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updated: 9/21/2012 12:24 AM

Unanimous vote paves way for shopping center in Lake County

Many Lake County residents unhappy with what might lie ahead

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  • Chairman George Bell of the Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals asks a question as the board discusses the Dimucci family request to rezone the 109-acre site at Rand and Old Mchenry roads from residential to commercial. The Dimuccis want the ability to build a shopping center on a portion of the property.

       Chairman George Bell of the Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals asks a question as the board discusses the Dimucci family request to rezone the 109-acre site at Rand and Old Mchenry roads from residential to commercial. The Dimuccis want the ability to build a shopping center on a portion of the property.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • John Dimucci addresses the Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals to discuss his family's request to rezone the 109-acre site at Rand and Old Mchenry roads from residential to commercial. The Dimuccis want the ability to build a shopping center on a portion of the property.

       John Dimucci addresses the Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals to discuss his family's request to rezone the 109-acre site at Rand and Old Mchenry roads from residential to commercial. The Dimuccis want the ability to build a shopping center on a portion of the property.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
 

The Dimucci family's controversial land-rezoning request had no trouble clearing the Lake County zoning board of appeals Thursday night.

After a few hours of discussion and review at Concorde Banquets in Kildeer, the seven-member panel voted unanimously to recommend the 109 acres of land at Rand and Old McHenry roads near Hawthorn Woods be rezoned from residential to commercial.

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The move would allow the family to sell the land to a developer that would build a shopping center on the site. A developer is not yet aboard.

The proposal now goes to the Lake County Board's planning, building and zoning committee and eventually to the full board.

The planning committee will discuss the matter when it next meets at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the county government building in downtown Waukegan.

The zoning board is the second advisory agency to share an opinion about the proposal. Earlier this year, the Lake County Regional Planning Commission opposed the family's request.

A tentative agreement that brought village leaders from neighboring Hawthorn Woods and North Barrington on board, despite earlier opposition, was a turning point for some zoning board members.

Changes made as part of that agreement -- including a reduction of the possible shopping space from 800,000 square feet to 650,000 square feet -- also were factors.

"The project has been thoroughly examined and so scaled back," zoning board member Carol Zerba said before the vote.

Many area residents have complained about the proposal, saying they're concerned about traffic, crime and other potential impacts on their lives.

Board member Greg Koeppen said he believes the center -- if it's ever built -- will be good for the area and the larger county.

But when he told the audience, "It's not going to change your area as much as you think," the crowd responded with groans.

Unanimous: Audience didn't like what board member had to say

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