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posted: 10/2/2012 6:05 PM

Dimucci property plans closer to approval in Lake County

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  • The vote on the rezoning of the Dimucci property now moves to the Lake County Board.

       The vote on the rezoning of the Dimucci property now moves to the Lake County Board.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

A controversial proposal that would rezone 109 acres in southwestern Lake County cleared another hurdle Tuesday morning.

The Lake County Board's planning, building and zoning committee approved an intergovernmental agreement with village officials in Hawthorn Woods and North Barrington that places a variety of restrictions on what can be built on the site, now owned by members of the Dimucci family.

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The deal still requires approval from the Hawthorn Woods and North Barrington village boards, as well as the full county board.

Pam Newton, Hawthorn Woods' chief operating officer, said village officials still are trying to resolve some issues in the proposal. That could happen within the next few days, she said.

A vote in Hawthorn Woods hasn't been scheduled, she said.

North Barrington Village Administrator Kathy Nelander couldn't be reached for comment.

The land is in unincorporated Lake County near the two towns. The Dimuccis want the vacant property to be rezoned from estate to commercial to allow the construction of a shopping center. A developer is not yet aboard.

Village officials had opposed the rezoning request until striking the deal with county staffers in late August.

The agreement will, in part:

• Limit the size of a possible shopping center to 650,000 square feet, down from 800,000 square feet.

• Emphasize the construction of separate buildings with outdoor pedestrian amenities.

• Be consistent with a 2002 intergovernmental agreement between the two towns by banning hospitals, adult entertainment, boat or car dealerships with outdoor displays, and other possible uses.

• Limit parking structures to two stories.

The rezoning request was rejected by the Lake County Regional Plan Commission, which advises the Lake County Board, in July. The county's zoning board of appeals, another advisory group, approved the proposal last month, as did the county board's planning committee.

Dozens of area residents opposed the proposal at a series of public meetings this summer, saying it would hurt property values, increase traffic and cause other problems.

County board member Bonnie Thomson Carter, leader of the planning committee, called the deal a compromise that balances the rights of the land owners with the concerns of the residents.

She stressed the deal limits retail operations to less than half the site, even though the Dimuccis could have asked to develop the entire property.

Additionally, the proposal fits with the county board's continuing desire to promote local businesses and create jobs, Carter said.

"Not everybody's winning, but not everybody's losing, either," said Carter, an Ingleside Republican.

Representatives of an opposition group couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

The county board's finance committee will discuss the proposal at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Waukegan.

The full county board could vote on the rezoning request and the intergovernmental agreement at its next meeting, which is set for 9 a.m. Oct. 9 in Waukegan.

Even if the county board approves the proposal, the property won't be rezoned until after a development plan is brought forth, officials have said.

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