Newspaper Clippings for
from the Lake Villa - Lindenhurst Review 31 August 2000
Property owners angry about forced annexation
Lindenhurst, in a surprise legal maneuver, forcefully
annexed more than 80 acres of land into the village at its
Monday night Village Board meeting, leaving some long-time
area landowners feeling angry and betrayed.
Several parcel owners said they had no inkling of the
village's move until they were notified on Tuesday by The
The urgent need for annexing the four separate parcels said
village officials, is to preserve the integrity of the
Route 45 commercial corridor and block any encroachment by
neighboring municipalities, such as Old Mill Creek. The
anchor in the corridor is the just approved Jewel-Osco
office park at the southwest corner of Sand Lake Road and
"Lindenhurst does what they want, when they want and how
they want," Bernie Webber angrily told The Review. "When
they annexed Cross Creek, we (adjacent property owners)
were supposed to get a registered letter about what was
going on, but I didn't and my name's on the (village
comprehensive plan) map."
The Webbers, who along with other Bonner family members own
about 50 acres of the annexed property along the west side
of Route 45, have a house and outbuilding and rent the
acreage out for farming. They have lived there 16 years and
like being county residents.
Jane Webber, Bernie's wife, said "I would think that we had
a right to voice our opinion and at least have a say so
Nita Bonner, whose late husband, Roy, was born on the
property and lived there 83 years, was angered that she and
others didn't receive registered letters informing them of
"The first thing they're going to do is raise taxes," she
said, noting her taxes are already high.
Baumunk said the Bonner taxes would go up, but not
drastically. He said that adding in the village's share
would make someone paying about $10,000 in Lake County
taxes, typical of large, undeveloped farm tracts, would
mean an added $600 or so.
Baumunk, who was raised on a working farm, said he's not
insensitive to farm people's control of property that's
been in their family for generations. "It was a very, very
hard thing to do," he said.
Registered letters to the owners were to go out this week,
explaining the move and its ramifications, Baumunk said.
Bernie Webber said he intends to pursue legal action
against the village.
Lindenhurst officials did not deny the basic strategy of
forced annexations — that quick action was used to annex
the properties before the parcel owners could attempt to
block it. And that legal requirements in the state statutes
don't require property owners to be notified directly prior
to the act.
Mayor Paul Baumunk prefaced what he called the very painful
decision of forced annexation at the board meeting, saying
"that there comes a time when you have to make very tough
decisions, based on what is best for future generations of
"The reason the board needs to make the decision today is
so that Old Mill Creek can not annex remaining
(unprotected) parcels tomorrow. We have to protect an
extremely valuable commercial area at Sand Lake Road and
Route 45. We just do not want to gamble with the parcels
going (to another municipality)."
The properties, all in unincorporated Lake County and taken
in four separate annexation agreements, include:
The Brooks property, 18.25 acres, just south of McDonald
Forest Preserve and north of Farmington Green. Roy (Nita)
Bonner property, 40 acres on the south end of Farmington
Green; and contiguous (to the south) by 5 acres, owned by
Bernie and Jane (Bonner) Webber. Two parcels, immediately
west of the proposed Jewel-Osco office complex site, total
about 15 acres. Three contiguous parcels also south of Sand
Lake Road, one bounded on the west by the Jewel-Osco site
and on the east side by Route 45, about six acres; the
other two parcels on the east side of Route 45, totaling
about six acres.
All the parcels were brought in under the village's Estate
classification, which is the most restrictive in terms of
zoning and use. However, all current uses by the property
owners will stay the same, said village officials. Future
uses would have to adhere to village zoning restrictions.
The annexations now complete Lindenhurst's lock on the
Route 45 corridor, from just south of Sand Lake Road, north
to Grass Lake Road, and a little beyond. Gurnee's corporate
limits come up to Route 45 on the east side.
But it was Old Mill Creek, along the east side of Route 45,
to the north of Gurnee (and Grandwood Park), that forced
Lindenhurst to annex the properties it did, say Lindenhurst
Officials cite a lack of discussion and cooperation by Old
Mill Creek officials, going back about 10 years. Thus, said
Lindenhurst Mayor Paul Baumunk and Attorney Paul Phillips,
a "working boundary agreement" did not exist, in which Old
Mill Creek would promise to stay on the east side of Route
45 and Lindenhurst on the west side.
"Working boundary agreements normally work," said Baumunk.
"If not, you have to take other steps."
Philipps said Old Mill Creek has ventured more than once
west of Route 45 to annex property, in defiance of any
Paul Koppen, mayor of Old Mill Creek for nine years, said
Lindenhurst's annexation plans don't concern the village of
about 100 people.
"I don't care what they say or do. If they want to annex
somebody, it's up to them," Koppen said.
Koppen said the concept of Route 45 as a dividing line may
have not been formalized, but it's been observed in
practice. "Our village has no intentions of going west of
Route 45," he said.
Koppen said the only parcels west of Route 45 annexed by
Old Mill Creek have been in the interests of facilitating
an Illinois Department of Transportation bypass, two or
three blocks west of existing Route 45.
The bypass is crucial to maintain the integrity of Historic
Millburn, which is contiguous to Old Mill Creek's northwest