Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



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 board to vote on new budget today
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
WGN Channel 9

Preckwinkle agrees to fewer Cook County job cuts; hundreds of layoffs still in works
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Teamsters Local 700 Files for Temporary Restraining Order Against Cook County Merit Board
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

How Cook County finally got a new budget
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

ONTIVEROS: I think I miss that soda pop tax
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Budget Cuts Expected For Cook County Public Guardianís Office
Monday, November 20, 2017
CBS Chicago

Ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says he's running again
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

More than 300 Cook County employees will lose jobs to balance budget
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail Population Down 15 Percent After Bond Reforms
Monday, November 20, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Stroger vs. Preckwinkle: Hide your wallets.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

After momentous week, prosecutor Kim Foxx says 'we have to right wrongs'
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

MIHALOPOULOS: Will pop-tax anger unseat Preckwinkle, or fizzle out?
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment
Friday, November 17, 2017
NBC Chicago

Watchdog: Quit stalling on Cook County justice system data
Friday, November 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

The Week in Review: Record Wave of Exonerations Tied to Rogue Cop
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle, some commissioners say enough votes for amended budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Nothing Pleasant About Hundreds Of Layoffs
Friday, November 17, 2017
CBS Chicago

Cook County commissioners get behind Preckwinkle's budget cuts
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Chuy Garcia Sole Cook County Commissioner Iffy on Budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

all news items

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