Discussion of a controversial housing proposal in Libertyville attracted a crowd, but no recommendation was reached and the matter again was continued by the village's plan commission.
An overflow turnout estimated at more than 200 packed the Libertyville Civic Center on Monday for continued discussion of a proposal by the Roanoke Group for various approvals to build 148 single-family houses on 40 acres west of Butterfield Road and south of Lake Street.
Monday's four-hour session, which was a continuation of a Sept. 26 public hearing, ended without a recommendation by the advisory plan commission. However, opponents said they were encouraged by comments from some plan commissioners regarding traffic and safety issues.
The turnout was a testament to a vigorous effort by opponents who have used email, social media and other avenues to present and share their concerns with other residents and village leaders.
"This is very much an informed public. They know what's going on now," said Phil Brown, the point person for a group known as the Butterfield Team representing several neighborhoods near the proposed project.
Brown made a slideshow that raised various issues and noted principles included in the village's own comprehensive plan that he said are at odds with the proposal.
Increased traffic in neighborhoods, safety of motorists and children, impact of more students on local schools and possibly higher taxes as a result, and many other aspects are among the concerns.
A main consideration is how residents and visitors will access busy Butterfield Road. The developer wants to provide a traffic signal and additional pedestrian crossing improvements at Lake Street and turn restrictions at the main entrance about a quarter-mile south.
However, the suggestions were not incorporated into the official exhibits and the Lake County Division of Transportation, which controls Butterfield Road, has not weighed in. Consequently, village staff recommended continuing the hearing until Feb. 27 to allow Roanoke to address staff, public and plan commission comments.