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Approved plans allowed 27W’s first floor to be 1+1/2 ft above 51W.  Does this look like an 18″ difference to you … to anyone?  Just wondering … Advertisements

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The Upside of the Downside

A few years back some bad things started happening to us. It seemed as though we were under siege…. trapped in a surreal situation where nature all around us was under attack. It was a situation that seemed stunningly unlikely. … Continue reading

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51W Bucolic Backyard View as of May 2010 (pre-flood event)

This was the serene, idyllic and peaceful view from the rear patio overlooking the water garden. The background was the Delineated Isolated Wetland #1 – which provided an excellent privacy screen between 51W and our 1W neighbors to the east, who also enjoyed the completely wooded environment between our homes.
There’s no way the R-4 Zoned 27W Onwentsia lot-in-depth parcel could be developed based on the historical hydrology of the multiple wetlands located on the site; the 50′ setbacks from all property lines; and the reality of floodplain/floodway regulations which severely constrain the engineering possibilities given the unsuitability of the lot itself. Aside from all that … when Mother Nature demonstrates year in and year out that lowest point existing between Green Bay Road and Skokie Blvd (Route 41) will serve as the Onwentsia Gardens final buffer zone against flooding disasters … it doesn’t matter “how many different ways you can do the numbers” in order to get a permit ~ the water is going to show up and overwhelm whatever engineering marvel designed by man; especially when it’s been sold as a solution to historical storm water management problems impacting this area.
Sound familiar? Like the levies that were protecting farmland from the Mighty Mississippi which needed to be blown out by the Army Corps of Engineers. How’s all that working out?

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Did 27W Contractor’s Damage to 51W Homeowner’s ComEd Service Line Violate the Public Utilities Act Sec 8-507 too?

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Illinois Compiled Statutes 220 ILCS 5 Public Utilities Act. Section 8-507 Legal Research Home > Illinois Laws (220 ILCS 5/8-507) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 8-507) Sec. 8-507. Every public utility shall file with the Commission, under such rules and regulations … Continue reading

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Pride and Fretfulness

Last Monday night at City Hall, the Zoning Board of Appeals heard an appeal for the withdrawal of the building permit for 27 W. Onwentsia Rd.  The appeal was filed by Miss Kerry Friedman, an adjacent neighbor.  This was a matter between Miss Friedman and the city’s Zoning Board regarding a zoning problem created by the city in 1981.  It was not filed against the landowner of record. Yet, the landowner was present with his entire complement of lawyers, engineers and experts.  And they were fully prepared to argue their position.

The meeting was scheduled for 6:00 pm. The board immediately withdrew into private session which was supposed to be for a half hour, but it lasted for forty-five minutes.  This executive session was so the Board could deliberate on the pending 27W litigation.  It also resulted in several residents who came to speak giving up and going home. It’s not clear how many did so.

Kathy Saville, who grew up in Lake Forest and now lives on Honeysuckle Road, stayed.  Ms. Saville spoke briefly of her many concerns.  Ms. Saville, one of many neighbors on record opposing this project, told the ZBA what she previously said to the Building Review Board.  She specifically mentioned how the existing retention basins are not able to handle the current stormwater runoff.  The East Branch of the Skokie River runs between her house and the former wetlands and seventy-plus trees which used to exist on the formerly vacant parcel now known as the 27W lot.

Local government officials and an expert in site design were questioned by Miss Friedman’s attorney. The proceedings were orderly, although unorthodox. Testimony of the various experts for the landowner, as well as cross examination of witnesses by their counsel was allowed. The case was between the appellant and the city’s ZBA.  The proceedings should have been limited to the individual party’s named in the original Appeal petition.

This meeting further solidified the growing local opinion that we can no longer be proud of our city. We now have a city that has lost its way. People are beginning to notice. The character of the city is changing. Trees are disappearing.  Storefronts in the center of town are empty. Homes are getting closer together. Houses are becoming over-sized for their lots. We might have expected some changes due to the economy. But the reason this town has retained its lofty property values in both good times and bad is because these are the kind of things that don’t happen here.  The Forest in Lake Forest, is why I used to take drives here before I was a resident.  People visit here just to view the bucolic splendor. Lake Forest has invariably been about the quality of our lives.  We had reason be proud. Some of us are feeling that pride slip away.

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27W Contractor Finally Hits 51W’s ComEd Line 12-1-2011

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Thursday afternoon Minchillo’s Crew completed the Utility Disruption Trifecta by “nicking” the buried 600 Volt electrical wire running from ComEd’s transformer to 51W house along the same route as the buried Comcast cable and ATT phone lines.  The wire was … Continue reading

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27W Contractor’s Response to Dec 2, 2011 Stop Work Order

An Appeal challenging the City of Lake Forest’s issuance of a Building Permit on October 19, 2011 was filed on Friday, December 2, 2011.  Upon filing the Appeal, an automatic Stop-Work Order is triggered until the Appeal arguments are heard … Continue reading

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