Protesters, Village Prepare Next Steps for Downtown Buffalo Grove
The Save Buffalo Grove group plans to hash out strategies during a meeting this week. Meanwhile, the process is slowly moving forward with the village.
The Save Buffalo Grove group that organized earlier this month in protest of the proposed downtown development is not actively working to recall Buffalo Grove trustees, its leader said, but that doesn’t mean they are giving up the fight.
“It’s still a potential tool,” said Dan Petersen, who is leading the grassroots group. However, he said, members are holding off on circulating petitions to obtain the signatures they would need for the measure to reach the 2013 ballot.
In an Oct. 2 press release, the group said it would consider leading an effort to remove from office the Village Board members whose terms expire in 2015.
But for now, Petersen said Monday, the group is focusing on creating its strategies.
“The objective of this group is not to throw out the Village Board. Not at all,” he said.
“It’s understanding possible ways to make sure our concerns are heard by the village,” Petersen said. The group also wants to ensure residents understand the proposal, he added.
“I feel like a lot of people have very little information about the proposal,” he said. Members also want to gain more information about the approval process, he said.
Already, Save Buffalo Grove has attracted about 200 active members, Petersen said. The citizens have a range of concerns about building a downtown, including resulting traffic, noise and property values.
“I understand where the village is coming from. I get it. I don’t know if a mall is the solution,” Petersen said. “When you drive around Buffalo Grove, what do you see? Shopping centers. Do we really need another one?”
Village's next steps
Buffalo Grove Village Manager Dane Bragg said the village is planning a meeting with residents of the Manchester Green neighborhood, near Old Checker and Buffalo Grove roads.
A couple of trustees have been in touch with Save Buffalo Grove, Bragg said, but he has not been in contact with the group. Overall, he said, he has received “not a lot” of questions from residents about the downtown proposal.
The next step in the process, Bragg said, will be for the village to establish terms for the developer to begin marketing the property. The developer will return with information from interested retailers, and the Village Board will determine whether it goes forward, he said. For instance, Bragg said, trustees could reject a proposal to bring in a specific department store as the anchor if they don’t think the retailer is a good fit or they weren’t satisfied with revenue projections.
The village will set its terms in the coming weeks, Bragg said. “The goal for [the developer] is to be able to fully market the property at the shopping center convention that’s held in May each year in Vegas,” he said.
The proposed downtown development would need to clear a series of other hurdles before becoming a reality. They include issues related to zoning, stormwater management and financing.
Petersen said he realizes that the proposal is in its early stages, but added that he’s already making plans for his home should the downtown come to fruition.
“If they build this, when I retire, I will not live in Buffalo Grove, and a lot of others feel the same way,” Petersen said. “We didn’t move here to live next to a mall.”
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News and Views: Downtown Buffalo Grove Proposal for more coverage on this topic.