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posted: 12/7/2012 5:00 AM

Architect says TIF project totally wrong

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I've practiced architecture in Barrington for 34 years now, and have done hundreds of projects in the immediate area. I have lived in the Barrington area since 1953, and am a committed resident of the Village. I, like others, enjoy our small scale town and its amenities. It has always been a good place to live. Buildings have being built over the years, and yet the character of the village hasn't changed significantly. We are still a small town.

The proposed TIF redevelopment at Hough and Main streets will change that dramatically. All the buildings at this intersection are small scale, mostly one story and a few two-story fronts, but what is proposed for this location has simply overwhelming mass and bulk, is jammed too close to the streets, and is completely out of scale for the location.

There is an unrelented total of 400-plus feet of continuous building facade fronting the streets (1times the length of a football field), all of which is 40-p0lus feet high, higher than anything else nearby.

The scale and siting of this proposal is simply breathtakingly inappropriate for our town, especially at this location. It will irrevocably alter the nature and feel of our downtown. It will "canyon-ize" our streets and the street scape and forever change the way we experience them.

This project needs to be reconsidered and modified, and pushed back and scaled down significantly. In a town of 50,000, a project of this size might be appropriate, but not here. Originally conceived as a residential/retail mix which was very good conceptually, it was changed into an office/retail project that will compete for tenants with local building owners in the midst of soaring office vacancies.

In my professional opinion this project is an unacceptable mistake that needs to be dramatically rethought. On Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, the plan commission will begin to hear this project. Residents and business owners need to be present.

Everyone needs to thoughtfully open up their eyes to this proposal, and to see it for what it truly is, a egregious long-term error.

Ronald C. Flubacker


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