July 17, 2019 the petitioner's first proposal. Two council members had concerns, with some hesitancy to move forward. In the end the petitioner was granted a Public Hearing for rezoning and subdivision with a 5-1 vote. Commissioner Shocke voting no. (Meeting minutes.) (NOTE: This is where it begins to mention negotiations with Jeff Strack (of Griffland) through attorney Glen Patterson. Page 2, 3rd paragraph from the bottom of the page.)
August 21, 2019, a continuance of the Public Hearing was requested because the engineering documentation was not complete. Roll call vote 7-0 for the continuance. (Meeting minutes.)
October 16, 2019, request for another continued hearing for November 20th.Roll call vote 4-1. Commissioner Shocke voted no. At that time Attorney Wyllie for the petitioner was asked about how many continuances have been requested. Wyllie responded he did not have the answer and left. The public's first time to attend and ask questions was this meeting, however nobody stayed to answer. So with respect to the Public Hearing, nothing was heard. (Meeting minutes.)
November 20, 2019, after many continuances and citizens complaints the petition was withdrawn. Still no Public Hearing. (Meeting minutes.)
February 26, 2020, "Developer unveils new plan for Highland senior living center, attempts to correct social media misinformation." This notice could not be found on the Town of Highland website. Note the cost! There is no way I could ever afford this!!! (9/5/2020, I updated to add this, given by a reader.) (Link to Chicago Tribune coverage.)
May 6th, 2020, David Smith of the Russel Group and attorney Jim Weiser show a proposal with modifications. (Meeting minutes.)
June 3, 2020, request was made by the petitioner for a June 17 preliminary meeting. Concerns were made regarding being able to actually meet because of the Pandemic. In discussion was how to obtain 40 more feet from Ken Scheeringa's land. Outcome was it would have to be either voluntary, or taken by Eminent Domain. (Study session minutes.)
June 17, 2020 meeting on Zoom, however no posting could be easily found (not posted in a high traffic area, easy for anyone to find). So nobody was really informed in order to attend, and probably not at all familiar with Zoom. A public hearing was requested for July 15th, and was granted with a 7-0 vote. (Meeting minutes.)
July 15, 2020 Public Hearing during the pandemic. The few citizens who new about the meeting and who could attend voiced their complaints and concerns. Some citizens voiced their concern about eminent domain to take 40 ft of Scheeringa's property. Please note: "Mr. Ken Scheeringa of 9613 Kleinman Rd. commented that there was a discussion with him when the Senior Living Facility was on the agenda in 2019. He continued he has not heard anything since then. He said the discussion was with a different group of people due to there being an election and there are now some different Town Council members serving. He said he is surprised that no new conversations has taken place. (Meeting minutes.)
So, the Town of Highland replies to NBC 5 Chicago News that the citizens of Highland new about this a year ago. In last Monday's meeting the Town of Highland Counsel indicated there were many citizens in favor of this in the last meeting. What meeting? Given the above, that is very difficult to believe.
August 31st was called as an emergency meeting, just making the very last moments of the required period (48 hrs?) to give notice. Sounds fishy. Short notice, however the citizens of the Town of Highland broadcasted loud and clear through social media that if you want a voice in this you need to attend the meeting. This voice came, it was loud and clear, stating NO. Furthermore, people were cut off from commenting so that the counsel could vote, YES.
This is far from over. It is not a done deal. There is a Facebook protest group of 658+ members and a petition at the farm stand. A meetup to discuss a protest is set for 6:30 PM this coming Tuesday the 8th, at the Main Square Park (weather permitting, alternate location TBD). Also, call or E-mail Jeff Strack and ask that the Scheeringa's be given the opportunity to buy the land as agreed upon. Again, please be polite. The Scheeringa's respect and support the Stracks in any direction they want to take.