Indian Lakes proposal in limbo as Bloomingdale waits for revised plan

  • A group of Bloomingdale residents is strongly opposed to redevelopment of a former golf course at Indian Lakes Resort. They want the land to remain open space.

    A group of Bloomingdale residents is strongly opposed to redevelopment of a former golf course at Indian Lakes Resort. They want the land to remain open space. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 7/31/2019 3:38 PM

Nearly two months after being granted extra time to modify a controversial plan to build hundreds of houses on a former golf course in Bloomingdale, a developer has yet to submit revisions to the village.

Bloomingdale officials on Wednesday said they're waiting for K. Hovnanian Homes to indicate if and when it wants to continue the process to seek approval for the plan to transform roughly 191 acres at Indian Lakes Resort into a neighborhood for empty nesters.

 

Village Administrator Pietro Scalera said Bloomingdale's planning and zoning commission on June 11 gave the developer 60 days to modify the plan. That time is almost up.

"They need to tell us whether or not they are prepared to move forward," Scalera said.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for First ILR LLC -- owner of the 223-acre Indian Lakes property along Schick Road -- declined to comment.

Meanwhile, an impassioned group of residents is prepared to oppose any plan to redevelop of the site.

This spring, large crowds attended three public hearings about K. Hovnanian Homes' proposal to build 535 ranch-style houses for residents 55 and older at Indian Lakes. The first hearing drew more than 700 people.

Nearly everyone who spoke to the planning and zoning commission voiced opposition to the proposal. Even commissioners -- who make a recommendation to the village board -- raised concerns about potential flooding, increased traffic, decreased property values and the removal of more than 1,000 large, high-quality trees.

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"It's an all-Bloomingdale issue," said Dan McGuire, chairman of the Concerned Citizens of Bloomingdale.

The negative reaction is what prompted K. Hovnanian to request the 60-day delay in the hearings.

"They asked for that 60-day continuance because they said they wanted to amend their plan," Scalera said.

McGuire said a petition opposing redevelopment of the shuttered golf course has been signed by more than 1,300 people. One of the petition's key demands is the land remain open space.

"It's zoned that way," McGuire said. "It's in the comprehensive land use plan. There's many reasons to keep it open space."

He said people who bought houses along Schick did so with the understanding the centerpiece of Indian Lakes was its 27-hole golf course.

So when First ILR closed the course and a 36,000-square-foot conference center in late 2016, the move angered neighbors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"The reason we (Concerned Citizens of Bloomingdale) got together is because of the sudden closure of that golf course," McGuire said. "It was an integral part of Bloomingdale's landscape for years."

At the time, First ILR officials said the golf course was losing nearly $1 million a year. They said closing the course and conference center was intended to reduce operating expenses and allow for the hotel to operate.

McGuire says he believes more should have been done to keep the golf course profitable.

As for K. Hovnanian's proposal, McGuire said residents have major concerns about it. For example, he said, the proposed subdivision would have narrower streets and smaller lots than the village normally allows. Residents also are worried about potential flooding, decreased property values and increased traffic.

"This is just an ill-advised plan," McGuire said.

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