Buffalo Grove residents who are concerned about the proposed downtown development have established an opposition group called Save Buffalo Grove and say they are prepared to circulate petitions to recall some Village Board members who have expressed early support for the proposal.
“We have been very alarmed by some comments from the Village of Buffalo Grove about the development plan,” Dan Peterson, one of the group’s organizers, said in a statement released Oct. 2 to Patch. “In particular, one trustee said he ‘started to drool’ when seeing the concept, while others were already talking about ‘moving in’ or ‘shopping’ at the development. These kinds of comments are premature, at best.”
“The Buffalo Grove community is being blindsided by this proposal and most residents are not even aware of it, or its implications,” said Marilyn Weisberg, another member of Save Buffalo Grove. “We have been living in Buffalo Grove, along the golf course for 17 years — it’s why we moved here, and nothing like this has been proposed before. It’s not what we want. It’s not what our neighbors want. It’s a grandiose plan for these economic times.”
The following concerns about the downtown development have been raised by Save Buffalo Grove members:
- The effects on the community and property values from the additional condominiums and retail space in a village where commercial vacancy is high, retailers are hurting, and home prices are dropping.
- Additional congestion to already heavily congested roads, including Lake-Cook Road, which is bumper to bumper after 3 p.m. Old Checker would take on additional congestion with new lights and traffic patterns. Private streets would take on new and unwanted traffic.
- Safety of the children of the neighborhood and adjacent school.
- The potential financial effects, including tax consequences, on the
- community should the project fail.
- Overcrowding of schools caused by the proposed addition of almost 600 residences in a small area.
- Increased flooding due to the destruction of the golf course flood plain in an area known to have flooding problems. Currently, when it rains, many parts of the golf course flood.
- Disruption of the quiet neighborhoods of the residents from the retail space and high density housing resulting in increased noise and light pollution. Residents could see a drop in property values and be unable to sell their homes due to the construction itself or the impending plans.
- Years of exposure of nearby residents to toxic pesticides present in the ground that will be disturbed during construction.
- Loss of the golf course and green space, which include protected species as inhabitants. This is a beautiful, serene environment that is enjoyed by hundreds of residents, and would be destroyed. .
- Risk of living in concrete jungle of empty stores and residences, should the project fail.
“The Save Buffalo Grove group believes that protecting the residents of Buffalo Grove should be the highest priority of the village. Many of the residents in this community want to live in a quiet community and do not agree with the developer’s vision of making Buffalo Grove the retail center of the area and are taking action to prevent it,” the group said in its statement.
“It seems inconceivable that the village is considering selling this land at a real estate market low to promote a retail development despite the glut of retail space in the village and surrounding communities, the uncertain economy, the public questioning of many such projects across the area... even as online sales soar and brick and mortar stores close,” Petersen said.
As a precautionary measure, Save Buffalo Grove members said they filed a notice to of intention last week to recall some Village Board members following their “overly favorable reaction to the proposal while showing little ability to meaningfully query the controversial developer,” they said.
“The recall notification is a precautionary measure that may be used to ensure that should the citizens of Buffalo Grove have an actual voice in the future of their community and that the Village Board members act in the best interest its citizens. At this time, the group has not committed to filing the actual petitions pending the village’s response to the citizen’s concerns.
They needed to file the notification, they said, due to timing requirements in the village's recall ordinance, the group said.
Save Buffalo Grove is considering running a slate of citizens who are opposed to the project, they said. Three trustee seats will be on the 2013 municipal ballot.
Save Buffalo Grove has established a Facebook page and invites interested residents to join the group by emailing SaveBuffaloGrove@att.net.