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Archive for the ‘Equestrian Commission’ Category

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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The Equestrian Commission is scheduled to meet on Monday evening at 6:30 PM.  The commission has not met in nearly a year.  On the agenda are several items, including discussions on Fencing and Horse Boarding Regulations.  However the most interesting item seems to be something called the Illinois State Farm Nuisance Act Presentation.  We researched this topic, and apparently it is legislation that has been promoted by the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois and local Equestrienne Elaine Ramesh.  The legislation has already passed the Illinois Senate and House, and, from what we can tell, it is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

It would add the keeping of horses and horse BOARDING to the current state law which protects existing livestock farms from being lawsuits on the basis of nuisance.  The original law was intended to protect actual agricultural farms from being sued as a nuisance by neighbors because of odors, dust or noise generated by the routine performance of farming chores, but it seems as though the activists in the Horsemen’s Council are using this to bypass local zoning ordinances, such as ours in Barrington Hills.    Horse boarding in our view is NOT agricultural, as there is no agricultural product which is generated. We would strongly urge residents to attend this meeting.

At the time of publication, only the agenda was available here, but no meeting packet materials were posted.  The Trustee Liaison to the Commission is newly elected Trustee Paula Jacobsen.

CORRECTION:  Michelle Maison is still the liaison to the commission.

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From the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois Facebook page

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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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phantom-developer-costume-2

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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Audio recordings from the August 25th meeting of the Roads & Bridges Committee meeting are available for review on the Village website.  There was no public comment during a fairly routine meeting, however, we are pleased to report Trustee Gohl, who is assigned to the committee, attended the meeting for the first time in well over a year.

Finishing touches are being completed on Veteran’s Crossing (formerly the Cuba Road Bridge), including trash cleanup and seeding and grading where grass was disturbed.  Dan Strahan, Village Engineer, also reiterated that the Village will receive a discount off of the final invoice for the bridge reconstruction due the Contractor’s delay in the completion of the bridge.

Spring Creek Road west of Haegers Bend Road will be closed until December due to road work.  This is primarily due to work Algonquin is performing on Highland Avenue, however, Barrington Hills is paying for a small portion of the work to resurface the road within our border.

It was reported that the 2016 roads and drainage projects as well as engineering fees are coming in at or below budget even with the addition earlier this year of resurfacing a portion of River Road which was scheduled for 2017.

IDOT issued a transportation bulletin which included a request for proposal for “Phase I” engineering feasibility study in 2017 for the widening of Algonquin Road (IL 62) to four lanes in Barrington Hills in anticipation of the Longmeadow Parkway Project going through.  Strahan noted this planning project was specified as a 48-month task, so even this first step would likely take over four years.

Trustee Cecola mentioned that in a prior meeting with an IDOT official on the matter it was agreed that some form of crossing to allow horseback riders would be considered over the widened roadway in the form of a bridge or an underpass to prevent the disconnection of trails.  That full IDOT discussion can be heard here.

To access the menu of edited recordings by agenda topic, click here.

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Audio recordings from the July 25th Equestrian Commission meeting have been posted to the Village website.  To access the menu of recordings edited by agenda topic, click here.

Some of the agenda items crossed paths with others during the meeting, and the recording topics don’t necessarily cover what was discussed, so we’ll attempt to highlight what was covered by the commissioners.

Trustee Maison reported she participated on a recent conference call with a representative of Cook County regarding the status of Horizon Farms.  The “north” portion of the property has reopened, however some areas to the south remain closed.  Also, the county has hired consultants to conduct a market analysis in August to determine how best to utilize the property.

The full trustee report can be heard here.

The commission has begun to document trail crossing signs throughout the Village using a cell phone based application that maps the exact location of the signs.  This will help to determine where signs may be needed based on the horse Village horse trail map. That discussion can be heard here.

Unfortunately, there was no meeting packet published for this meeting, so the trail map the commissioners discussed is somewhat difficult to follow.  Considering some residents have closed their private trails, we believe the Village should publish the trail map on the Village website so that it can be accurately updated to avoid placing crossing signs where a connecting trail may no longer exist.

One resident provided public comment, and his remarks can be heard here.

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The Zoning Board of Appeals will be holding a continuation of their July meeting this evening at 7:30 PM at Countryside Elementary School.  Tonight’s meeting will include a public hearing followed by a board discussion of a proposed amendment to the current commercial horse boarding codes. A copy of the agenda, including reference documents, can be viewed here.

Phantom Developer

Phantom Developer

Many residents have reported they received a form letter over the weekend urging them to attend the meeting.  The letter (seen here) came from a resident who wrote, “Some months ago a clique of [unnamed] area residents associated with [undocumented] high density commercial housing development initiated a subtle, but strategic campaign to defeat and dismantle the statutory defenses that preserve the character of the Village of Barrington Hills.”

As we illustrated in our recent editorial,Here we go again,” playing the unsubstantiated “developer” card has become extremely wearisome to most residents after so many years. 

If “high density commercial housing development,” is the motivation behind the currently proposed amendment, then where was this letter writer’s outcry when recommendations from both the Equestrian Commission (seen here) and an equestrian-laden Zoning Board of Appeals (seen here) advocated very similar guidelines for commercial horse boarding under a previous administration back in 2011?  

In fact, there was little, if any, uproar from the equestrian community at that time, so why is the sky suddenly falling now? 

Frankly, we think residents are too savvy to fall for the incessant cries of “wolf” such as this latest one in every election cycle and every time prudent commercial horse boarding codes are being considered.

However, since he raised the topic of commercial residential development, we’d like to pass along something we recently ran across that should be of interest to residents.

It seems Barrington Hills Farm (whose chairman happens to be the aforementioned letter writer) has engaged a website developer to promote, “600 acres of pristine, undeveloped land located at Haegers Bend and Spring Creek Roads at the northwestern most corner of Barrington Hills,” as depicted below (please click on the image to enlarge for better viewing):

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We found it interesting that this prototype website (click here to view it) is grouped with other sites under development promoting businesses and commercial developments in Chicago in a staging web address as seen here, so perhaps the chair of Barrington Hills Farm would like to share their development plans sometime sooner than later with residents.

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