Friday, January 18, 2013


When I saw the NEON SIGN and heard what happened at City Hall I was very surprised. How can we allow anyone to put a sign like this one that is contrary to the code up and then condone those actions. Maybe someone can tell me under which standards this was allowed?

This sign is ugly and does not belong in our community. Are we Las Vegas or Ohio street in downtown Chicago? Just my opinion and I have not had the pleasure of reading the packet or staff report but I would say this City Council was moved by the "Billy" thing and not the proper standards of our design review ordinance and code...... Shame, Shame, Shame....  Bet you folks are missing me now!! Right!

Winchester House and Senior Care

One of the first issues I was challenged on when I ran for Lake County Board was my position on rebuilding Winchester House, a nursing home located in Libertyville and owned by the County.

Over the next few months we will be studying the options of how to replace the facility and continue to offer a safety net to those Lake County seniors that do not have money to afford decent care.

What I am learning is that the dynamics of this care is changing by the hour and careful thought and analysis are required to come up with a solution that will carry us well into the future. Assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing have all been redefined with a focus on specialty care and the dollars available from Medicare, Medicaid, and overall changes to federal laws. What use to be a nursing home visit or residence is now more specialized on more acute care.

Anyway, I am just getting into this stuff and will write more about the decision points in the future.

Density Proposal Increase for Downtown

Keep your eye on what is being discussed at the City about changing the zoning in our downtown. I attended a meeting last night with the Plan Commission, Design Review, and the City Council where I was stunned to see a recommendation that was clearly pointing towards tripling the unit density, raising heights of buildings to 60+ feet and 5+ stories, and reducing parking requirements some 25+%.

Now, when this process started .... I was excited about visioning and master planning for our downtown (currently focused on Sunset foods and North of Elm). All had agreed that some adjusting of zoning needed to occur so additional density could occur within a modest increase in volume of buildings in these B4 perimeter sites. This adjustment would allow owners to use modestly increased bulk to promote redevelopment of these underutilized areas that could become contributing to our community.

What I heard last night could just simply take the lid off of our zoning and push the pedal to the medal on uncontrolled development regulations. I guess it is figured that since it is so hard to make money on any development, certain folks are desperate enough to allow almost anything!

Then again, maybe it is just SOME HP folks that want more of everything and don't appreciate the level of excitement us old timers can handle.  Seriously, the quality of life for us folks that live here and have business here needs to be thoroughly examined on how any change impacts the rest of us. Traffic, retail competition, small town ambiance, and public costs associated with increased development must be evaluated. We must be sure the pill we take for the current slow economy is not a poisoned one. Stay Tuned!!