Hearing on controversial church plan canceled in South Barrington, but opponents still have their say

A planned public hearing on a church's controversial proposal to build a facility and school in South Barrington was canceled Thursday night because of last-minute changes to the concept, village officials said.

As a result of the changes, the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church will have to resubmit its request for village officials to amend an existing development plan for the land at Bartlett Road and Route 59.

The move didn't prevent a lengthy discussion of the proposal during the evening's plan commission meeting, including a presentation by church representatives and comments from many opponents.

"It was a very late meeting with much resident input," Mayor Paula McCombie said.

The 34-acre property has been owned by the South Barrington Park District for about 20 years. The district bought the land, once home to a tree nursery, as part of a lawsuit settlement.

This past April, voters approved a plan to sell the site at auction. Only one bidder attended a live auction in May and won with the opening price of about $1.7 million.

Founded in England in the 19th century, the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church has more than 50,000 members in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, according to the website for One School Global, the company that operates its schools.

Street preaching is a key part of the faith. Members follow a doctrine of separation and don't socialize with nonmembers.

The church has one school in the Chicago area, in Elk Grove Village.

Critics of the church's plan say they're concerned about the ecological impact of such a development, traffic and other issues.

Why some South Barrington residents oppose plan for new church, school

A church's proposal to build a facility in South Barrington in an area sometimes called "Area N" is drawing opposition. Courtesy of South Barrington
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