Mayor Aaron Shepley has weighed in on the Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Board’s unanimous rejection of McHenry County College’s baseball stadium and fitness complex.
You might have thought he would be asking, “What happened?
Instead, I think I could sum up his reaction as, “No Problem.”
He apparently is convinced he has control of five of the seven city council votes…and, maybe, he does when enforcement, maintenance and financing mechanisms are added to the Crystal Lake watershed ordinance.
Shepley came up with this gem:
“In this day and age, I think there is nothing that can’t be surmounted with good planning.”
But, that’s the point, isn’t it?
There is no plan for developing the watershed north of Route 176.
And, if passed, the baseball stadium proposal would allow any land owner to build on the watershed using restrictions as loose as the college’s.
Precedent would have been set.
Rain water would come faster to Crystal Lake with ever acre covered with impermeable parking lots and roofs.
It would become harder and harder to get through Crystal Lake on Route 14.
Huntley is in the process of solving that problem on Route 47 north of the tollway.
It forces every developer to widen that road to four lanes.
It’s a wonder that the Crystal Lake officials can’t figure out how to follow that example.
Reporter Tim Kane caught this hallway conversation after the zoning board’s rejection of the baseball stadium:
“After the meeting, college trustee George Lowe angrily told college President Walt Packard that he was ready to ‘pull the plug’ on the proposal. Lowe said that college officials had worked closely with the city for more than two years, and that the panel’s unanimous rejection was ‘a slap in the face.’”
The next day, however, Lowe had cooled down and decided to wait to see how the city council voted.
Packard seems to think the deal has already been cut with the city council. He told the Tribune that no changes would be made on the proposal.
And, indeed, it may have been.
After all, discussions have been going on with city officials for two and one-half years, even though the first indication of inclusion of a baseball stadium was in McHenry County Blog’s March 12th article.
I do have one thought to the trustees outside of Crystal Lake.
Where would you put an MCC baseball stadium in your community?
Maybe in the gravel pit south of Fox Trails.
Maybe in one of the gravel pits bordering Route 120 west of McHenry.
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The top two pictures are of Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley.
Below is a map of Crystal Lake’s watershed. The property owned by McHenry County College, plus the one it wants to purchase, if it gets permission to build on 50% of it, are in yellow.
The confab in the hall after the zoning board turned down the college’s request shows MCC President Walt Packard on the left talking to MCC Trustee George Lowe of Cary.
The six small photos at the bottom, which, like the others, can be enlarged by clicking on them, is of the various moods of Walt Packard as he tries to answer questions of zoning commissioner James Jouron about the college’s build-out plans. I decided to put them up because of the smiling photo of Packard that the Northwest Herald had on its front page. I didn’t see Packard smile once at the meeting.