Residents air concerns over Highland Park Theater revamp to City Council
The recent Highland Park City Council meeting had a full agenda, but public comment was occupied by concerns over the proposed redevelopment of the Highland Park Theater.
Resident Jean Sogin shared concerns about the loss of parking, while residents Thomas Howell and Dennis Fey implored council members for more engagement with the public during the project's planning process.
Most of the residents present were speaking in reference to a recent survey conducted by the city asking residents to rank five proposals for the space. Over 350 residents responded, with 61 percent providing a favorable or very favorable overall score to a proposal for a year-round indoor market.
Several council members defended the city's neighborhood survey as a conversation starter, and Mayor Nancy Rotering reiterated the city's openness to public input on the proposal-review process. The city has yet to fully commit to any of the proposals, and Councilman Anthony Blumberg said no plan will move forward unless the council feels it is completely satisfactory.
Outside of the theater debate, the council approved the Highland Park Cultural Arts Plan and a preliminary plan for a 12-unit, single-family residence at 1055 County Line Road.
The council also discussed a potential public referendum on facility improvements for North Shore School District 112. The question was unresolved, but Rotering suggested that the public send any thoughts about using taxpayer dollars on the improvements directly to the District 112 School Board.