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Proposed development near Griswold Lake under fire

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:14 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:48 p.m. CDT

ISLAND LAKE – So many people turned out Wednesday night for a public hearing on a new 153-acre development near Griswold Lake that organizers were forced to move the meeting to a larger location.

The proposal from Island Lake Properties LLC calls for both single-family and multi-family units as well as commercial uses. It is located at the northwest corner of Route 176 and River Road, and on both sides of River Road at Burnette Road, according to the notice of the Plan Commission's public hearing.

The residential and commercial development called the Rimas Lodge Property would require the village to annex a portion of unincorporated McHenry County.

Among other issues, opponents of the development cite overcrowding and potential water issues, including flooding that could result from homes set on wetlands.

"The developer was promoting all this tax revenue, but there's so much vacant space now [in Island Lake]," said Gary Garwood, who lives on River Road, on the east shores of the lake. "Where are these people going to come from to take these over what's already available?"

Roberta Woerner, who lives on Wood Street parallel to Route 176, also raised concerns about overcrowded recreation around the lake.

"If Island Lake annexes this and puts a beach and a park, then all of Island Lake will be able to use that lake," she said.

The meeting ran from 7:45 until about 10 p.m., Village Clerk Connie Mascillino said. Because not everyone was able to speak during that time, the meeting will pick back up at 7:30 p.m. April 10, Mascillino said.

The Village Board held a public hearing March 14 to discuss the annexation of the land, but Mascillino said no one from the public made comments at that meeting. The board has set a preliminary date of April 11 to vote on the annexation, Mascillino said.

The development is a separate issue that will require a recommendation from the plan commission before it's sent back to the board for a vote.

"The village could agree to annex the property without necessarily agreeing to the development," Mascillino said. "The development of the property, getting that past the village board, is a much more intense process."

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