Golf on the Parade Ground? You’re Kidding!

On a nice day, which today is not, the park-like setting of the Town of Fort Sheridan brings out a lot of runners, bikers, stroller pushers, dog walkers and others who just want to enjoy the day and not be cooped up in the house watching another bad Bears game (ok, so they won one this week) or updating their Facebook profile. When people see me with my scope, camera and binoculars rooting around for interesting bird life, it is not uncommon for a conversation to ensue.   In this way I have come to meet a number of homeowners in the Town of Fort Sheridan, including 2 who have recently moved into the area.

To my surprise, the golf course matter is not really on their radar. But what really surprised me was the response I got when I mentioned that the current golf course plan includes digging up the parade grounds and turning this into a golf course. Several I spoke to know of this and are not particularly excited about it but “don’t think it will really happen.” But one recently re-located homeowner who lives directly across from the parade grounds told me flat out that I was just wrong, that the land was subject to historic preservation and there was no plan to put a golf course on the parade ground.

Golf Course holes 3,4,5 and 6 on the Fort Sheridan Parade Grounds

Well, the truth is that the master plan, adopted in 2003, quite clearly places holes 3, 4, 5, and 6 on the parade ground. And although this is as plain as the nose on my face, it seems to be a mystery to some of the local residents.

That’s why we asked the City of Highland Park, who continues to go against widespread public sentiment in their support of this golf course, to conduct their own information sessions with the local residents.

The first goal, certainly apparent now, is to simply insure that everyone has the same facts about what is planned for this property. And the second goal would be to assess the true desire for this land use among the residents of the area. We’d be willing to place a small wager that if the city gave the homeowners in the Town of Fort Sheridan development a chance to express themselves in anonymity, the support for a golf course would melt away, unlike the snow that seems to be with us now.


7 thoughts on “Golf on the Parade Ground? You’re Kidding!

  1. I live across from the Parade Ground and I would hate to see it turned into a golf course. I know that many of my neighbors agree. The natural beauty of Fort Sheridan, including this large expanse of land, is what makes it such a lovely place to live.


  2. Got it.

    It is a beautiful area and the homeowners should be proud. No sarcasm.

    That’s why I think it would be sad to see the area jammed with cars when the County makes this available for golf tournaments as they do their other courses. I just don’t think you guys have thought this through. I think those in your development are thinking this is their private course when, in fact, the County will do everything they can to optimize revenue to pay for this thing. It seems there is a “win at any cost” attitude. Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.


  3. What I meant, Sonny, is that when you start also paying the assessments that go to the care and maintenance of the Fort Sheridan tower, the meadow, the open spaces on all the loops, corners, and the playgrounds in the Fort already, all of which are privately funded by the homeowners but enjoyed by all, then you can make assertions about tax burden shared by all.


  4. The majority of homeowners in the Town of Fort Sheridan support the golf course. We continuously represent this to our board, to elected officials, and to the public. You don’t even live here, Sonny.


    1. If this is the case, the majority of homeowners in the Town of Fort Sheridan development who support the golf course should be willing to underwrite the costs of this project and, I might add, benefit from the return on investment expected to be recognized for making this investment. Step up and lease this land from the County for $1 a year and run your golf course. I say put your money where your mouth is. But do not spend my money.

      I do “live here” Ed. I live in the same Lake County, the same Highland Park and the same Park District of Highland Park as you do. My tax rate and taxing districts are equivalent to yours. And all these governments will be on the hook for the costs of development, the costs of operations and the impact on their existing golf operations. That would be you and me and a couple hundred thousand other people. I don’t care to foot that bill and I believe that few others in these taxing districts care to as well.

      And while many in the Town of Fort Sheridan subdivision may support this golf course, there is clearly a large number who do not. And, in the end, no one wants to assume the financial responsibility for it. And neither do I.

      It is unfortunate that bad policy made 15 years ago creates this divisive issue today. However, these errors have to be corrected and I have confidence that they will.

      Peace, brother.


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