ICC Proposal Background

Zoning

The Itasca Country Club (ICC) property is currently zoned R-1.  Under this zoning, the property owner has a right, under the law, to build single-family homes on the property.  Any new R-1 development would be required to meet building and stormwater requirements.  

In the fall of 2018, the owner of Itasca Country Club approached the Village about the redevelopment of its property.  The property owner represented that both residential and industrial developers had expressed interest in the property.  At the same time, the Village was receiving zoning inquiries on the property, which confirmed there was interest from developers.  

Warehouse Use/Data Center

Early 2019, ICC inquired whether the Village would be open to considering a business or commercial use on a portion of the property along Prospect Ave, in order to preserve the balance of the open space for recreational use.  Village staff indicated that it was open to creative solutions that would result in the preservation of the Itasca Country Club and open space that would also be compatible with the adjacent residential.

The property owner later approached Village staff with a potential warehouse use.  Staff expressed concerns about warehousing due to noise, pollution, and other concerns associated with truck traffic. Staff suggested that the property owner explore less impactful commercial development options including a data center.

Data centers are facilities that house computers that store and process data. They vary significantly in size and scope.  A mini data center offers under 250 square feet of rack space, while a mega data center offers more than 225,000.  The architecture of data centers also varies.  Some resemble office buildings, others industrial warehouses. The largest data center in Illinois is located in a 100-plus-year-old historic building in Chicago.   

Open Meeting/Proposed Plan

On February 11, 2020, the Village Board met in an open meeting with the property owner to discuss the idea of a data center and whether zoning entitlements for a data center might be possible.  The property owner indicated that a data center could preserve a portion of the golf course and be camouflaged from the adjacent residential subdivision by berms and landscaping. (Here is a link to the meeting minutes). Over the Spring and Summer, Village staff worked with outside counsel and the property owner to determine the most appropriate zoning path.

On August 14, 2020, Itasca Country Club submitted its application for a proposed planned unit development to convert approximately 34 acres of the club’s property to a two-story data center. The submittal of a proposal in no way implies approval or denial.   Plan Commissioners and Village Board members have an obligation to reserve judgment about any petition until the petitioner/property owner has an opportunity in present its case full case. The Plan Commission Public Hearing is scheduled to begin on October 7, 2020, at 7 p.m.

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