Very early Friday morning (late, late Thursday night is a better description of the time), while I was writing stories about the Crystal Lake Park Board’s discussion of McHenry County College’s baseball stadium with consultant Gary Schaefer, I had this insight.
Actually, I was probably remembering what Crystal Lake Park Board member Mike Walkup said during Thursday night’s meeting.
It’s so obvious that I wonder why I didn’t think of it before.
This whole college baseball stadium push (hush, hush, hush; rush, rush, rush) is about getting more tax revenue for the city fathers and mothers to spend.
Virtually everything public officials do is about money and I ashamed it took me this long to figure it out.
I know that Mike Williamson and Rosemary Kurtz, among others, talked about the precedent that granting this exception to the decades old 20% development restriction in Crystal Lake’s Watershed Ordinance.
Listening to Schaefer of Hey and Associates tell the park board how some parcels might not just be covered by the 50% of impervious material like roofs and parking lots being requested by MCC, but up to the 70% that the Crystal Lake Zoning Ordinance allows really got my brain a whirring.
Look at all of that empty land north of Route 176 on this Google satellite map. Most is in the watershed. (Click to enlarge.)
Any that is 4 feet above the water table can be built upon under the proposed Watershed Ordinance rules.
Crystal Lake’s sales tax revenue has been cannibalized by the new stores on Randall Road in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills.
The city council has unwisely–for the future of sales tax revenue for the city, in my opinion–already given Lake in the Hills another huge future shopping venue in the gravel pit south of Virginia Street Road.
It did that by agreeing to move Pyott Road east to allow a longer LITH Airport runway. (More about that mistake by Mayor Aaron Shepley and the city council tomorrow.)
So, Crystal Lake has a lot of catch-up to do.
And opening up the undeveloped part of Route 14 in the watershed seems to be the city’s best hope to regain sales tax receipts lost to Algonquin and Lake in the Hills.
The strategy will be to drain off sales tax receipts from the Woodstock area and subdivisions that will be built in the Crystal Lake watershed to the west and other developments still farther west.
= = = =
Since writing this I was given a stack of old Northwest Herald’s and found this proposal for an 85 acre commercial development by Chicago’s Bryn Mahr Corporation north of Lucas Road (the one that runs into the college’s Ring Road) on Route 14 just beyond the edge of Crystal Lake’s watershed and just beyond the proposed baseball stadium. Developer Ken Rawson says he won’t develop the 12 acres of his 270 acre parcel that lie within Crystal Lake’s watershed.
Reporter Jim Butts wrote, “’Hopefully this will give Crystal Lake a new commercial corridor up to Woodstock,’ Rawson said.”
It will be held by the Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission on August 15th and September 18th. They are broadcast on public access TV.
This is the same developer whose sales have been slowed by the sewer problem on Route 176.