Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Environmentalists opposed to Cook County forest district-Hinsdale land lease proposal

Sunday, October 04, 2009
Chicago Tribune
by Gerry Smith

The noisy, overgrown sliver of land hardly looks worth fighting over.

But environmentalists say a proposed lease of
Cook County Forest Preserve District property to west suburban Hinsdale would set a precedent by violating an ordinance aimed at preserving and conserving land with limited recreational use.

"As soon as you give this to them, every village in the county is going to come asking for land," said Benjamin Cox, executive director of Friends of the Forest Preserves.

But proponents say the deal would allow Hinsdale to restore Duncan Field, which they say has largely been ignored after being separated from Bemis Woods by the Tri-State Tollway. The property, about 30 acres northwest of the Tri-State and Ogden Avenue, has been overgrown with invasive species, they say.

"This is about enhancing and restoring a forgotten and displaced piece of land," said Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman. Hinsdale, she said, "would bring it back to the pristine forest preserve that it should be."

The issue is set to be decided at a Forest Preserve District board meeting on Wednesday.

For nearly three decades, Hinsdale has leased part of the property from the district to use for athletic fields. The proposed deal calls for a 30-year lease in which the village would spend $2 million restoring the land, improving the baseball field and building two soccer fields, a restroom facility and a trail.

Hinsdale is not the first town to encounter obstacles when eyeing forest preserve land. A few years ago, Wheeling sought approval to build a detention pond on a small parcel of forest preserve land, hoping to free up hotel property for other uses, including additional parking.

After the plan was rejected, Wheeling officials proposed adding trails, a gravel parking lot and native prairie plantings, but that plan stalled while the district studied whether the property is home to an endangered snake species. Wheeling and district officials are still in negotiations, according to village planner Andrew Jennings.

At a Sept. 2 committee meeting, district staff opposed the Hinsdale plan, arguing it "is not acceptable under our land-use guidelines," said district spokesman Steve Mayberry. But Cook County commissioners voted to move forward with negotiations.

Commissioner
Jerry Butler said he voted against the deal because of questions raised by environmental groups.

"The forest preserve is supposed to be what it is, for protecting the flora and fauna," he said.

Since then, Hinsdale officials have sought to address the commissioners' concerns, stating they have no plans to install retention ponds, lighting or fencing and promising to pay the cost of replacing vegetation.

Environmental groups -- including the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, Openlands, Friends of the Forest Preserves and Friends of the Parks -- are planning to hold a protest before Wednesday's board meeting. Cox said they would remain opposed to the deal because it would give control of the property "to an entity other than the Forest Preserve District."

"It is a land transfer, plain and simple," he said.

gfsmith@tribune.com


Recent Headlines

Cook County commissioners move to reclaim health powers
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax worked: UIC study
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
WGN News

‘Sea change’ in county health system could put Preckwinkle, commissioners closer to the helm
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Fed Up With Postal Service Problems, North Side Officials Vow To Fix Constant Delivery Woes In Rogers Park
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Block Club Chicago

Cook County's short-lived 'soda' tax worked, says new study
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
University Of Illinois at Chicago

Annals of Internal Medicine: Sweetened Beverage Study
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Elevating Evanston Youth
Monday, February 24, 2020
Northwestern

Cook County Health finance chief departs
Monday, February 24, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

$14 million settlement proposed in lawsuit over Cook County inmates masturbating in front of female public defenders
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

The correct response to violent crime? Believe it or not, we're seeing it in Cook County.
Friday, February 21, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

For The First Time In More Than A Decade, The Waitlist For Suburban Public Housing Is Opening
Friday, February 21, 2020
WBEZ News

Flashback: Cook County Hospital was home to big egos, surgical drama and stalwarts who found purpose in treating the poor
Friday, February 21, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Can courts do more to force FOID card violators to give up their guns?
Monday, February 17, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Keep the Cook County Health board independent
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Park Ridge looks to move 911 dispatching services to Cook County call center
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: A report’s flaws suggest: Cook County bail reforms may have endangered the public
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Offering rehab instead of jail time, ‘Drug Court’ gives some a second chance
Thursday, February 13, 2020
WGN News

Preckwinkle aide barred from her offices after sexual harassment incident
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

New outreach group combating Cook County’s opioid crisis by offering treatment, hope
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
WGN News

Evanston Officials Eye County Grant for Construction of New Animal Shelter
Monday, February 10, 2020
Evanston RoundTable

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP