Archive for the ‘Heritage Fest’ Category

vote Both major regional newspapers recently released the responses to their Candidate Questionnaires.

Here are the trustee candidate questionnaires published in the Northwest Herald.

To read village president candidates’ answers to the Northwest Herald’s questions, click here.

The link to the Daily Herald’s village president profiles is here, and the trustee candidate profile link is here.

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Following are some of the articles published by The Observer for the month of October in recent years. These articles, gathered from various publications and editorials, are noteworthy for residents in that they remind us of where we’ve been as a community.

August 2011 Village Board minutes posted – 2011

Excerpt from ZBA report: “Three members of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Judith Freeman, Karen Rosene and Kurt Anderson, joined the Board of Trustees in the discussion of commercial boarding.  Ms. Freeman submitted a draft ordinance document regarding commercial boarding and wanted comments back from the Board of Trustees. The ZBA has proposed suggested [sic] a Special Use Permit if boarding ten or more horses.

Trustee Messer felt the Village has no overcrowding issue and we should address the issue when it comes up.  Trustee Meroni felt a Special Use Permit was an unnecessary burden.   Trustee Selman stated that horse boarding should be under Home Occupation.” (see Flip, Flop : What changed your minds Trustees Messer, Meroni and Selman?)

Complete minutes from the August 2011 Village Board meeting can be viewed here.

Developer to sell McHenry County land near Barrington Hills – 2013

A 602-acre property, most of which was disconnected from Barrington Hills during a long, intense legal fight that began early last decade, is being put up for sale by its would-be developer.  The Fritz Duda Co. is asking for $17 million for the jaggedly bordered undeveloped land at Spring Creek and Haegers Bend roads in McHenry County, along Barrington Hills’ border with Algonquin.

Read the Daily Herald story here.

Glimpses back in time at the heritage of Barrington Hills – 2015

VBH Area Map Circa 1940In the years since The Observer began, we’ve been fortunate enough to accumulate some information on the rich history that occurred before and after Barrington Hills was officially incorporated in 1957.  Today seemed to be an appropriate time to share what we’ve discovered with our readers in advance of the third annual Barrington Hills Heritage Fest taking place tomorrow.

Some time ago, a reader shared a map with us depicting what life was like in this area in 1940, and it’s quite a unique contrast from the village we now live in today.

Revisit this well-read article from last year by here.

To settle, or not to settle, that is (not) the question – 2015

We’ve had the opportunity to listen to the recordings from the September 23rd Special Village Board Meeting to hear public comment on whether to settle a suit filed against the Village over the Recent Commercial Horse Boarding code amendment.  Additionally, we’ve read all the published written comments which were submitted (seen here).

Thirty-nine people provided comments for the board to review.  None of them criticized horses, nor did they call for banning boarding in Barrington Hills.  No one called for existing horse boarding operations to be shuttered, and not one complaint was voiced against a neighboring barn, so it’s fair to say current boarding operations (save for one) are not in peril in Barrington Hills based on this small sampling.

Read the original Observer editorial here.

-The Observer

*See “WARNING: Beware of phantom developers!” for more on this year’s Halloween costume of choice among Barrington Hills youths.

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If the leaves are changing color and there’s a crisp snap in the air, then it must be time for the annual “The Hills Are Alive Heritage Fest.”

Now in its fourth year, this Sunday’s free festival for Barrington Hills residents will feature plenty of activities for children and adults alike, following the theme “Explore The Outdoors”.  Families can enjoy balloon creations, police giveaways and cool vehicles, pony rides, hay rides, crafts, demonstrations, sunset yoga, games, live music and much more.

A special new feature this year is a kite fly, and the first 300 kids get free kites. Free food will be prepared by the expert grillmasters of the Barrington Lions Club. Pop will be provided, and once again, the Barrington Service League will have a lemonade stand and will raising money for Hope’s In — a local group that builds homes and hosts medical clinics in garbage dump communities in Guatemala City.

Explore The Outdoors runs from 1:00 – 5:00 PM on Sunday at the Barrington Hills Park District Riding Center, located at 361 Bateman Rd.  In case of inclement weather, fest activities will take place inside the arena, so there’s no reason not to come to enjoy the fun!

Sponsorship for this year’s Heritage Fest is generously provided by the following Barrington Hills service providers and residents:


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The Barrington Hills Park District released their September newsletter to subscribers via email recently.  This month’s updates include information on the following events:

  • BraveHearts trail ride scheduled for September 27th
  • The Hills are Alive Fall Heritage Festival October 16th
  • Amphibians & Reptiles special nature class November 12th

In addition, the district has announced’ “Nomination papers for the April 4, 2017 election for Office of Park District Commissioner” are now available for interested candidates.  There are two seats up for election for four-year terms.

To view a PDF copy of the September BHPD newsletter, click here.  For more information on the upcoming district election filing procedures, click here.

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The Heritage & Environs Committee will hold their monthly meeting tomorrow at 3:00 PM.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

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The Barrington Hills Park District released an August newsletter to subscribers via email today.  This month’s updates include:

  • Countryside Elementary School basketball court is nearly complete
  • BraveHearts trail ride scheduled for September 27
  • Hills Are Alive Heritage Fest scheduled for October 16
  • Rules for equestrian trails in the Forest Preserves
  • RCBH Fun Show this Saturday at the Riding Center, and
  • The “user fee system” for the Riding Center will begin in January

To view a PDF copy of the BHPD newsletter release, click here.

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It’s said that the best gift you can give someone is your time, because you’re giving them something you can never get back.  Though many forget to recognize this often enough, two residents have provided more than their share of their valuable time for the benefit of everyone in Barrington Hills, and that’s why we are naming both of them as 2015 Shining Stars.

2015 BHO Shining Star Awards

Nearly three years ago, Colleen Konicek Hannigan and Martin McLaughlin made a choice to run for office at a time when Barrington Hills politics was highly charged.   They counted on the integrity they knew was inherent in most residents in their straightforward campaign, and now we can look back on the results of their efforts since they were elected.

Overall spending by the Village has decreased, particularly as it relates to legal fees.  This is due in no small part to their push for the appointment of new Village counsel with practical expertise in municipal and zoning laws — at nearly half the hourly rate of the former law firm.  Ending the protracted eighteen-year Sears lawsuit against our Village and South Barrington has had a significant effect as well.

For the second year in a row when they had input, the annual Village budget has decreased.  Even with these decreases, last year’s spending was nearly three quarters of a million dollars less than the 2014 budget.

The 2014 audit report best summarizes the fruit of their hard work by stating, “The reduction in spending can be attributed to reduced legal fees, and sound management practice, and reduced administrative expenses.”    

In addition to the Sears lawsuit, Colleen and Martin have also resolved other major legacy issues.  Two new labor agreements with our sworn Village police officers have been secured with the help of another accomplished new attorney which they engaged since our police unionized nearly six years ago in 2009 under the former administration.

Village road resurfacing now seems to be back on track after an all-time low of only 1.5 miles of roads maintained in 2009.  Additionally, with the assistance of Trustee Brian Cecola, new avenues for improving county and state roads in the Village should result in improved maintenance of vital thoroughfares such as Brinker Road.

And they shined a light on the controversial proposed Longmeadow Parkway project and brought it out of the shadows for residents in its path, as well as those who will be affected by it, with public meetings and updates from Kane County.

They’ve also done their share to bring our widely dispersed community together.  Three successful annual “Hills are Alive Heritage Fests”, at no cost to taxpayers, have been held since they were elected, and they have demonstrated that our residents welcome the opportunity to unite for an event to meet their neighbors, to learn about many community organizations and to share some family fun.

Despite this highly abridged summary of their contributions to their constituency thus far, it seems these two have not curtailed their other contributions to the community, nor their devotion to their full-time professional careers in their legal and financial practices.

Colleen continues to be an anchor planner, coordinator and participant in the Barrington Honor Ride and Run for wounded veterans, as well as participating in numerous other community and philanthropic events throughout the year.

Martin recently accepted the chairman’s role in BACOG and continues to serve in the Barrington Lions Club, in addition to being a father of five daughters.

We’re pleased to recognize Colleen Konicek Hannigan and Martin McLaughlin as the 2015 Shining Star award recipients.  Their time and dedication to the betterment of Barrington Hills, as well as their devotion to all in the surrounding community, cannot be overstated, nor can our appreciation for their hard work.

The Observer

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The Village has released the audio recordings from the December 7th quarterly meeting of the Equestrian Commission.

There were no formal comments made during public comment, however attendees were allowed to comment or ask questions when recognized by the chair throughout the meeting.  This more informal format is used for most Barrington Hills meetings, excluding the Village and Zoning Board meetings.

The first item covered in the meeting was the status of Horizon Farms.  Trustee Maison, liaison to the commission, provided the update, which can be heard here.

Village attorney Patrick Bond then spoke about the status of horse boarding in Barrington Hills as it stands currently in our Village Codes.  His presentation can be heard here.

It was surprising that none of the estimated 20 residents in attendance, or any of the commission members had questions or comments after Bond’s comments.  Considering the misinformation circulating throughout the Village on this topic in the last few years, one might have expected some interaction, but there was only silence.

When the topic of equestrian trail maps was discussed, there was interaction.

The Riding Club of Barrington Hills has expressed a desire to convert some of the private trails on homeowners’ properties to legal easements deeded to the club.  Two cases in which a swimming pool and a garden had been constructed which disrupted the trails were cited as factors for their desire to have better control of their trails.

It was suggested that if the trails were deeded to the Riding Club, this might be avoided, and a club representative in the audience stated that Riding Club would bear the cost of the filing fee.  Interested residents can contact the Riding Club, and the recording of that discussion can be heard here.

The agenda subject of “Equestrian Information on Website & in newsletter” also proved to be quite interesting.  The chair began the discussion by stating, “We have a number of equestrian clubs in Barrington Hills, and our events overlap.  For example, the Riding Club had a sector ride on the same day as the Village held ‘Hills Are Alive’, and so we couldn’t participate.”

Citing this recent scheduling “conflict,” she went on to express the desire to have one central calendar that all equestrian clubs may use for planning purposes, and to provide the public an opportunity to see all Village equestrian events, hunts or shows.

The chair then requested that the Village invite the Riding Club, Polo Club, Fox River Hounds, the Pony Club and the Barrington Hills Park District to utilize the Village government’s calendar for scheduling and information purposes, as well as add links to those organizations’ websites.

This seems like a reasonable concept, however the Barrington Area Library already provides a community calendar for this purpose, as seen here.

Furthermore, if the Village were to extend such an invitation, other organizations within the Village should be allowed to participate as well.  Garden clubs, youth scouting organizations, public and private schools, conservation groups and houses of worship, among others, would likely wish to have their notices posted to the calendar as well.

There’s also the matter of resources to be considered.  If the Village were to take on this responsibility, the time required to maintain such a calendar might become too great, thus detracting from other duties performed by Village Hall staff.

If the Village does decide to proceed with this initiative, the one suggestion we have is to create separate calendars for government business and community events.  Otherwise, the current calendar would likely become very muddled, thus making it more difficult for residents only interested in government meeting information to find what they’re looking for.

The link to the full Village website utilization discussion recording can be accessed here.  The menu of edited recordings by agenda topic for the entire meeting can be accessed here.

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FestPhotos from the third annual Heritage Fest held Saturday have been posted to the Living 60010 website

Click here to access the album of 96 photos.

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Barrington Hills circa 1940

Barrington Hills circa 1940

In the years since The Observer began, we’ve been fortunate enough to accumulate some information on the rich history that occurred before and after Barrington Hills was officially incorporated in 1957.  Today seemed to be an appropriate time to share what we’ve discovered with our readers in advance of the third annual Barrington Hills Heritage Fest taking place tomorrow.

Some time ago, a reader shared a map with us depicting what life was like in this area in 1940, and it’s quite a unique contrast from the village we now live in today.

1940As one might imagine, Barrington Hills was once a large farm community.  Some were hobby farms owned by Chicago business people for weekend getaways.  Other properties were working farms supporting the livelihood of families providing food to people who worked in the city, and there was a surprising diversity in what people raised at the time.

For example, Orville Caesar built a dairy farm known as Dorvillee Dairy.  He had 100 cows and a poultry roost of 1,000 chickens where people now live off of Brinker Road.

Arthur Haeger, on the other hand, raised poultry for a different purpose on his 240 acres near the Fox River according to one historian.  He raised fighting cocks, which he sold at a high price at cock fights held around Cook County and on the south side of Chicago.

Others raised, bred and sometimes showed animals such as dairy and beef cattle, pedigreed pigs, dairy goats, polo ponies, wild game or dogs at that time.

Despite all the work involved in running these farms, many residents found time to relax and socialize with neighbors at that time.  The Barrington Hills Country Club was established in 1921, and today, it’s about the only landmark still recognizable on the 1940 map.  There were also two picnic grounds for neighbors to gather and children to play.

To view the 1940 map to discover what your property was used for or who owned it back then, click here.

Another resource we’ve found which dates back over 100 years into the history of Barrington Hills came from the Barrington Area Library.  The “Barrington Area Historical Street Atlas” provided a narrative of how roads came to be named in the area.

Notable names of residents from a century or more ago that are now remembered through road names such as Bateman, Bell, Caesar, Hart, Otis etc., and this atlas provided background accounts of how most roads we now live on in Barrington Hills came to be named.

A copy of the history of the naming of Barrington Hills roads can be downloaded by clicking here, or to view the entire atlas for the greater Barrington area, click here.

-The Observer

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