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Updated: Lake Bluff to Draft Boundary Agreement With Green Oaks

Village explores shared services with receptive neighbor.

 

will explore shared service opportunities with the village of Green Oaks after creating a committee to draft a boundary agreement during Monday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting at Lake Bluff Village Hall.

Lake Bluff Trustees Kathy O’Hara and Steve Christiansen will join Village Clerk Bill Meyer to create a draft for the Village Board to consider before showing it to the village of Green Oaks. Village Administrator Drew Irvin expected the process to take from six to eight months.

Last month, Lake Bluff Village President Christine Letchinger and Irvin brought the boundary agreement idea to Green Oaks President Bernie Wysocki and Trustee Denny Dorsey.

“They were very open to it,” Irvin said.

Though the two villages do not share common boundaries, Irvin said, but both Comprehensive Plans speak to the same geographic area.

"The Village’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, which is a policy document adopted by the Village Board of Trustees, sets the land use policies for development in Lake Bluff and in areas within one and one-half miles outside the Village," Irvin said by email. "Its goal is to ensure sound planning, preserve character, enhance Lake Bluff’s image and manage growth.  Pursuant to state law, Lake Bluff’s planning authority includes areas situated within the one and one-half miles outside of the Village (extra-territorial jurisdiction).

"The same is true for Green Oaks," he added. "So, they too should and will to continue to look and “plan” for areas within and just outside of their corporate boundaries---just like us."

Green Oaks is a village of nearly 4,000 residents and doesn’t have a full-time administrator on staff.

“They don’t get involved in a lot of the shared services that we do with other communities on the North Shore, as well as the ,” Irvin said. “They liked gaining a conduit to get information about those opportunities.”

Irvin indicated Green Oaks’ boundaries extend as far east as the Metro Self Storage, 13000 Rockland Road, and as far north as the property due west of the former Hill Top Nursing Home, 502 N. Waukegan Road, which is for sale.

“At stake there are really the (Route)176 corridor and the sanitarium piece across from North Chicago and across from our Sanctuary” development, Letchinger said.

Also on the table could be an opportunity for both villages to secure shared sales tax revenue from the Walgreens on Route 176, just west of Waukegan Road, according to Letchinger.

Irvin said Lake Bluff doesn’t provide services directly to the boundary area. Indirectly, the village has provided police and fire protection through mutual-aid agreements.

“So it’s not uncommon for Lake Bluff to be the first responding agency in these geographic areas that have been identified just by the fact that we are closer,” he said.

Fire calls are handled by the Knollwood Fire Department through an agreement with the Countryside Fire Protection District. Ambulance services in the area are shared with Lake Forest.

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Nicki Snoblin April 24, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Isn't Knollwood kind of the "elephant in the room" in this discussion? Will it continue to be a no-man's-land with Lake Bluff and Green Oaks splitting up the revenue-generating businesses that surround it?
Hook April 24, 2012 at 01:07 PM
@nicki They seem to be splitting revenue from a buisness firmly planted on Knollwood soil. No one seemed to want the tax revenue from little nicks what gives?
Mrs. H April 24, 2012 at 01:41 PM
@hook that doesn't make sense. The punctuation leads your comment to be confusing.
Lisa Spano April 24, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Last time I checked a map, Knollwood shared a boundary with Green Oaks, not Lake Bluff. I have been thinking about this issue recently with towns voting to seek collective bids for electricity, leaving Knollwood in the dark.
JoAnn Whalen April 24, 2012 at 03:26 PM
This reminds me of a game we played as kids called "Keep Away" or in Knollwood's case "Monkey in the Middle". Everyone understands that every municipality is searching for more revenue, but Lake Bluff and/or Green Oaks should have approached Knollwood Neighbors to be a part of these future planning discussions. That would have been the neighborly thing to do.
Lisa Spano April 24, 2012 at 03:29 PM
@Nicki Might any of these issues be discussed tonight at the Knollwood Neighbors' annual meeting?
David Brown April 24, 2012 at 04:35 PM
It's a flat out money grab by Lake Bluff. That's their only interest. David Brown
Hmmmm6 April 24, 2012 at 04:56 PM
While I don't have a dog in this fight, I would only observe the word "draft" agreement in the press account. It seems that there is time for those who feel adversely affected to organize and make your views known. Thank goodness for transparency (and as much as I grouse about them from time to time, the press). Too often in local issues we ascribe evil intent, and its not always helpful. Lake Bluff's taxes seem to have climbed comparatively, and they should be looking for ways to minimize them. They should not do so by trampling the rights of others, but they should also be acting on behalf of their constituents. This is the process, so let's not make them into evil bad guys. They are seeking solutions and they did not announce it as a fait accompli but rather, a "draft" formulation.
Helen April 24, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Can someone explain how do you propose to sign a boundary agreement when you do not have a common boundary? Lake Bluff did not want to annex Knollwood now they want to find a way too cherry pick the revenue sources from Knollwood. It does not seem to be very neighborly to me. Helen Stein
Nicki Snoblin April 24, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Yes, Lisa. Hope to see you.
Nicki Snoblin April 24, 2012 at 08:42 PM
@Hmmm6 - I agree, there is no evil intent, only municipalities looking out for their own best interests. Unfortunately, because Knollwood is unincorporated, it has no voice in any of these negotiations. And because it's unincorporated, it can't collect any tax revenue from its businesses. Our biggest problem is our roads - some have been reduced to little more than gravel, with very little maintenance in recent years due to lack of revenue - and I sure wish there were some way to share the wealth so the roads here could see some improvement.
Jim Powers April 24, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Heard back from Lake Bluff Village Administrator Drew Irvin on the question of shared boundaries. Hope this helps clarify that for those of you who left comments. I'll add it to the story as well. Thanks. "We don’t share common boundaries. But you should know both community’s Comprehensive Plans speak to the same geographic area. The Village’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, which is a policy document adopted by the Village Board of Trustees, sets the land use policies for development in Lake Bluff and in areas within one and one-half miles outside the Village. Its goal is to ensure sound planning, preserve character, enhance Lake Bluff’s image and manage growth. Pursuant to state law, Lake Bluff’s planning authority includes areas situated within the one and one-half miles outside of the Village (extra-territorial jurisdiction). The same is true for Green Oaks. So, they too should and will to continue to look and “plan” for areas within and just outside of their corporate boundaries---just like us."
Nicki Snoblin April 25, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Thanks for the clarification, Jim. And thanks to all who attended the Knollwood Neighbors meeting last night. We'll continue to stay informed on this process and will post updates on our website, www.knollwoodneighbors.org.
The Neighbor July 13, 2012 at 03:38 AM
@Nicki, For years, Knollwood has had ample opportunity to decide what it wants to be when it grows up - and yet, no decision has been made. Every time an opportunity came up for Knollwood to make decisions, the people that fed off of the public troff working for Susan Garrett were no where to be seen. Please provide a list of the accomplishments made by Knollwood Neighbors.
Nicki Snoblin July 13, 2012 at 04:53 PM
@The Neighbor, A lot of the facts surrounding the former annexation attempts have become pretty muddy with time. In reality, there have been two opportunities for annexation to Lake Bluff, one initiated by Lake Bluff and the other by Knollwood. Both went to a referendum of Lake Bluff residents only and were defeated. There was also an attempt at self-incorporation by Knollwood that was halted by Lake Bluff. You can read more at http://www.knollwoodneighbors.org/annex. A summary of the accomplishments of Knollwood Neighbors is available at http://www.knollwoodneighbors.org/about. Membership in Knollwood Neighbors is open to anyone who is interested in the quality of life in our community; if you would like to get involved, you're welcome to join.

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