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EFFECT ON VALUES: HOMES NEARBY COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENTS

 

 

 

June 25, 2012

A message from John, Mike Dimucci

and Cara Mueller

ACRE has sent out a mailing regarding our petition for our property at the southeast corner of Rt. 12 and Old McHenry Road. You may not have seen our presentation at the last Regional Plan Commission hearing, and we may not have the opportunity to present our application again tonight.

 

ACRE's flyer is meant to inflame passions and it relies on the reader not knowing the facts of our propossal. We heard about these tactics being used while we were grwowing up, and now that it is our petition we will do everything we can to fight this use of deception by providing you with the facts.

 

When you read the ACRE flyer was it clear that the plan ACRE opposes so strongly is not really being proposed? That it is entirely the creation of ACRE's imagination?

 

No - the flyer did not mention that!

 

When you read the ACRE flyer did you get the impression that our plan is nearly identical to the current Hawthorn Woods Comprehensive Plan for the size and placement of commercial use?  The biggest modification we have made to the Village plan is to surround our commercial development with permanent open space rather than single and multi-family residential.

No – the flyer did not mention that!

 

When you read the ACRE flyer did you realize that we are proposing to use a bit less than ½ of our land for any development at all?  And that the schools would not be burdened by more students?

 

No – the flyer did not mention that!

 

When you read the ACRE flyer did you learn that we have no specific commercial development in mind?  That we were just trying to change the future use of our property to commercial – a use that is already included in the current Village’s and BACOG’s comprehensive plans?

 

 No – the flyer did not mention that!

 

When you read the ACRE flyer did you learn that the boundary agreement they speak so much about was never taken seriously by North Barrington, Hawthorn Woods or by BACOG?  None of their current comprehensive plans agree with one another or with the boundary agreement.

 

No – the flyer did not mention that!

 

When you read the ACRE flyer did you learn that the commercial development in Deer Park, which includes the Deer Park Town Center Mall, covers over 170 acres, and that we propose to develop only 53 acres?

 

No – the flyer did not mention that! 

 

But it did very cleverly compare the retail portion of just one part of the Deer Park development to a completely unfounded guess of what may be built on our property under the most unlikely of events – a classic “straw man” trick.

 

The leaders of ACRE are using deception, half-truths and “straw man” tactics.  We ask you to check our website, especially our FAQ’s tab.

 

We ask you also to be sure to attend a hearing in which we will again be able to make a presentation of our petition.  Unfortunately, that will not be tonight, but we will keep you posted.

 

And feel free to contact us.  We are proud of our proposal and we promise you that once you learn the facts, you will find relief from the stomach-churning fears that the ACRE flyer provokes.

 

Get the facts and don’t be fooled – or frightened – by ACRE!

 

For more information, keep checking our website www.rdimucciproperty.com

June 25, 2012

Myths-in-the-Making

 

In recent evenings we have all heard a number of statements in opposition to our petition before the County. The effect of many of these statements is to create distortions of the facts and we fear that with sufficient repetition these myths can become accepted as being true. We call your attention to three myths-in-the-making.

A. The lead myth is that Lake County is inserting itself into an issue that was settled years ago by the often-praised boundary agreement between North Barrington and Hawthorn Woods.  The further claim is made that this is an IGA that the County endorsed and has since cited as an example of how IGAs should be done.  This myth says that the County is virtually a part of the IGA, so the County should “but-out” and leave this matter to the locals.  The locals can handle it better.

This sounds nice, but this myth cannot withstand even casual scrutiny.

First, the locals never acted as though the IGA should be followed.  They have not followed it.  Their comprehensive plans do not match the IGA, nor do they match one another.

Second, the assertion that the County is practically a part of the IGA is demonstrably false.  Yes, the Chairman of the County Board, writing for himself and not for the Board, wrote complimentary things about the general desirability of the IGA.  That’s true.  But when the Villages formally approached the County Board in 2003 (if memory serves) and asked it to join the IGA, the invitation was declined.  Pam Newton, currently COO of Hawthorn Woods, will remember this since when she was on the County Board she was Chair of the committee that heard the appeal from the Villages.  The text of North Barrington’s comprehensive plan acknowledges that the “overture to Lake County was not successful”.


Let this point be really clear.  The County never was part of the IGA – not in the formulation of the IGA nor when it was invited to join the IGA later.  It actually declined to join the IGA.


Let it also be clear that we, the owners of the property, were never even advised that the Villages were entering into an IGA to control our property.

B. A second myth has to do with our relationship with Lake County.  We hear about “secret meetings” and we have a “done deal”.  The implication is that we worked with the County against the interests of the villages.  Also implied in this myth is the idea that the County is chasing tax revenue and pushing the villages aside.

The fact is that we went to the County with the idea of changing the use of our property to reflect what the villages and BACOG all have already planned for – a substantial commercial use on our property.  Just like any other petitioner, we spoke with and met with county staff.  If our meetings were secret, so is every other petitioner’s meetings with the County on every other land use issue.

But before we started speaking with the County, we had discussions with each village separately.  Mr. Hunt and Mr. Sauer were village presidents at the time.  After all, the Hawthorn Woods comprehensive plan is very close to our proposal, with the exception that we don’t want to burden the schools with residential.  Is it fair to call those discussions secret too?  Was there something wrong with that approach?  If so, is every contact between a village and a landowner best characterized as being secret or perhaps wrong or suspicious? 

We also would like to make it clear that any claim by either North Barrington or Hawthorn Woods that they did not know about our discussions with Lake County is utterly false.  Perhaps certain individuals did not know, but we are certain that the villages cannot honestly allege that we worked in secret with Lake County.

C. The third myth that may be getting some traction has to do with sewer service.  This also relates to what the villages knew about plans for our property, and when they knew it.

The record is crystal clear that both North Barrington and Hawthorn Woods agreed with Lake County that our property could be served with sewer from Lake Zurich.  They did so in separate IGAs that were executed and recorded in 2009.  Hawthorn Woods even specifically agreed that this service could be provided if our property remained in unincorporated Lake County.

Officials from both villages have deliberately given the RPC a false impression of these facts.  One official is even citing chapter and verse of an agreement that was superseded by later agreements that were agreed to by their current village presidents!  Their claims should be tested against the current controlling documents, the full text of which are on our website www.rdimucciproperty.com in the FAQ's section.

After meeting with officials of both villages we concluded that the villages had entered into a profoundly defective boundary agreement, that they did not have a shared understanding of that IGA, and that they apparently had a bad relationship with one another.  A current example of this bad relationship, and the low regard for the IGA, is the cooperation North Barrington is showing to some owners in Valentine Manor who want to annex to the village in open defiance of the IGA with Hawthorn Woods.

We also concluded that neither village had the staff or capacity to manage the review of our plans internally.  In the end, it was obvious that we should stay in the jurisdiction of Lake County and that the County had the internal ability to review our proposal. 

There is another factor that was very important to us as well.  Since we were already in the jurisdiction of Lake County, it has an obligation to hear our petition and give it serious and fair consideration.  That is not the obligation of a village when hearing an annexation petition.  We knew from that past that the villages have let whims, myths and passions rule the day, just as is happening now.  We hope for better from the County.

 
 

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February 1, 2012

NEIGHBORING VILLAGE PLANS

 

Boundary Agreements

 

The Villages of Hawthorn Woods and North Barrington entered into a boundary agreement in 1999. In it they agreed on planning control and revenue sharing in the event that we would seek annexation to either village.

This boundary agreement was amended a few years later to include a very specific description of the type of development they would permit on our property. In brief, they called for a commercial development that was so unrealistic that we concluded that the their only intention was to make commercial development impossible.

The amended agreement also called for residential development. They provided for multifamily residential as well as single-family homes on a mixture of ½ acre and 1 acre lots.

The Villages never asked us to join them in making plans for the future of our property, and we are not a party to their agreement. Needless to say, we would have to actually seek annexation before their agreement would apply to us.

 

Comprehensive Plan

 

The most recent expression of Hawthorn Woods' intent for the development of our property is their current comprehensive plan. It was prepared after the amended boundary agreement was signed. This comprehensive plan says (on page 15) that their intent is:

"To consider proposals for limited commercial development for the Mixed Use Area shown on the Plan located north of Valentine Manor, south of Old McHenry Road, and east of Route 12. This site, which is over 100 acres in size, lies in unincorporated Lake County. Provided that an acceptable alternative to conventional septic system waste disposal can be achieved, then the Village envisions that up to 50 acres of this site could be developed for commercial use. It is envisioned that the residential development will be at a density that is consistent with that of the surrounding residential development."

The map, which is an exhibit to the comprehensive plan, shows the commercial development where we are proposing to locate it in our application. We have arranged for public sewer and water service now, and the plan we have submitted to Lake County meets this expression of the desires of Hawthorn Woods. We do this, of course, while leaving more than 50% of our property as undeveloped open space.

Finally, North Barrington did not include our property in their comprehensive plan. Under the terms of the boundary agreement they have ceded the planning function to Hawthorn Woods.

 

 

© Dimucci Family Farm 2012