Public gets chance to comment on Route 53/120 corridor

  • The first of two public input sessions on the Route 53/120 corridor plan was held Wednesday at the Byron Colby barn in Grayslake. Dozens of residents living near the proposed extension's path turned to out review maps and weigh in on the plan.

      The first of two public input sessions on the Route 53/120 corridor plan was held Wednesday at the Byron Colby barn in Grayslake. Dozens of residents living near the proposed extension's path turned to out review maps and weigh in on the plan. Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein resident Kenneth Faulkner, left, talks with consultant Fran Lefor Rood at a public input session in Grayslake for the Route 53/120 corridor land use plan.

      Mundelein resident Kenneth Faulkner, left, talks with consultant Fran Lefor Rood at a public input session in Grayslake for the Route 53/120 corridor land use plan. Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/12/2014 7:36 PM

Paying the estimated $2.5 billion cost of the Route 53/120 extension into Lake County may be daunting, but planning for what happens along the corridor is also a key component in the process.

That aspect was in the spotlight Wednesday at the Byron Colby Barn at Prairie Crossing in Grayslake for the first of two public input sessions on the Route 53/120 corridor land use plan. Visitors came early and about 75 were there in the first hour to view exhibits, talk with consultants and leave comments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Under the guidance of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, conditions involving natural resources, land uses and other elements within two miles of the corridor have been assessed. The goal is to create a plan that blends land use, transportation, economic development and open space.

The next step involves planning for the general corridor, as well detailed suggestions for about 12 areas that are expected to undergo significant change as a result of the road being built.

Participants viewed informational stations dealing with elements such as land use, open space and natural resources. One exercise asked visitors to fill out a card telling where they lived and what they cared about in the corridor.

"We want to hear from people -- what do they care about -- and make sure we consider that in our planning process," said Jason Navota, principal with the regional planning group. He added the idea is to "plan appropriately so the values and assets people care about are preserved."

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Conserve Lake County, a preservation group, recorded 1,712 hits on its Facebook post for the open house, by far the largest response it has ever received on any subject.

"That says there's a lot of interest," said Sarah Surroz, conservation and outreach director.

Opinions varied. "Let's get going. You have planned this to death. You're wasting money," said a comment card from someone in rural Grayslake. Another from Long Grove said they care about the "loss of sense of community" if the extension is built.

A second session is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Lake Zurich High School cafeteria, 300 Church St., Lake Zurich.

Details of the land use plan, including maps and meeting minutes are available at www.lakecorridorplan.org.

Findings are being considered by a group of community leaders and stakeholders which is working separately but in tandem with a panel considering ways to finance the project. That committee is meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Lake County Central Permit facility, 500 W. Winchester Road, Libertyville.

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