Spot Check: One Winnetka One More Time or End of the Line?

It’s better, but is it good to go? On Tuesday, September 20th, the Village Council says it's time to speak up or forever hold your peace. 


After 17 months of Advisory Board reviews, two months of Village Council hearings, three months of Trustee-on-developer arm wrestling, hundreds if not thousands of letters, countless hours of public testimony, and pages of questions asked and answered – sort of – [Agenda Packet pg. 14] here’s the deal:

  • Lincoln Avenue Elevation down from 72’ to 61’-6” if you count the turret, 59’ if you don’t. Advantage Village.
  • East Elevation up from 45’ to 58’. Advantage Developer.
  • Elm Street Center Elevation up from 42'-6" to 48'-10". Advantage Developer.
  • Retail space down from 41,381 sq. ft. to 33,895, two floors to one. Deuce (Did anybody take second floor retail seriously, anyway?)
  • Underground parking down from 194 parking spaces to 56, two floors to one. Deuce. (Developer out from under overreach. Sigh of relief.)
  • Public plaza out – 18 feet of Lincoln still in play. TBD.
  • Lincoln parking down to 30 but up from 13. Note to self: Didn't we start at 33? Advantage Developer, but no high-fives. 
  • Streetscape up - from $7.6 million outflow to $6.7 million inflow. Net $1.7. Advantage Village. 
  • Unit count down from 71 to 61, but total sq. ft. up from 103,300 to 137,241. Premium priced. No comps. Advantage anybody? “Only time will tell.” [July 27th 53:50]

How did we get here? [Agenda Packet pg. 37]


Balancing property owners' rights with the public good in a town of 4,000+ homes. Rock. Hard Place. Trustees - or 5/6 of them - are still listening.

  • Cripe – Feelin’ the project right now, but wants to hear more residents. Says, c'mon over to my house for a look-see (he lives closest to the project). Would like to vote sooner rather than later.
  • Krucks – Not so fast... Wants Lincoln Avenue close-up. Wants to hear from residents. Will vote when everyone is heard.
  • Lanphier –  Watchful waiting. Height still an issue. Concerns about human scale and Village aesthetic. So not ready to vote.
  • Myers – Making progress. Not quite comfortable. Wants new traffic study. Would like to be able to vote, when....
  • Rintz – Close to making up mind. Has questions. Wants to hear from residents. Would like to vote.
  • Ziv – Vote yesterday already.


When they think they’ve heard enough, the lid comes down and the VC calls vote. Judicial Process 101: Supermajority [Village Code - Written Protest] is on. Four aye's needed to pass - President has no vote. If it's a go, the Village Attorney draws up the ordinance to grant preliminary approval and the development agreement. The developer gets up to a year to dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s” and come back with final drawings, financials, engineering and construction details, and a timeline for completion. More review, possibly more arm-wrestling, maybe a little more Advisory Board, then finally the vote on the final ordinance. Vroom, vroom. [July 27th 2:57] 

Want more detail?


It’s all about the Planned Development Ordinance of the Village Code. The PC, ZBA and DRB said yes, no, and yes, respectively. The VC will say yes if it thinks OW:

  • Meets the special use standards for a Planned Development
  • Is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan
  • Is design-appropriate to its surroundings
  • Delivers a public good worth the zoning exceptions [Agenda Packet pg. 2]


This is the first VC in years to openly admit they work for you. Help them nail the performance review. Do you know something they don’t? Have you had experience with PDs in other communities? Do you have comps or data they haven’t seen? Do you have an alternate interpretation of the Comp Plan, Design Review Standards, Planned Development Ordinance? All things substantive, additive or new are welcome. Grown-up points. Inside voices.


You have two weeks to study, listen, learn and share. 

And tap, click or dial up your way to the Village you deserve. You will be heard.