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Threat of Lakefront Property Sale Stirs Misgivings

Wilmette residents urge village board to consider other options, including restoring site as a park.

Democracy was a well-oiled machine at the Wilmette Village Board meeting Tuesday. During the 19-minute gathering, trustees heard from residents who were concerned about the possible sale of the wooded property at Elmwood and Michigan avenues.

The village is considering the sale of a parcel of lakefront land that had been the site of a park. 

"This property is unique to the village because of its history, topography and access to Lake Michigan," said Patrick Duffy, a member of the Zoning Board. "Our goal tonight is to convince the board to consider a broader discussion of the uses of this property. We would like to see the village restore the park."

"Village residents can benefit more from open spaces than a temporary infusion of cash into the budget," Duffy said.

Other residents echoed the same sentiment.

"I remember this lakefront property having public access via stairs," said Natalie Frankie, who grew up walking along the beach as a young girl. "This is the only wooded lakefront land left in Wilmette."

Fred Forbes asked that an introductory measure about signage regulations be removed from the consent agenda because it allowed signs on the walls of the Plaza Del Lago complex. He said the signage facing Westerfield Drive would adversely affect the value of his property and that of his neighbors.

Other residents were present to speak about the issue, but decided to hold their comments until June's meeting when action will actually be taken on the matter.

Board members thanked the residents for their statements and said they would consider them when making decisions about the respective issues.

Other business covered by the board was mostly dedicated to introducing new measures, so no discussion or action occurred. However, the board did appoint Mike Bailey to the Plan Commission and reappoint George Pearce to the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.

Mike Boyer May 29, 2011 at 06:02 PM
This is the site of the First Public Beach in Wilmette started in 1908.

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