Mundelein-area residents pack meeting on widening little road
About 100 people packed into a meeting room to learn about a controversial proposal to relocate and widen a small residential street in Fremont Township.
The discussion, at a Countryside Fire Protect District station in Mundelein, focused on Highland Terrace, a 200-foot-long stretch of pavement in the West Shore Park neighborhood near Diamond Lake.
A local couple, Cindy and Gary Winemaster, have proposed widening the street and moving it slightly south. They say it would be safer to drive on and more easily navigable for large fire trucks. In an unusual move, they've offered to cover the estimated $100,000 cost of the work.
The Winemasters' house is on Forest Lane at the end of Highland Terrace. They were at the meeting, which started with a presentation from civil engineer John Briggs about the proposal.
Briggs said Highland Terrace is about 12 feet wide now, far narrower than most modern streets. It would be expanded to about 22 feet if the project progresses, he said.
After Briggs' brief presentation, many people in the audience asked questions about stop signs, the shape of the intersections, landscaping and other elements of the Winemasters' plan.
A few voiced objections about the project. Some said it wouldn't improve safety in the neighborhood.
Cindy Winemaster told the crowd she appreciates people who like the neighborhood and don't want it to change.
"(But) we're giving up a lot to do something we think will add great value to the community," she said.
Local resident Dan Prezell was among those who stood up to support the plan. He said safety is the big issue.
Prezell, a former township board member, also credited the Winemasters for offering to fully fund the project.
"I haven't heard anybody else who's going to pay for this," he said.
Highland Terrace is maintained by Fremont Township, and ultimately it'll be up to Township Highway Commissioner Bill Grinnell to approve or reject the plan.
"Nothing is decided," Grinnell said near the end of the roughly 75-minute meeting. "In my opinion, it's hard to say there isn't a benefit for safety."
If Grinnell green-lights the road project, the township will oversee some aspects, such as holding future public hearings, while Lake County will handle others, such as approving the engineering plans.
A timetable hasn't been set.