Critics of a plan that would allow a shopping center to be built near Hawthorn Woods will have their turn at the podium Tuesday during the latest public discussion of the controversial proposal.
The Lake County zoning board of appeals isn't expected to rule on whether the Dimucci family's land at Route 12 and Old McHenry Road should be rezoned from estate to commercial. That could happen at a meeting tentatively scheduled for Thursday.
Much of Tuesday's meeting likely will be taken up by foes of the project who have organized under the name ACRE, or Active Citizens for Responsible Expansion. They say the proposal for the land in unincorporated Lake County would allow a shopping center that's too big and would affect traffic congestion, crime, the environment and nearby residents' quality of life.
They've also criticized recent private meetings that led to village officials in Hawthorn Woods and North Barrington -- the two towns closest to the vacant, 109-acre site -- essentially signing off on the plan.
"None of the other interested community members ... had the opportunity to provide input or to know anything about what was being contemplated in these closed-door meetings," a news release issued by the group Monday claimed.
Tuesday's meeting is set for 5 p.m. at Concorde Banquets, 20922 N. Rand Road, Kildeer.
Lake County officials expect ACRE will put on a lengthy case. That, combined with additional public comments on the matter, will mean the zoning board likely won't give its opinion on the Dimucci's request until Thursday. That meeting is set for 5 p.m. at the banquet hall, too.
"There is obviously a lot of public comment yet to be heard," said Eric Waggoner, the county's planning director.
The Lake County regional planning commission already has rejected the Dimuccis' request. The Lake County Board will take up the matter when the zoning board is done.