On the record: Trustees positions on a Downtown Buffalo Grove referendum

Referendum Position Name, Position
? Jeffrey S. Braiman, Village President
? Jeff Berman, Trustee
? Steve Trilling, Trustee
? Beverly Sussman, Trustee
 Supports Mike Terson, Trustee
 Supports Andrew Stein, Trustee
 Maybe Lester A. Ottenheimer III,  Trustee


Trustee, Mike Terson

3/15/2011: Buffalo Grove Patch Candidate Questionnaire

“What I am saying is that I think it is an idea worth discussing and considering, and if at the end of the day there are too many negatives and/or the residents say no to the idea through a referendum, then it isn’t a good idea.”

Trustee, Andrew Stein Trustee 3/6/2013: Trustee Candidates Weigh in on Downtown Referendum

Trustee candidate Andrew Stein said if the proposal advances, he would be in support of putting the sale of the golf course to a referendum.

“If we held referendums for every tough decision, we wouldn’t be governing as we were elected to do. I do feel, however, that there are times when referendums are necessary, such as taxing decisions and when converting a substantial amount of public land to private use,” he said. “I do agree that there are those times when we need to reach out and say, ‘What would you like to do?’”

Trustee, Lester Ottenheimer

3/6/2013: Trustee Candidates Weigh in on Downtown Referendum

Trustee candidate Lester Ottenheimer said his position would be based, in part, on when a referendum would appear on the ballot. There currently isn’t enough information about the proposal to put it to a public vote, he said, and holding a special election for that purpose could be expensive.
“If there is going to be a referendum, and if I decide to support a referendum, which I am leaning towards doing, I don’t think a referendum should take place until all the facts are known,” he said.

Town hall meetings April 22 and May 6

Nekritz Berman SenteDear Friends of SBG,

We are encouraging members of Save Buffalo Grove to attend the following meetings and, where there is opportunity, to express your concerns about the Downtown Buffalo Grove Proposal.

Town Hall Meeting, Tuesday, April 22 at 6 PM, BG Village Hall–open to all.
This meeting will address the state of the community. President Braiman will be participating, along with State officials who represent Buffalo Grove. There will be a brief State and Village updates for 2014. The floor will be open for new ideas from residents on how to improve the community.

Chamber of Commerce “State of the Villages” Meeting, May 6, 11:30 AM, Flemings Restaurant, 970 Milwaukee Ave.

This meeting is hosted by the Buffalo Grove-Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce. There will be a 2014 “State of the Villages” address/luncheon to update the business community on major developments in these communities. Village President Jeff Braiman and Lincolnshire Mayor Brett Bloomberg will present. To RSVP: call 847-541-7799.

Thank you–SBG Steering Committee

Save Buffalo Grove Flood Plain Meeting 4/2

Please attend
SBG Community Meeting

BG Golf Course Flood Plain
Questions & Answers

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
7 PM-9:30 PM
Village Tavern and Grille
48 Raupp Road

Background Information:

Why a meeting on the flood plain?
Because there is a lack of good information available on the golf course flood plain and regulations surrounding it; many residents worry about what will happen if the Village decides to build on the flood plain.

Save Buffalo Grove (SBG) asked the Village to answer some fundamental questions about flood plains and, in particular, the golf course flood plain. This has evolved into the April 2, 2014 community meeting.

Has a proposal for the Downtown development been approved?
NO. Village officials say the Downtown Plan has NOT been approved and very little has been done on it in recent months.

Village officials say they are currently in an information gathering phase regarding the proposal to build a commercial downtown on 65 acres of the Buffalo Grove Golf Course.

To facilitate transparency, SBG has issued a FOIA (Freedom of information Act) request for copies of all Village communications regarding the Downtown Plan.

Did the Village Trustees approve a feasibility study to determine if the golf course is suitable for development?

Yes, the Trustees approved a feasibility study in February and it is now underway. The Village contracted with an outside engineering firm to complete the feasibility study by June 2014. It will yield a set of recommendations.

Did SBG voice opposition to the feasibility study?
Yes. Three members of the SBG Steering Committee stood up and talked at the February Board meeting; they voiced strong opposition to the feasibility study and to building on the golf course flood plain. There were about 15 members of SBG at this particular board meeting.

What’s on the agenda for the April 2 Flood Plain Meeting?
SBG gave the Village Engineer 20 questions to answer on flood plains in general and the golf course flood plain, in particular. We expect to hear basic flood plain information from Darren Monico, the Village Engineer.

In light of the feasibility issues, it is unlikely that Mr. Monico will provide any specific building plans at this time.

What has to happen before a Downtown plan can go forward?
The Village might need several years to secure the necessary approvals, permits, and rights before they can clear any land and begin building. Financing may also be a major hurdle.

At this time, it is unlikely that the Village Engineer will be able to comment on this approval process for the Downtown Plan. He will probably try to present in a neutral and bias-free way, when it comes to supporting or not supporting a Downtown Plan.

Where did this idea about creating a Downtown BG start?
In August, 2012 developer (Malk) proposed to the Buffalo Grove Village Board that the Village sell the Buffalo Grove Golf Course to his company (CRM) and he would build a downtown area consisting of residential, recreational and retail properties on 65 acres of the land. The Golf Course Club House/Restaurant, Village Hall and Police Department buildings would be demolished and new buildings would be relocated elsewhere.

What is SBG’s position on the Downtown Plan?
Save Buffalo Grove, a citizens group, is not in favor of converting open space into a downtown and has been voicing its opinion to the Village Board since 2012.

What’s the mission of SBG?
The mission of Save Buffalo Grove is to preserve the environment and green space of Buffalo Grove, to promote a beautiful community, and to help our public officials make wise decisions in this regard. Our initial objective is to oppose the development of a Downtown Buffalo Grove on the Buffalo Grove Golf Course.

What kind of organization is SBG?
SBG began as a small grassroots group of concerned citizens, but we have grown considerably. As a result, we are now beginning to formalize our organizational structure for greater impact and transparency in terms advocacy, education, and fundraising.

Who runs SBG?
SBG has a five-member Steering Committee composed of Buffalo Grove residents.

ALERT-Downtown Buffalo Grove project to be discussed on 2/3/14

A point of information:  The contact between the Village and the engineers on this proposal appears to have begun on 5/28/13 (eight months ago) and was revised on 12/30/13.  So while we were being told that there was nothing to tell us, the Village was actively working on getting a feasibility study done that will cost the Village $79,000.Buffalo Grove flooding
The downtown Buffalo Grove proposal will be discussed at the 2/3/14 village of Buffalo Grove board meeting.   A resolution to have a consulting engineer do a build-able assessment of the golf property will be up for approval.  Details of the items to be discussed are contained in the Board meeting agenda packet located on the Village web site, vbg.org. Here is a summary of what is included.
The resolution is to assess golf course flood plain characteristics, conduct hydraulic modeling of wetland and soils investigation and develop a buildable area plan.  The engineers will develop two alternatives to accommodate the two waterways running through the golf course (Buffalo Creek and Farrington Ditch) and provide a detailed outline of expected permitting and timelines.   The engineer is Christopher B. Burke Engineering (CBBEL).  The study will take 160 days, determine project feasibility and could refine the Buffalo Grove master plan.  Information obtained may be used for development purposes other than the proposed downtown project should the Board chose to pursue other options.  No traffic analysis will be done and the project could involve significant regulatory permitting.
Engineering recommendations will be in accordance with regulations of:
  1. Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance
  2. Metro Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
  3. IL Department of Natural Resources – Office of Water Resources
  4. US Army Corps of Engineers
  5. IL EPA
  6. IL DOT
The engineering study will:
  1. Document existing floodplain/floodway and wetlands on the site
  2. Do preliminary sizing of relocated waterways (concept sketches will be done)
  3. Quantify  the amount of floodplain and floodway fill
  4. Provide wetland impacts and storm water detention/water quality requirements
  5. Evaluate 2 alternative plans and each will include a small creek thru the center of the site with an overflow channel around the east or west side of the site
  6. Maximize useable Lake Cook Road frontage.

THE ENGINEERING STUDY SUMMARY REPORT COMPLETION AND PROJECT COORDINATION MEETINGS ARE SCHEDULED FOR 5/30/14. Cost of the study is $79,000.  There will be additional costs of 35 soil borings to be done by a sub contractor, Testing Service Corporation, totaling $23,800.  Total costs of the entire engineering study are not to exceed $79,000.

Save Buffalo Grove – Engineering Study Contract

Buffalo Creek Reservoir Expansion Open House January 22

MWRD, Lake County Forest Preserve District to host an open house to discuss Buffalo Creek Reservoir Expansion and Forest Preserve improvements

Who: The MWRD and the Lake County Forest Preserve District
What: Informational open house regarding concept plans for improvements at the Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve
Where: Buffalo Grove Village Hall, 50 Raupp Blvd., Buffalo Grove, IL
When: Wednesday, January 22, any time from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and Lake County Forest
Preserve District (LCFPD) are working on a project to expand the existing Buffalo Creek Reservoir and
improve recreational access at the Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve.

To provide more information about the project, the public is invited to an informal open house to view the concept plans on Wed., Jan. 22, anytime from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Buffalo Grove Village Hall, 50 Raupp Blvd., Buffalo Grove, IL. No presentation is planned as part of the viewing but public comment will be welcomed.

Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve is located on the west and east sides of Schaefer Road between Lake Cook Road on the south and Checker Road on the north in the Villages of Buffalo Grove and Long Grove.

The joint project involves expanding floodwater storage at the MWRD’s existing Buffalo Creek Reservoir,
habitat restoration, and improving public access throughout the Preserve. Public access improvements
include adding and relocating trails and bridges to improve recreational opportunities.

Please see the following page for a map of the preferred concept. Additional information can be obtained by calling (312) 751-3247

Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve



Recap of December 16, 2013 BG Village board meeting

Nothing was mentioned at the 12/16 BG board meeting regarding the downtown BG proposal.

However here is some other information covered that may interest you.

1.  The village web site is being redesigned.  Some of the changes are already visible.
2.  There was a discussion on the approval of the Phase 1 study regarding the Weiland Road project.  The plan has been adjusted through several meetings with residents and modifications consists of:
    A. Reduced lanes north of Aptakisic
    B. Realignment of the curve south of Mirielle subdivision.
    C. Addition of pedestrian beacons along the road.
    D. Keeping old Prairie Road open to Aptakisic.
    E.  Lane width modifications for bicyclists.
3.  Police revenue for 2013, through October, is about $584,000 (tickets, tows, fines, etc.),
4.  There will be a vote to abate (reduce) BG Village taxes for next year by $204,500 or 1.85%. The Village property tax rate will drop from .9603/$100 to about .9340/$100.

July 18 Meeting recap TIF district for Downtown Buffalo Grove


Save Buffalo Grove (SBG) is hosting a presentation on problems associated with Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for the proposed Downtown Buffalo Grove.  Please attend and alert your friends and neighbors.

Presentation:   Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for Downtown Buffalo Grove: Developer’s Dream  or Taxpayer’s Nightmare?
Speaker:              Brian Costin, TIF district expert with the Illinois Policy Institute
Date:                    Thursday, July 18, 2013
Time:                    7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Location:             Village Tavern and Grille-Back Room, Raupp Road at Church Street
Please:                 Buy a drink or snack from the Village Tavern, as the room is free to SBG.  
Background: This program comes in response to the proposal for the creation of a new TIF district as a way to fund the Downtown Plan from the developer, Charles Malk of CRM Properties Group, and remarks indicating support for such a concept from the Buffalo Grove Village Trustees.
Brian will:
  • Discuss what TIF districts are, how they can affect taxpayers, and the unique circumstances surrounding a potential Buffalo Grove TIFdistrict.\Outline the legal steps involved in creating a TIF district in Illinois and how citizens can participate in the process to influence the outcome.
  • Present information on Illinois TIF statutes that require TIFS to be used for areas with “blight factors,” and the restrictions of TIFS on public lands occupied by golf courses.
  • Explore the numerous legal concerns surrounding CRM Properties Group’s unique TIF district proposal for a Downtown Buffalo Grove development. 
 “If this proposal proceeds, it might be the first time in Illinois history that a TIF district has been proposed for non-blighted lands entirely owned by the government,” says Costin. “Because the proposed development area overlaps the boundaries of several taxing bodies– Village of Buffalo Grove, Vernon and Wheeling Townships–local school districts and taxpayers in both Lake and Cook counties will be affected by the proposed TIF district.”

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