Plans scrapped for houses at former golf course in Bloomingdale

  • A proposal to transform a former golf course in Bloomingdale into an age-restricted neighborhood with hundreds of houses has been scrapped, according to the property owner and developer.

    A proposal to transform a former golf course in Bloomingdale into an age-restricted neighborhood with hundreds of houses has been scrapped, according to the property owner and developer. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 8/15/2019 4:40 PM

The owner of Indian Lakes Resort and a developer have scrapped plans to build hundreds of houses on the Bloomingdale property's former golf course amid strong opposition from residents.

First ILR LLC -- which owns Indian Lakes -- and K. Hovnanian Homes announced they are no longer pursuing a project to transform roughly 191 acres of the 223-acre resort along Schick Road into a neighborhood for empty nesters. They said the development team is in the process of formally rescinding the proposal with the village.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We thought that the concept of an age-restricted, resort-at-home community in the heart of DuPage County would be embraced and that the plan could be refined through cooperative dialogue; regrettably we were mistaken," Stephen Schwartz, manager of First ILR, said in a statement.

The project would have needed village approval to become a reality. But a group of residents strongly opposed the redevelopment.

This spring, large crowds attended three public hearings about K. Hovnanian's proposal to build 535 ranch-style houses. The first hearing drew more than 700 people and nearly everyone who spoke to the planning and zoning commission voiced opposition.

Even commissioners raised concerns about potential flooding, increased traffic, decreased property values and the removal of more than 1,000 high-quality trees.

The negative reaction prompted K. Hovnanian to postpone the hearings for two months.

The developer created a revised plan that reduced the number of proposed houses to roughly 300 and increased the donation of open space to the village, including enough land to operate a nine-hole golf course.

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But that plan didn't garner support either, according to the statement from First ILR and K. Hovnanian.

"The development team believed it would be disingenuous and a waste of financial resources to continue without some indication of support from the village," the statement reads.

Village President Franco Coladipietro said Thursday that K. Hovnanian had an opportunity to submit a revised proposal to the plan commission "but they chose not to put in the effort."

He said the nine-hole course proposal was "disingenuous" because the property owner and developer didn't commit to fund or build it.

"It was simply a red herring to make it seem as if they were listening to the community," Coladipietro said. "I have said from the beginning that the redevelopment of Indian Lakes will be a decision that will be made with the input of our community and not a rubber stamp from the mayor and the board."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Coladipietro then released a statement where he thanked plan commissioners, staff and residents "for their patience" during the review.

"The size of the proposed project would have had a significant impact on our community and would not have been in keeping with the surrounding residential properties along the golf course," he said.

Dan McGuire, one of the organizers of the group that opposed K. Hovnanian's proposal, said he's pleased the development won't happen.

"This was never a sound plan for Bloomingdale as a whole," McGuire said Thursday.

Meanwhile, Schwartz said Indian Lakes officials have decided to wait for the village to "provide direction on the revitalization" of the former 27-hole golf course, which closed in late 2016.

"The redevelopment of the vacant land will not occur until we have better guidance from the village that outlines their preferences and vision for an economically viable path," Schwartz said. "Until then, we are considering several temporary uses of the vacant property and will operate an independent hotel on the legacy campus."

The hotel ownership group says it doesn't have any announcements about what interim uses may come to the vacant property in the coming months or years.

"We are open to feedback from the village on a plan that works," the statement reads, "but in the meantime will be exploring all options."

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