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Village To Improve Downtown Plaza

Northeast corner of Deerfield and Waukegan Roads is set for upgrade. Greater recycling requirements imposed on building remodelers.

The public plaza at the northeast corner of Waukegan and Deerfield Roads will get a beautification boost from the Village this spring.

The path to the improvements came after the Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved a lease for the land with US Bank at its Jan. 7 meeting. Deerfield will take control of the property April 1.

Earlier: Lake Cook Road Corridor Plan Moves Forward

“We’re going to improve the property for use as a public plaza,” Village Administrative Assistant Andrew Lichterman told the Trustees and Mayor Harriet Rosenthal Jan. 7. There are currently trees, bushes and benches. “This is a beautification effort that’s been in need of leadership.”

There was nothing but optimism coming from the mayor the trustees after Lichterman’s presentation. “It will help make our downtown retail friendly,” Trustee Barbara Struthers said.

Rosenthal was more specific. “People can come out and sit on a bench and enjoy Dear Franks, something from the bakery or from the bagel place,” she said.

Lichterman said more specific plans will be forthcoming after the lease goes into effect.

Improving the plaza is not the only environmentally friendly thing the Board did Jan. 7. It moved forward with plans to require renovators of buildings in excess of 1,500 square feet to recycle 75 percent of their building materials.

Northbrook and Highland Park have similar programs already. Similar techniques will be used to measure what is recyclable. The proposal will begin to move through the Village Board with an anticipated effective date of March 1.

“At the end of the project they (the remodeling contractors) will get a receipt from a recycler showing it is completed,” Jenny Maltas, an assistant to Village Manager Kent Street, said.

The anticipated impact on remodelers will be minimized because they already comply with regulation in neighboring communities. “We want to be friendly to the people who choose to remodel in Deerfield,” Sustainability Commission Chairman Matt Wylie said.

The Board also took steps at the Jan. 7 meeting to allow representatives of Deerfield’s business community who do not live in the Village to be members of the Sustainability Commission.

According to the proposal, an individual who works for the company would be eligible as long as they remain employed. “It’s the same as someone moving away,” Rosenthal said equating a person leaving a local business to a commission member relocating outside Deerfield.

Though nothing specific was mentioned about future members, some people had ideas. “Baxter (International Healthcare) is one of the world’s most sustainably involved companies,” Wyle said.

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Linda Lou January 16, 2013 at 01:01 PM
While I admire this effort, I can't imagine sitting there enjoying a bagel or anything else on that corner! With traffic flowing just feet away? Smelling the fumes? Listening to car engines fly by? That is the LAST place I would ever think would be a gathering venue - thus, a waste of Village funds.
Jon Hall January 16, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Well at least the mayor and board of trustees are our village idiots. Shouldn't they be more concerned with the Northwest Quadrant (Hello Hail Mary-o). Better to entrust them with something little than to let them have another crack at something big. Perhaps they might consider leasing the old Woodfire site on Lake Cook Road so they can tear down the ugly blight sign.
RB January 16, 2013 at 02:14 PM
Signs? Did someone mention signs? Highland Park quickly passed approval for ZuZu's. Deerfield brings Rosebud to the woodshed and publicly punishes them for their brief signage mistake. If the Board pretends to be business friendly, I point to Rosebud vs, ZuZu. Now, about the little park, how does the Village pay for this? We just had a tax increase but apparently there is extra money for improvement of something that Deerfield Bank used to maintain. Why cant US Bank be a good neighbor like Deerfield Bank was? Is it too tough for the Village to ask US Bank to take care of this area? Great negotiation, put it on the back of taxpayers. Shame Rosebud for some sign problem, when US Bank should be the ones getting shamed.
Jon Hall January 16, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Agreed RB. This is the same bank which has been permitted in the past to get away with placing a handwritten loan rate posters on the sidewalk, daily, for months on end in the past. Obviously, haranguing Rosebud and Carsons is one standard, but U.S. Bank and the owner of the Woodfire property are something else. Meanwhile, the inability to do anything with the former Lindemann Pharmacy site totally eludes their grasp. This is Trustee Oppenheimmer's pet project. Her pet must be a sleepy dog. What's your big idea, Mary? Why should we vote for you?

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