Palatine weighs impact of proposed Bears stadium as village updates long-range plan

Palatine officials' work to update the village's long-range plan will examine the impact a proposed Chicago Bears stadium at Arlington Park could have on the Northwest Highway corridor.

The village council recently authorized the hiring of Chicago-based consultants The Lakota Group to assist with the plan, at an initial cost of up to $78,010. That price tag could rise another $60,000 for additional services, such as a traffic study and a retail analysis.

Community Development Director Mike Jacobs said the approximately 14-month process of updating the comprehensive plan will include interviews with village staff, council members and other stakeholders, as well as public open houses.

Areas of town identified as needing close attention include the Northwest Highway corridor, downtown, the Quentin Road corridor, the Dundee Road corridor and the Rand Road corridor.

Mayor Jim Schwantz said in September that village leaders have had high-level conversations with Bears management about the impact of a stadium and surrounding development on Palatine. The village needs to get an understanding of the potential effects on local infrastructure, particularly Northwest Highway, Palatine Road and nearby collector streets.

"Everybody says everybody's going to take the train. Well, if somebody lives in Cary and they want to come to the game and they want to tailgate, they're going to drive," Schwantz said in September. "And if they're going to drive, they're going to drive down Route 14 the whole way."

Schwantz said Bears management told him Palatine will have a seat at the table.

"I have a feeling it's going to be a long ways until we get to our level," he added. "I've had a great relationship with (Arlington Heights) Mayor (Tom) Hayes. We know that Arlington Heights is going to do right by everybody in the region, not just by them."

Besides traffic impacts, Schwantz said the village is concerned about what happens to stormwater if much of the open space at the former racetrack is replaced with pavement and buildings.

"Somebody's got to do something with all that water. The last thing you want to do is see everything become an impervious surface." he said.

Palatine mayor, a one-time Bears linebacker, favors team moving to Arlington Heights

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