LITH moves park district annexation forward

LAKE IN THE HILLS – The village is moving forward on a proposed annexation of 27 acres of land along Ackman Road that could be a future recreation center and outdoor swimming facility.

Village board members on Thursday gave staff the go-ahead to begin negotiating an annexation agreement with the Crystal Lake Park District, which intends to buy the land at 8917 Ackman Road and potentially build a community recreation center and swimming facility sometime in the future.

An annexation hearing is now scheduled for Feb. 11.

The park district is asking for the property, which it plans to buy for $625,000, to be zoned as an institutional building district. The property was used as the Crystal Highlands Golf Course up until 2012.

There is no specific development plan for the property at this time, according to a village memo written by Community Development Director Dan Olson.

In an annexation agreement, the village can spell out the development standards the property would need to meet. The village would want to require a site plan, landscape plan, architectural elevations and preliminary engineering be submitted after annexation that would be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission and Village Board, according to village documents.

“If I don’t see a benefit to the village of Lake in the Hills and its residents, I’m going to fight this thing tooth and nail,” said trustee Stephen Harlfinger.

Crystal Lake Park District Executive Director Jason Herbster said a long-term plan for property is up in the air, which it gives residents an opportunity to be give input into the plans.

Herbster said Lake in the Hills residents would be able to use the facility by paying nonresident fees.

“There’s other things we could come up with, some intergovernmental agreements possibly to give them a maybe little more of an advantage than a typical nonresident but maybe not as much as a [park district] resident,” Herbster said. “We still have to be respectful of the fact of the residents are paying for this through their taxes and people in Lake in the Hills wouldn’t be.”

The village’s comprehensive plan calls for the commercial use on the north half of the property and low-density residential on the southern half.

Olson said the commercially zoned property near the intersection of Ackman Road and Lakewood Road and across Ackman in Lakewood has yet to be developed. Residential development in the area has moved slowly.

“The likelihood of commercial development beyond the type of operation that previously existed on-site ... is limited,” Olson wrote. “The property has been on the market for a while, and no commercial project has come forward to the village for consideration.”

Other Action

In other action, the Village Board approved Dean M. DeSantis’ appointment to the Police Commission.

His term will run through April 2015.

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