The Ela Soccer Club has reached an agreement to purchase 10 acres near Hawthorn Woods to develop a field complex, the organization has announced in a letter to its members.
The land at the corner of Old McHenry Road and Route 12 is big enough to house three soccer fields for tournaments and other soccer matches, said Ela Soccer President Doug Anderson. Besides the three 300-foot by 200-foot fields, the location will include parking, according to a preliminary design on the club's website.
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Before going forward, Anderson said, the Lake Zurich-based organization will need to cut through some red tape with the village of Hawthorn Woods and Lake County.
"Hawthorn Woods is asking for a traffic study," Anderson said. "Then, there's a zoning issue with the county that we are trying to work through."
According to the club's website, the county is requiring the club to obtain a conditional use permit to use the land for soccer fields. The club disputes the requirement.
However, Anderson said, the organization vows to work through the process to make the fields a reality.
"With over 1,200 participants and continuing to grow, we are always looking for opportunities for additional field spaces," Anderson said. "We are hopeful for a quick and inexpensive approval process."
It's unclear when construction on the new fields would begin.
"I am extremely excited, though," Anderson said. "We've expanded dramatically, and this land is cheap enough to purchase, so it is perfect for us. Now we just need to work through the approval process."
According to a timeline on the club's website, the contract for the land was entered into in late July, but it wasn't publicly announced until this month while officials worked behind the scenes with Hawthorn Woods and Lake County officials.