On Monday Nov. 3, the Buffalo Grove Village Board voted to send the proposal for a downtown Buffalo Grove city center to the Planning and Zoning Commission for review. This proposal would call for 355,000 square feet of retail space, 707,000 square feet of commercial space, 677 residential units and 53.5 acres of open space for active recreation such as trails and parks. The plan even calls for the creation of a movie theatre, a library and a fitness center. However, this plan has summoned controversy since the new downtown BG would take the place of the current Buffalo Grove Golf Course.
Though it is said that new project would bring in $11 million in revenue for the village, many residents are not convinced that the destruction of the golf course is worth the social benefits.
“Golf courses have a bigger social benefit,” boys golf coach Peter Duffer said. “They help with water run-off and water retention. So what I think the village is doing is not fully recognizing the social benefits of the course.”
In addition to the environmental roles that the course takes on, it is also the home course for the BG golf teams. If the golf course was, in fact, turned into a commercial area, the teams would be evicted from their home course and forced to find an alternative practice location.
According to senior golfer Alex Pietras, the teams would be relocated to the Arboretum, a course that is not only further away, but also Stevenson High School’s home course.
Duffer states one reason that individuals are pushing for this plan is because of BG’s status as a bedroom community. In other words, it is an area where people live, but are forced to shop and do recreational activities elsewhere.
Senior golfer Stacy Mantas opposes getting rid of the golf course.
“The golf course has become crucial to our golf teams and is a fun and challenging course for the public to play,” Mantas said. “I think it’d be a loss to the community to get rid of it.”
Though this plan still faces many challenges, it continues to be passed through and steps have already been taken to see if the plan would be possible.
“If I could tell the village board one thing it would be that they are making a horrible decision,” Pietras said. “They should find a cheaper, alternative location because many people forget that golf is a green sport and saves habitats.”