Racism allegations follow as plan to move 25 kids into Barrington Hills home stalls
Although the leader of an organization helping disadvantaged minority youths contends race is a factor in his delayed plan to move into a Barrington Hills home with 25 children of color, village officials say the zoning code is the only issue.
Terrance Wallace wants to move his InZone Project into the 12,000-square-foot home on roughly 28 acres so he can provide opportunities for the children, who are under his legal guardianship, to live in a nurturing residential environment with support. He said he wants to relocate InZone to Barrington Hills from its temporary Wauconda home.
Wallace said he first contacted Barrington Hills in April 2018 to make village officials aware of his plan and did not receive a response for several months. He said officials have continued to ignore his recent emails.
"I definitely believe that has everything to do (with race)," Wallace said after he and several supporters brought their concerns to the village board meeting Monday night.
"We are a family of black and brown boys and men. And so I am convinced that it does not take the village that long to reply back to my request. And after you've already submitted a process that I was supposed to go through and I did that. And I have the documentation from that."
Village Attorney Patrick Bond said officials don't have all the facts needed from Wallace and that race is not an issue.
"Everybody follows the same rules," Bond said. "The zoning code doesn't know what color you are, what race you are, what religion you are. That's just not the case. The rules apply to everybody who comes into this village. And that's not unique to this village. It's not unique to this county. It's not unique to this state."
Bond said Barrington Hills, unlike other villages, is strictly a residentially zoned community with different permitted uses for properties. He said Wallace must submit additional information about the InZone proposal so officials can direct him to the correct advisory panel to hold a hearing for his application.
Trustee Colleen Konicek Hannigan said Wallace first contacted Barrington Hills in 2018 and resumed communications with village officials only in the past couple of weeks.
Wallace said he plans to move into the house on Aug. 1 so the children can attend Barrington Area Unit District 220 schools in the fall. He stressed he, not InZone, has legal guardianship of the 25 children, which makes it different from a group home.
"There's no limit in America on the number of kids you can have," Wallace said. "And so as long as I have the means to take care of the them, there's no argument. They have no information otherwise that I have not."
Barrington resident Anya Sastry, a recent high school graduate who recently organized a Black Lives Matter rally at village's Citizens Park, was among the InZone supporters at Monday night's meeting.
"We have an opportunity here where we can bring in kids from underprivileged communities and give them a quality education where they can succeed and improve in better circumstances. And I think we have people in power in Barrington (that are not recognizing that and they are stuck in their ways and they would rather maintain their very privileged, predominantly white community and not give opportunities to people who would benefit from them."
Wallace created InZone while living in New Zealand and returned to his native Chicago in 2016. In 2014, he co-founded ScanOne LTD, a biometric device that was originally developed to provide an easy way of monitoring students within the education sector.