County plans carpool lot in LITH

LAKE IN THE HILLS – The county has plans to build a 110-space parking lot at the reconfigured Route 31 and Virginia Road intersection.

The planned park-and-ride facility on the southwestern corner would be a place for people to park and meet to carpool. It will have 105 regular spaces and five handicap spaces.

A study by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning showed a need for a lot of that size and purpose, said Dan Olson, Lake in the Hills community development director.

But to meet stormwater requirements and have enough parking spaces to make the project work, the county needs a variance from the minimum 30-foot setback required under village zoning rules. It is asking for an 8-foot setback from Virginia Road and Route 31, which still allows for landscaping, Olson wrote.

Without the variances, the county would be able to put in only 34 spaces, which is too few to benefit the public, according to village documents.

The Village Board is scheduled to vote on the proposed project at its meeting tonight.

Wally Dittrich, the design manager for the McHenry County Division of Transportation, said the county received a $1 million grant to design and construct the parking lot. If approved, construction will be in summer and take a couple of months, Dittrich said.

He said carpooling occurs in the county, with people meeting in parking lots of shopping centers. This a “way to give a formal safe place to leave their cars,” Dittrich said.

Dittrich said the CMAP study found that people from Cary, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin and Crystal Lake carpool to work in the Schaumburg area.

Currently there is no plan to limit time on the parking lot, and there would no charge to use it, Dittrich said.

Village Trustee Stephen Harlfinger wondered whether a park-and-ride is the best use of the site. “Are we taking away a piece of commercial property for the future?” he asked.

Olson said the property is county-owned right-of-way.

Village President Ed Plaza said the lot would relieve road congestion.

“With the bypass going in, with the amount of traffic everybody sees going from north to south and back ... anyway to get traffic off the road is fine,” Plaza said.

The design includes an area for a gazebo or shelter, and an area for buses to turn around if PACE decides to add a stop in the area.

“Ultimately that will be a marketing tool to get them to come in,” Plaza said.

To attend

What: Lake in the Hills Village Board

When: 7:30 p.m. today

Where: 600 Harvest Gate

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