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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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Barrington Area Unit District 220 will be giving its students the option to return to school for the 2020-21 school year with in-person learning on campus or opt out and continue to do remote learning from home.

Barrington Area Unit District 220 is proposing two options for how students can attend classes in the 2020-21 academic year.

Similar to other school systems, District 220 officials this week announced a plan that would feature flexibility for students and families. The district is made up of eight elementary schools, two middle schools and Barrington High School.

The plan, set to be presented to the school board at a July 14 meeting, is based on guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health, district officials said.

While District 220 intends to hold in-person learning on its campuses this fall, a key component of its “Roadmap to Reopening” would allow also students to opt out and instead choose to continue remote learning, as was required during the statewide lockdown this spring.

District 220 board President Penny Kazmier said the proposal was formed after officials heard concerns from both sides.

Read more here.

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Terrance Wallace wants to relocate his InZone Project from Wauconda to this 12,000-square-foot mansion on roughly 28 acres in Barrington Hills so he can provide better opportunities for 25 children who are under his legal guardianship. Wallace said the boys from the inner city would attend Barrington Area Unit District 220 schools and live in a nurturing environment with support.

Terrance Wallace wants his InZone Project in the 12,000-square-foot home on roughly 28 acres so the inner-city Chicago children of color, who are under his legal guardianship, can live in a nurturing residential environment with support. The plan is to relocate InZone from Wauconda to Barrington Hills, with the boys there before school starts in August.

Wallace, who hosted the online forum that drew about 200 visitors, said he first contacted Barrington Hills in April 2018 to make village officials aware of his plan and did not receive a response for several months. He said officials have continued to ignore his recent emails, and he has questioned whether discrimination is behind Barrington Hills’ inaction.

In a statement before the forum, Barrington Hills officials reiterated that few details were provided when the InZone proposal arrived in 2018. Wallace was directed to consult the village’s codes to ensure compliance with use of the residentially zoned land.

Village Attorney Patrick Bond told the Daily Herald that the issue solely is about how Barrington Hills’ zoning code applies to the plan.

During a question-and-answer portion of Thursday’s town hall over Zoom, Wallace eventually bristled at text queries on who would own the property and pay taxes on the six-bedroom, six-bathroom mansion that includes an indoor basketball court, a library and an outdoor pool. He said he’ll be the owner and that no one needs to know how the deal was worked out.

“Someone is asking questions about property taxes,” Wallace said. “Again, I don’t feel I need to disclose to you, me paying. As a homeowner, do you pay your property taxes? I don’t think you would be asking me this question, No. 1, if I was not Black and if I didn’t have all my boys.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

Related: “Fact checking

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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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Dear Barrington Hills Residents:

As you may be aware, the Village of Barrington Hills has received media coverage and social media posts regarding a proposal by the InZone Project and Mr. Terrence Wallace. Various comments and concerns about the proposal have been shared with the Village Board and Village Administration. The Village acknowledges the importance of ensuring that any project, including this proposal, complies with all applicable ordinances, laws, and regulations.

Recognizing that this proposal has generated significant community interest, the Village has retained Special Counsel to work directly with InZone and the Village to determine the most appropriate course of action for this proposal. We ask the community to be patient and understand that the Village is taking the steps necessary to ensure that this proposal satisfies all health, safety, and other standards. Compliance with these standards is in the best interests of the community regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, creed, religion, or any other individual self-identified status or immutable characteristic.

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On Monday night, CBS Chicago reported a story that included audio and text stating the following:

“Over 20 acres of tree-lined property nestled in affluent Barrington Hills feature tennis courts and a sprawling home purchased by Terrance Wallace, the InZone Project founder.” (InZone Project Founder Says He’s Been Hit With Red Tape In Efforts To Bring Black And Brown Boys From Chicago To Live In Barrington Hills Mansion.)

There is no recorded public record of a recent sale of the property on 541 Merri Oaks Road. Public records do indicate that the property is currently owned by a Trust and has been under the ownership of the Trust or related parties since 2002.

Public records indicate that 2019 Real Estate Taxes were approximately $32,000, down from approximately $50,000 for 2018, and in both years, a homeowner’s exemption of $6,000 was taken. (Note: To take a general homestead exemption in Lake County, IL, the Property must be the principal residence of the owner as of the first of the year in which the exemption is claimed and this exemption can only be received on one property.)

If Mr. Wallace has other financial arrangements with the owner, it is not available in public records we can find.

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“Barrington 220 is currently putting together a comprehensive Roadmap to Reopening guide for the 2020-21 school year, which will be based on guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health. In addition, the district is reviewing feedback from a survey administered to all parents earlier this month, and this week district leaders are meeting with parent representatives from all grade levels to receive feedback. Barrington 220 will present its Roadmap to Reopening at the July 14 Board of Education meeting and send it out to parents shortly after the meeting.

We understand some families may not feel comfortable sending their children to school this fall. All will have the opportunity to indicate if they would like to opt out of in person learning and choose to remain home for all Distance Learning. Any family that chooses to enroll in the all Distance Learning option will do so for the entire grading period (6-12 semester/K-5 trimester). Families will be allowed to change to in-person learning at the end of these grading periods. Families will have until Friday, July 24 to opt out of in person learning. More details will be made available in mid-July.”

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Most of the north and northwest suburban communities have canceled their traditional Fourth of July celebrations – which usually include parades, firework displays and more – because of concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic, but Barrington is finding ways to celebrate virtually, socially distanced or both.

Barrington residents are encouraged to organize vehicle parades July 4 in their neighborhoods to show their patriotism and also hear a virtual concert. The village traditionally has an Independence Day parade on Main Street. This year the village is encouraging people to hold neighborhood car parades between dubbed “take the parade to the people,” according to the village website.

Police cars and the village’s antique fire truck are scheduled to join the activities intermingling with the events as well as Bob the DJ, according to the website.

Village President Karen Darch said in an email to Pioneer Press that celebration of the Fourth of July should not be diminished because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Read more here.

Related: “Barrington cancels July 4th parade and fireworks while postponing other summer events,” “Good questions deserve answers.”

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Earlier this month hundreds of people gathered at an event at Citizens Park in Barrington (seeHundreds gather in Barrington ‘to educate people’ on black lives”).

Last weekend we published,Barrington cancels July 4th parade and fireworks while postponing other summer events,” and before we knew it, a reader posted a comment that was actually weighing on our minds:

“Curious as to why fireworks, parade and family fitness run, all Barrington traditions, are cancelled but BLM rally in Citizen Park allowed?”

Perhaps there was good reason for one or two event cancellations, but isn’t the 4th of July fireworks display just a peaceful gathering in a park-like setting at dusk?

If there’s some logic here, please share it or maybe someone should ask newly appointed BACOG chair Karen Darch.

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Take your pick. The pandemic, the police killing of George Floyd, the presidential election. Protests, looting, calls to “defund the police.”

Any one of such similar events historically has been enough to push some people off the fence, prompting them to finally buy a gun or add to their collection.

But with a wave of crises crashing across the country, more than 40,000 Illinoisans applied for a gun permit in a little more than two weeks this month, more than 500% over this time last year, according to Illinois State Police.

Gun sales are soaring at Mark Glavin’s gun shop in Elgin, from an average of 10 a day last year to as many as 200 a day this year. With so many gun purchases, he said, ammunition also can be hard to find.

“Take a full glass of coronavirus, shake in a shot of riots and another of this defund police notion, and everything goes crazy,” said Glavin, owner of Fox Valley Shooting Range. “Not to mention the backlog on background checks.”

Read more from the Chicago Tribune here.

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