Tuesday’s 3/13 meeting of the Lake County Forest Preserve District Board is a crucial moment – among many crucial moments – in determining the outcome of the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve. Those who favor public access of the open space and want to see the golf course mandate removed should be cautiously optimistic that the board will agree to drop the golf course mandate from the deed restriction.
Do the math
If you add the following:
- ten forest board commissioners who voted “No” to not go forward with the RFP to seek a private developer plus
- three commissioners who voted “Yes” but are actually opposed to the golf course plus
- the commissioners who are running for office and have now publicly stated their opposition
- Anne Bassi, a lame duck commissioner for whom the “process” she embraced has finally led her to support lifting the deed restriction requiring a golf course
Add these up and, well, it’s a landslide in favor of seeking a change in the deed restriction that mandates a golf course. It’s a crucial moment. But this still isn’t over.
Hopefully with a unified – maybe unanimous – vote, the forest board now must address the Secretary of the Army to modify the agreement. The Army has no reason not to comply. Nevertheless, that’s the next step – and possibly the last – in this tortuous ordeal.
This matter has dragged on for years. And while I’ve always believed the “no golf” option was evident from the beginning, the three plus years of public conversations have only proven this assumption.
Now it is time to move forward quickly. Land use uncertainty is not good for the neighborhood property values. And Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve must get into the queue for financial resources to manage it the way we hope it will be. It would be our expectation that the Army responds quickly to the request the forest board will make of them after they adjourn their meeting on Tuesday.