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Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals members are expected to make a recommendation in September on whether Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District should be allowed to build a new station its leaders say is needed to improve service on the agency’s east side.

The zoning panel Wednesday concluded a two-session public hearing that featured testimony on the proposal, which calls for a 10,000-square-foot station on roughly 5 acres at 1004 S. Hough St. The land sits just outside the borders of Barrington Hills and Barrington in unincorporated Cook County.

The advisory panel is being asked to recommend a special-use permit allowing the station in a residential neighborhood zoned for single-family homes.

Barrington Hills resident Thomas McGrath, whose Hawthorne Road house is on the western border of the site, submitted a petition signed by fellow homeowners opposed to the proposal.

“Believe me, the 50 people who signed the petition who live in the exact location they want to put this fire station do not believe it will increase their happiness or their well-being, so (the district) does not meet that standard of (county) approval,” McGrath said.

Read more here.

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After complaints from some suburban and downstate officials seeking greater local control in fighting the coronavirus, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday said he would divide Illinois into smaller regions under his reopening plan, separating Chicago and suburban Cook County from other areas not hit as hard by the pandemic.

The governor’s move comes as the state reported another 1,187 coronavirus cases and eight additional deaths from COVID-19. It’s the fourth time this month that the daily caseload has topped the 1,000 mark. The rolling seven-day positivity rate – the percent of positive cases among those newly tested – also crept up to 3.1%, from 2.6% less than a week ago.

The newly reshuffled reopening plan is based on the 11 regions in the state’s Emergency Medical Service regions that are used by state public health officials. Chicago’s collar counties will also be divided into three separate regions under the governor’s updated plan.

The Chicago Democrat cast the retooling as part of a “a more granular approach in this phase of the response to COVID-19.”

Pritzker said the new, smaller regions will give the state more flexibility to combat coronavirus if a locality experiences an outbreak, “to carefully, but deliberately — depending on the severity of the situation — control the spread of the virus while continuing to allow a region to be open to the greatest extent possible.”

Read more here.

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Up for auction August 5th is +/- 34 acres currently owned by the South Barrington Park District. The property is located at South of the intersection of RT 59 (Sutton Rd. and Bartlett Rd., South Barrington, IL). The suggested opening bid is $500,000.

Ordinarily we don’t post real estate listings. However, given the proximity of the property to the Barrington Hills Village Hall, based on our experience we’re certain someone will have to voice their opinion on this matter.

Details on the property and auction terms can be viewed here.

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Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District officials want to build a new station on this unincorporated Cook County property at 1004 S. Hough St. It would be just outside Barrington and Barrington Hills village limits.

Citing concerns about increased noise and traffic, several homeowners are opposing Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District’s second attempt to build a new station.

Fire Chief James Kreher said the proposal is part of the district’s longtime desire for a third station that would improve response times for residents in Inverness and nearby areas.

However, Barrington Hills resident Thomas McGrath said about 50 village residents — representing nearly all homeowners living in the area immediately surrounding the site where the station would be built — have signed a petition against the fire district’s plan that will go before the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals.

“The 24-hour operations with increased noise, emergency vehicle traffic and 24-hour lighting is absolutely out of place for a residential area,” said McGrath, whose Hawthorne Road house is on the western border of where the fire district wants to build.

Before construction can occur, Barrington Countryside must start with an online public hearing before the zoning panel at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The district needs a special-use permit for the firehouse because the Hough Street land is zoned for single-family homes.

Read more here.

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The following notice now appears on the Crabtree web page:

“Starting July 6, Nature Center grounds trails and bathrooms will reopen seven days per week, from 8 am to 4 pm. Nature Center exhibit buildings remain closed. Parking will be limited to 50% capacity to help limit crowding.”

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The Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals has posted their July 8th meeting agenda, including the following:

SPECIAL USE

SU-20-01 Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District has petitioned the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals for a Special Use in the R-3 Single Family Residential District. The Special Use is requested to construct a Fire/EMS Station. The subject property is located within the 15th District, with the common address 1004 S. Hough Street, Lake Barrington, Illinois 60010.

The public hearing will be at 10:00 AM, and will be conducted remotely. A copy of the complete agenda can be accessed here.

Written public comments on this item will be accepted until 3:00 PM on July 6, 2020, at ZBA.Emails@cookcountyil.gov All comments will be read aloud at the meeting with three minutes allotted for each commenter, though every effort will be made to read statements in their entirety.

Related: Village posts unofficial notice of Cook County Zoning Board public hearing regarding proposed Hough Street fire station,” “Here we go again!, “New Fire Station to Help Save Lives, Protect Property

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Board Members of the Cook County Forest Preserves Conservation & Policy Council
Front row: Terry Guen, Laurel Ross, Peter Ellis. Back row: Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Wendy Paulson, Michael DeSantiago, Sylvia Jenkins, Mark Templeton, Emily Harris, Arnold Randal, Commissioner Stanely Moore. Not pictured: Rob Castaneda.

Nature has never been more important than it is right now. People are looking to it to reduce stress, stay healthy and find solace. Many in the Chicago region are flocking to our greatest natural asset, the Forest Preserves of Cook County. We applaud President Preckwinkle, General Superintendent Arnold Randall and his team for their commitment to keep the preserves open just when they are needed most and when many other public spaces are closed. At the same time, we are troubled by reports of illegal and unacceptable behavior by a very few — crowding, going off trail, picking wildflowers, trampling sensitive vegetation, letting dogs run rampant.

We are so glad people are discovering — or rediscovering — these extraordinary landscapes and the more than 350 miles of trails they include. The ability to be active and outside with family members is a blessing. But the privilege of free access to the Forest Preserves carries a responsibility, too, especially in this time of extreme and necessary social guidelines.

That means respecting the space of other visitors, obeying preserve rules and honoring the habitats of animals and plants for whom the preserves are home. It’s an opportune time to visit a less well known preserve — maybe a place you’ve never been before — or to visit at a less crowded time. Check FPDCC.com before you go.

We invite you not only to visit, but to join us in protecting and restoring the natural habitats of the preserves. (See, for example: https://fpdcc.com/volunteer/ or https://northbranchrestoration.org). Once we emerge from this challenging time and restrictions are lifted, consider joining thousands of volunteers who give their time, energy and expertise to help make nature in our preserves even more healthy, diverse and welcoming.

Board Members of the Cook County Forest Preserves Conservation & Policy Council

Wendy Paulson, Chairman

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The Village posted the following notice today on their website:

Zoning Board of Appeals of Cook County
Notice of Public Hearing*

A special use petition is the subject of a public hearing to be held on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at 10:00 AM.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the ZBA will be holding virtual meetings until further notice.  Attendance at this meeting is required by remote means only.

PREMISES AFFECTED: 1004 S. Hough Street, Barrington, IL 60010

SUBJECT: Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District has petitioned the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals for a Special Use in the R-3 Single Family Residential District.  The Special Use is required to construct a Fire/EMS Station.

Permanent Index Number: 01-01-308-039 & 01-01-308-040

In compliance with President Preckwinkle’s Executive Orders 2020-11, attendance at this meeting will be by remote means only.  Written public comments on this item will be accepted until 3:00 PM on July 6, 2020, at ZBA.Emails@cookcountyil.gov All comments will be read aloud at the meeting with three minutes allotted for each commenter, though every effort will be made to read statements in their entirety.

Copies of the Agenda for the July 8, 2020 ZBA Public Hearing and items to be considered at this meeting will be made available electronically on the Cook County website on June 29, 2020, at https://www.cookcountyil.gov/agency/zoning-board-appeals-0.

Note: County Administrative Building, 69 W. Washington St, Chicago IL 60602 will be open to the public starting July 6, 2020, under COVID-19 Guidelines consistent with the State’s “Restore Illinois Plan.”

*This is not the official notice.  For the exact information, please refer to Cook County’s ZBA website or call the ZBA directly at 312-603-5040.

Related: Here we go again!”, “New Fire Station to Help Save Lives, Protect Property

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The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District’s plan to build a fire station at 1004 S. Hough Street in unincorporated Barrington marks the next step in a multi-year effort to provide more effective fire and emergency medical services throughout our 48-square mile jurisdiction.

In fact, the property is ideal for achieving the following goals:

Improve Service & Response Times

Currently, we operate from two fire stations located in Lake Barrington and Barrington Hills. We’ve long sought to build a third station that would greatly improve our ability to provide rapid emergency response to the north- and southeastern sections of our District – Inverness, South Barrington, and unincorporated Barrington.

Despite more than a dozen automatic aid agreements with surrounding fire departments, we still have concerns about consistently achieving optimal response times of under six minutes to residents and businesses – nursing homes, fitness centers, automotive dealerships, and more – in these particular areas.

In 2019, the BCFPD responded to 653 emergency calls to these sections – nearly one-third of our total call volume. Our third fire station will allow us to respond to these calls far more effectively.

Moreover, in situations where we are responding to multiple calls inside our district, it sometimes takes up to 20 minutes for neighboring departments to respond. From a public safety perspective, that is unacceptable.

Lower Homeowners’ Insurance Rates

Beyond public safety, a third station at this location will also help maintain affordable insurance rates for BCFPD homeowners. Our Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating – which helps determine what homeowners pay for insurance – is currently a 3/4. A third station in this location will prevent our ISO rating – and your insurance rates – from increasing.

Avoid Tax Increases

The BCFPD’s commitment to fiscal discipline, combined with long-term planning initiatives, will allow us to build and staff this new fire station without raising taxes on the residents who fund our operations.

Focus on Public Safety

The need for a third fire station is driven by data and facts:

  • Rapid response to fire and emergency medical situations is critical for saving lives and protecting property. In our profession, the difference between success and failure, or between life and death, can come down to mere minutes.
  • Patients suffering from cardiac arrest symptoms usually have less than 4 minutes before brain death begins. Rapid intervention and treatment by trained EMS professionals greatly improve the odds of survival.
  • A small flame can turn into a major fire in less than 30 seconds. And it takes only minutes for thick black smoke or flames to engulf a home or business.

The BCFPD is a public safety entity dedicated to the well-being of our entire community. Our ability to respond most effectively to medical emergencies and dangerous structure fires depends on our proximity to their locations.

Our new fire station at 1004 S. Hough Street will vastly improve our ability to protect our constituents.

Sincerely,

Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District Trustees

Related: Here we go again!

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Property owners may still get their August bills in the mail soon but the county won’t penalize late payments until after Oct. 1.

Employees at the Cook County Treasurer’s Office later this month are expected to begin preparations to mail out property tax bills for homes and businesses throughout the county.

Most years, taxpayers who missed the August deadline were penalized late fees. But this year taxpayers will have through Oct. 1 to pay the bills, a move made by the Cook County Board to ease the financial hardships many residents are facing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Although taxpayers will have two extra months to pay, the second installment due date remains Aug. 3. That means Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas’ office still must print, prepare and mail bills on the same time schedule as every other year and her staff must do so amid a global pandemic.

“If I had a statute that said that I could do this, I would just tell everybody your bills are on the internet,” said Pappas, who suggested in April that the county board approve the financial assistance measure. “Unfortunately, the statute says I have to mail them out.”

Read more from the BGA here.

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