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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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Intent on making vacant land west of The Arboretum of South Barrington shopping center viable for development, Hoffman Estates officials may create a tax increment financing district to pay for sewer and water utilities on the site.

The land in question is a 24-acre parcel and a 16-acre parcel at the northeast and northwest corners of Higgins and Old Sutton roads. Along with adjacent right of way, a total of 64 acres would be included.

The development partnership behind Plum Farms dropped its request for a TIF district amid controversy over its plans for dense residential development, a proposal that drew objections from school officials and others.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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TruthWC

Three candidates running on the “Your Barrington Hills” (YBH) slate are seeking public office for the first time in Barrington Hills. Their names (Louis Iacovelli for president, Paula Jacobsen and Robert Zubak for trustee) are not familiar to most residents, as none of them have had any prior experience or position in our village government. However, their names are definitely well-known in the equestrian community, as they and their spouses have been intimately involved in the Riding Club of Barrington Hills (RCBH). As we’ve published previously, all three of these candidates and Elaine Ramesh, running separately from the slate, have all meticulously avoided nearly any reference to their penchant for all things equestrian during their campaigns.

The question being asked is, did these three choose to run because of their genuine interest in the welfare of all village residents, or did they run at the behest of others who share a hidden agenda?

The YBH candidates, can find no real fault with the record of the current administration, and have had to manufacture issues, frequently grossly misrepresenting facts in their mailers, social media platforms and their newspaper interviews, a technique taken out of the playbook of the former village president, and the Save 5 Acres and SOS campaigns in recent election cycles. Not only are their allegations not based in fact,  their responses to the candidate questionnaires published in two suburban newspapers, are nearly identical, as if penned by the same hand. They all present the same, disingenuous information, either by design to discredit and malign the current administration, or by laziness in researching village documents. Whatever the reason for the deception, none are worthy of candidacy for Village office.

Let’s examine some of the spin coming out of the Riding Club camp:

  • YBH Spin: The new 911 dispatch service is not working as well as the former in-house system?  REALITY: This is not supported by fact. According to the Chief of Police, the outsourced system actually provides better coverage and faster response times.
  • YBH Spin: Police coverage has diminished, thereby endangering residents’ safety. REALITY: This is not supported by fact, as the Village, with a static population, has had the same number of officers in the field for twenty years.
  • YBH Spin: There are no commercial businesses in Barrington Hills, and the village does not collect sales tax? REALITY: This is not supported by fact. There are a few businesses in the village, and annually $120,000 – $130,000 in sales taxes revenue is collected from them, according to Village records.
  • YBH Spin: The Village is being re-branded as embracing small lots? REALITY: This is not supported by fact. As best as we can figure, YBH is claiming this because the village website states “Large properties ranging from one to 10+ acres give residents more freedom to live how they want…” This is nothing more than a statement of fact. And, if Louis, Paula or Bob were actually familiar with the village’s official zoning map, they would know that 1-acre, 2-acre and 3-acre properties currently exist within Barrington Hills and have existed for decades (Burning Oak Trail, Barrington Bourne and Ashbury Lane to name just a few neighborhoods that have lots under 5 acres). These R-2, R-3 and R-4 districts are also referenced in the Village’s Comprehensive Plan.
  • YBH Spin: Open spaces are at risk and must be saved? REALITY: This is not supported by fact. Since the 2013 elections, to date, only 14 permits for single-family home construction have been issued for properties, all on 5 or more acres, with NO applications for subdivisions.
  • YBH Spin: FOIA expenses are out of control? REALITY: This is not supported by fact. Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) expenses are documented to be less than they were prior to 2013, and majority of the current expense can be attributed to three individuals, all of whom support this three-person slate.
  • YBH Spin: The current Administration is not protecting residents from intrusion by development in neighboring communities? REALITY: This is not supported by fact. The main issues raised by the Riding Club slate are Longmeadow Parkway (LMP) and the pending Plum Farm Development in Hoffman Estates, both of which could have been mitigated by the previous administration with proper proactive negotiation. The current administration has acted to the limits of the law in its attempts to discourage these plans. In addition to its resolution against LMP, the McLaughlin administration has opposed and spoken out against the IAA Auto Yard in East Dundee, the Speedway development in Lake Barrington in 2015, and voted against the widening of Route 62 2014-2017. And within the last month, Barrington Hills passed a 20-year border agreement with South Barrington.
  • YBH Spin: The Village Levy has not increased in twelve years? REALITY: This misrepresents the facts. According to published village financial records, the levy under the previous regime was set at $6,565,273 as set by previous administration in each of years 2011-2012-2013. The Village Board, lead by McLaughlin and trustee Colleen Konicek Hannigan LOWERED the levy in each successive year from 2014 through 2016, down to $$5,319,862. This represents a cumulative reduction in the Levy of $1,736,467.

So we ask again: are these poor hapless candidates just dazed and confused, or have these hard-core equestrians been  coached by three village residents who have strong personal reasons to support this slate of Iacovelli, Jacobsen and Zubak, (as well as Elaine Ramesh whose candidacy was the subject of our previous feature)? Their close associates include 1) the vocal large-scale commercial boarding operator who has been involved in on-going litigation with the village for eight years, 2) the chairman of a large undeveloped property located in unincorporated McHenry County, who has been fanning the flames of controversy over repeal of the flawed Anderson II horse boarding ordinance, and 3) of course, the former village president who apparently is desirous of once again imposing his failed agendas upon our village.

We believe that the ultimate goal of all four of these candidates is to reinstate ordinances to permit unbridled, large-scale commercial boarding and unimpeded related commercial equestrian activities to the Village, at the expense of the rights of the rest of us to the peaceful enjoyment of our homes.

Unbridled commercial equestrian activities may be THEIR Barrington Hills, but it’s not OUR Barrington Hills.

 

 

 

 

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Colleen Konicek-Hannigan

After experiencing some political turbulence in the transition to a new administration in 2013, government in the village of Barrington Hills is beginning to settle back into a sense of stability, if not yet absolute calm. While the village has put a decades-old lawsuit behind it, reduced expenses and revised some of its communications systems, some residents remain concerned that more needs to be done — and that some of the things that have been done have moved the village in the wrong direction.

In that climate, seven people have filed to seek three available positions on the village board.  Readers can see the entire Daily Herald article by clicking on this link.

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