Buffalo Grove residents impacted by the upcoming Weiland Road/Lake-Cook Road improvements will get two more chances to air their views before the village board votes to move forward with the project.
Village President Jeffrey Braiman and trustees indicated Monday that while another public hearing is not necessary, the village board will hold two related meetings next month -- one to review the financial impact of the alternatives presented, and another for the board to decide whether to direct the village engineer to sign and approve the project's Phase I study.
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The meetings, they said, will give the public ample opportunity to address the $100 million road plan aimed at improving traffic flow along Weiland and Lake-Cook roads.
A public hearing on the preferred layout of the project, which includes a new connector road linking Weiland and Prairie roads, north of Aptakisic Road, took place Oct. 2. Many residents of the neighborhood surrounding the proposed connector spoke out against the proposal, saying it would displace some homeowners and lower property values for others, while not solving traffic woes in the area.
Trustee Andrew Stein said that while he agrees the village has met the letter of the law regarding public hearings, the Oct. 2 event left many unsatisfied.
"I do believe that all along what they perceived as an opportunity for a hearing or a meeting was different than what they actually received," he said.
Braiman noted, however, that the public record already includes comments from individuals in favor and against the plan.
"I don't know what a public hearing would do, other than reiterate those things," he said.
The entire process has been geared toward getting feedback from the public, probably more than any other project, he added. The village manager, village president and trustees have also met with groups from the affected areas, he said. Public meetings also were held in 2009 and 2010.
Trustee Michael Terson noted that village officials have received more than 100 pages of comments on the project, in addition to emails and followup conversations.
Besides the connector plan, the proposal also includes widening Weiland from two to four lanes between Lake-Cook and Aptakisic roads, and widening Lake-Cook from four lanes to six lanes between Hastings Lane and Raupp Boulevard.
If the village board signs off on the Phase I study, the project, with public comments, would be submitted to the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration for review of the preferred alternatives. A new agreement would then be negotiated with the Lake County Department of Transportation regarding the Lake County portion, and then the entire project would move on to Phase II Engineering Design.