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Article updated: 5/29/2013 2:06 PM

Controversial Island Lake annexation plan halted

Charles Amrich

Charles Amrich

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A controversial annexation and development proposal in Island Lake has been halted because of money owed by the developers, Mayor Charles Amrich said Wednesday.

Clark Street Development didn't pay a retainer for engineers and other personnel when it proposed the project to the previous village administration earlier this year, Amrich told the Daily Herald.

The bill is about $15,000, he said.

"We're not going to move forward until that's paid," Amrich said.

Peter Eisenberg, a partner with Clark Street Development, said he received a bill for legal fees from the village last week.

"And we are currently reviewing that bill," Eisenberg said.

The bill didn't mention engineers or any other services, he said.

The developers are eyeing a 153-acre site on both sides of River Road at Route 176 in what's now unincorporated McHenry County.

Known as the Rimas Lodge property, the land was a summer retreat years ago.

The developers want the village to annex the land. They want to build homes, a restaurant and a gas station there.

A new public park and beach have been proposed, too.

Developers spoke to the village board about their plan in March. Two subsequent public hearings before the village plan commission were packed by people concerned about the proposal.

Critics questioned the developers' request for a special taxing district for the property, the housing elements and other aspects of the proposal.

Amrich was among the most prominent critics, and the proposal became a target during the election.

Amrich remains opposed to the plan. He raised concerns about environmental impact and whether multifamily housing is a good fit for the spot.

"I just don't think that's what I'd like to see there," he said.

The village's plan commission had been scheduled to host another public hearing about the plan Thursday.

The developers had requested a delay until Aug. 29 so they could first meet privately with Amrich and other recently elected officials.

Eisenberg said he'd still like to meet with Amrich and other town leaders.

As for whether the project has been delayed at the developers' request or halted by the mayor, Eisenberg said Amrich "can try to paint it however he likes."

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