Tag Archives: public comments

Open Letter to Lake County Forest Preserve Planning Committee

Following is  a letter I sent to each member of the Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD) Planning and Restoration Committee. I strongly encourage you to express your concerns as well. I have provided contact information at the end of this letter.

Dear <Planning & Restoration Committee Board Member>,

On Monday, 8/31 your Planning & Restoration Committee agenda item 8.2 is “Recommend

approval of Revised Concept Plan for Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve, and permission to proceed with preparation of Final Master Plan.”

On behalf of the hundreds of people who have voiced their comments on the outcome of this matter, I am requesting that no vote is taken on this item at this meeting on Monday.

My understanding is that you have not seen the Revised Concept Plan. Requests to see this Revised Concept Plan by Lake County residents as well as by the media have been denied.

The LCFPD has gone to great lengths to study the usage of the Fort Sheridan Preserve and

Over 500 people expressed their views on the Fort Sheridan Master Plan Concept Plans
Over 500 people expressed their views on the Fort Sheridan Master Plan Concept Plans

obtain public sentiment. Certainly you should receive a briefing on the findings of the usage studies as well as an understanding of what has been revised in the Revised Concept Plan.  However, moving forward with a vote without due deliberation, thoughtfulness and respect for your invested constituency is not the best practice of a representative government.

As you well know from the over 500 comments compiled by LCFPD from open houses, email, letters, and Idea Exchange public sentiment ran over 2:1 against either Concept Plan A or Concept Plan B. Even taking Plans A & B together, public sentiment ran 3:2 against these options versus the citizen-authored Plan C.

It is a tribute to the value your constituents place on their Forest Preserves and Fort Sheridan in particular to have such a high level of public engagement.  We are your donors, beach cleaners, volunteers, nature field trip leaders and, of course, taxpayers. All we ask is that your deliberations are thoughtful, unhurried and representative of your public.

The irony is that this property, carrying the historic title of “Fort,” has been a battleground of sorts for such a long time. We ask that you be the statesman and be responsive and inclusive in recommending a plan for the future of Fort Sheridan Preserve.

This letter was sent, individually to the following committee members. I encourage you to do the same BEFORE 8/31. Thank you.

Board members of the Lake County Forest Preserve District Planning & Restoration Committee

Bonnie Thompson Carter – Chair    BCarter@lakecountyil.gov
Nick Sauer – Vice Chair                   NSauer@lakecountyil.gov
Carol Calabresa                              CCalabresa@lakecountyil.gov
Bill Durkin                                        BDurkin@lakecountyil.gov
Sandra Hart                                     smhart@lakecountyil.gov
Diane Hewitt                                    DHewitt@lakecountyil.gov
Sid Mathias                                      smathias@lakecountyil.gov
Craig Taylor                                      CTaylor@lakecountyil.gov
Tom Weber                                       TWeber@lakecountyil.gov

Fort Sheridan Preserve Master Plan Open House April 8

The Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve Master Plan Open House will be held on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, from 5-7 PM at the Midwest Young Artist Center within the Town of Fort Sheridan Subdivision.

Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve Master Plan Open House
Unstructured Open House like this one held in 2012 permits one on one discussion regarding the Fort Sheridan Master Plan

There is no formal presentation and attendees may arrive anytime within the scheduled Open House hours. The main purpose of the Open House is to gather feedback on the proposals prepared by the Lake County Forest Preserve.

Information on the options and plans will be posted. Forest Preserve staff and commissioners will be present to engage in one on one discussion.

The Open House will be held at the following address:

Midwest Young Artist Center
878 Lyster Road
Highwood (Map)
5 PM to 7 PM
(This is located in the Town of Fort Sheridan subdivision on the west side of the Parade Ground)

If you cannot attend, you can provide your input online here.

What “They” Are Saying about Fort Sheridan Golf

Today’s blog post is dedicated to the words of others in response to the revelation that a Fort Sheridan Golf Course is going to cost $14,000,000 to develop.

Comments from story posts at the Daily Herald:

“Wait. We have people starving and school districts out of money and we needed another golf course for the elite?”  – penlight

“Country clubs and cemeteries are the biggest wasters of prime real estate! Dead people? They don’t need buried nowadays. Ecology, right?” – Blankett

“Who is paying for this? Not my tax dollars I hope! Private company, I have no problem with. Tax dollars are needed urgently in other existing areas, such as, school districts, villages , cities, towns, etc. Do Not Spend Tax Dollars on a Frivolous venture!”

“Has the recession passed on by the Forest Preserve District?”

“I still think my idea of just digging 18 holes in a field, mowing just tee off areas and small greens and leaving everything else as one giant rough would make it the world’s most challenging golf course, meet the legal requirement to install a golf course on the land, and be a heck of a lot cheaper. The last time I proposed that though, I got a lot of thumbs down – I’m guessing from golfers who don’t want a challenge greater than waddling from their golf carts to the tee.”

“if public money is being used, they should not build a golf course and then charge fees that most peole cannot afford. why to towns inisist on building golf courses whenever they get a few acres of open land?” – ukiddinme

“Why are we beating this dead horse. This golf course is a financial black hole. Not only will the new course barely break even on its own, it will cannibalize rounds from other local courses, increasing the burden on taxpayers.

All experts agree that golf is in decline and there is a glut of courses. Golf course owners want to see fewer courses and they are adamantly opposed to public ownership of courses.

Build this course and we are ALL losers (financially).

Some candidates for the County Commission claim to be fiscal conservatives yet they are proponents of this course. How can they reconcile support this golf equivalent of a “bridge to nowhere” with their claim that they will be good stewards of our tax dollars? I don’t get it.”                         – Ima NonGolfer

“Guess whose property values will go skyhigh IF this golf course gets built? For the rest of us who will foot the bill…sinking home values. Nice livin in huh huh Highland Park.” 1eye4U

“What the neighboring residents fail to realize is this. They anticipate a golf course fitting of the class A real estate this property occupies. What they will receive is a short public course that will be operated in the fashion of the other FP courses. It will be no where near what they expect.

In the past on this message board I have asked supporting local residents if they have ever played golf at ANY of the other FP courses. I’ve never received a response and therefore can only conclude the answer is “No.”

This is just another case of “I Want, I Want, I Want.”  – Bobroo