Bloomingdale residents want to block housing plan at Indian Lakes Resort
A group of Bloomingdale residents is rallying support for efforts to block plans to build houses on roughly 190 acres of open space at Indian Lakes Resort.
The group calling itself "Concerned Citizens of Bloomingdale for NO New Indian Lakes" will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at Bloomingdale Golf Club, 181 Glen Ellyn Road.
The session is for Bloomingdale residents only.
"This might be the first of many community meetings," said Mark Rickerson, one of the organizers. "We're hoping to convince the village to say 'no' to this development."
The village received an application in late September from a developer interested in transforming Indian Lakes' former golf course into a neighborhood with hundreds of houses for empty-nesters.
Officials reviewed the application, Village Administrator Peter Scalera said Wednesday in an email, and have "requested additional information for the application to be considered complete."
Once that happens, he said, the planning and zoning commission will begin its formal review, which will include public hearings.
Rickerson said opposition has been growing since the project was announced 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.
Under the proposed redevelopment plan, the subdivision for residents 55 and older would be called Four Seasons at Indian Lakes and feature roughly 530 ranch-style houses and a centrally located "amenity center."
But before the subdivision can be built, the golf course must be rezoned for residential development. The developer also is seeking a number of variances, officials said.
Rickerson said neighbors have several concerns with the plan, including traffic, flooding and its impact on property values.
Opponents have installed dozens of yard sides around town reading, "No to 530 homes." The signs direct people to a website at nonewindianlakes.com.
"We want to get the word out to the rest of the community that we're opposing this," Rickerson said.
Indian Lakes representatives also are trying to inform the public about the project. They have a website with details about the plan at newindianlakes.com.
According to Indian Lakes officials, the high cost of operating the golf course and conference center were endangering the viability of the entire property. The golf course, for example, was losing roughly $1 million a year.
While neighbors want the course to be reopened, Indian Lakes officials say there isn't a viable future for golf at the resort.
"We recognize that residents adjacent the golf course enjoyed their views, but the status quo was not sustainable," said Patrick Skarr, a spokesman for the project. "We have a proposal that retains a third of the property as open space while creating substantial economic and fiscal benefits, a new public walking trail and hundreds of millions in new property value."
Skarr said the proposed neighborhood would generate about $5 million in annual tax revenue, including $4 million for area school districts.