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updated: 2/3/2012 5:59 AM

Hawthorn Woods vows to fight new mall plan

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  • Diane Benz of the Valentine Manor subdivision holds up an old sign as she criticizes the plan for a shopping center during a special Hawthorn Woods village board meeting Thursday to discuss Lake County's rezoning of the Dimucci property for a shopping center.

       Diane Benz of the Valentine Manor subdivision holds up an old sign as she criticizes the plan for a shopping center during a special Hawthorn Woods village board meeting Thursday to discuss Lake County's rezoning of the Dimucci property for a shopping center.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Hawthorn Woods resident Jeff Sabitt ask questions about the village's plans during a special Hawthorn Woods village board meeting Thursday to discuss Lake County's rezoning of the Dimucci property for a shopping center.

       Hawthorn Woods resident Jeff Sabitt ask questions about the village's plans during a special Hawthorn Woods village board meeting Thursday to discuss Lake County's rezoning of the Dimucci property for a shopping center.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Hawthorn Woods Mayor Joseph Mancino explains the village's plans during a special Hawthorn Woods village board meeting to discuss Lake County's rezoning of the Dimucci property for a shopping center.

       Hawthorn Woods Mayor Joseph Mancino explains the village's plans during a special Hawthorn Woods village board meeting to discuss Lake County's rezoning of the Dimucci property for a shopping center.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
 

Hawthorn Woods village board trustees Thursday night officially objected to a potentially major commercial development floated for the southeast corner of Rand and Old McHenry roads in unincorporated Lake County.

Trustees voted 6-0 in favor of the resolution against having an 800,000-square-foot project over 109 acres between Hawthorn Woods and North Barrington. A plan for a regional shopping mall was rejected for the site 16 years ago and previously fueled a border war between the villages.

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In the resolution, Hawthorn Woods contends the proposal from Robert and Constance Dimucci before Lake County government "is in direct conflict" with a settlement agreement the village and North Barrington reached over the 109 acres.

Hawthorn Woods Village President Joseph Mancino told about 50 spectators Thursday the town will do what's necessary to block the proposal. He said Hawthorn Woods already has hired special legal counsel and an expert in civic planning to help its case.

"We will be taking action, legally, where needed," Mancino said.

Village officials are encouraging residents to object to the proposal, which doesn't have any specific building plans attached, at a public hearing set by the Lake County Regional Planning Commission. It'll be at 3 p.m. Monday at Ela Area Library, 275 Mohawk Trail in Lake Zurich.

Some Hawthorn Woods residents, including Diane Benz, are fighting the proposal in its early stages in the approval process. Benz -- toting a green-and-white "Don't Mall Us" sign from 16 years ago -- said objecting residents now have social media to help their cause in 2012.

Benz said she's already launched a Facebook page against the Dimuccis' plans.

"Let us be the bad guys," Benz told the Hawthorn Woods village board.

North Barrington Village President Al Pino went on record this week against the proposal. Tower Lakes and the Barrington Area Council of Governments also are opposed.

On the other side, Lake County Board member Stevenson Mountsier of Barrington has said he'll support the proposal if it comes to a formal vote.

Lake County Administrator Barry Burton contends the Dimuccis' proposal not only meets standards but also is a less intensive use than that called for in the boundary agreement between North Barrington and Hawthorn Woods.

Robert and Constance Dimucci's paperwork was submitted by RK123, a limited liability corporation that lists them as trustees.

Despite the lack of detail, an attorney for the Dimuccis said the proposed development wouldn't have any residential, manufacturing or industrial uses.

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