Readers React to Park Board's Approval of Rosewood

Here's what readers are saying about the Park Board of Highland Park's unanimous vote in favor of the entire Rosewood Beach redesign, including the controversial interpretive center.

After over a year of intense planning,  and sometimes heated public debate, the Park District of Highland Park Board of Commissioners voted last Thursday to approve the Rosewood Beach redesign proposal.

The unanimous vote means that the entire project will go forward,  that has . The plan also involves a guard house, restrooms, concessions and a boardwalk. Construction is planned to take place in the spring of 2013 and the total estimated cost for the project is $4,661,372.

Want Highland Park news in your inbox every morning? Subscribe to Patch's newsletter.

In the few days the article about the vote has been posted, readers have already left over 40 comments about the plan's approval.

"Finally," Patch reader Laurie Weiss wrote. "Hooray for a decision!"

Some who did not favor the plan before it was voted on are ready to move ahead now that it has been approved.

"While I was not in favor of the interpretive center, I respect the process and vote," writes . "Let's start building."

Others, however, are not ready to stop fighting against it. 

"The vote is complete but the process is not," writes Ravinia Neighbors Association Publicity Director . "The has cost the residents what they really wanted...just a few necessary amenities to highten their lakefront experience!"

Another member of RNA expressed her disappointment in the Park Board's decision, and what she saw as a failure on their part to listen to the community.

"I am of course more than anything disappointed in our park district leadership," writes . "We have become so accustomed to their selective listening (only to those who say what they want to hear) that it is hardly worth noting. Nobody was surprised at the pre-written statements that served to justify the vote that they knew would go against what a vast majority stated that they wanted at this last meeting. Nobody was surprised that all five board members voted yes."

In her , Debra Rade said she felt the Park Board has disenfranchised residents with ther decision to maintain the interpretive center as part of the approved plan.

"I give the commissioners credit for trying to do a good job but perceive them as faiilng in the Rosewood Beach Project,"  writes. "I give the RNA credit for trying to help the commissioners do a better job, even if, ultimately, they are not successful in the face of the bureacracy."

In a response to Rade's blog post, Mel Cohen wondered if the suggestion that the board was not looking out for the community's best interests was a fair statement.

"I use  and have for over 35 years. As a user of the Beach I support the project as designed (which included compromise)," writes . "I further support the HPPD Board and am offended by the suggestion and implication (if not accusation) that they are not acting in the best interest of the communitiy that they represent which last time I checked included over 30,000 people."

What do you think? Leave a comment below or submit a blog post by clicking here.

For more news and updates, "like" us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Ed Brill September 04, 2012 at 11:22 AM
I raised several questions about the petition in my column last week and nobody from the RNA has been by to answer them. http://highlandpark.patch.com/articles/ravinia-neighbors-association-declares-war-over-rosewood As far as the emails, what is wrong with the Park District asking those constituents on their email list for their opinion on the project? Not for the first time, you want it both ways. PDHP didn't reach out to the community for input yet they emailed their entire email list - how many thousands on it? - and asked for comment. They mailed information to all residents yet they didn't invite all HP residents to comment. The snapshot of emails from mid-June doesn't represent the finals, and that is why I understand Director McElroy contacted the RNA just prior to the vote with the final count. If their FINAL tallying of the emails they've received is "highly inaccurate and misleading", I assume you have the facts that will support challenging them. Until you have those, I'll continue to report the PDHP statistic that 53% of those received since the project was unveiled were in favor.
Albie powers September 04, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Perhaps there will be a bank at the beach. Highland Park can use another bank. This is just another ill concieved eyesore like all those banks. I love rosewood just the way it is, peaceful and natural. Why stop with this priject, im sure a casino is in the works. Oh by the way, on any given day, i can pick up 5 pounds of trash on the streets and in the woods of our town. How about that hidden gem!!!!! Albie Powers
Anthony Bilotti September 04, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I am pleased that the Park Board has moved forward to approve this project, as one of the 53% who responded in favor of it. When I hear my fellow residents talking about the 'natural' conditions of Rosewood beach, I point out that the environmental quality of the lakefront will not be degraded by this very, very small improvement. As someone who professionally evaluates environmental impacts of public projects, on a scale of 0 - 10, this one is a 0.2. It is true that people simply resist change, even if the change means an improvement for their community.
David Greenberg September 04, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Ed: Do you have a sample size to go along with those hollow statistics? Walter: Regarding what I've said: What specifically do you take issue with? Dan: As the District grows, so grows our tax bill to support the District's facilities operations, staff, maintenance/repairs, etc. As far as differentiation - we already have 2800+ programs, 44 facilities, and 660-acres of Park lands. We have an indoor ice arena, an aqua park, (soon) two golf courses, a recreation center, indoor tennis courts, nature preserve, etc, etc. We don't need an IC, and we sure don't need one right at the water's edge to add to an already bloated and expensive District. Potential buyers are already turned off by our tax burden. Why would someone want to live in HP with all the taxes/fees, when they can move to a nearby community, get more house, lower taxes, and still use our facilities? Even better, they can pick and choose what they want to use, pay the non-resident rate, and still come out ahead. Or, in some instances, they can pay nothing and still use our facilities - just take a walk through the Sunset Park Woods parking lot some day and look at all the vehicles that don't have a City of HP Vehicle Sticker (or indeed, any sticker at all).
Dan Jenks September 04, 2012 at 11:05 PM
David, I am not aware of any evidence that people are choosing to live in, say, Deerfield or Buffalo Grove, because of our taxes. In fact, if you look at this link, http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/April-2012/Chicago-home-prices-and-trends/, you will see that the median sales price in HP fell by 1% from 2010 to 2011, while the median sales prices in Deerfield and BG fell 13% and 12% respectively. HP wasn’t very much different from Lake Forest or Glencoe, where housing is much more expensive. LF was up 4% and Glencoe was flat. If your theory was correct, one would expect to see much greater differences in the data. Fact is, each community is unique and many factors go into which community to purchase a home in. In short, despite your fervent beliefs, it isn’t always “all about the taxes”…………


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »