Lombard, Ill., residents have expressed a clear preference for maintaining the 31-acre property as open space, rather than developing it into what would likely be an apartment or townhome complex. Residents cited concerns about school overcrowding and potential flooding as reasons to keep the space unoccupied. The course’s co-owner, who has a contract with a developer, responded, “Give me a break—there’s plenty of open space [already], and I want out.”
Plans to develop the unincorporated Ken Loch Golf Links property have drawn opposition from Lombard, Ill., residents who would prefer that the 31 acres remain as open space, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The Lombard Plan Commission members heard from 18 speakers, urging the village to reject development efforts. The commissioners took no action, except to continue the matter to their November 19 meeting, when they will take additional public comment, the Tribune reported.
Consideration of the issue will continue at least until the commission’s January meeting before any recommendation will be made to the village board, it was reported.
In April, Donven Homes took an option on the 49-year-old golf course property and approached the village board with a plan to develop the property with a mix of rental apartments and townhomes, the Tribune reported.
“I realize people want to keep it open space, but then you’re going against people like me who want to sell and retire,” said Linda Lies, co-owner of Ken Loch Links.
Lies confirmed the developer has an option on the property.
“There is a contract, but it all depends on zoning and what the village of Lombard will OK,” said Lies, whose father, Richard Kensinger, started the course before Lies and her brother then became co-owners.
Christopher Stilling, Lombard’s Assistant Director of Community Development, said the village board directed staff to analyze “all possible development scenarios,” including keeping the land open and retail or office development, in addition to different types of residential use. Rental apartments are the most marketable option, Stilling said.
The village staff prefers keeping the land as open space and the Lombard Park District has been asked to consider incorporating the property into a master plan that is now being put together, Stilling added.
Gary Busching, a Lombard resident, said at the commission hearing that attendance boundaries were recently changed for a nearby elementary school to relieve overcrowding—a condition, Busching noted, that could return with new families moving into housing on the golf course. Other speakers mentioned flooding problems in the area, fearing those would be exacerbated by development of the property, the Tribune reported.
“There’s plenty of open space,” Lies said, citing the Lombard Park District’s Four Seasons Park next to her property. “Give me a break. I want out.”contact