North Barrington, BACOG oppose mall plan
Both North Barrington and the entire Barrington Area Council of Governments this week formalized their opposition to the renewed effort to build a major shopping center at Rand and Old McHenry roads.
The BACOG board approved a statement of opposition Tuesday night, while North Barrington's village board passed a resolution against the plan Wednesday.
Hawthorn Woods, which lies on the east side of the unincorporated 109-acre development site, passed its own resolution against the proposal in early February, within days of hearing about it.
The property's owners, the Dimucci family, has proposed to the Lake County Board a largely undefined project featuring 800,000 square feet of retail and other commercial property.
In 1996, when the property was under contract to the Michigan-based Taubman Co., plans called for a 1.2-million-square-foot regional shopping mall on the site.
Taubman pitched the plan first to North Barrington and then to Hawthorn Woods. The tense situation between the two villages finally was resolved by a boundary agreement that prohibited anything resembling the Taubman proposal on the site.
So now the Dimuccis are taking the proposal to Lake County, which wasn't a party to the boundary agreement, according to the family's attorney, Mark Eiden.
There is no specific drawing of a building or buildings in the plan, but it is known that paved areas of the project would be confined to 53 of the site's 109 acres, Eiden said. The plan wouldn't include any residential, manufacturing or industrial uses.
Lake County District 17 Board Member Stevenson Mountsier, whose district includes the property, said he supports the plan and intends to solicit support from his fellow board members before he leaves office at the end of the year.
An initial public hearing on the project at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich Feb. 6 was canceled when the number of people who tried to attend exceeded the capacity of the meeting room.
Hawthorn Woods Village President Joseph Mancino said the fight against the proposal will include an attempt to persuade Lake County Board members that it's wrong for the area as well as a demonstration that the existing boundary agreement legally prohibits it.