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160

160 Hawthorne Road

The regular monthly Zoning Board of Appeals meeting will be available for remote participation only Monday, April 19th, beginning at 6:30 PM.  Items on the agenda include public hearings and meetings on the following:

  • Amendment to Existing Special Use (parking lot expansion): Al Azhar Islamic Foundation – 160 Hawthorne Road
  • Special Use Application (recreational facility): Dundee Township Park District -South and Parallel to the Longmeadow Parkway near Algonquin Road

A copy of their agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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VBH__LogoThe Village Board will meet on tonight September 25th at 6:30 PM. The agenda and e-Packet can be found here.

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VBH__LogoThe Board of Health will hold a special meeting today at 7:30 PM.  The agenda and e-packet materials can be found here.

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VBH__LogoThe Village Board will meet on Monday August 28th at 6:30 PM. The agenda can be viewed here and the e-Packet can be found here.

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VBH__LogoThe ePacket agenda containing links to documents to be discussed during Tuesday evening’s Village Board meeting has been posted.  To access the ePacket link, click here.

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The Board of Trustees will hold their monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

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The Board of Trustees will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

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The Village Board of Trustees meets Monday evening at 6:30 PM.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

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The Village has released audio recordings from the August 15th Zoning Board of Appeals continued public hearing regarding proposed amendments to commercial horse boarding codes.  The menu of edited recordings by agenda topic can be accessed here.

Before the hearing began, Dr. Gwynne Johnston, chair of the Board of Health, made a brief presentation on the board’s positions on horse boarding and well water quality.  A copy of his presentation can be read here, or the audio recording can be heard here.

The Board of Health has begun a long-term study of water samples from nine wells throughout the Village, beginning with baseline sampling for long-term tracking of any changes to water quality, due to any number of factors, including horse keeping and boarding.

While their focus has been on “sub-surface” water, however, Gewalt Hamilton has been studying the Flint and Spring Creek waterways in Barrington Hills, and their February 2016 report to Bob Kosin, Village Administrator, indicated water testing levels above acceptable limits for fecal coliform, phosphorus, etc., as depicted below:GH Creek Water Testing

A copy of the complete Gewalt Hamilton surface water testing report can be viewed here.  We suggest that the Board of Health participate in this ongoing study as well, since it’s unclear what Mr. Kosin does with these reports.

The next person to speak was John Blackburn of Blackburn Architects, the firm that designed the proposed HARPS facility in unincorporated McHenry County for the developers of Barrington Hills Farm.  The chair allowed him to speak next since he was purportedly scheduled to return to Washington, D.C. (However, he remained in attendance for the entire meeting.)

Blackburn provided a summary of his experience and his philosophies for designing equestrian facilities which must include the health needs of the horse, the needs of the owner and must meet the demands of the site where the facility is to be built.

At no point did he mention consideration of surrounding properties.  Similarly, his design of the HARPS facility calls for parking stalls for ten horse trailers near a northern border of the development  — closest to the neighboring Barrington Hills residential properties, as seen here.

When Blackburn concluded his remarks, a ZBA member asked his opinion on how much space is needed for horses in order to have a “successful horse facility?”  Blackburn responded, “Generally the rule of thumb is an acre per horse,” but stressing that each property is different.  That exchange can be heard here.

Later on, Blackburn was asked the same question, but with more qualifications such as if the horse is fed grain and other nutrients such that they aren’t reliant on grazing on grasses for sustenance, would his one acre rule of thumb apply, and he answered with a qualified “yes” as can be heard here.

When the public hearing was opened, the first person to speak was the chairman of Barrington Hills Farm.  During his testimony, he stated, “Barrington Hills Farm invested significant money and effort based on the village’s identity as an equestrian community and the current ordinances in the village code.”

By “current ordinances,” we assume he referred to the LeCompte/Anderson code.

He went on to state, “Both the village’s longstanding image as an equestrian community and Barrington Hills Farm’s purpose in acquiring land in Barrington Hills will be devastated by the proposed amendment.” Both statements can be heard here.

When a board member asked him when the Barrington Hills Farm property was purchased, he replied, “I don’t have an exact date.”  When asked if it was prior to 2015, he responded, “Oh, hell, I don’t know.”  The recording of this exchange can be heard here.

The McHenry County records show most, if not all, of the property titles that make up Barrington Hills Farm were transferred on September 29th and 30th of 2014.  One can assume negotiations and closure of the sale of those properties occurred at least a month or more prior to those dates.

The LeCompte/Anderson horse boarding code was not approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals until early December of 2014, and it was not passed by the Board of Trustees until February of 2015.  As a matter of fact, in early September of 2014, the Zoning Board was still considering four separate boarding text amendments before them from four residents according to records.

And, as we’ve previously written, most of the 602 acre Barrington Hills Farm property is in unincorporated McHenry County, and Barrington Hills codes do not apply to the present or future development plans of his organization.

The balance of the nearly two and a half hour meeting revealed nothing new to report.  It was too much more of “he said, she said” banter that’s really unproductive, so much so, that even those in the audience who are allies of a given speaker are even telling them to sit down.

What is clearly evident is some in our community are attempting to stall the progress of the Zoning Board, and most are now becoming weary of it.  We’re aware of why some are stretching this out, and we’ll be reporting the reason at a future date.

In the meantime, the next meeting of the Zoning Board is scheduled for Tuesday, August 30th at 6:30 PM at Countryside Elementary School.

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microphoneThe Zoning Board of Appeals will holding a meeting tonight at Countryside Elementary School to continue their public hearing from August 1st regarding a proposed amendment to commercial horse boarding codes.  The meeting begins at 7:30 PM, and a copy of the full agenda, including updated written comments for consideration by the board, can be viewed and downloaded here.

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