Board of Trustees Meeting Notes

January 8, 2019

Present:  President Norris and Trustees Chamberlain, Ford, Goldstein, Hollander and Jamerson.

Absent:  Trustee Haber.

Plan Commission Report:  The Plan Commission has been working on the Comprehensive Plan and will soon present the Plan to the Board.

Update – Flatwoods Heritage Center

  • It appears that the Village’s plan submitted to the State for an OSLAD (Open Space Lands Acquisition & Development) Grant is still in the running.  The grant funding agency recently contacted Mayor Norris for clarifications regarding compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  A representative from the Riverwoods Board of Trustees must present a 3-minute summary in Springfield regarding the proposed Center.
  • Village representatives visited Olympia Fields to examine play equipment suited for a “natural” environment such as Riverwoods.
  • The Center development plan has been revised to include 2 phases:  Phase I includes basic elements and phase 2 includes more equipment options based on usage of the Center.
  • In order to assess the opinions of residents regarding the proposed Center, the Village will identify a variety of methods for obtaining resident input, including using an online community engagement tool, a hard copy survey, a phone survey, and holding an additional Village town hall meeting.

Two residents presented their perspectives regarding the proposed Flatwoods Heritage Center.  They suggested:

  • Better two-way communication is needed to address resident concerns.
  • The planning process still seems to be continuing at a rapid pace.
  • The Center could attract too many people and thereby increase noise and light pollution, decrease privacy, be a safety risk to animals on adjacent properties and actually cause environmental damage from overuse.
  • The Center could be under-utilized and not worth the cost.
  • The Center is not needed because outdoor park options already exist in the area, including Ryerson Woods and a playground in Thorngate.
  • Building a Center near the Village Hall would mainly serve families in south Riverwoods and thus be unfair to residents in other parts of Riverwoods.
  • There will be ongoing costs related to ongoing maintenance of the equipment and insurance.

Discussion:  Mayor Norris and the Trustees thanked the residents for addressing the Board and assured them that they are glad to have face-to-face discussions with residents regarding their concerns. The Board’s goal is to receive input from residents throughout the Village, using as many communication tools as possible.  All of the residents’ concerns are being collected and will be provided to the Trustees for review.  Although the Board understands the importance of proceeding with prudence, the planning process has continued because it is important to produce a finalized plan for residents to evaluate.   Regarding privacy issues, the area proposed for the Heritage Center currently looks very open, but that is because all of the invasive plants have been removed and it will take at least 3 years for the understory to rejuvenate.

NEXT BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING: January 22, 2019 at 7:30 PM.

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The Riverwoods Preservation Council (RPC) has focused its reporting on those portions of the Board of Trustees meetings that pertain to issues of an environmental nature or that have impact on our natural environment. For additional information covered by the Board, we urge residents to view the Board meeting videos on the Village website (www.villageofriverwoods.com), found in the left column on the home page under “Meetings & Agendas/BOT Meeting Videos”.