The village of Hazel Crest issued a statement Tuesday night strongly opposing the proposed redevelopment of the former Calumet Country Club into a trucking distribution center and Homewood's settlement agreement with developer Diversified Partners.
After a special meeting of the board of trustees, Hazel Crest Mayor Vernard Alsberry Jr. released a video version of the statement.
He noted that the board had reviewed a summary of the settlement agreement, which Homewood trustees approved in late January after exhausting opposition in court to Diversified Partner's petition to disconnect the former golf course from Homewood.
"The village of Hazel Crest does not support the proposed redevelopment of Calumet Country Club into a trucking distribution ceneter," Alsberry said. "We must work together to maintain access to open spaces to ensure clear air and quality water for all our residents."
The statement also included a pledge not to consider annexing the property "based on this development. We do not want to do business with this developer."
The board appealed to Homewood to join forces with Hazel Crest to see a way to maintain the property as open land, something for which Homewood officials have also expressed strong support.
Alsberry also condemned tactics used by Diversified Partners, referring to a section of the settlement agreement that requires Homewood to provide Diversified Partners with $100,000 to cover legal costs in case the developer decided to sue Hazel Crest in order to force the village to grant permission to build access to the site from Dixie Highway.
"The village of Hazel Crest strongly believes the Southland communities should work together in the best interest of our region and our people," Alsberry said. "We also strongly believe that our communities should not be exploited by outside interests."
The settlement agreement requires Homewood to offer Diversified Partners financial incentives through a TIF district and to rezone the land from open land to industrial use. Both procedures have begun.
Homewood's Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on Feb. 11, but after three hours the hearing was continued to Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m.
The TIF district formation is also slated to take a step forward Wednesday when the Joint Review Board, which consists of representatives from affected taxing districts, meets to review the project plan.