Dell Place tops news in 2012
Glencoe Police Officer Robert Dziekonski patrols Dell Place beach Friday morning. Soon, he'll probably have a staircase to reach the sand, instead off clambering over rip-rap. | Irv Leavitt~Sun-Times Media
Top Web Headlines
• “Thieves target homes in Highland Park, Winnetka and Glencoe”
• “Destination eatery planned for downtown Glencoe”
• “Glencoe resident to launch new deal website”
• “Frank Lloyd Wright house not an easy sell”
• “Glencoe Park District Executive Director Don Van Arsdale resigns”
- Glencoe moves ahead on Dell Place improvements
- Destination eatery planned for downtown Glencoe
- 3 Glencoe churches plan to offer temporary housing for families
- Code enforcement issues may limit Glencoe churches from providing housing
- Glencoe Park District executive director Don Van Arsdale resigns
- Glencoe, parks save on shared services
Updated: March 19, 2013 7:17AM
GLENCOE — Glencoe’s year in news contained a mixed bag of public improvements, the promise of a new restaurant and unprecedented cooperation between the village and park district. Here’s a look at the top stories of the year.
1. Dell Place group on task
2012 was the year that Glencoe Trustee Joel Solomon led the village to an answer on the future of the controversial 66-foot-wide beach at Dell Place without getting the town into an uproar.
The combativeness between backers of public property rights and neighbors’ privacy, when similar hearings were held previously, was still present. But it was significantly reduced as Solomon’s Street Ends Task Force settled on recommendations to bring access to the beach.
The Task Force in June recommended a $10,000 staircase spanning the treacherous rip-rap at the bottom of the steep bluff, reinforcement of the bluff’s swale for up to twice that much, and a bike rack.
The Village Board approved those, and is expected to fund them in the next budget.
Now, the theory goes, visitors will be able to get down more easily and with less likelihood of trespassing on the way. Police will enforce the law on the beach more readily.
There were eggs broken on the way to making the Dell Place omelette. Neighbors, fretting about more access, were granted new parking laws and windshield stickers that lets them keep outsiders’ cars away on five nearby streets during spring and summer.
2. Glencoe gets a dining destination
After October, the two biggest concerns in uptown Glencoe seemed on the way to solution: filling the business district’s biggest vacancy and bringing a destination restaurant.
Hedge fund CEO Alec Litowitz and his partner, HomeMade Pizza founder Eric Fosse – both Glencoe residents – envision a restaurant that appeals across a relatively wide variety of tastes and prices.
They plan to open in February at the Wienecke Hardware/Active Endeavors space, 694 Vernon Ave.
3. Commissioner Wars
The struggles between two factions of the Glencoe Park Board came to a head June 27 in the forced retirement of Executive Director Don Van Arsdale. At times, it was a very good year for the park district, anyway, with higher participation and revenues in camps and the beach, revved by a new deal to swap resident-fee rates to the beach for Northbrook, in exchange for the cheaper rates for Northbrook’s pools for Glencoe.
There were also down moments after Van Arsdale’s exit, with the sudden realization of expensive deterioration of the landmark beach staircase, and rotting apparatus at Friends Park. Those repairs will top $300,000.
4. Homeless families win right to Glencoe stays
The Family Promise network of faith-based temporary family homes said at the start of 2012 that breaking into Glencoe looked bleak. The village Public Safety Department inspectors were far more strict than anywhere else in the area, they said.
But after spending $12,000, the Glencoe Union Church was able to host its first week of families in May. St. Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church hasn’t yet been able to cover the demanded upgrades, but has partnered with Am Shalom to host families for a week at a time, too, at the synagogue. The North Shore United Methodist Church is also trying to raise the cash for fireproof doors and other safety features.
5. Easy come, easy go
The first six months of the “shared services” program of cooperation between the village of Glencoe and the park district ended in the fall, with almost $100,000 saved between the two agencies. Next may be software, more equipment, and financial assets.
It’s a drop in the bucket, however, compared to what each government spends in total. Nov. 6, shortly after the six-month period ended, Glencoe voters approved an infrastructure referendum. The $8.55 million bond issue covers about $5.48 million for three flood control projects, $2.04 million for street resurfacing, $830,000 in sanitary sewer work and $205,000 in sidewalk construction.