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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.

Residents interested in joining the group are invited to attend its meeting from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Village Tavern. Details are posted on the group’s Facebook page.

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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What do you think about the downtown proposal? Take our poll or tell us in the comment section below.

News and Views: Downtown Buffalo Grove Proposal for more coverage on this topic.

Mick Rothblott October 31, 2012 at 03:21 PM
For those who are against the downtown proposal, simply stated, you’re wrong. Within the past 5 years, BG tax revenue has gone down due to the closures of three car dealership off of Dundee Rd and the Buffalo Grove Golf Club, on which the downtown is to be built, generates a loss for the taxpayers every year ( and it's a terrible course that is poorly maintained). The downtown proposal will generate local jobs as well as much needed sales tax revenue. BUILD IT PLEASE!
Sidnei Stifelmann October 31, 2012 at 03:57 PM
I am in favor of developing this downtown PROVIDED that something is done to avoid further traffic jam at Lake Cook which is already unacceptable at peak hour.
Erica Williams October 31, 2012 at 06:07 PM
There is a mention that the village campus is on a flood plain. Insurance for a flood plain is VERY EXPENSIVE.
Yes, insurance can be expensive; but, the Army Corp of Engineers can redesignate an area as NOT a flood plain if they feel that proper action is take to address water retention and runoff. Gurnee successfully did this for Gurnee Mills, Great America and Key Lime Cove. Once redesignated, then there are no insurance requirements. However, what makes anyone think that people will 'throng' to the new mall? As mentioned, traffic is the pits around there most of the day. Why would anyone go out of there way to travel to VBG when you can count dozens of malls all up and down rt 12 and elsewhere that are probably closer to them. Put a referendum on an upcoming voting ballot and let everyone vote as to what they think should be done. It may only be an advisory referendum but it would let the board know what the majority of voters, not necessarily residents since voter turnout for VBG has been less then 'stellar' the last few years, feel about the project.
RELENTLESSCRITIC October 31, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Erica- As usual, your comment holds no water. Do you really think that they'd just build this thing right on the flood plain and then hope that it doesn't flood? If you'd have taken the time to read all the info that's already available, you'd see that part of the development processes would be to create alternate methods for dealing with flood plain issues. Although I don't know all the details, this can't be designed without involvement and approval from appropriate local, state and federal agencies (like the Army Corps of Engineers) to ensure that it is done correctly. So quit your alarmist squeeling about the expense of flood insurance - it would be a non-issue if the project is ever built. And if it is built, the developer would be responsible for paying for whatever insurance was required. The village would only be responsible for paying insurance for the campus, and that's already happening anyway.
RELENTLESSCRITIC October 31, 2012 at 07:23 PM
GHEMROAR- I agree that at some point a referendom is appropriate. However, I think many people would like to have more information about the project - including the potential impact on many of the things you mentioned in your posting- before they make a decision. I realize that many people have already rejected this idea outright for a variety of reasons. That's understandable. However, there are many people who are either in favor of it, unsure of how they feel, or disapprove but could change their mind depending on the results of the studies that need to be conducted. Therefore, we need to let the Village do the proper due diligence so the board - and citizens- can make an informed decision based on all the pertinent data. As I've said before, I am not in favor of the project for a variety of reasons. However, I also have some unanswered questions that could alter my perspective one way or another, so I'd like to see more information- particularly about traffic and tax implications. I would be outraged if the Village Staff and Board did not do the jobs we pay them or elected them to do- thoroughly research and consider projects which may improve or impact the village. To prematurely cut this project off without the proper due diligence and public input because a few very vocal people disapprove is simply bad government and sets the wrong precedent. Let's make sure we have all the information we need so that EVERYONE can make an informed decision.
Paul Kozem November 01, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Gee, maybe they can get Best Buy or some other company who is going broke to ink a deal, or more boxing arenas or pool halls..Bg theater might even re locate there example of what finer theaters should be like. Just who do they think they will attract?
RELENTLESSCRITIC November 01, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Why don't you wait and see? Do you really think that the developer is going to invest millions of dollars in this so that he can fill it with dry cleaners?
Lynne November 07, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Why should we have to go to Lincolnshire (City Park)or Rolling Meadows (The new Ranhurst) for a comfortable movie and a nice bite to eat? BG has a large enough, affluent enough population to sustain a nice mixed use facility. And why should our dollars leave the village?
Gadi Bates November 24, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Do we really need more traffic on Lake cook rd? it is a nightmare as it is. I for one chose to live in this neighborhood because of the nice spacious parks, and I'm comfortable with the availability of restaurants and theaters in the area.
Gadi Bates November 24, 2012 at 08:31 PM
People that moved in to Buffalo Grove chose the city/township for its open spaces and good schools, in spite of the high property taxes. If there is a revenue shortfall, the issue needs to be put on the ballot in the next elections so we can approve a property tax increase. However, there should not be an attempt by the township council to alter the character of our neighborhood, just so we can all “save” on our property tax dollars. Instead of loosing money on maintaining the golf course, the area can be developed for residential housing with out the commercial aspect, that will generate the much needed property tax dollars.

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