An existing boundary agreement between North Barrington and Hawthorn Woods and a lack of specific tenants featured strongly Wednesday in deliberations preceding the Lake County Regional Plan Commission's recommendation against a controversial commercial proposal on a vacant site between the two villages.
The 3-to-5 negative recommendation now goes to the county's Zoning Board of Appeals, which will hold a public hearing at 5 p.m. July 18 at Concorde Banquets, 20922 N. Rand Road in Kildeer.
The proposal in question is for 800,000 square feet of commercial development on the 109-acre Dimucci property at the southeast corner of Rand and Old McHenry roads.
The plan commission's role is meant to be much broader in its oversight of the proposal's regional impact, in contrast to the more specific details to be looked at by the zoning board.
But several plan commissioners expressed frustration that they had almost no specifics at all by which to judge the development's impact.
Commissioner Loraine A. Ray complained to the county's Planning, Building and Development Director Eric Waggoner that the project was represented only as an indefinite shape occupying 53 of the site's 109 acres.
"The problem I have is you're asking us to judge the impact on the surrounding communities of a vague blob," Ray said. "I don't understand how staff expects us to just surmise. Is there any other way for us to approach this?"
Waggoner explained that the plan commission was being asked to recommend only the preliminary plan. More information regarding specific land uses and their impact on traffic and the area's underground water supply would be required before final approval.
But the plan commission's input on that final plan would not be sought, he said.
The fact that neither the land owners nor the county were parties to the boundary agreement between North Barrington and Hawthorn Woods dictating development of the site was also discussed.
North Barrington Village Attorney William Braithwaite said property owners typically don't have a role in intergovernmental agreements.
He added that while county officials weren't a party to the boundary agreement, it was one they strongly encouraged the villages to reach in 1999.
Project: Boundary agreement between villages a big factor