Crowd expected for public hearing to build homes on Mission Hills Country Club

Some Mission Hills residents oppose a planned housing development on part of the golf course near their homes. | Irv Leavitt/Sun-Times Media
Some Mission Hills residents oppose a planned housing development on part of the golf course near their homes. | Irv Leavitt/Sun-Times Media

A July 9 public hearing on a proposal to build 137 homes on nine holes of the Mission Hills Country Club golf course promises to attract a crowd of homeowners from the existing unincorporated development.

And many of them are probably not happy about the situation.

“Particularly people on the back end, who paid extra for golf course views — it really is destroying the value of their property,” said Karen Jump, a 24-year homeowner who has stepped in to organize opposition to Red Seal Development’s “Provenance” project.

Opponents are also concerned about drainage and traffic.

The Northbrook company’s plans call for 21 houses, 34 duplexes and 82 multi-family units on 44 acres.

The public hearing is at 1 p.m. in Northbrook Village Hall, but that’s just for convenience. The hearing is being held by the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals. The county has jurisdiction over the unincorporated area.

The panel is considering several zoning variances, and Jump has said she’s concerned that the area’s original status as a planned unit development — a development approved as a single piece, not individual lots — has been lost, which would make the variances easier to get.

According to papers filed this spring by Red Seal, the firm is seeking “a variance in R-6 General Residential District (if granted under companion MA-14-0002 & SU-14-0003 for PUD) to reduce rear yard setback for duplex and townhome lots from minimum required 40 feet to 25 feet; reduce corner side yard setback for townhome lots from minimum required 21.5 feet to 20 feet; increase F.A.R. (floor/area ratio) for duplex lots from maximum allowed 0.5 to 0.66 and increase F.A.R. for townhome lots from maximum allowed 0.6 to 0.73 in section 18 of Northfield Township.”

But Jump said it appears that the county is treating the application as if it were a new PUD, not an amendment.

The Cook County hearing notice sign on Sanders Road in front of Mission Hills reads, “This property is the subject of a Rezoning/Zoning Map Amendment application, a companion Special Use/Planned Unit Development Application, and a companion Variation application … “

Cook County Board Member Gregg Golsin, R-14, said July 8, “My understanding is it was an amendment to the PUD.

“It will always be a PUD, and the question is to amend the PUD.”

Goslin said that if he were a Mission Hills homeowner, “I would be opposed to any major change on the golf course, because the golf course is what makes Mission Hills.”

Despite the close connection between the course and the homes, the course is separately owned, and has changed hands several times in recent years.

The Zoning Board could vote on recommendations on the project July 9, or continue the session after testimony. The recommendations will be sent to the Cook County Board’s Building and Zoning Committee, which is attended by all County Board Members, so a positive vote there is tantamount to approval.

The Northbrook Village Board can file an objection to the project, which would force a super majority of the county board for it to move forward.

“If we were to object, and I don’t know if we would, it would not be discussed until after the ZBA makes the recommendation, and before the county makes a decision,” Northbrook Village President Sandy Frum said July 8.

She said that the project has to comply with the village’s subdivision code and fire standards.

“I do know it has met all the fire department standards, because [the plans] have been inspected.”

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