South Barrington Park District wants voters' permission to sell 34-acre site

  • A referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot seeks voter permission for the South Barrington Park District to sell this vacant 34-acre site at the southeast corner of Bartlett Road and Route 59, known a "Area N."

      A referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot seeks voter permission for the South Barrington Park District to sell this vacant 34-acre site at the southeast corner of Bartlett Road and Route 59, known a "Area N." Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/22/2018 4:03 PM

The South Barrington Park District wants to sell about 34 acres that officials say are not needed, but the agency first needs voter permission before seeking a buyer.

Voters on Nov. 6 will be asked to give the park district authority to sell what's called "Area N" on the southeast corner of Bartlett Road and Route 59 in South Barrington. Executive Director Jay Morgan said the district bought the vacant 34 acres, along with another 12-acre site, for $4.3 million as part of 2003 lawsuit settlement involving a developer.

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Morgan said the 34 acres the district wants to sell are not ideal for a park, in part because the land where the Klehm tree nursery previously operated isn't flat, has wetlands and is "awkwardly" shaped. It would be fiscally responsible to try to sell Area N, which is near The Woods of South Barrington subdivision, he said.

"We still carry some debt on that property," Morgan said. "And we feel like if we sold the property, we could use some of those dollars to repay that debt and for other capital projects on some of the park sites that we currently have."

If a land sale occurs, he added, the money also could be earmarked to buy additional property adjacent to existing parks.

The park district is making its first attempt to sell the land. If voters approve the Nov. 6 ballot measure, Morgan said, the district would be allowed to receive appraisals for the 34 acres and seek bidders.

South Barrington Park District's other holdings include the 5-acre Marvin Dunteman Park at Witt and Penny roads and the 22-acre New Community Park off Bartlett Road, just north of Higgins Road. There also is The South Barrington Club, which offers tennis, aquatics and fitness to members, along with a banquet facility and pro shop.

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