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Archive for the ‘Zoning Board’ Category

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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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’s advisory plan commission this week rejected the idea of recreational marijuana sales in the village. Casual pot use becomes legal in Illinois Jan. 1.

Towns can’t outlaw its use, but can decide to prohibit businesses that sell it or restrict their location. The plan commission at a meeting Tuesday evening recommended amending a Barrington ordinance to prohibit the use of recreational marijuana businesses.

Related: ZBA to take up “Cannabis Business Enterprises” at their October 21st meeting

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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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A private foundation supporting Barrington Area Unit District 220 has agreed to help fund a proposed outdoor education initiative and expansion of an entrepreneurship program into the middle schools.

Click on image to enlarge

Mary Dale, executive director of the Barrington 220 Foundation, said the nonprofit will provide a to-be-determined donation for the district’s proposed outdoor science laboratory off Hart Road. The lab would be on part of an undeveloped 67 acres the district owns, and officials say it could cost up to $750,000 to build.

Dale said the foundation also will donate $27,000 to District 220 for creation of the business incubator for eighth-graders at the two middle schools, allowing those students to have a “bridge” between similar programs in fifth grade and high school.

She said the two major projects were recommended for the funding after a vetting process by a committee that included residents and foundation officials. Foundation board trustees gave the final approval, with the selections revealed at a recent soiree at Barrington’s White House.

Read more here.

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Four years ago we asked readers of The Observer to trust our judgment when voting for 3 new trustees to be on our Village Board of Trustees (see Croll, Maison and Cecola for Barrington Hills Trustees).

In what turned out to be a hard fought, oft times contentious campaign, some may have thought we were asking for a leap of faith from our readers, and we continue to appreciate the confidence bestowed upon us by our readers. Though this year’s campaign is the quietest we’ve witnessed in 10 years, the stakes are no less high than they were four years ago.

Five residents are running for three seats on our Board of Trustees. Two residents are incumbent Trustees, one is a current member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, the other two ran unsuccessfully for village positions in 2017.   Here are our thoughts on these five candidates:

Louis Iacovelli: Louis seems like an affable guy in the computer software business. His campaign website is well done, though it would be more suitable to have photo of a location in the Village on the home page and not unincorporated McHenry County.

We cannot support Louis candidacy for the simple reason his wife, Gigi Iacovelli, is the treasurer of the Barrington Hills Park District. Currently a candidate for election on the park board herself, she derives at least part of her income by providing lessons at the district. While this is not a direct conflict of interest, the potential for lack of objectivity may cause concern in a trustee position.

Linda H. Cools: Linda ran as a write-in candidate for trustee 2 years ago, and after two recent Board of Election hearings, she is running for trustee on the April 2nd ballot.

The best thing one can say about Linda is she will do anything to get elected. This was evidenced by the fact that she (‘misspoke’) under oath multiple times to the Village President, President Pro-Tem and the Deputy Village clerk (see Truth or consequences). We have no place in such a small village for unrepentant (misspeakers)!

Buettner

Debra Buettner: Debra had served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for nearly 4 years when President McLaughlin asked her to consider running for Trustee. When she asked if he needed her help, he replied “Yes.” And that’s why she’s running today.

Debra founded her law firm about the same time she moved to the village nearly thirty years ago.   She is a graduate of Barrington High School, and she has her CPA as well as a law degree. Her confident attitude and her experience on the Zoning Board warrant our endorsement for Board of Trustees.

Cecola

Brian D. Cecola: Brian became a Trustee in 2015 and was given responsibility for Roads and Bridges as well as Public Safety.   No one adequately prepared him for the conditions he would be inheriting, but as most residents now recognize, he was up for the challenge and then some.

Brian also graduated from Barrington High School and he also owns his own business. He and his wife, Stephanie, and their three children are active in the community, participating in the neighborhood clean up days and riding trail maintenance.

Brian is also very active in philanthropy, is President of the Lions Club, and helped found and run the Fourth of July tent and fireworks. Despite all this, when President McLaughlin asked him to serve another term, he agreed, and he has our wholehearted endorsement.

Bryan C. Croll: Bryan was also elected to the Board of Trustees in 2015. He has been in charge of monitoring the finances of the village with the day-to-day oversight Peggy Hirsch, Village Treasurer.   He and Peggy also keep track of police pension fund performance.

Bryan and his wife Josie have three children and he manages his family business remotely in Arizona.   He donates his spare time to causes such as Barrington Area Conservation Trust and the local riding club.

We had some concerns with Bryan’s willingness to work with others early on in his first term. We now are equally concerned with his motivations in seeking a second term, and this publication cannot in good conscience unreservedly endorse him.   

Overall endorsements: The Daily Herald, Village President Martin McLaughlin and President Pro-Tem Colleen Konicek Hannigan have endorsed Bryan Croll, Brian Cecola and Debra Buettner for Trustees of Barrington Hills.

Cecola and Buettner have the unconditional support of The Barrington Hills Observer. Both have demonstrated a passion for our Village and willingness to serve our community. Both display the honesty, dedication and sound judgement that will represent the residents of Barrington Hills admirably for the next four years.

Early voting ends today, April 1.  Election Day polls open tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM.

Please Vote!

 

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