Hoffman Estates approves sewer, water for development of 185 acres west of The Arboretum

Hoffman Estates officials Monday approved the construction of sewer and water utilities enabling the long-sought development of the 185-acre Plum Farms property at the northwest corner of Higgins Road and Route 59.

The site lies directly west of The Arboretum of South Barrington shopping center but has lacked the infrastructure needed to continue such development west along Higgins Road.

The right of the landowners to build utility connections was granted by an annexation and development agreement six years ago. But since then other preparations needed to be made, such as the negotiation of easements with neighboring property owners including the Hoffman Estates Park District and Canadian National Railway.

Though a 40-acre tax increment financing district was approved in 2020 to potentially provide some financial assistance in building utilities with property tax funds, there is not yet a specific agreement about which costs the district could reimburse, Hoffman Estates Director of Development Services Peter Gugliotta said.

A separate building permit is also needed to construct the utilities, which the landowner must apply for within a year of Monday night's approval.

Construction of the utilities would probably take only two or three months from the time work starts, Gugliotta estimated.

Though the earlier development agreement lays out some parameters for what can be built on the site, the permission for utilities was granted in the absence of any specific plan.

In November 2021, the village board granted a nonbinding courtesy review to CRG Residential of Carmel, Indiana, for a plan to build six apartment buildings totaling 310 units along with about 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space at the northwest corner of Old Sutton and Higgins Road in the middle of the property, but there has been formal proposal, Gugliotta said.

Nevertheless, Mayor Bill McLeod said there is hope that the installation of utilities will increase the land's marketability.

The village's development agreement for Plum Farms envisions both single-family and multifamily housing but limits the number of dwelling units of any type to a combined total of 1,250.

Concerns about density were at the heart of a lawsuit filed in July 2017 by the nearby Regency at the Woods of South Barrington retirement community. Barrington Community Unit School District 220 later joined as a plaintiff.

Though the residents' portion of the lawsuit was ultimately settled, District 220 kept the case going for 2½ years until it was dismissed in late 2019.

Citing the case of Hinckley-Big Rock School District vs. Village of Sugar Grove, the judge ruled District 220 did not and could not plead a "direct, substantial, and adverse effect" from the project.

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District 220 lawsuit against Hoffman Estates, Plum Farms developers dismissed

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Six apartment buildings, retail may restart Plum Farms development in Hoffman Estates

Hoffman Estates panel supports Plum Farms apartments

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