Homewood Village Board rejects industrial project at former Calumet Country Club

The unanimous vote comes after residents complained about a loss of open space and potential truck traffic.

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The Homewood Village Board has shot down a proposal to build shipping and warehouse facilities at the now-closed Calumet Country Club in the town.

The Homewood Village Board has shot down a proposal to build shipping and warehouse facilities at the now-closed Calumet Country Club in the town.

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Siding with many residents who opposed the project, the Homewood Village Board rejected a zoning plan Tuesday night that would let a developer turn the former Calumet Country Club into industrial property.

The action thwarts a plan by Diversified Partners to build four warehouses totaling 800,000 square feet. The developer has acquired the 127-acre golf club, which dates from 1901, at 2136 175th St.

Critics said the project would replace open space with truck traffic, noise and pollution. They cited the particular impact on a residential area south of 175th Street. Supporters argued it would bring needed jobs and tax revenue.

In opposing the project, Trustee Lisa Purcell said: “Nowhere in our comprehensive plan is it ever said that a loud, smog-inducing, tree-killing and road-wrecking trucking hub would be a good idea for our future.”

Other trustees agreed the project would harm the village’s character. Homewood Village President Rich Hofeld did not state his view during the meeting.

The 5-0 vote could have legal ramifications for Homewood. A small part of the country club property falls within Hazel Crest. Diversified Partners had filed suit trying to get the entire property annexed to Hazel Crest, where the firm hoped for a better reception.

Homewood settled the suit, promising to consider the developer’s zoning request.

The developer could revive that suit, although Hazel Crest Village President Vernard Alsberry Jr. has circulated a statement opposing the project. Some worry that Hazel Crest could back a development nonetheless that Homewood would be unable to regulate.

Walt Brown Jr., CEO of Diversified Partners, said he would hold Homewood to the settlement terms, which require the village to pay his firm $250,000. He said he will consider taking the land to Hazel Crest.

“We have a lot of options. We’re not stopping. We’re full speed ahead,” he said.

The board’s vote followed a unanimous rejection of the zoning plan last week by the town’s planning and zoning commission. The panel heard angry testimony against the project during four marathon hearings.

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