July 19, 2012
Citizens for Conservation
459 W. Highway 22
Barrington, IL 60010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sam Oliver, Staff Director or
Peggy Simonsen, President
Statement on DiMucci Property Zoning Request
Citizens for Conservation (CFC) has followed the hearings on the DiMucci family’s request for rezoning of their 109 acres in unincorporated Lake County on the southeast corner of Route 12 and Old McHenry Rd. The land is farmland that is zoned residential; DiMuccis are requesting commercial zoning to allow up to 800,000 square feet of development on 53 acres with 56 acres of open space including stormwater detention. The Village of North Barrington borders the land to the west, and the Village of Hawthorn Woods borders the land on the east.
CFC has concerns about the environmental impact of an 800,000 square foot development that is almost twice the size of the 450,000 square foot Deer Park Town Center. In the late 90s the community rallied to fend off a 1.2 million square foot mall proposal by the Taubman Co. This time around, there are no definite plans, just a book of guidelines that may or may not be followed by a future unknown developer.
Additionally, this time the development is before the Lake County board instead of the Village of North Barrington or Village of Hawthorn Woods, municipalities that have a signed intergovernmental agreement regarding development on this property. CFC is concerned that local land use planning is being ignored. The Barrington area has planned together for over forty years through Barrington Area Council of Governments and Citizens for Conservation. Cooperation has extended beyond the Barrington area concerning water supply and watershed planning. Our communities depend upon working cooperatively together to maintain countryside, semi-rural land planning and open space in the area. The impacts of this development are local; agreements are in place to manage this development; therefore, we strongly believe the planning should also be local.
CFC is concerned about the loss of water storage on the property. The site contains 32% hydric soils with an additional 16% containing some hydric soils. These are soils that hold water and are inappropriate for building. Hydric soils are suitable for wetland restoration and regional storage to reduce flooding in the Flint Creek Watershed. In an old agricultural field such as DiMucci’s, these soils indicate the presence of drain tiles which may cause flooding if disturbed. There is no drain tile survey to show where they are. Downhill from the site there is already significant flooding in low areas on Miller Rd. and in Biltmore Subdivision before stormwater enters North Flint Creek. Additional loss of water storage may increase flooding.
Citizens for Conservation opposes the change of zoning on this property without specific development plans. We also oppose the Lake County Board’s taking unilateral action without considering local planning for development of this site especially considering the potentially detrimental effects on the environment and the community.