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Barrington Hills property owners are expected to pay less in taxes to the village next year, continuing a trend that began in 2013.

Under the tentative tax levy, Barrington Hills intends to collect about $5 million from property owners in the mostly residential community in 2020. The village projects needing about $50,000 less in property taxes for next year.

“We’ve squeezed a little more out of the orange,” Village President Martin McLaughlin said Friday.

Barrington Hills’ property tax levies have declined annually since 2013. Officials said the yearly levy has been trimmed by a combined 24% over that time.

Read more here.

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For the better part of two years now, members of our Zoning Board of Appeals have been attempting to craft new language for our Sign Ordinance. While appearing easy on the surface, the more daunting it became as ZBA members discussed nearly every purpose, size, height, setback, etc. that people might employ to gain the attention of a passersby.

Last month, the Board of Trustees had an opportunity to review the ZBA’s latest Sign Ordinance draft, and as readers of the Daily Herald now know, some former village trustees chose to use the public comment portion of the meeting to voice their (non)issues. (As it turns out later, they only used this time to grandstand and proved to most why they are “former’ trustees)

In his article,In Barrington Hills, properties have names, and residents want to keep them,” Daily Herald writer Bob Susnjara wrote the following highlights in his article on the October 28th BoT meeting:

“To lose a sense of history would be tragic for our village,” (45-year resident Patty Meroni, a former village trustee) said. “We have signs all around our village that develop our history. It’s part of what our village is all about, part of our uniqueness.”

“Former Village President Robert Abboud, whose property is High Wire Farm, shared his concern about the proposed sign ordinance changes with Barrington Hills officials.

‘I’ve had a sign marking my property for the last 32 years, my parents’ property 52 years,’ Abboud said.”

Perhaps if these two former trustees and former trustee and current Barrington Township Trustee Fritz Gohl had bothered to read the current Sign Ordinance (seen below and linked here) in place before, during and after their time in office, maybe they would recognize how moronic most of their comments were:

5-5-11 Signs

In residence districts signs shall be classified and permitted in accordance with the regulations set forth hereinafter.

(A) R1 District:

1. In an R1 district, the following nonflashing, nonilluminated signs are permitted under the conditions specified: (Ord. 09-05, 5-18-2009)

a. Nameplates and identification signs, subject to the following:

(1) Area and Content, Residential: There shall be not more than one nameplate, not exceeding one square foot in area, for each dwelling unit or driveway entrance, indicating the name or address of the occupant or a permitted occupation.

Clearly, based on his lengthy diatribe made during public comments, the 4.6 square foot vanity sign the one former trustee has displayed on his property, “… for the last 32 years,” has been illegal under current codes.

In fact, Susnjara’s article goes on to read:

“Trustee Colleen Konicek Hannigan said the village is trying to achieve a finely crafted sign ordinance that updates one that dates to 1963 and was last revised in 1977.

‘For those who apparently are not aware, our current ordinance means that probably 90-some-odd percent of the signs that are currently existing are out of compliance,’ Hannigan said.”

When we reviewed the audio recordings from the October 28th meeting (the link can be accessed here and written comments can be viewed here), there were clearly criticism of the ZBA draft, yet for all their hot air and rants on Facebook, was there any constructive ideas shared that would benefit the efforts of those volunteering their time on boards?

As you might imagine, not a one, and that by one definition is whining!

-The Observer

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While some towns want state lawmakers to take quick action on a recommendation to combine suburban and downstate police and firefighter pension funds in an effort to boost returns and cut costs, not all municipalities are on board.

Senate President John Cullerton introduced a bill Tuesday to consolidate the 649 suburban and downstate police and fire pensions. Gov. J.B. Pritzker followed with a statement praising Cullerton’s move in the first half of a six-day fall veto session that ended Wednesday.

Barrington Hills is asking lawmakers to take their time and not pass the proposal during the veto session. The session’s second three-day leg runs Nov. 12-14.

In part, Barrington Hills’ resolution says the Pension Consolidation Feasibility Task Force’s recommendation would be a complex financial, economic and operational undertaking requiring “proper and comprehensive analysis and review by all stakeholders” and should not be pursued until the regular legislative session starts next year.

“In my opinion, they’re trying to penalize cities that are performing well and lump them into cities that are not performing well,” Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin said.

Read more here.

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Some Barrington Hills properties don’t just have numeric addresses. They come with charming names like “Serendipity” and “Hidden Pond Estate,” often seen on signs posted along village streets.

Concerned that proposed changes in a sign ordinance could force those markers to go away, some residents this week let elected officials know they want to keep that slice of Barrington Hills tradition.

But Village President Martin McLaughlin said those distressed about proposed amendments in the sign ordinance have it all wrong and their concerns are unfounded. He said the intent is not to get rid of property name signs but to tweak the dated ordinance so that those signs as they are can comply with local laws.

Trustee Colleen Konicek Hannigan said the village is trying to achieve a finely crafted sign ordinance that updates one that dates to 1963 and was last revised in 1977.

“For those who apparently are not aware, our current ordinance means that probably 90-some-odd percent of the signs that are currently existing are out of compliance,” Hannigan said.

Read more here.

Editorial note: We will publish a link to recordings from Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting soon.

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Barrington Hills village board members have rejected the idea of allowing recreational marijuana businesses in town.

Trustees voted 6-0 Monday for an ordinance prohibiting retail sales or other kinds of marijuana businesses in the village. The vote came a week after Barrington Hills’ advisory zoning board of appeals recommended a ban on recreational pot businesses.

“As with any zoning amendment, if the village board decides to adopt this ordinance, it can always change its mind,” Village Attorney Sean Conway told the elected officials.

Read more here.

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Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin next week will formally honor the winner of a local honey tasting at his town’s recent fall festival.

An estimated 750 patrons attended the The Hills Are Alive bash that featured bees, barbecue and music. The seventh fest was under cover on a rainy day at the village park district’s riding center Sept. 29.

The event every year highlights a specific aspect of living in Barrington Hills, and this year beekeeping was in the spotlight. Four local beekeepers submitted honey harvested from their hives in Barrington Hills and surrounding areas. The competitors were Saturdays Are for the Bees, Back 40 Bees, Mike Shackleton and Honey Lake Bee Company.

Read more here.

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“PUBLIC HEARING Before the Zoning Board of Appeals Village of Barrington Hills Re: Cannabis Business Enterprises Notice is hereby given that a Public Hearing will be held on Monday, October 21, 2019 at 6:30 PM by the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Barrington Hills at the Village Hall, 112 Algonquin Road, Barrington Hills, IL, concerning the Zoning Board of Appeal’s proposed text amendment to the Village’s Zoning Ordinance, Title 5 of the Village Code; specifically an amendment to provide that cannabis business enterprises are prohibited uses in the Village.

A copy of the Zoning Ordinance and the proposed amendment is available for examination at the office of the Village Clerk at the Village Hall, weekdays between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. All interested parties are invited to attend the Public Hearing and will be given an opportunity to be heard. Written comments on the application for text amendment to be made part of the record of this proceeding will be accepted in the office of the Village Clerk through 5 PM, October 18, 2019.”

Editorial note: The way some residents have “interpreted” the Village Home Occupation Ordinance over the years, this topic will prove to be very interesting in the coming months and years to come.

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