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Illinois schools, which have been shut down since March because of the coronavirus pandemic, will now be allowed to hold in-person summer school, thanks to an executive order issued Thursday afternoon by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

But many area school systems — including Chicago Public Schools — have already announced that summer school will be held through remote learning, so it’s not immediately clear if such districts will change course.

The order states that all Illinois public and nonpublic elementary and high schools can open for “limited in-person educational purposes” once the regular school year ends. They can also continue providing food and other services, but must follow guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health as the state moves through the third phase of its reopening plan.

Any school that reopens must take safety measures that include anyone older than 2 years old wearing face masks and other appropriate personal protective equipment. Also, the number of people in a space will be limited to 10, maintaining a 6-foot distance between them. Physical contact and sharing of personal items is discouraged, and students and staff must adhere to regular hand washing and other cleaning and hygiene practices.

Read more here.

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McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks sent a news release Friday requesting the state of Illinois move McHenry County into another “health region” in the governor’s Restore Illinois plan to allow its business and commerce to open sooner.

The Restore Illinois plan, a road map with five phases designed to gradually bring the state out of quarantine, was announced by Gov. JB Pritzker during a news conference Tuesday.

It divides Illinois into four regions where commerce, schools and other functions can slowly be allowed to reopen as the COVID-19 pandemic threat subsides.

McHenry County is in the northeast region, according to these guidelines, which includes Cook and the collar counties.

Franks said McHenry County’s “much lower number of infections and deaths” makes it a better fit for the neighboring region, which encompasses 27 counties in northwestern and central Illinois.

Read more here.

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Dundee-Crown’s Makayla Gotter (25) secures an offensive rebound in the fourth quarter of the IHSA Class 4A Huntley Sectional championship game at Huntley High School on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Huntley, Ill. Dundee-Crown won, 43-37. (Daryl Quitalig / for Shaw Media Illinois)

The bigger the moment the better Dundee-Crown played Thursday night in a noisy and nearly packed gym at the Class 4A Huntley sectional title game.

That certainly was true for junior Alyssa Crenshaw who buried an 18-foot jumper with her team trailing Barrington by a point in the final two minutes.

Teammate Payton Schmidt proved just as clutch moments later at the free-throw line. She sank 3-of-4 in the last 37 seconds to clinch a 43-37 victory and the school’s first sectional championship since 2003.

Read more here.

Note: Some residents don’t realize (or seldom remember) that a small portion of Barrington Hills falls into District 300, particularly Dundee-Crown High School, making this something (though minor) of a Village rivalry. Congratulations to the Dundee-Crown Chargers!

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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 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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Hoffman Estates officials have recommended approval of a village-initiated tax increment financing district to spur commercial growth at the northeast and northwest corners of Higgins and Old Sutton roads.

Hoffman Estates officials are poised to grant an economic incentive Jan. 6 to spur development just west of The Arboretum of South Barrington shopping center, helping the vacant site join the commercial development going on around it.

The village’s planning, building and zoning committee voted 6-1 Monday to recommend approval of a tax increment financing district to pay for sewer and water utilities on the northeast and northwest corners of Higgins and Old Sutton roads.

The proposed TIF district would include a 24-acre parcel and a 16-acre parcel along Higgins Road west of Route 59 as well as adjacent right of way for a total of 64 acres.

Potential developments for the site include a gas station and convenience store along Old Sutton, 100,000 square feet of self storage along the CN Railroad tracks, and a 150,000-square-foot retail center. (Sound familiar?)

Read more here.

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Hoffman Estates officials have scheduled a pair of meetings for local governments and the public to weigh in on a proposed tax incentive to encourage development on the north corners of the intersection of Higgins and Old Sutton roads.

The village is proposing the tax increment financing district for 24 acres at the northeast corner and 16 acres at the northwest corner, independent of any existing development plan — including the Plums Farms concept that’s been stalled for two years.

Including adjacent right of way, the proposed TIF district would cover 64 acres. Initial revenue from the TIF would pay for public utilities on the land.

A Joint Review Board made up of the local governments that would see their tax revenues affected by the TIF district is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Hoffman Estates village hall, 1900 Hassell Road.

Read more here.

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Early voting begins Monday, March 18th, and continues through Monday, April 1st. Click on the name of the county below for polling locations and times:

Please be aware that some of the early voting locations have charged, so it’s wise to check first.

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Due to extreme cold, all Barrington 220 schools are closed on Wednesday, Jan. 30 and Thursday, Jan. 31 (District 220 announcement).

In keeping with our commitment to student and staff safety, District 300 schools will be closed on Wednesday, January 30th and Thursday, January 31st (District 300 announcement).

 

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PlumFarmAerial A group of South Barrington residents has filed a lawsuit against a developer and the village of Hoffman Estates in an attempt to stop the controversial Plum Farms development proposal at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72.  The 127-page document filed Thursday in Cook County circuit court seeks declaratory judgment, injunction and other relief against plans to build single-family houses on a 145-acre parcel previously disconnected from Barrington Hills.

The 145-acre parcel is the largest portion of a total 185-acre development plan that would also include multifamily housing and commercial development. While Barrington Hills requires a minimum of 5 acres per lot, the density of the Plum Farms development would be much higher under new zoning approved by Hoffman Estates officials this spring.

The plaintiffs in the suit are more than 30 residents of the Regency at the Woods of South Barrington subdivision, an age-restricted retirement community immediately across Route 59 from the development site.

To read the full article in the Daily Herald, click here.

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