Homewood planners vote unanimously against warehouse zoning for golf course property

Homewood’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted Thursday to recommend against rezoning the former Calumet Country Club to allow development of a warehouses.

During the commission’s fifth meeting on the matter and after hearing some 20 hours of testimony and public comment, commissioners expressed skepticism the project would benefit the village.

The unanimous vote came after impassioned pleas from residents that the site, although privately owned, remain open green space. The commission’s vote is a recommendation to the Homewood Village Board, but it was not clear Thursday when that board might vote. The Village Board’s next meeting is Tuesday.

Arizona-based Diversified Partners paid $3.3 million for the golf course, northwest of 175th Street and Dixie Highway, and is also seeking from Homewood creation of a tax increment financing district for the property.

Planners were critical of the plans, with Chairman Fred Sierzega calling them an “insult.”

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“I have seen much better plans come in for much smaller projects,” Sierzega said. “You guys didn’t do any homework” to gauge the temperature of residents.

No Homewood residents spoke in the favor of the proposal and many cited concerns about increased truck traffic, air pollution and declining property values. Those who attended Thursday’s meeting applauded following the commission’s vote.

“I don’t see where the positive of this deal is,” Commissioner Seth Bransky said before voting. “This deal stinks like stagnant water in a detention pond.”

During the commission’s meeting Wednesday, which lasted more than seven hours, residents from Homewood and nearby communities asked commissioners to vote against the rezoning.

Liz Varmecky, a Homewood resident with the recently formed South Suburbs for Greenspace Over Concrete, cited a possible domino effect, with Ravisloe Country Club in Homewood and Park District owned Coyote Run Golf Course in neighboring Flossmoor possibly in line for similar redevelopment.


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