Home Local News Homer Glen Board backs development plan for Dunn Farm property

Homer Glen Board backs development plan for Dunn Farm property

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Homer Glen Board backs development plan for Dunn Farm property

Homer Glen officials said Wednesday they like a proposed concept plan that induces new businesses, homes and open space on 137.5 acres of farmland at 14059 W. 159th St.

Nick Patera, land planner and landscape architect with Teska Associates, said the development would be unique for Homer Glen.

“It’s not a cookie-cutter plan by any means that would fit into some other community,” he said. “This is Homer Glen.”

The proposal would consist of a 20-acre commercial area with retail, restaurants, services and an anchor grocery store that would front 159th Street, a major commercial corridor. Also proposed are 100 town houses, 102 duplex units and 57 single-family homes.

About 77.5 acres of land would be open space, according to village documents.

The Dunn Farm barns and homestead on the northeast corner of the property is proposed to be dedicated to the village as an opportunity for activities, community gardens, farmers markets or sales of Christmas trees, pumpkins or crafts, village documents said.

The Village Board did not vote on the project at its meeting Wednesday, but rather offered insight.

“I think overall I like it,” Trustee Ruben Pazmino said. “It’s a great project. It fits in with what we need on 159th Street and then you have residential in the back, which will embrace the commercial in front of it.”

Pazmino said he thought the development was moving in the right direction.

Trustees asked if the development could pay homage to the Dunn Farm name or incorporate any of the historic character of the farm into the plan.

Trustee Beth Rodgers said this type of project is what she would like to see for Homer Glen. She said it’s not a development that would be seen in neighboring communities.

“This is exciting to see,” she said.

Homer Glen officials also declined to pay the June legal bills from Mahoney, Silverman and Cross, which totaled about $2,047.

The Village Board has been served by two law firms for the last year after hiring the firm Odelson, Sterk, Murphey, Frazier and McGrath in July 2021. The newly seated board at the time said they needed a second opinion and lacked confidence in Mahoney, Silverman and Cross.

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The decision last summer to add Cary Horvath of Odelson and Sterk did not replace existing village attorney Eric Hanson of Mahoney, Silverman and Cross, but created an additional position.

Trustee Jennifer Consolino said the board and staff asked Horvath for assistance and called his work exceptional.

Trustees, though, field questions from residents on why the village is paying for two attorneys. Consolino said it’s the mayor’s right to have his attorney.

“We should only have one attorney and one law firm,” she said, adding Horvath has proven his worth.

Trustees voted 4-2 against paying the firm’s legal bills. Rodgers and Trustee Nicole La Ha voted to pay them.

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“We still have to pay people for services they provide,” La Ha said.

Trustee Dan Fialko said five of the six trustees voted to hire Horvath last year, and the majority of the board would like to use his services.

Mayor George Yukich last year also opposed hiring a new law firm.

“If the minority chooses to keep the other law firm, then that cost is on the minority,” Fialko said. “If there is an extra expense of any kind that anybody is talking about either at the podium or on Facebook, then that extra expense comes from the minority choosing to keep the other lawyer.”

Rodgers, who voted against hiring Horvath, said some village officials and staff feel more comfortable with Hanson, and Yukich said he wants to keep Hanson on until the end of his term in spring 2023.

When asked after the meeting about his unpaid bills, Hanson responded, “We’ll see.”

Michelle Mullins is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.

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