Bloomingdale planning multiple public hearings on Indian Lakes
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The proposal to redevelop roughly 190 acres of open space at Indian Lakes Resort is so complex, the application Bloomingdale received is more than 1,400 pages.
Village officials have spent more than a month analyzing the documents and gathering information. They even brought in several consultants to help them.
Now it appears the planning and zoning commission might soon begin its formal review of the plan to transform Indian Lakes' former golf course into a neighborhood with hundreds of houses for empty-nesters. The process will include a series of public hearings.
"We're trying to move as quickly as possible so we can hopefully schedule something in the coming months," Village Administrator Peter Scalera said Thursday. "It may be in December, but it could be January."
There's been a great deal of public interest in the project since it was announced earlier this year by First ILR LLC, which owns the 223-acre Indian Lakes property along Schick Road.
The 27-hole golf course and a 36,000-square-foot conference center were closed late last year as part of an effort to save the property's hotel. Indian Lakes officials said the golf course was losing nearly $1 million a year.
Under the plan, the proposed subdivision for residents 55 and older would be called Four Seasons at Indian Lakes and have 535 ranch-style houses and a centrally located "amenity center."
A spokesman for the project said the new neighborhood would generate about $4.9 million in annual tax revenue for school districts and other local governments.
But for the project to happen, the golf course land must be rezoned for residential development, rather than for recreational use.
The developer also is seeking a number of variances, village officials said.
Meanwhile, opposition already has begun.
A group called No New Indian Lakes has created a website at nonewindianlakes.com. According to the group, many residents don't want to see open space become "a new densely-populated subdivision."
Indian Lakes representatives, meanwhile, are doing what they can to inform the public about the project. They have a website with details about the plan at newindianlakes.com.
Village President Franco Coladipietro said the public hearings will be key because the village board wants feedback from Bloomingdale residents before making a final decision on the project.
"This is a community decision," Coladipietro said. "We want community input and need residents to come and talk about the proposed development."
Officials said the village "will seek to balance the often competing interests of the golf course owner, the developer, the surrounding residents," and the town.
The public hearings probably won't be held at village hall. Instead, another location is expected to be found to accommodate all the residents who want to attend. The crowd size also is the reason the village is planning to host multiple public hearings, Scalera said.
"Because of the size of the project," he said, "it can't be a quick process."