Park plan kaput at Diamond Lake; Mundelein trustees now seek only environmental improvements

  • Some Mundelein officials would like to see a new park in the vacant lot at Lake Street and Allanson Road in Mundelein.

    Some Mundelein officials would like to see a new park in the vacant lot at Lake Street and Allanson Road in Mundelein. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Posted2/11/2020 5:30 AM

With plans to build a new municipal park at Diamond Lake in the trash bin, Mundelein trustees on Monday voted to set aside an unspecified amount of cash for environmental improvements there.

Funds will be included in the 2021 fiscal year's budget for site grading, lake dredging, shoreline stabilization and stormwater management efforts on the property, on the lake's northeast shore near Route 45 and Allanson Road.


Officials also expect to install landscaping elements that would screen nearby residents from light and noise that had been blocked by buildings the village tore down to make way for the now-jettisoned park plan.

The Mundelein board bought the roughly 3-acre site in 2018, intending to create a lakeside park featuring benches, paths, public art and more. It was championed by Mayor Steve Lentz, who that summer said it would "better the whole vibe of the area."

The site occupies about 260 feet of Diamond Lake's shoreline. Aside from a few Mundelein Park District sites, most of the land around the 153-acre lake is privately owned.

The board hired Kimley-Horn and Associates, a Lisle engineering and design firm, to craft the redevelopment plan.

But opposition among the trustees grew after the April 2019 municipal election. Late last month, a divided board rejected Kimley-Horn's $1.7 million redevelopment proposal.

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Some trustees have said they support stabilizing the property's shoreline and implementing the other proposed landscaping improvements -- but nothing more. Another, Dawn Abernathy, opposes the park project entirely.

A cost estimate for the environmental work will be determined after engineering designs are completed, according to documents.

Trustees voted 4-1 to set aside funds for the project. Abernathy cast the lone "no" vote. Trustee Ray Semple was absent.

Village Administrator John Lobaito said officials will seek government grants to help pay for the project.

Mundelein's 2021 fiscal year begins May 1. The budget typically is approved each April, following a series of public planning discussions.

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