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Last week residents in the immediate vicinity of the Hilltop property (on Waukegan Road between Atkinson and Muir) received official notice from Lake County of a public hearing to be held on August 13. The owners of the property have petitioned the Village of Green Oaks for annexation into the municipality; at the same time they are asking for special zoning and a special use designation to allow them to build a senior housing and mixed commercial development.
The hearing is on Wednesday, August 13, 2014, at 7:30 pm at the Green Oaks Village Hall, 2020 O'Plaine Road, Green Oaks. It's open to the public; however, residents may or may not be permitted to comment. Official objections may be filed only by property owners within the proposed annexation area (in this case, that's only the Hilltop owners). If you're interested in the process by which a property owner petitions a municipality for annexation, take a look at this flowchart.
The attorney representing the property owners is Terry L. Weppler of Libertyville; his letter to residents states that questions or requests for additional information about the petition for annexation can be directed to him at 847-680-0040.
The development itself is the same one we have been hearing about for several months; we previously published the tentative plans here.
It's hard to say, but possibly not at all. If the property had stayed under Lake County's jurisdiction, the developers would have been required to comply with the County's development ordinances, which would have meant applying for special use permits for a Planned Unit Development. Under Green Oaks the process will probably be similar. The hearing notice refers to adding or altering an article in their Village Code and applying for a special use permit.
One potential area of concern in the current plans is the number of point of access along Waukegan Road; those entrances are already there, but presumably they'll see a lot more traffic with the new facility. It's our understanding that this will fall to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to regulate, since Rt. 43 is a state road. We'll keep an eye on that.
Green Oaks is our near neighbor, but you may not realize just how near. Over the years the village has been steadily creeping eastward, and they now hold a corridor of land zoned Limited Industrial that runs north-south right along Knollwood's west border. That's how they can annex Hilltop - they already have the contiguous strip to the west. See their zoning map.
In March Green Oaks commissioned a study to examine the appropriateness and feasibility of establishing a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district for the Rt. 176 corridor (Rondout) to encourage redevelopment. On July 23 they added the Hilltop property to the scope of that study. This could have tax revenue implications for any taxing bodies in the affected district - including the Rockland Fire Protection District (which serves Knollwood). The Rockland FPD has just been invited to appoint one of its board members to the Rondout/Rt. 176 Corridor TIF District Joint Review Board, which at least gives us a local voice in the process.