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Archive for the ‘Heritage Fest’ Category

audio_tape_revox_pr99-203Audio recordings from the July 24th, 2017 meeting of the Board of Trustees have been posted. To access the menu of recordings edited by agenda item, click here.

Most of the brief meeting consisted of routine business, but, again, property owned by Barrington Hills Farm LLC (BHFarm) provided the most interesting fodder for discussion.  As we mentioned previously, the owner(s) of the unoccupied property at 2400 Spring Creek Road had been cited for demolition of a residence without a building permit and for removal of two posted Stop Work Order signs. Additionally, many trees and much vegetation had been removed without a permit required under the village’s Heritage Tree Ordinance.

Trustee Colleen Konicek asked Administrator Bob Kosin for an update on the situation.  The issue of the removal of the Stop Work Order signs is currently in the hands of the village prosecutor, and the courts will be left to determine if the violation did take place, and what fines, if any, should be imposed.  Kosin went on to state that the necessary demolition permit had now been obtained, albeit AFTER the fact, and that according to the demolition contractor, none of the work to remove the debris from the demolition of the 2900 sq. ft. home had required an overweight permit.  Trustee Brian Cecola strongly questioned the notion that a residence of that size could be taken down without the need for an overweight permit.  Konicek pressed the issue further, asking Kosin what evidence had been provided that an overweight permit had not been required? Kosin was forced to admit there was no evidence, just the word of the contractor. We wonder how many other residents would be afforded this same benefit of the doubt.

On the issue of the trees that had been removed, Kosin stated that the Village’s tree contractor had been sent out, and he determined that no heritage trees had been lost or jeopardized on the site, again AFTER the fact, and that the property owner had been appropriately billed (and paid ) for the arborist’s inspection fee. Kosin expressed supreme confidence in the arborist’s psychic abilities to determine the species of trees which had been removed, without ever having seen them.  We don’t quite understand how this was possible — perhaps he conducted a DNA analysis of the sawdust residue?

President Martin McLaughlin expressed concern about the objectivity of the arborist, Chuck Stewart, who had performed the study of the property, because Stewart rents office space in a building owned by one of the members of the board of Barrington Hills Farm. Trustee Michelle Maison was also troubled by this perceived conflict of interest and inquired if another independent tree analysis should be conducted.

McLaughlin then brought up the issue of the deannexation request (dated July 17, 2017) for 2400 Spring Creek Road. Back in the fall, the trust controlling BHFarm had expressed interest in annexing ALL of the former Duda property back into the Village during a friendly 2 1/2 hour staff meeting during which the village outlined two timelines to complete the annexation petition process. He found it odd that first they wanted to annex into the village, and now they want to annex out of the village. He also reminded the new Board members about the trust’s previous request for an easement for its proposed HARPS facility (which still has not broken ground).  The trust had wanted an easement, requested it, constructed the legal documents for it, and when the Board agreed to it, the trust wanted the easement out.

McLaughlin described how the Village has gone out of its way to say “yes” numerous times to requests by BHFarm, and explained how the Village has tried to work with the individuals representing BHFarm, only to have the trust change their minds about things that they themselves had asked for.  He likened dealing with the BHFarm trust as doing the Hokey Pokey — they want the easement in, they want the easement out, they want to annex in, they want to annex out. All of it, he said, amounted to much silliness, and in our opinion, wasting of board and staff time, not to mention taxpayer dollars.

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Doing the annexation hokey pokey

Trustee Paula Jacobsen wondered why the village couldn’t have employed a warmer and fuzzier process to inform the property owner of their violation of the cease and desist order, perhaps by placing a personal phone call. Jacobsen was either playing dumb in thinking that property owners’ phone numbers are listed on property deeds, or perhaps she was pandering to BHFarm’s board which is headed by a prominent donor to her recent trustee campaign. Her point seemed to be that the property owner was not being treated in a neighborly manner, despite the fact that the only publicly available contact information is an street address in Chicago. Never did she place any onus on the property owner who apparently assumed that it was okay to knock down a house without consulting the municipal authorities in advance. Maybe she has never heard of the expression “ignorance of the law is no excuse”?

And, if the village had gone to extreme lengths to track down a telephone number in this particular instance, wouldn’t that create a dangerous precedent for the village’s future contacts with other property owners?  AND, does Jacobsen really believe that the contractor(s) who removed the trees and demolished the residence didn’t inform their employer of the Stop Work Order?

Those conversations can be heard here.

Later in the meeting, during discussion of the disconnection petition itself, Village Attorney Mary Dickson described the legal requirements for disconnection and confirmed that the subject property meets all of them. However, the village cannot act on such a petition sooner than 30 days after receiving it, and, as a result, the attorney will prepare an ordinance for possible action at the next Board meeting in August.

Dickson cautioned that any penalties regarding the cease and desist order violation pending in court should be resolved and that any other monies due to the Village should be paid PRIOR to the Board of Trustees taking final action on BHFarm’s petition.

Jacobsen continued to puzzle over the reason for the disconnection request into unincorporated McHenry County, and asked if the petitioner would be making a presentation to the Board explaining the reasons for the disconnection.  Dickson explained that no such presentation is legally necessary.  (We suggest that Jacobsen pick up the telephone a place a neighborly phone call if she wants to quench her curiosity.) Attorney Dickson opined that maybe developmental rights are the reason, and perhaps the best prospects for the owner’s desired development of the property may lie with the county rather than the village. We’d say that Ms. Dickson hit the nail on the head with that assessment.

The disconnection discussion can be heard here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 11.21.41 AM On Sunday August 13th, Village of Barrington Hills & the Barrington Hills Park District, 361 Bateman Road,  is hosting our heritage festival. This year’s event promises to be another spectacular day!

As always the purpose of the festival is to bring Barrington Hills residents together for a day of fun, and to highlight the organizations and activities that make our community unique. This year we have also partnered with the Honor Ride & Run to celebrate our nation’s heroes.

Last year over 500 residents attended our heritage festival to celebrate our community and our neighbors. We hope to see you all again for this family oriented, fun filled day! Arrive at 11am to cheer on the recovering Veterans as they cross the finish line.

Honor Ride

To read the full announcement from the Village of Barrington Hills website, click here.

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honor_2 Steve Gray, a Coast Guard veteran who fell 30 feet in a 1983 shipboard accident and suffered brain and neck injuries, drove from his home in Kansas City last year to participate in a Barrington event that has been making a difference in the lives of veterans for seven years.

The Barrington Honor Ride & Run (BHRR), a non-competitive cycling event where active service members, injured veterans, first responders, and the public come together to raise crucial, life-changing funds in support of Project Hero’s local programs, will be held this year on Sunday, August 13.

Gray will be there again this year in what he says was a “life changing” event. “If it weren’t for me riding with the veterans, I’d probably be in a wheel chair now,” he explains. “My condition had been getting worse and worse. Now if I didn’t ride I’d be stiff legged and could not even get around. That Honor Ride in Barrington is where it all got started for me.”

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Brothers and sisters Mark Konicek, Colleen Konicek, and Katie Konicek
Karam have organized the Barrington event from its inception.

For a donation, you can ride, run, or walk with them. Walk a mile on your own, or bike for 47. This year’s event will feature three bike distances (10, 30 or 50 miles) through the Barrington’s idyllic scenery, and a trail run and fun walk through Spring Lake Forest Preserve.  If past events provide prologue, the day will be high-spirited civic affirmation of duty and thankfulness, though designed to do far more than engender sentiment.

It’s a day of literal healing…

The 7th annual BHRR will take place August 13 at the Barrington Hills Park District with opening ceremonies—including the Operation “Wild Horse” Mounted Color Guard—at 8 a.m. The bike, run, and walk culminate in a community festival of fun for the whole family as BHRR joins forces with Barrington Hills’ 5th annual heritage festival, “The Hills Are Alive.” Enjoy free food and music, free activities, and games for the whole family. Participants can register online or donate at honorridebarrington.com. Veterans ride for free.

You can read the full feature article in Barrington Country magazine here.

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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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