South Barrington Park District gets thumbs down on selling 34 acres

Voters Tuesday gave a thumbs down to the South Barrington Park District's request for permission to sell 34 acres of land that officials say are not needed.

With all four precincts reporting, unofficial results show 1,158 residents voted against the measure and 795 in favor.

Tuesday's result means the park district cannot try to sell what's called "Area N" on the southeast corner of Bartlett Road and Route 59 in South Barrington. Executive Director Jay Morgan said the district bought the vacant 34 acres, along with a 12-acre site, for $4.3 million as part of 2003 lawsuit settlement involving a developer.

Morgan said the 34-acre parcel is not ideal for a park, in part because the land where the Klehm tree nursery previously operated isn't flat, has wetlands and is "awkwardly" shaped. Area N is near The Woods of South Barrington subdivision, he said.

The district still carries debt on the property, and Morgan said money from the sale could have been used to repay the debt and for other park sites.

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