Protect Bannockburn

Instead of acknowledging the recommendation of denial by the PCZBA and the clear consensus not to amend the comprehensive plan reached after numerous public hearings for both the Beeson Corner project and at the PCZBA, the Village Board approved the necessary text amendments to Zoning and the Comprehensive Master Plan to allow multi-family housing in Bannockburn on September 14th.

Neither of the two request we made of the Village Board were addressed. Instead:

  1. The request to ensure all residents were proactively notified and engaged in a discussion of the major changes to zoning and the Comprehensive Master Plan before a vote was taken was ignored; and

  2. The Village President stated that their legal analysis was sufficient and indicated there was very little legal risk to the Village. While we hope the Village's conclusions is correct, only time will tell if the legal risks are going to materialize.

While we can agree to disagree on the legal risk, the Village Board did not explicitly inform the community that there were going to be major changes to zoning and the comprehensive master plan to add multi-family in Bannockburn. The only notifications outside of those legally required, were about the merits of the senior living facility.

If the Village Board would have just agreed to have one more public hearing and made the effort to include the entire community in the broader discussion about multi-family (or whatever they want to call it) before we taking a vote, they could have made a decision that represented what the broader community wanted and not take it upon themselves to make an uninformed decision.

Join Your Fellow Bannockburn Neighbors

Cheryl Anderson

Kimberly Barkemeyer

Jordan Batt

Shanna Batt

Tracey Belcourt

Brian Burns

Jan Burns

Kevin Chernett

Stacy Chernett

George Chesrow

Jennifer Cohn

Anne Comisky

Paul Comisky

Peggy Danos

Perry Danos

Barry Golden

Lindsay Gopin

Matt Gopin

Arthur Harris

Karen Harris

Joseph Karam

Braven Imai

Ellen Imai

Chrisoula Kozonis

Demetrios Kozonis

Vickie Kozonis

Angela Levin

Adam Lustbader

Beth Lustbader

Dale Mason

Jeanne Mason

Mary Maurer

Michael Miminni

Robin Miminni

Glenn Morris

Hob Reichenbach

Mary Beth Reichenbach

Lauren Rubinson

Kathy Salinger

Michael Salinger

Barry Shack

Deborah Shack

Carolyn Slone

Reuben Slone

Brett Soloway

Julie Soloway

Elizabeth Tomaszewicz

George Tomaszewicz

Bridget Toon

Jason Toon

Cleveland Tyson

Pat Tyson

Jerry Weiss

Liz Weiss

Dana Zivkovich

*Anonymous x 32

Letters Shared with the Community

The Village Board has stated its intention to ignore the public hearing process conducted by its Plan Commission and amend the Comprehensive Plan under its own authority. To take such a drastic step and to do so for the benefit of a single senior assisted living proposal in the midst of a pandemic is back door, manipulative politics that has no place in our Village.

The Bannockburn Trustees are planning on modifying the Comprehensive Master Plan to allow for multi-family housing in Bannockburn at the Village Board meeting on Monday, September 14th at 7pm.

We do not understand why the Village is trying to take action on such an important matter without sufficiently involving the residents or considering the implications of doing so. To do this after dozens of residents turned up at the Board meetings earlier this year to express their opposition to allowing multi-family housing in the Village as part of the Beeson’s Corner project, shows a complete lack of regard toward all of the residents who expressed their concerns.

The Village Plan Commission, after numerous hearings, did not recommend amendment of the Comprehensive Master Plan due to a complete lack of community support. The Village Board has stated its intention to ignore the public hearing process conducted by its Plan Commission and amend the Comprehensive Plan under its own authority. To take such a drastic step and to do so for the benefit of a single senior assisted living proposal in the midst of a pandemic is back door, manipulative politics that has no place in our Village.

Allowing multi-family housing in Bannockburn has potential to:

  1. Negatively change the character of Bannockburn that attracted us here in the first place;

  2. Impair the level and quality of Bannockburn’s municipal services, as well as Bannockburn School;

  3. Increase property taxes to maintain the same level of municipal services; and

  4. Reduce our home values.

We need you to click the button below to email the Village AND attend the virtual Board meeting on September 14th at 7pm and state the following during the “Visitor’s Business” Agenda Item so the Trustees can hear from the community:

  1. Your opposition to making changes to the Comprehensive Master Plan without sufficient community involvement, which is required by the Village Code, and that it is inappropriate and irresponsible to do so in the middle of a pandemic. The Village should wait to make any decisions until there can be an inclusive townhall discussion where all the residents can participate in person; and

  2. The Village has not conducted a thorough legal analysis to understand and evaluate all of the legal risks of approving changes to the comprehensive master plan to allow multi-family housing and they must do so before making any decisions.

We love our Village and our community and are trying to protect it from harm. We implore you to do the same!

Instead of acknowledging the recommendation of denial by the PCZBA and the clear consensus not to amend the comprehensive plan reached after numerous public hearings for both the Beeson Corner project and at the PCZBA, the Village Board decided at its August 10th Board Meeting that it was for them to amend the CMP under their own authority and asked the Village attorney to draft the necessary text amendments to the CMP to allow multi-family housing in Bannockburn, with a vote scheduled for September 14th.

We previously wrote to you to let you know the Bannockburn Trustees are planning on modifying the Comprehensive Master Plan to allow for multi-family housing in Bannockburn at the Village Board meeting on Monday, September 14th at 7pm.

This letter is to share with you the background on how we got here:

  1. Changes to the Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP) to allow for multi-family housing in Bannockburn were contemplated as part of the Beeson Corner project, but due to the length of time that proposal was being considered, any changes to the CMP had to go back to the Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals (PCZBA) for consideration and for public hearings. This item was sent to the PCZBA in March of this year “to discuss multi-family uses for current and future projects”. The Board subsequently voted down the Beeson Corner project in part due to the comments from the community against multi-family housing in Bannockburn, yet the CMP amendment remained on the PCZBA agenda.

  2. The March and April PCZBA meetings were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic such that the changes to the CMP were to be considered at the May 4th PCZBA meeting. The Village provided the least amount of notice to the residents legally required and the May 4th PCZBA meeting was held virtually due to the pandemic. Notice was provided by placing an ad in a local newspaper’s classified section, by placing a sign on the property, and including the topic on the PCZBA agenda. The potential amendment to the CMP was not mentioned in any other form of communication.

  3. During the May 4th PCZBA meeting, after several comments referring to the negative public response to multi-family housing in Bannockburn as part of the Beeson Corner project, the commissioners did not even consider the CMP amendment, adjourning the meeting and any discussion till the following meeting. The same thing happened at the July 6th PCZBA meeting.

  4. At the August 3rd PCZBA meeting, the PCZBA recommended approval of the Allegro senior living project, then moved to the agenda item regarding the changes to the CMP. During the discussion, the PCZBA recognized the significance of amending the CMP for a single proposed development as well as the broader potential implications of amending the CMP to allow for multi-family housing in Bannockburn. The motion to amend the CMP failed without a vote when the motion could not even garner a second. Under the Village Code, the failure of the motion to amend constitutes a “recommendation of denial”. Further, after the motion to amend the CMP failed, the PCZBA then approved a motion to reconsider their approval of the senior living project. A shortened clip of the meeting can be found here, so you can listen for yourself.

  5. Instead of acknowledging the recommendation of denial by the PCZBA and the clear consensus not to amend the comprehensive plan reached after numerous public hearings for both the Beeson Corner project and at the PCZBA, the Village Board decided at its August 10th Board Meeting that it was for them to amend the CMP under their own authority and asked the Village attorney to draft the necessary text amendments to the CMP to allow multi-family housing in Bannockburn, with a vote scheduled for September 14th.

As indicated in our first letter, we need you to:

  1. Write to the Village (frothing@villageofbannockburn.org) and ask that the following points below are shared with the Village Trustees and the Village President (you can auto-generate an email from our website if easier); and

  2. Attend the virtual Board meeting on September 14th at 7pm and state the following:

    1. Your opposition to making changes to the Comprehensive Master Plan without sufficient community involvement, which is required by the Village Code, and that it is inappropriate and irresponsible to do so in the middle of a pandemic. The Village should wait to make any decisions until there can be an inclusive townhall discussion where all the residents can participate in person; and

    2. The Village has not conducted a thorough legal analysis to understand and evaluate all of the legal risks of approving changes to the comprehensive master plan to allow multi-family housing and they must do so before making any decisions.

Call to Action for our Village Trustees

As our elected officials we call on you to uphold your duties to follow the Village processes, procedures and code. Since the unanimous rejection of the Beeson Corner project, there has been little discussion on amending the Comprehensive Master Plan to allow for multi-family residential in the Village or on the potential ramifications of doing so. What little discussion there has been as part of the PCZBA meetings on this topic has all been against amending the Comprehensive Master Plan. It is irresponsible to vote on such an important item without community involvement and without a thorough legal analysis on all potential risks. Irrespective of whether the Village is legally entitled to take this action, it is the wrong thing to do without truly hearing from the residents. Please do the right thing and insist on this discussion before taking any formal action.

Since our last letter, the Village President has written by email to many of you trying to refute our fundamental position that (1) the Comprehensive Master Plan should not be amended to allow for multi-family housing without the required community discussion and that (2) the Village President and the Village Trustees have not considered the legal implications of approving the senior/assisted living multi-family use and amending the Comprehensive Master Plan.

The simple fact that the Village President has seen fit to write such a letter, indicates that a broader community discussion is needed. Interestingly enough, however, the Village President does not even touch on our concerns. Instead, the Village President wants to convince you of the virtues of the specific senior/assisted living proposal and continues to ignore our position as he has for several months.

Since our last letter, the Village President has written by email to many of you trying to refute our fundamental position that (1) the Comprehensive Master Plan should not be amended to allow for multi-family housing without the required community discussion and that (2) the Village President and the Village Trustees have not considered the legal implications of approving the senior/assisted living multi-family use and amending the Comprehensive Master Plan.

The simple fact that the Village President has seen fit to write such a letter, indicates that a broader community discussion is needed. Interestingly enough, however, the Village President does not even touch on our concerns. Instead, the Village President wants to convince you of the virtues of the specific senior/assisted living proposal and continues to ignore our position as he has for several months.

For example from his letter:

  1. “(T)he Proposal is not “multi-family housing” in any meaningful sense.” This is simply wrong. This is multi-family housing by any definition. 160 residential units are proposed at the site. To suggest that this doesn’t constitute a multi-family use is incorrect and misleading.

  2. “The Proposal is an institutional use (just as Trinity is an institutional use).” Again, this is wrong. This is a for-profit, multi-family living project. This is not an educational, governmental, charitable, not-for-profit, or other “institutional” type use.

  3. The letter goes to great lengths to state how “unlikely” it will be for other “similar proposals” to be presented to the Village and how the zoning will be very restrictive. Once again, the Village President has ignored everything we have been saying. We are not concerned about other “similar proposals”. We are concerned about additional multi-family housing proposals of ANY type that will be presented once the Comprehensive Master Plan is amended to allow for multi-family housing. There has been NO analysis on this point to date.

Our fundamental concerns are being ignored. Instead, the residents only receive misleading information from the Village.

As you reflect back on our letters and consider the Village President’s recent response to our position, please ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Were you ever included in a discussion, or ever been notified, about the Village making significant and fundamental changes to the Village’s Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP) to include multi-family housing (and especially after the backlash from the Beeson project)?

  2. Do you think the Village Board should be approving these significant and fundamental changes to the CMP after the comments made during the Beeson project, the pushback from residents to date, and after the PCZBA was unwilling to recommend any amendment of the CMP to include multi-family housing?

  3. Has the Village convinced you that they understand and have mitigated all potential legal risks of amending the CMP to add multi-family housing and doing so for a single senior living project?

  4. Given that the Village Board is willing to make an exception for Trinity to sell some of its land, willing to add a new multi-family zoning use, and willing to change the CMP to allow for multi-family uses in the Village, do you believe that they are not going to make exceptions in the future that will further allow for the expansion of multi-family uses in the Village?

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, we need you to join us and:

  1. Add your name alongside the 40+ other residents on our website at: https://www.bannockburnil.com/support-the-cause

  2. Write to the Village (RMentkowski@villageofbannockburn.org) and ask that the points below are shared with the Village Trustees and the Village President (you can auto-generate an email from our website); and

  3. Email frothing@villageofbannockburn.org and ask to speak during “Visitor’s Business” at the Board Meeting and attend the virtual Board meeting on September 14th at 7pm and state the following:

    1. Your opposition to making changes to the Comprehensive Master Plan without sufficient community involvement, which is required by the Village Code, and that it is inappropriate and irresponsible to do so in the middle of a pandemic. The Village should wait to make any decisions until there can be an inclusive townhall discussion where all the residents can participate in person; and

    2. The Village has not conducted a thorough analysis to understand and evaluate all of the legal risks of approving changes to the comprehensive master plan to allow multi-family housing and they must do so before making any decisions.

Note: You must get the call in number or web link for the Board meeting on the Agenda for the meeting as posted on the Village website.