Hoffman Estates delays vote on annexation deal at routes 59, 72

Hoffman Estates trustees on Monday voted to continue their discussion of a controversial annexation and development agreement for 145 acres previously disconnected from Barrington Hills until next Monday, April 24.

Several village board members, including Mayor Bill McLeod, cited the speed at which they and affected members of the community had had to absorb a massive amount of detailed information over the weekend.

Though the vote was unanimous, Trustee Gary Pilafas said he didn't believe the delay would benefit him.

He added that it was his duty to get through the 390 pages of documents over the holiday weekend, and that he recognized the developer's plans as consistent with previous approvals granted to other parts of the same site at routes 59 and 72 back in 2004.

Together they form a 185-acre parcel at the northwest corner being planned for up to 1,325 housing units of various types and approximately 200,000 square feet of retail development.

But community members, including several officials from South Barrington and Barrington Unit District 220, criticized the proposal as creating an uncharacteristic density of housing, vehicles and students.

They were countered by representatives and investors of the development partnership - some of whom also live in or near Hoffman Estates - who said higher-density housing is the future and what both retailers and future homebuyers want.

"What retail developments need is more people," said Michael Jaffe, former owner of the Arboretum of South Barrington shopping center.

Though the agreement under consideration would change the zoning to enable a more dense residential development, Hoffman Estates Village Manager Jim Norris emphasized that future approval of specific buildings still would be required.

"This is a concept plan that gives no shovel-in-the-dirt authority at all," he said.

The special planning, building and zoning committee hearing will occur after three other committee meetings starting at 7 p.m. April 24 at Hoffman Estates' village hall, 1900 Hassell Road.

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This is a rendering of one of the seven apartment buildings proposed by UrbanStreet Group LLC for the planned Plum Farms mixed-use development on 185 acres at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72 in Hoffman Estates. Single-family homes and a retail center of up to 200,000 square feet are also envisioned. Courtesy of Hoffman Estates
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