THE TOWN OF LINN DEBACLE CONTINUES
What was the Town of Linn thinking? As with Hillmoor, the giant waiting chunk of a former golf course ready to be developed, the much smaller three acres of land comprising what was once to be a bar, package store, and series of sports venues, unless the town, or individuals within that town get together and purchase the land, then almost anything can happen.
Prior to the continuing, seemingly never-ending mess of Hillmoor (the lawsuit by the current owners against the city quietly rages on just underneath the surface, like one of those underground coal fires down south), there was Mirabel Hummel. That property, out there along South Lake Shore Drive (annexed neatly from Town of Linn) was only saved because one wealthy man stepped forward and wrote a very large check. His millions paid to assure that the land would not be developed at all, unless somewhere along the way he changes his mind…which is quite possible.
What is happening with the former Pier Restaurant, Bar, Convenience Store, etc.? Well, the current owner of the property, John Trossen (his own convenience store, bait shop and fishing guide operation failed earlier), lost his buyer when the Town of Linn decided to deny Patrick Hogan a liquor license. Mr. Hogan bailed out on his plan to do something (anything) with the property and has moved on (Mr. Hogan successfully rehabs and sells older structures in Fontana). Mr. Trossen, allegedly, was extremely upset about losing the sale money on a property that didn’t make him a dime for quite some time. According to a noted architect looking at the property for redevelopment, Mr. Trossen is planning on turning the land over to a Chicago firm that puts up and operates drug rehabilitation centers.
This South Chicago company has sterling qualifications and deep pockets. The land that the old Pier was to be operated on is zoned to allow for such a medically-related business to be run there, supposedly, according to one local real estate attorney, without the need for a conditional use permit or any other Town of Linn Approvals.
The people who live down near the water, near the Town of Linn fishing and boat pier, were the chief complainers about the Pier business going in. These wealthy, and mostly part-time, residents did not want additional traffic generated on their road, any lights on into the evening hours, or parking spaces devoted to people playing outdoor sports. The Birches, this neighborhood is called. Well, the citizens, residents, owners, and occasional voters of the Birches seemed to have bitten off a bit more than they might want to be chewing at the current time. There is no question that the former business would have generated more traffic, music, some lights, and additional parking, but what kind of element of the social order might just possibly end up being the keynote structure and business that will define this area of the Town of Linn on into the future?
This issue might blow over, with the drug rehabilitation center not going in, or Mr. Trossen being convinced to change his mind, or even if Mr. J.B. Prtizger comes through with more money to bail out the citizenry once again. The community, most of it represented by all the people who showed up to object to Mr. Hogan and his plan for the future, may have been successful and even righteous in their zeal to get rid of a sports bar and outdoor sporting arenas, but what might they have hatched in the process?