three Urbana neighborhoods have been experiencing increased gun violence.  Following are some common goals that we hope to address:

  • Improve communication among the various Urbana neighborhoods
  • Show support for each other. If someone from one Urbana neighborhood addresses a problem at a city council meeting, we should all attend and show support.
  • Resume the Mayor’s Neighborhood Safety Task Force and hold regularly scheduled meetings. (This group has not met since April 2013.)
  • Create a communication vehicle to let renters know their rights.
  • Resume a meeting structure with landlords so they know their obligations to their tenants, the neighborhood, and the community.
  • Require all owners of multiple housing units to have working security cameras and working security lighting.
  • Work with code enforcement to take care of problems that can easily be eliminated, such as litter and abandoned vehicles.
  • Make sure absentee landlords–not just managers–are aware of problems.
  • Work with The Urbana Police Department so that citizens can express concern about a specific problem without having a squad car respond to the home of the reporting person.  Perhaps department procedure would allow a phone call from an officer. We’re not talking about a victim reporting a crime; we’re talking about neighborhood situations where a resident has information about a problem that could help the police.
  • Be informed about Urbana’s commissions and divisions and know their responsibilities.  It is not always necessary to go to the city council with a problem. Sometimes it is more effective to go to a specific board or commission.
  • Encourage our residents to be watchful and to participate in their neighborhood.

Neighborhood Safety Task Force

Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing established the Neighborhood Safety Task Force in February 2006 “to understand city-wide problems and the particular concerns of individual neighborhoods and then to develop a consensus on fair and workable solutions.” The Task force includes representatives from various neighborhood associations, the Urbana Police Department, City Development, local landlords and tenant advocates.   It also focuses on safety and crime issues associated with several multi-family housing complexes. 

The safety task force meets on an as-needed basis, but usually at least 3 times a year.  Meetings are open to the public. One or more members of the SUNA Steering Committee attends the task force meetings and reports on them in the SUNA announcement listserv.

The Task Force  helped draft an ordinance which  establishes a Rental Registration and Inspection Program for the city. The Rental Registration program creates a database of all rental properties in Urbana, establishes fees for registration which will support periodic inspections of all rental properties, and requires landlords and tenants to sign an affidavit acknowledging the occupancy limits set by current city code.

Orchard Downs Redevelopment

Background: The University of Illinois owns a 160-acre tract of land in south Urbana. Currently, this parcel holds student family housing and related programs and services. The University plans to redevelop the site to feature a multigenerational community including University alums, retirees, and student families. In Spring 2007, two Development Teams submitted proposals to the University of Illinois. These are currently under review. For more information on the UI Orchard Downs Redevelopment visit

SUNA’s Statement at 10/25/06 Orchard Downs Public Forum

The Southeast Urbana Neighborhood Association (SUNA) was organized to address residents’ interest and concerns about activity in areas bordering the neighborhood on the east (Philo Road Business Corridor) and on the west (Orchard Downs Redevelopment.)

SUNA’s mission statement read, in part: “SUNA supports the redevelopment of Orchard Downs in a manner that is sensitive to natural areas and the surrounding neighborhoods.”

Our members have expressed strong support for the following:

  • The project must provide an economic benefit to the City of Urbana and Urbana School District 116.
  • Redevelopment plans must embrace the open space and trees that define the property now.
  • The project must preserve the greenway along Race Street, which includes the multi-use path, trees, and berms west of the path.
  • Our members value the international community living in University of Illinois family housing and the rich cultural diversity these families bring to our community and to our schools.
  • Retail and commercial components must be small-scale and compatible with the neighborhood.
  • All construction should be of the highest quality and meet objective criteria for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

SUNA also values the process of including the community in the planning stages. You have asked us for our input. We take this request seriously and expect that developer candidates will take our responses seriously. You are building the future in our front yards and we want to help you make it the best it can possibly be.

Philo Road Business Corridor

The Southeast Urbana Business Group is one of six business “neighborhoods” set up by the City of Urbana. The city coordinates quarterly or bi-annual meetings of the business owners and managers in the Philo Road area. At these meetings, city staff share pertinent information, discuss relevant development and infrastructure, and promote discussion and networking among the business owners. One or more members of the SUNA Steering Committee attends the task force meetings and reports on them in the SUNA announcement listserv.

Contact Lt. Robert Fitzgerald (,  217 -384-2320) of the Urbana Police Department for additional information.

SUNA Safety and Design Results

From August of 2010 through April of 2014, Maximillian Mahalek conducted a Master’s Capstone project that looked at potential planning-related solutions to issues of crime and building safety in the Silver/Vawter area of southeast Urbana. Maximillian completed this project as a part of his studies towards a Master of Urban Planning, and it was closely related to his work as a Planning Intern and Community Development Associate with the City of Urbana.

As part of Maximillian’s study, he conducted a survey of SUNA residents. Following are the results that he presented at the SUNA 2015 annual meeting:  Southeast Urbana Safety and Design Survey Results.

The Executive Summary of Silver Vawter Project.pdf is a summary of a larger report that Maximillian offered to both the City’s Community Development Services Department, as well as SUNA as a client group. (Please note that the findings presented here are those of the author, and not of the City of Urbana, IL. Furthermore, the opinions voiced by respondents to the project’s survey and interviews are solely the opinions of those respondents.)

Maximillan and Diane Marlin, SUNA’s city council representative, discussed city issues and problems with neighbors at the corner of Silver and Vawter on August 6, 2015. The successful event encouraged dialogue and feedback about improving the neighborhood.