Commission, Staff Recommend Developer for Hidden Meadows

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This graphic by Lake Shore Investors, LLC, shows the proposed layout of 150 single-family homes and 42 condominiums at the former Hidden Meadows Golf property. Tamarack Street is is shown at the top. (Graphic: VIllage Board Agenda)

Updated June 19, 2007, 11:00 p.m. with larger graphic.

Development Would Include 150 Single Family Homes and 42 Condominiums 

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— The Park Forest Village Board will consider a recommendation from the Plan Commission and Village staff at its June 18 meeting regarding a preferred developer for the Hidden Meadows development, site of the former Hidden Meadows Golf Course. Commission members are recommending Lake Shore Investors, LLC as the preferred developer. This decision was made by the Plan Commission after a lengthy process of review and discussion among the Plan Commission and with the Staff Management Team, according to a memo prepared by Plan Commission Chair Vernita Wickliffe-Lewis.

If approved, the plan would include at least 150 new homes and 42 condominiums.

According to the cover memo prepared by Director of Economic Development and Planning Hildy Kingma, the Board of Trustees began discussing the possibility of closing the Hidden Meadows Golf Course and selling the property for development as early as 2003. "Since that time," Kingma says in her memo, "the Board has discussed this project at several budget planning meetings and has held two meetings with Tamarack Street residents to discuss the future of the golf course. In addition, at the Board’s direction the Village Attorney conducted a legal review of any possible impediments to the potential sale and development of the golf course. This research showed that Park Forest never made any pledge to keep the golf course open forever and therefore there are no legal impediments to the current course of action. Finally, at the Board meeting on December 11, 2006 the Board approved a resolution to discontinue operations at the golf course."

Kingma continues, "In the spring of 2006 the Board of Trustees directed Village Staff to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Purchase and Development of the Hidden Meadows Golf Course to gauge the interest in the property. An RFP was issued in June 2006 and an open house was held on June 26, 2006. Seven developers were represented at the open house. Three developers ultimately submitted an initial statement of qualifications indicating their interest in the project. As outlined in the RFP, the Village Staff reviewed these three submittals to determine their capacity to undertake the project and their understanding of the Village’s goals for it. Two of the developers were invited to submit more detailed proposals consistent with the requirements of the RFP. These included Bigelow Homes and Lake Shore Investors."

The memo goes on:

Complete submittals were received by Bigelow Homes and Lake Shore Investors in November 2006. Both the Plan Commission and the Village Staff were assigned responsibility for making recommendations to the Village Board on a preferred developer for this project. To that end, the developers each made a presentation to the Plan Commission and Staff at the regular December 5, 2006 Commission meeting. The Plan Commission met on December 19 to discuss the proposals. Staff met on several occasions to discuss the proposals. The Plan Commission and Staff met in joint workshops on January 16 and February 20, 2007 to discuss the proposals. As a result of these joint workshops, a list of preliminary comments specific to each proposal was prepared and sent to each developer for their feedback. Based on the overall review of the proposals, and the developer feedback received from the comment letter, both the Plan Commission and the Village Staff are submitting recommendations to the Board of Trustees that Lake Shore Investors be selected as the preferred developer for the purchase and development of the former Hidden Meadows golf course.

A copy of the initial concept plan submitted by Lake Shore Investors is attached, along with the comment letter from the Plan Commission and Staff and the response from the developer. The comment letter will provide general feedback on why the Lake Shore Investors, including

  • The proposed density and number of homes
  • The distance between the new development and the existing homes on Tamarack Street
  • The proposed home design
  • The total open space
  • The street connection to Hawthorne Street

While there are many features of the Lake Shore Investors concept plan that were viewed by the Plan Commission and Staff as positive, there remain concerns about the design that are also reflected in the comment letter. The developer’s response to those concerns was another reason why they are recommended as the preferred developer. With no exception, they have indicated a willingness to work with the Staff and Plan Commission to revise their concept plan to address these concerns.

If the Village Board agrees with the recommendations, the next step will be to consider an ordinance that identifies Lake Shore Investors as the preferred developer for the purchase and development of Hidden Meadows.

Updated June 19, 2007, 11:00 p.m. 

The following is an enlarged graphic of the proposed subdivision.  According to the developers at the Monday night board meeting, this proposal will be revised considerably after review of requests/recommendations from the Plan Commission and staff:

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