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Weigh in on Fox River Corridor Plan at Lake Barrington open house

The Route 14 and Union Pacific bridges pass over the Fox River in Fox River Grove.
The Route 14 and Union Pacific bridges pass over the Fox River in Fox River Grove.

LAKE BARRINGTON – What should the Fox River area look like in 2030?

In collaboration with local agencies and Lake County, the McHenry County Planning and Development Department is creating a plan for the Fox River corridor from Burtons Bridge just north of Route 176 to the Fox Bluff Conservation Area to the south.

A public vision workshop will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at Village Hall, 23860 N. Old Barrington Road, Lake Barrington.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the county planning department will focus on creating transit and multimodal connections along the river and creating open space that preserve water quality.

Kate Evasic, project manager and associate planner for CMAP, said the plan looks at ways to connect villages to the river, including Cary and Fox River Grove.

“They are looking to revitalize their downtowns, so how can we better connect those downtown areas to the river?” Evasic said.

Many residents and village staff have told the CMAP that Cary is interested in having more access to the river and is like “a river community without a riverfront.” She said it hopes to create more bike trails and walking paths. Additionally, the plan will look at opportunities to develop commerce aimed at users of the river and recreational activities.

The area spans more than 11 miles and covers eight communities. The planning process will include four phases in the next 14 months.

An initial public meeting was held in March, when participants helped to identify strengths and weaknesses of the Fox River area.

Evasic said a lot of participants said they love the area because it’s a place to disconnect and relax, and people appreciate the ability to use powerboats on the river between the Chain O’ Lakes and Algonquin dam.

There is a desire to have more businesses on the river – to generate tourism and revenue to surrounding towns – and to keep some open space, Evasic said.

The area includes portions of Cary, Fox River Grove, Island Lake, Lake Barrington, Oakwood Hills, Port Barrington, Tower Lakes and Trout Valley.

CMAP previously worked with Algonquin and Carpentersville to create a plan for the Fox River in December 2015.

Evasic said CMAP hopes to have the plan complete by the spring.

For information, visit the project’s webpage at cmap.is/fox-river-mchenry-lake.

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