South Barrington residents sue over Hoffman Estates development

A group of South Barrington residents has filed a lawsuit against a developer and the village of Hoffman Estates in an attempt to stop the controversial Plum Farms development proposal at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72.

The 127-page document filed Thursday in Cook County circuit court seeks declaratory judgment, injunction and other relief against plans to build single-family houses on a 145-acre parcel previously disconnected from Barrington Hills.

The 145-acre parcel is the largest portion of a total 185-acre development plan that would also include multifamily housing and commercial development. While Barrington Hills requires a minimum of 5 acres per lot, the density of the Plum Farms development would be much higher under new zoning approved by Hoffman Estates officials this spring.

The plaintiffs in the suit are more than 30 residents of the Regency at the Woods of South Barrington subdivision, an age-restricted retirement community immediately across Route 59 from the development site.

Their suit claims the annexation agreement does not promote the public welfare, substantially injures the use and enjoyment of their property, severely depreciates their property values and represents an "invalid exercise" of Hoffman Estates' authority over the site.

Their attorney, Crystal Lake-based Thomas Burney, could not be reached for comment Friday.

The specific defendants in the suit are Golden Goose Enterprises LLC, 5a7 LLC and the village of Hoffman Estates.

Mayor Bill McLeod said he and other village officials were only beginning to read the document late Friday afternoon and could not immediately comment.

Anthony Iatarola, managing partner of the development partnership, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Density concerns about the proposal were frequently cited by opponents, including officials from Barrington Unit District 220 and Community Unit District 300, which have jurisdiction over different portions of the development site.

The Hoffman Estates annexation agreement allows for 1,250 dwelling units of various types on the site, though the developer's most recent plan calls for 1,035 units.

The school districts opposed even the lower number of units. Their concerns about the density remained high even after the village addressed some of them by requiring a minimum 5.5-acre school site donation from the developer.

Hoffman Estates officials also stated the developer cannot renew a request for a tax-increment financing district - which would have reduced the school districts' property-tax intake from the site for 23 years - without the consent of districts 220 and 300.

No government entities are among the plaintiffs. However, the lawsuit's numerous exhibits include affidavits from District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris and South Barrington Building and Zoning Officer Michael Moreland.

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