Tag Archives: public hearing

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 Golf Course Public Hearing

Both sides aired their views at a standing room only public hearing regarding the feasibility of re-developing the public golf course at Fort Sheridan, part of the Lake County Forest Preserves.  The public hearing is probably an opening salvo in further negotiations regarding the future development of this spectacular natural resource. Many issues were on the table including these:

Standing Room only at Greenbelt Cultural Center for Fort Sheridan Golf Course Public Hearing
Standing Room only at Greenbelt Cultural Center for Fort Sheridan Golf Course
  • Does Fort Sheridan become synonymous with a high end municipal golf course that draws golfers from the entire region to play at $120/round?
  • Will the anticipated 20,000 annual players retire to the bars and restaurants of Highwood pumping big bucks into this dining destination?
  • Will the jobs created offset the fact that local Highwood residents would have to spend 1% of the median household annual income for a family of four to play?
  • With local municipal courses losing money or scraping by, does another municipal course in a saturated market make sense?
  • Must Lake County be bound by agreements made 15 years ago regarding the game of golf?

How does this get decided?  What do you think?