Hoffman Estates approves further revised development pact

Hoffman Estates village board members Monday unanimously approved a development agreement and rezoning for 185 acres at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72 for the often controversial Plum Farms residential and commercial subdivision.

The biggest revision to the agreement before its approval was the village's requirement of a minimum 5.5-acre school site donation.

Barrington Unit District 220 board President Brian Battle said his district and Community Unit District 300 both believe that unless that site happened to be next to a park, it likely wouldn't be enough.

Nevertheless, he saw it as an improvement.

"For the village to dictate the minimum size is better than nothing," Battle said. "We'd like to see that number boosted a little. ... We're still concerned about the density (of the development) and what it does to our taxpayers."

Battle said the developers told him they would try to address the school districts' concerns in their final plans. But he told village board members the two districts would wish to be involved in the review of those plans as early as possible.

Anthony Iatarola, managing partner of the development partnership, said the next aspect of the project for which final approval would be sought was the seven apartment buildings he has under contract from UrbanStreet Group LLC. But he added that it would likely take months to get that plan before the village board, and will first require getting the permits to bring utilities to the site.

Last week, several other changes to the agreement were announced.

One was that the developers can only renew their past request for a partial property tax refund from a tax increment financing (TIF) district with a letter stating there's no objection by either District 220 or District 300.

The revised agreement also lowers the limit for the number of dwelling units of various types from 1,325 to 1,250. But the current plan calls for the still lower number of 1,035.

Residents of neighboring South Barrington and Barrington Hills have objected to the housing and traffic density enabled by the agreement. The largest portion of the site is made up of 145 acres disconnected from Barrington Hills, where the minimum lot size for homes is 5 acres.

Not only did Monday's agreement move this land into Hoffman Estates, it created a new zoning category allowing for higher density.

The developers have said higher residential density is what today's market wants.

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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 are also envisioned. Courtesy of Hoffman Estates
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