Buffalo Grove mayoral candidates debate golf course's future
The future of the Lake-Cook Road corridor -- and the Buffalo Grove Golf Course in particular -- took center stage Tuesday as Village President Beverly Sussman and challenger Michael Terson met in a candidates forum hosted by the League of Women Voters.
Terson criticized the village's Lake Cook Corridor Plan, which covers a 472-acre area between Arlington Heights Road to just west of Weiland Road, as prioritizing development in the wrong order.
"Now we have a plan that calls for Town Center and Chase Plaza first, the (village) campus second and then the golf course third," he said. "It's backwards. The game-changer is the golf course. Those other properties are too small to be a game-changer."
The golf course offers the opportunity for the mixed-use development the village needs, with thousands of residents within walking distance, Terson said, adding that the course has been losing money and draws a majority of its players from other towns.
"Your property taxes are subsidizing the recreational activity for people who don't even live here," he said.
Sussman said projections show the course should be in the black in future years, and she dismissed the idea of redeveloping the golf course, pointing out that it occupies a flood-controlled area.
"There is lots of runoff water, and if you go there after a hard, long rain, you will see water all over the place," she said. "Trying to put a development there like the (once proposed) Town Center development is absurd. The Buffalo Grove Golf Course is not the place for that."
Sussman cited other obstacles to a major redevelopment, such as the golf course's location off two-lane Church Road and near St. Mary Church and a cemetery.
"I do not want to see buildings there. I do not want to see all kinds of shopping there, where cars will be coming down Church (Road) to go there," she said.
Terson responded that the corridor plan approved by the village last year calls for redevelopment of the golf course.
"If the village president is so against developing the golf course, why did the village spend a quarter of a million dollars on a study and a plan that included developing the golf course? I think everything needs to be on the table for conversation," he said.
A draft of the corridor plan published last year does propose some potential redevelopment of the golf course, with new housing around the outer edges of the property.
But it also suggests leaving much of the land as a golf course or open space "to preserve the area's core hydraulic functions."
Sussman is seeking her second term as village president in the April 2 election. Terson, a village trustee from 2011 to 2015, is the public relations and marketing manager for the Buffalo Grove Park District.