Ted off? Lake Zurich Village Council Questions Whether Planned Mini-Golf Would Disturb Neighbors, Be Big And Challenging Enough – Chicago Tribune
At its September 6 meeting, the Lake Zurich Village Council appeared to favor a proposed mini-golf course on the site of the former police station at 61 West Main St.
Trustees conducted a courtesy review of the proposal at the meeting, which was held on a Tuesday — a day later than the regular Monday schedule — due to the Labor Day holiday.
The space is 1.63 acres and an 18-hole course is planned, with a building measuring 40 feet by 20 feet. The project is proposed by local businessman Kyle Essary, who said he would like the course to be open from Memorial Day through October and feature fiberglass traps and obstacles.
“Our family, for the past three generations, has owned and operated Glenview Bank,” Essary said.
The bank has since been sold, but he said he became interested in local businesses while running the bank.
“I got to see how much impact community-owned businesses can have, not that Lake Zurich doesn’t have one, but we wanted to add to that,” Essary said.
The proposed development would have nearly 40 parking spaces, and while some council members seemed doubtful that a full 18-hole mini-golf course could accommodate the traffic and desired course, Essary said his studies suggest it is possible.
“I think that’s more than enough for what we’re going to need,” he said.
He added that later he might want to expand in four or five years. However, he said, that consideration is premature at this stage of the process.
“One of the things we are most excited about is participating in village events,” he said. “It’s something we actively want to be a part of.”
Essary explained that he is a father with young children and “we are always looking for something to do. Unfortunately, this often takes us away from Lake Zurich.”
Administrator Jon Sprawka said he could understand why nearby residents would oppose the plan. The property has been empty – unintentionally – for years.
“It had government use, although a long, long time ago. So people enjoyed the tranquility there, but it wasn’t always designed as a green space,” he said. “I think it’s a fairly low impact for the residents adjacent to it. … We look forward to you coming back and sharing your final plans.
Essary said the facility will be open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. On weekdays, the venue would be open until 9 p.m. during the fall months and until 10 p.m. the other months of the year.
Administrator Marc Spacone said the project sounds good, considering it offers something for kids and teens, or those under 21.
“I think it’s a good space. Not everyone will agree with me on this. We could have a space full of bars and pubs or we could have a mixed-use space,” he said.
Lake Zurich was home to another mini-golf course, trustee Janice Gannon pointed out. She asked the board why it failed years ago. She also seemed worried that the size of the land wasn’t big enough to accommodate something really fun.
“I don’t want it to be a place where people go once and say, ‘That’s not fun,'” she said. “Is it big enough to house 18 holes…and tough enough that people want to do it more than once?”
Essary said yes.
Sprawka said the old course, Cozy’s Adventure, wasn’t a single property, but it was spread over two properties owned by different people, and the owner of one property sold his half and that’s why it closed – not for lack of popularity.
Still, Mayor Tom Poynton said he could sympathize with nearby residents who might be concerned about the lighting.
“Being a dark sky guy, I think if I lived next door I would be there with a BB gun turning off the lights at 11 a.m.,” the mayor said.
Still, even Poynton wasn’t opposed to the proposal, adding that he hopes the developers will work with area residents.
Although there was no vote on the matter, all council members seemed eager to hear more details and were generally supportive of the project.
Jesse Wright is a freelancer.