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The recordings from October 26th Board of Trustees meeting have been released. Click here to access the link from the Village website.

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A blue moon will light up the night sky this Halloween. This only happens once every two and a half years, on average, NASA’s National Space Science Data Center reports.

October’s first full moon, also referred to as the harvest moon, appeared on the first day of the month, the blue moon, or the second full moon, can be seen on October 31st. We have not seen another blue moon occurrence in the Americas since March 2018, CNN reports.

Every month has a full moon, but because of how the lunar cycle and the calendar year aren’t entirely synced, we end up with two in the same calendar month every three years or so.

It is called a blue moon because it’ll be the second of two full moons that occurs in a single calendar month.

One interesting fact is that this is the first time a Halloween full moon has shown up for all time zones since 1944, the Farmers’ Almanac references. The last time a Halloween full moon showed was for the Central and Pacific time zones in 2001, CNN reports.

Another interesting fact is that when the phrase “once in a blue moon” was first used, it described something so rare, you wouldn’t believe you’d see it in your lifetime, NASA reports.

Read on here.

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The Village Board of Trustees will be holding their monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics for discussion and/or vote include:

  • An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to the Existing Special Use Permit for an Expansion of the Parking Lot at 160 Hawthorne Road
  • An Ordinance Approving a Map Amendment Rezoning the Property Located at 32W 393 Algonquin Road from R1 Single Family Residence District to B-3 General Business District
  • Resolution Authorizing the Village’s Execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement and Subrecipient Agreement with the County of Kane for Coronavirus Relief Funds

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. Those wishing to try to listing in on the meeting can phone 508-924-1464.

Related:Mosque replica planned for 160 Hawthorne Road?andKane County sending $27.5 million in federal relief to communities

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Our Board of Trustees holds their monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics for discussion and/or vote include:

  • [Vote] A Resolution Authorizing Execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement Amongthe Villages of Bartlett, Hoffman Estates, Barrington Hills, Barrington, Deer Park, Lake Zurich, Hawthorn Woods, Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Mettawa, Green Oaks and the Cityof North Chicago for Engineering Work to Complete the Recertification of a QuietCorridor Along the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railroad Res 20 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to the Existing Special Use Permit for anExpansion of the Parking Lot at 160 Hawthorne Road Ordinance 20 –
  • [Vote] An Ordinance Approving a Map Amendment Rezoning the Property Located at32W 393 Algonquin Road from R1 Single Family Residence District to B-3 GeneralBusiness District Ordinance 20 –
  • [Vote] A Resolution Authorizing the Execution of a Retail Sales Agreement with AVISystems, Inc. for Audio Streaming Equipment and Software for Village MeetingsResolution 20 –

A copy of their agenda can be viewed and downloaded here. To (try to) listen to the meeting, dial 508-924-1464.

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The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District is planning to build a third fire station at 1004 South Hough Street

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District (BCFPD) is once again trying to acquire a property to build a third Fire/EMS station in a location that makes no sense whatsoever.

A little over a year ago, BCFPD tried to locate a Fire/EMS Station between the Barrington Middle School, Prairie Campus and the Barrington Early Learning Center on Dundee Road (Rt. 68) just east of Barrington Road. Thankfully that location was rejected after Barrington School District 220 and many residential neighbors spent considerable time and expense convincing Cook County Zoning that the location was completely inappropriate.

Now having been rejected at the Dundee Road location, the BCFPD is trying yet again to locate a Fire/EMS Station in an inappropriate location – 1004 South Hough Street (a map of the location can be viewed here). The property they have under contract is in unincorporated Cook County, zoned R-3, single family residential. The property is completely surrounded by single family homes. What BCFPD is attempting to do is not permitted under the property’s current zoning; in order to build in this residential neighborhood, the BCFPD must obtain a zoning variation from Cook County.

Zoning laws exist to protect all of us from changes like these. Like you, I live in this community because of its respect for peace and quiet, through our zoning laws and our shared respect for those laws.

Along with ALL of my neighbors, I am opposed to locating a fire station directly next to our homes. The 24 hour operations with increased noise, emergency vehicle traffic and 24 hour lighting is absolutely out of place for a residential area.

As taxpayers, we should question the need for adding a third station. Spending taxpayer funds does not seem to be an issue for the BCFPD Trustees. BCFPD says they respond to approximately five calls per day which they currently handle from two locations. That’s between two and three calls a day per station. And they need a third station?

I respect and honor our dedicated first responders, so if they truly need another station, let’s take them at their word. However, in their application to the Cook County Zoning Board, they reference the need for this third station location primarily to enable them to provide coverage for Inverness, South Barrington and Willow Creek Church, plus certain unincorporated areas of Cook County within their coverage area. There are eight Fire Stations within a five mile radius of this proposed location.

There are acres upon acres of vacant land without homes immediately adjacent much closer to BCFPD’s stated primary coverage areas along Barrington Road between Dundee Road and the I-94 tollway. Why would BCFPD choose yet another inappropriate location when there are many, many possible locations south along Barrington road, if needed? Locations that could easily work and would not be disruptive to families who purchased their homes in a residentially zoned area with the expectation they would be able to enjoy a peaceful, residential setting to live and raise their families.

Sincerely,

Tom McGrath

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Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 2.45.14 PMOnce again, supporters of former Village President Bob Abboud have taken to the social media networks to begin creating a false controversy to stir the pot prior to the 2019 Village Board Elections.

Recently, some Facebook pages have started publishing information about the proposed Plum Farms Development in Hoffman Estates. One of these pages is purportedly run by the same individual who publicly cast aspersions upon the character of the Village President and members of the Board of Trustees in April of 2017 (but was unwilling and unable to provide any corroboration of her ridiculous accusations). See April 24th Board meeting recordings released.

Long-time readers of the Observer will recognize the same tired tactics of the Abboud-o-philes: create a false controversy, then stir up resident sentiment against current leadership and against those whom they may support in the upcoming elections. Save 5 Acres! Save Horse Boarding! Ban the Bikes! Save Open Space! Save Polo!

The Plum Farms Development in Hoffman Estates was used as a major 2017 campaign issue by Trustees Paula Jacobsen and Robert Zubak, but both have been eerily silent on the issue for well over a year. As candidates, Jacobsen and Zubak were so adamant about the Village having legal standing, authority and ability to impact this development, and they vowed to be the voices to vigorously “oppose harmful development”.

Today, as it was then, they chose to remain ignorant to the simple fact that this issue was over in 2004 when Bob Abboud and former administrator Bob Kosin botched the chance to work with the landowner to come to a development compromise that would have kept the property within the village, and would have protected our community from the dangers of deannexation of the parcel into an adjacent town with an insatiable hunger for more tax dollars.

But in fact, the current administration has been working in concert with South Barrington and District 220 to slow the progress of this development.  Strange that this hasn’t been reported by any of the social media outlets managed by those folks who enjoy stirring the pot.  Accusations of inaction and mismanagement by President McLaughlin and others on the Board will be aired, but nary a word of criticism of Jacobsen or Zubak.

And speaking of Jacobsen, the more vocal of the less-than-dynamic duo, what has she personally done with regard to Plum Farms as a Trustee? Nothing.  She bemoaned the Longmeadow Parkway project as a candidate, but did she volunteer to be on the IDOT advisory board for Route 62?  Nope.

Does anyone remember the laundry list of issues that she & Zubak used as their campaign platform? We do.

YBH_issues

The only issue they are truly interested in is commercial horse boarding, which wasn’t in their campaign platform at all.  Strange…

And back to that lengthy list of issues — what have they accomplished from that list? Nothing. And why?  Because none of those “problems” actually existed.

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Paula Jacobsen with former trustee Fritz Gohl

However, Jacobsen, who has been absent from more than 26% of the fifteen Board Meetings held since she was elected as trustee, has had the opportunity to advocate for some other interesting issues.  As stated in our previous articles, May and June 2017 Board meeting recordings released  and July Board Meeting recordings released , she has found time to question the meeting minutes which characterized her friend’s public comments at the April 24thboard meeting as slanderous.  She has questioned why the Village couldn’t have employed a warmer and fuzzier process to inform a property owner of their violation of a cease and desist order with regard to illegal demolition of a residence and violation of the tree ordinance. It should be noted that the property owner in that case was a prominent donor to her trustee campaign.

Jacobsen has pondered the complexity of the Exterior Lighting Ordinance and wondered if it shouldn’t be revisited and revised, oblivious to the divisive history of the ordinance.  Coincidentally, her interest in lighting ordinance enforcement occurred only when another friend of hers had filed a complaint against a neighbor.

Paula has also suggested giving landmark status to historical homes in the village.  When asked to explain who would be the arbiter of this distinction and the mechanics of implementation or enforcement, she had no suggestion.

She also has given detailed reports of Arbor Day plans by the Heritage & Environs Committee at no fewer than three meetings. Let’s hear it for the oak sapling giveaway!!

And there has been advocacy for costly live video-streaming of Village Board meetings, which are only attended by a handful of the same residents each month.

It is not surprising that NONE of these issues were in the Jacobsen/Zubak campaign platform and that NONE of the issues in the platform have been pursued by the duo in any meaningful way in the past fifteen months.

And why is that? Because a quiet village operating harmoniously is not something the Abboud-o-philes can tolerate.  They must have controversy and they will create controversy were none exists. And when faced with the reality that President McLaughlin & this Administration have delivered on each and every promise they have made to the community, they pivot back to the old worn-out talking points. The village is operating better than it ever has, spending has been slashed and services are more efficient.  And that makes some embittered people very unhappy.  Change is not easy for some. And they are desperate to regain control.

So the pot stirring will continue.  With a little eye of newt and toe of frog mixed in for good measure.  Here’s hoping that this bad spell will be broken soon.

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The Board of Trustees will hold their monthly meeting this Wednesday evening beginning at 6:30 PM.

The meeting will begin with a public hearing regarding the proposed 2016 Appropriation Ordinance.  Appropriations amounts are set higher than the budget figures already approved for 2016, and represent the maximum dollars the board may spend in a given year.   A copy of the ordinance can be viewed and downloaded here.

The agenda for the regular meeting beginning immediately following the hearing can be viewed here.

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The Zoning Board of Appeals had a relatively full agenda when they met on February 17th, including two public hearings on special use permit applications, review and approval of the official 2016 Village Zoning Map, and a general discussion of how to better address various special events that occur in Barrington Hills.

The first special use application heard was for a back-lit lettered LED sign and cross mounted on the northwestern face of the Barrington United Methodist Church located at 98 Algonquin Rd.  The sign was desired to better help those unfamiliar with the area to locate the church at night.

The sign was approved, and if approved by the Board of Trustees, it will be the first of its kind in Barrington Hills on a structure.  The recording of the public hearing can be heard here, and the discussion and vote by the board can be heard here.

Another special use application was presented by representatives of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 337 Ridge Rd. for an addition of a small screened porch to the church’s rectory.  The permit was required due to a needed setback variation. 

The matter was tabled until the March meeting after discussion turned to some ongoing drainage and septic issues in the general area, and board members wished to look into those matters before deciding on the permit.  That public hearing recording can be accessed here.

Board members then went through the ritual of approving the yearly official zoning map, but it was not unanimous, and was the subject of debate on if it accurately depicts R-1 zoning in the Village as can be heard here.

The board then began to consider how the Village might draft or better define codes related to the variety of special events held on private properties in the Village throughout the year, as can be heard here.

The menu of edited recordings by agenda topic from the full two and a half hour meeting can be accessed here.

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Friday FlashbackFollowing 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.

Resident files petition in protest of Dark Sky proposal – 2010

A Barrington Hills resident wants a superior majority vote on the village’s Dark Sky proposal to limit exterior lighting on residential and commercial properties.

Dennis Gallitano filed a petition with the village clerk objecting to the Zoning Board of Appeals-recommended proposal.

“Over a year ago, nobody really thought that the Village Board would still be entertaining this ordinance given the significant opposition by virtually every corner of the village,” Gallitano said. “The filing of the petition should give our village leaders a wake-up call that this ordinance is not what this village needs or, wants.”

Read the full TribLocal article here.

Barrington Hills board will again discuss cost of videotaping meetings – 2011

The Barrington Hills Village Board will revisit having a camera installed in its boardroom to tape proceedings for the village’s website at a meeting later this month.

At its next meeting on Oct. 24, the board is expected to mull over further cost estimates for the camera and other equipment needed to make meetings available online. Other local governments, such as those in Barrington and Palatine, already broadcast their meetings online.

“It will also potentially alleviate our need to have the ZBA meetings transcribed, saving about $20,000,” said Skip Gianopulos.

The full TribLocal article can be read here.

Firefighter injured in Barrington Hills barn fire – 2012

A firefighter was slightly injured in a four-alarm barn fire in Barrington Hills Wednesday morning.

The fire was called in at 8:18 a.m. in the 21000 block of Ridge Road, said Fire Chief Jim Arie, who was at the scene with the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District.

Read more here.  NBC Chicago has posted a video of firefighters battling the blaze, and it 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.

Horse feud splitting Barrington Hills – 2014

There’s something missing from the stables at Oakwood Farm in Barrington Hills: horses. On a recent morning, most stalls were empty. The horses that had boarded here were gone, banished following a court order.

The feud between neighbors that led to the shutdown of Oakwood Farm’s boarding operations has simmered for years. Now it’s boiling over into a communitywide controversy that has angry residents of Barrington Hills arguing over the very nature of their community.

Read more of the Chicago Tribune story here.

-The Observer

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Friday FlashbackFollowing are some of the articles published by The Observer for the month of August 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.

‘Dark Sky’ proposal sent to Village Board – 2010

The skies over Barrington Hills won’t go dark, despite two years of work on a proposal to limit outside lighting, until 2031 under a plan moved forward Wednesday night.

The Zoning Board of Appeals chose that year over 2021 — with both dates well into the future in order to save homeowners from having to spend “a significant amount of money” to retrofit their lighting systems, said Joe von Meier, village attorney.

Read the original Tribune article here.

Horse boarding continues to draw controversy in Barrington Hills – 2011

Barrington Hills officials agree the village’s ordinance on home businesses needs tweaking to deal with large commercial horse boarders on residential properties, but they disagree on what exactly needs to be done.

The board held a joint meeting with the Zoning Board of Appeals this week to discuss the ordinance amendment ZBA members are currently working on. The Board of Appeals is looking at requiring large boarding operations, defined as 10 or more horses, to acquire a special use permit to the Home Occupation Ordinance.* That ordinance allows people to run small businesses — everything from music lessons to attorney’s offices — from their homes.

The 2011 Tribune article can be read here.

*The Zoning Board of Appeals written recommendation to the Village Board regarding commercial horse boarding code changes at that time can be viewed here.

Barrington Hills trustees mad over attorney’s removal – 2014

A dispute over the removal of Barrington Hills’ longtime village attorney played out before a capacity crowd of residents at village hall Tuesday night.

Village President Martin McLaughlin asked the previous attorney of more than 30 years, the law offices of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, to resign last week, citing the Illinois Attorney General office’s finding that the village violated the Open Meetings Act in April 2013.

He also cited the attorney’s research fees, which he called unnecessarily high.

Read the original posting with comments here.

Barrington Hills board shows opposition to bike lanes – 2014

The Barrington Hills board assured residents at a standing-room-only meeting Tuesday night that there are no plans to build bike lanes or widen any of the village’s roads.

Read the original Observer posting, including editorial and reader comments and the link to the original Daily Herald story here.

Why Barrington Hills must change –2014

This op/ed piece from August 2014 suggested that “It’s time for us to stop being a sideshow for the entertainment of surrounding communities.  Instead of “Don’t Change Barrington Hills,” a more productive goal is “Let’s Change Barrington Hills.”

Read the original editorial by clicking here.

-The Observer

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