- Sep 16, 2015
Red Seal Development’s project, Provenance, cleared an important hurdle last month, with a unanimous vote by the Plan Commission to approve the subdivision plan and requested variations. At issue is a proposal by Red Seal to construct 137 units on 44 acres of the Mission Hills golf course. Located in unincorporated Northbrook, the project is subject to Cook County’s zoning ordinances. Earlier this year, following numerous hearings, the project was approved by the Cook County Board. While Northbrook does not have any zoning jurisdiction, the project is subject to Northbrook’s Subdivision Code. Last month a public hearing was held by the Plan Commission to consider the merits of the applicant’s subdivision request and the proposed variations.
At the meeting, Village Director of Development Tom Poupard explained that in addition to Northbrook, Wheeling, Glenview and Prospect Heights also have “extraterritorial” subdivision jurisdiction over the project. He explained that the reason for the oversight is to ensure logical development — the alignment of roads, proper sizing of utilities and other infrastructure uniformity between communities.
Plan Commissioners unanimously supported the following requests by Red Seal:
- to allow private streets within the subdivision
- to permit the cul-de-sac streets within the proposed subdivision to exceed 1,200 feet in length
- to waive the requirement to bury existing overhead utility lines along the Techny Road frontage; Red Seal would pay a fee- in-lieu if no agreement can be reached with ComEd
- to waive the requirement to construct sidewalks along the Western Avenue frontage and along both sides of interior streets
Plan Commissioners discussed the pros and cons of the sidewalks and eventually requested that the final documents include sidewalks along the north side of Techny Road. With concerns about stormwater, Plan commissioners also stipulated that approvals be contingent upon final review by Village Engineer Paul Kendzior who requested additional time to review the plan.
Red Seal also agreed to make a concession regarding access to the golf course maintenance facility when concerns were raised that it would be blocked from the course and mowers and tractors would be forced to use public roads. Commissioners asked for confirmation that it be addressed in the final documents.
A number of opponents spoke in opposition to the project, citing declining property values, loss of golf course views, financial abuse of seniors, and stormwater concerns. Commissioner Steven Elisco commented that unfortunately their comments were not relevant to the discussion. “We just have peripheral review,” he explained. Plan Commission Chairman Marcia Franklin was adamant that the plan would not be approved until it was signed off by the Village Engineer and all stormwater concerns addressed. “The final plat will be subject to review by the Village Engineer,” she firmly stated. Commissioners also agreed with Steven Elisco’s suggestion that Homeowner Association documents stipulate that sufficient funds be held in reserve in order to maintain the streets and common areas.
Red Seal officials are cautiously optimistic about the project’s future. “During this process, we have worked extensively with Cook County, the Village of Northbrook and neighboring municipalities to meet all governmental requirements,” comments Red Seal CEO Todd Fishbein. Acknowledging that Red Seal has appreciated and has taken into consideration all of the feedback on the proposal, he also notes that it intends to fully comply with Northbrook’s recommendations. “We have committed to providing full impact fees to Northbrook as a vital investment in our neighborhood.”