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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 High School class of 1969

It was a sweet BHS Homecoming 2019!

Holiday greetings from the Barrington High School Alumni Association! We had a busy fall as alumni converged on the Village of Barrington for the 2019 Homecoming Parade on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. The theme was “Candyland Homecoming: It’s Going to be Sweet!” 

The class of 1969 (pictured above), which celebrated its 50th reunion, led the annual homecoming parade down Main Street. Class of 1970, you’re up next!

The BHSAA also sponsored the annual BHSAA Alumni and Friends Tailgate Party in the Chessie’s parking lot. The turn-out was terrific! Alumni enjoyed good food, drinks and live music. 

The traditional Sunday brunch at Chessie’s was a fitting end to the weekend, which always begins with the Annual Quarterback Club Pancake Breakfast in the BHS Cafeteria.

Read the full Barrington High School Alumni Association December 2019 updates here.

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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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(Click on image to enlarge)

A month ago, the District 220 Board of Education somewhat ceremoniously announced, “…the demolition of the property located at 36 E. Dundee Road, which sits directly adjacent to BMS-Prairie and the Early Learning Center,” (See,220 Board of Education wins ‘Brilliance in Timing’ award”).

Originally slated for completion, “no later than December 20th,” work began today, December 26th, on the demotion project (as seen above).

We’ll likely never know why the Board wisely decided to postpone work on the project until students, parents and teachers were away from the two campuses for Winter Break. We’ll likely not know why the schedule change was not politicized either (though we have an idea).

What we do know is we’re pleased the 220 Board (or staff) exercised a modicum of common sense by causing the least disruption of classroom time possible by delaying the work until today.

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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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Last night the Board of Education gave final approval to its share of the local property tax rate for 2019. The district expects to receive a 2.34% tax increase compared to last year, however it is requesting a 4.4% increase, “in case new construction is larger than expected.”

Editorial note: Based on our experience, you can count on the Board spending every bit of that increase.

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Without any public comment urging action one way or another, Lake Barrington village board members Tuesday night rejected the idea of marijuana businesses opening in the town.

Recreational pot use by those 21 and older becomes legal in Illinois on Jan. 1. Towns can’t outlaw its use, but they are allowed to prohibit businesses that sell it or restrict their location.

By a 6-0 vote, the Lake Barrington village board passed an ordinance prohibiting pot retailers in all zoning districts. Village President Kevin Richardson said not allowing marijuana businesses in town is consistent with previous rejections of an off-track betting facility and video gambling.

Read more here.

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