Last week, our Plan Commission heard the first of what will likely be several public hearings regarding Bridge’s request to annex, zone and develop 102 acres of the Baxter property into our Village. Bridge’s proposal has received a great deal of attention on various platforms and nearly 600 people from our community and Riverwoods attended the May 11 public hearing. The Plan Commission, which is tasked with reviewing applications, did just that. It asked hard questions and sought clarifications. At future hearings the public will be able to do the same as well as offer responses to Bridge’s experts who testified in support of its proposal. Until the hearings are completed, it is neither fair to the process, the applicant nor those who oppose the project for the Plan Commission or our trustees to decide the merits of the application. On June 8, the Plan Commission will conduct the second public hearing at Deerfield High School. The acoustics will be improved and we are doing our best to a make sure closed captioning of the hearing is provided. Many of you have asked us to reject and disapprove of the project after the first public hearing. To do so would be a complete disregard of the process and could violate the petitioners’ due process rights of a fair hearing. Please understand that any unwillingness to weigh in on the merits of Bridge’s petition at this stage of the public hearing process should not be considered as dismissive or disrespectful but rather as a recognition that the public hearing process has not been completed and the Plan Commission has not yet made its recommendation.
We are aware of the many concerns that have been raised. Those concerns include impact on traffic, air quality and property values, among others. We are aware of the many voices in opposition as well as those in support of the Bridge’s request. They are all sincere and well intentioned. I applaud those who have been engaged in the process. Thank you in advance for respecting the process and all of those involved.