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Road Commissioner Raises Concerns of Flooding, Traffic Hazards in Proposed Northbrook Synagogue Construction

The development of a new synagogue along a residential section of Techny Road may well contribute to increased flooding and street congestion in the surrounding neighborhood, according to Northfield Township Road District Commissioner Peter Amarantos. The construction of the 8,376 square foot building, with adjacent parking for 60 vehicles, has the potential to cause significant damage to neighboring homeowners due to the increased run-off from the property’s proposed hardscaped surfaces. Additionally, the Highway Commissioner voiced concerns regarding increased traffic on the two-lane Techny thoroughfare, as well as on subdivision streets abutting the rear of the property.

“This is not a risk that can be removed by a single detention pond,” Amarantos believes. “This proposal will have, in my opinion, a potentially devastating effect on the residential properties surrounding it. Additionally, the proposed entrance/exit on Techny creates traffic complications. The curve at that point in the road has always been a hazardous proposition, and increased traffic entering and leaving is likely to lead to accidents.”

Members of the Darchei Noam of Glenbrook congregation plan to construct a synagogue building on a 1.4-acre undeveloped lot at 3465 Techny Road. Under Northbrook Village ordinances, houses of worship may be constructed in residential areas subject to standard building code requirements and a mandate that “particular attention be paid to surrounding residential uses.” The property was annexed by the Village as a residential lot in October 2012, but shortly thereafter was donated to the congregation. At Village Board meetings in November 2013, frustrated neighbors were told that the Board of Trustees had “no jurisdiction” over the building’s construction and that no public hearings would be held. The proposed project is still under review by the Village’s building permit staff, and also will be subject to review by the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways.

The Northfield Township Road Commissioner has responsibility for maintenance of approximately 52 miles of roads located in Northbrook, Glenview, and Northfield, including a portion of the streets impacted by the proposed construction. Commissioner Amarantos voiced his concerns about the construction’s impact in a letter to Village Board President Sandy Frum in October 2013. Amarantos also notes that traffic and flooding in the area already is expected to increase due to approved construction at the nearby Mission Hills community, and that the loss of open landscape on Techny will likely lead to flooding in surrounding neighborhoods. He urges the County to closely examine the impact of increased traffic on the neighborhood.

About the Northfield Township Road District:

Located in northern Cook County, Illinois,  Northfield Township is comprised of the villages of Glenview, Northbrook and Northfield, and represents nearly 78,000 people. Our Highway Commissioner, Peter Amarantos, is recognized for his dedication in meeting the residents’ needs. Under Mr. Amarantos’s leadership, the Road District provides efficient and economical services. Working together in a cooperative and professional manner with neighbors, Cook County, the State of Illinois and the surrounding villages, problems are identified and practical, cost-effective solutions are developed utilizing the resources at hand. For more information, visit http://www.northfieldtownship.com/road-district.html.

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