Back in the summer of 2015, I spearheaded a campaign to save 512 Sunrise Avenue in Lake Bluff from the wrecking ball, and call attention to the village’s weak historic preservation regulations. Many people cared enough to contact the Village and register their opposition, and the home was saved.
Well, the owner of 512 Sunrise has again applied for its demolition. He lives next door at 506 Sunrise, and wants a side yard.
My connection to 512 Sunrise, and my concerns about our weak preservation laws, are detailed in the letter I wrote to DailyNorthShore.com a year and a half ago. It’s linked here.
But to summarize: Lake Bluff has the weakest preservation ordinances on the North Shore, according to Landmarks Illinois. Our ordinances allow practically any house to be torn down if the owner so desires. The Village itself has designated 512 Sunrise an officially landmarked home, but as with all their homes, landmarked or not, it offers only a perfunctory four-month waiting period – at most — as protection against its demolition. Which makes you wonder why they go to the trouble of landmark designation at all.
Consequently, the character of our village is slowly, inexorably disappearing, right before our eyes.
So, if you care about the graceful streetscape of Sunrise Avenue, the unique character of Lake Bluff, and making it more difficult to tear down our worthy, landmarked homes, I’d urge you to email Village Administrator, Drew Irvin, at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will forward your concerns to our Board of Trustees President, Kathy O’Hara, and Janet Nelson, Chairperson of the Village’s Historic Preservation Commission. You are also welcome to attend the HPC meeting at the Village Hall this Tuesday at 7 p.m., at which they’ll weigh the impending demolition of 512 Sunrise Avenue. Thank you.
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