Rescheduled meeting on Dimucci property set for July 11

The Lake County regional planning commission will make its recommendation on a controversial plan for a shopping center on unincorporated land near Hawthorn Woods at a rescheduled meeting Wednesday.

The meeting regarding the Dimucci family's property on the southeast corner of Rand and Old McHenry roads is set for Concorde Banquets, 20922 N. Rand Road, Kildeer, from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Commission members decided to postpone the original meeting, June 25, after a miscommunication resulted in experts not being present.

Though the public comment period for the regional planning commission has ended, Eric Waggoner, director of the planning, building and development department, said members of the public will be allowed to respond to commission members' questions.

“It's been a very open and inclusive process, and we intend for it to remain so,” Waggoner said.

The family, which has owned the property for decades, plans to convert part of the vacant land into an 800,000-square-foot shopping center. They have submitted an application to develop 53 acres of the 109-acre parcel.

They request that the area be rezoned and granted a conditional use permit for commercial development. The rest of the land would be open space.

North Barrington and Hawthorn Woods officials and many residents have expressed disproval of the plan. A similar plan for a much larger center was proposed in the late 1990s but was nixed in a 1999 boundary agreement between the two villages.

Critics have cited concerns about increased traffic in this latest proposal. Others have said the plan disregards the boundary agreement.

While the Lake County planning department staff has endorsed the plan, this isn't the end of the line. The planning commission would send its recommendation to the county's zoning board of appeals July 18 for another meeting at the same start time and location. It would proceed to the Lake County Board's planning, building and zoning committee, then to the full county board for consideration.

Despite the most recent meeting postponement and another one earlier in the year when a meeting space was not large enough to accommodate participants, Waggoner said he does not believe the process has been delayed.

“I think the length of this particular application process is more a function of the significance of the development proposal than it is anything else,” he said. “It's a project of great importance to a lot of people. Because of that fact, it requires a lot of time and consideration.”

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