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Hoffman Estates village board members voted 6-1 Monday to approve a tax incentive to spark economic development on 64 acres along the village’s stretch of Higgins Road west of The Arboretum of South Barrington shopping center.

A larger, 185-acre area of the same site at the northwest corner of Higgins Road and Route 59 has been the subject of the concept plan for the controversial Plum Farms mixed-use development that’s been idle for the past 2½ years since a lawsuit was filed over its residential density.

That lawsuit was originally filed by residents of the nearby Regency of the Woods of South Barrington retirement community. After Barrington Unit District 220 intervened in the suit on the side of the residents, the retirement community settled its portion.

Last month, District 220’s own lingering case was dismissed by a judge based on a legal precedent. But at its next meeting on Jan. 14, school the board intends to choose among its options to file a motion for reconsideration, file a notice of appeal or let the judge’s ruling lie, Superintendent Brian Harris said.

Read more here.

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Barrington’s old-school Town-Warming in late January will feature former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the headliner.

Christie will anchor the annual event at Barrington’s White House on Saturday, Jan. 25, in a fireside chat with Greg Brown, chairman and chief executive officer of Motorola Solutions. Christie is expected to discuss his new book, “Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics.”

The 2020 event is scheduled to take place from 9 AM. to 4 PM, with a reception following.

Other highlights of the day include a discussion on media and politics in an election year. WFLD-Channel 32 news anchor Corey McPherrin will moderate, and the panelists will include Daily Herald Editor John Lampinen, freelance editorial cartoonist Scott Stantis and Channel 32 Political Editor Mike Flannery.

Click here for more information. Tickets will go on sale Thursday, January 2nd. For tickets, visit Barrington House Warming.

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Ahead of the legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana starting Wednesday, elected officials across the suburbs have been debating whether to allow pot sales within their borders.

YES: Sales allowed

Addison, Antioch, Aurora, Bartlett, Buffalo Grove, Carol Stream, Carpentersville, Cary, Crystal Lake, Des Plaines, Elburn, Elgin, Fox Lake, Fox River Grove, Geneva, Gilberts, Hoffman Estates, Island Lake, Lake in the Hills, Lombard, Mundelein, North Aurora, Oakbrook Terrace, Palatine, Pingree Grove, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Heights, Round Lake Park, Schaumburg, Sleepy Hollow, South Elgin, St. Charles, Streamwood, Villa Park, Volo, Wadsworth, Warrenville, Wauconda, West Dundee, Wheeling, Winfield.

NO: Sales banned

Algonquin, Arlington Heights, Barrington Hills, Barrington, Batavia, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Campton Hills, Deer Park, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn (moratorium until Oct. 26), Glendale Heights, Grayslake, Green Oaks, Gurnee, Hainesville, Hawthorn Woods (moratorium until May 31), Inverness, Itasca, Kildeer, Lake Barrington, Lake Villa, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Lindenhurst, Lisle, Long Grove, Mettawa, Mount Prospect, Naperville, North Barrington, Oak Brook, Park Ridge, Roselle, Rosemont (moratorium until June 30), Round Lake, South Barrington, Sugar Grove, Vernon Hills, Wayne, West Chicago, Wheaton, Wood Dale, Woodridge.

Undecided

Burlington: next discussion Jan. 6; East Dundee: leaning yes, next discussion Jan. 6 or later, vote expected in January; Elk Grove Village: next discussion Jan. 14 or later; Hampshire: leaning yes, vote Jan. 2 or Jan. 16; Hanover Park: next discussion in late January or early February; Huntley: leaning yes, vote Jan. 9; Lakemoor: planning and zoning commission discussion in January, followed by village board discussion expected in February.

Read the full Daily Herald article here.

Editorial note: The names of municipalities that are adjacent to or nearby Barrington Hills appear bolded for reference.

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Buckle up buckaroos, the March 17 220 referendum marketing blitz is about to start.

A guarantee of a safer future for residents, both a failed and a renewed quest for a referendum to upgrade the area’s schools and new faces in local government were among the top 2019 news events for the Barrington area.

School referendum fails, District 220 to try again

After voters rejected a $185 million referendum by Barrington School District 220 in the April 2 election, the Board of Education formally decided to put a scaled back $147 million question on the March 17, 2020 primary ballot.

After the April vote, board members started a four-month discussion evaluating what needs were most important for the district’s elementary and middle schools as well as Barrington High School. They also looked at the best ways to communicate their message.

Board members said a break-even referendum, rather than one which raised taxes, might be more palpable for voters. The $145 million proposal will actually result in district property owners paying less taxes than they are now. Superintendant Brian Harris said the owner of a $500,000 home will pay approximately $76 less for the district’s portion of the tax bill than their current amount.

Read more from the Barrington Courier-Review here.

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The “Rebuild Illinois” capital program “will make roads in every corner of the state safer. A variety of revenue sources will be solely dedicated to fixing our crumbling infrastructure, putting over half a million people to work and revitalizing communities across Illinois,” Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said.

What will cost more next year?

• Vehicle registrations jump by $50 for conventional cars and SUVs. Most truck registrations rise by $100.

• Electric vehicle registrations soar to $251 from $35.

• Gas taxes already went up by 19 cents a gallon this year to help pay for the capital program. In 2020, the cost per gallon will increase by the consumer price index effective July 1, 2020. That’s part of an annual adjustment tied to the CPI.

• Parking spaces on lots not owned by state or municipal governments will pay a tax ranging from 6% for hourly, daily or weekly users to 9% for monthly and yearly customers.

• Tax credits for trade-ins when buying a new car or SUV will be capped at $10,000. Pickup trucks, however, are exempt.

Read more here.

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Barrington Unit District 220’s lawsuit against Hoffman Estates and the developers of the Plum Farms proposal for the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72 was dismissed this week . (Click on image to enlarge)

Barrington Unit District 220’s lawsuit against Hoffman Estates and the developers of the stalled

Barrington Unit District 220’s lawsuit against Hoffman Estates and the developers of the Plum Farms proposal for the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72 was dismissed this week.

proposal at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72 has been dismissed by a Cook County circuit court judge.

But the question of how much that lawsuit had to do with the residential and commercial project’s idleness for the past 2½ years has yet to be answered.

Members of the Plum Farms development partnership did not respond to a request for comment, and Hoffman Estates officials said they haven’t heard from them, either, since the lawsuit’s dismissal on Monday.

As proposed, Plum Farms would include single-family homes on 145 acres previously disconnected from Barrington Hills. The remainder of the land would combine multifamily housing and commercial development.

Hoffman Estates’ development agreement limits Plum Farms to 1,250 dwelling units of various types, but the most recent plan submitted by the developer calls for only 1,035.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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Among the new laws taking effect in 2020 is a program that seeks to give Illinois children a leg up, before they’re even able to crawl.

Every baby born in Illinois would receive $50 in a 529-style investment account to help pay for their future community college, university or trade school expenses.

Given tuition costs, $50 won’t go far.

But the intent is to spur parents and guardians to contribute more to their child’s future education; growth on money invested in 529 accounts, like Illinois’ Bright Start program, can be taken out tax free as long as it’s put toward secondary education.

“If starting that account convinces their parents they want to add to this and they want to add to it regularly, that’s really going to maximize, increase, the number of students going to college and decrease the amount of debt they’re graduating with,” Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs said.

Read more here.

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