Village News

The North Shore Electricity Aggregation Consortium (Consortium) has worked collaboratively since 2012 to save participating residential and commercial customers in member communities millions of dollars off of Commonwealth Edison’s (ComEd) electricity supply rates.  In 2012, the municipalities of Deerfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northbrook, Park Ridge and Skokie, collectively known as the Consortium, entered into a three-year contract with MC Squared Energy Services, LLC (mc2) to serve as the alternative electricity supplier to the almost 70,000 Consortium customers.  The contract with mc2 will end with the May 2015 billing cycle.

The Consortium has entered into a new agreement with Integrys Energy Services (soon to be consolidated into Constellation Energy Services) to provide electricity supply and services to Consortium communities.  The communities will monitor electricity pricing with the goal of locking in rates that will be lower than the new ComEd default rates that are expected to be announced in April.

The transition process to the new supply contract will include the following stages:

  1. ComEd will send letters to all accounts currently enrolled in the aggregation program notifying them that their current supply contract is expiring and that their account will revert to the ComEd default rate starting in May, 2015. 
  2. If a new electricity supply price is set, the Consortium will send opt-out letters to all residential and small commercial accounts to provide account owners the opportunity to either participate or opt-out of the new municipal aggregation supply contract.  Accounts that are enrolled in the new municipal aggregation supply contract will then receive a final letter from ComEd verifying that the account has been enrolled into the program. 
  3. If a new rate cannot be set that is less than ComEd’s default rate, customers will remain with ComEd.

The new 24-month agreement with Integrys Energy Services resulted from an extensive, competitive process that started in November 2014.  Responses to a Request for Proposals (RFP) process from suppliers were evaluated by the Consortium’s members, legal counsel, and energy consultant. The Consortium negotiated with the suppliers to gain meaningful consumer safeguards and supply standards that include affordable renewable energy options. The goal of this has always been to seek opportunities to save electricity customers money on their electric bill.  The intent of the Consortium is to seek the lowest price available to residents.

About Electric Aggregation & the Consortium:

Illinois law authorizes municipalities to aggregate the electric loads of residential and small commercial retail customers and to then solicit bids, select a retail electric supplier, and enter into a supply agreement to facilitate the purchase of electricity and related services and equipment on behalf of its residents and small businesses. By aggregating electric supply services, lower rates are anticipated for the purchase of electricity than the standard rate offered by ComEd. In an effort to maximize the amount of savings for customers, the communities of Deerfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northbrook, and Skokie worked together through an Intergovernmental Agreement and created the North Shore Electric Aggregation Consortium.

As required by State law, each municipality advanced a referendum and on March 20, 2012 voters in all Consortium communities approved referendums authorizing each municipality to operate an “opt-out” electricity aggregation program for residents and small businesses.  Additional information is available by calling Drew Irvin, Village Administrator, at 847-283-6883.

(UPDATED- October 26, 2016, 10:00 a.m.) --- Officers from the Lake Bluff Police Department are investigating a battery that occurred along the Robert McClory Bike Path, adjacent to Sheridan Road on Tuesday evening.

Shortly before 7:00 p.m. a 44 year old female North Chicago resident reported she was jogging along the path north of East Blodgett Avenue when a Hispanic male approached her and pushed her to the ground. The victim was able to scream and frighten off the suspect, who fled east to a pick-up truck on Sheridan Road. The suspect entered the driver’s side of the vehicle and fled north on Sheridan Road towards North Chicago.

The suspect was described as about 35-40 years of age, 5’7”-5’8” in height, average build, long hair, and possibly wearing a hat and a jacket. Police are asking anyone who may have been in the area to contact the Police Department at 847-234-8760 if they observed anything along Sheridan Road during this time. 

The Lake Bluff Police Department will have an increased presence in the area and will be conducting directed patrols on the trail.

Users of the path are urged to take the following steps to protect themselves when using paths and trails:

  • Always stay alert and be aware of your surroundings (don't wear earphones).
  • Walk, run or bike with a partner or group.
  • Let someone know when you are on the trail, your route and when you expect to return.
  • Walk, run or bike when the path or trail is likely to have a higher volume of foot traffic.
  • Avoid using paths or trails when it is dark outside.
  • Carry a cell phone.

Residents are further encouraged to report any suspicious activity by calling 847-234-2151.

In early 2015 the Committee-of-the-Whole (COW) met with Staff to discuss the potential redevelopment of the Central Business District (CBD), more specifically, Block Two (bounded by Scranton/Oak/North/Walnut) and Block Three (bounded by Scranton/Oak/Evanston).  To best prepare for potential downtown redevelopment, the Village engaged Teska Associates, Inc. (Teska), a land use planning firm, to perform a visual preference survey of both CBD Blocks Two and Three, and using input from the community, prepare Downtown Design Guidelines. 

The Downtown Design Guidelines are derived from the community outreach activities and best design and planning practices.  They are intended to promote the vitality and economic health of Lake Bluff’s downtown by providing design direction on the type, character and quality of the built environment that unify Blocks Two and Three with the surrounding CBD areas.  Additionally, the purposes of the Downtown Design Guidelines are to:

  • Implement the general policies and recommendations of the 1998 CBD Planning Study by providing more detailed guidelines and specifications governing building architecture and improvements to public streetscapes within Blocks Two and Three; and
  • Establish a set of standards and identify elements of building streetscape design that the Village should encourage in the downtown.

In the spring of 2015 the Village commenced with a public engagement process and sought feedback from a variety of community stakeholders, including elected and appointed officials and CBD neighbors. A website was created for the Downtown Visioning Project that shared information with the community, and from April 24 to May 31, 2015, invited the community to upload photographs of their favorite destinations for use in the Visual Preference Survey.  The photographs were then used in the online survey (available from June 17 to July 31, 2015) and at the Open House held on June 24, 2015.  At its meeting on October 26, 2015 the Village Board accepted the draft Downtown Subarea Visioning Report (Report) and referred it to the Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals (PCZBA) and the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) for finalization. 

Update:

 

  • On August 8th the Village Board approved second and final reading of an ordinance amending the Village's Comprehensive Plan.  The amendment to the Comprehensive Plan adopts: (i) the Ten Planning Principles for CBD Block Two (bounded by E. Scranton Ave., Walnut Ave., E. North Ave. and Oak Ave.) and CBD Block Three (bounded by E. Scranton Ave., Oak Ave., E. North Ave. and Evanston Ave.); (ii) amendments to the downtown land use plan; (iii) and amendments to the downtown long-range parking plan as presented below.  Please know this recommendation does NOT include a recommendation regarding the Downtown Design Guidelines.  The Village Board had approved first reading at its meeting on July 25, 2016.  

    August 8, 2016 Village Board Packet

    July 25, 2016 Village Board Packet


    Supplemental material
  • On June 8, 2016 the PCZBA concluded the public hearing to consider amending the Comprehensive Plan and recommended the Village Board approve the following: (i) the Ten Planning Principles for CBD Block Two (bounded by E. Scranton Ave., Walnut Ave., E. North Ave. and Oak Ave.) and CBD Block Three (bounded by E. Scranton Ave., Oak Ave., E. North Ave. and Evanston Ave.); (ii) amendments to the downtown land use plan; (iii) and amendments to the downtown long range parking plan as presented below.

    PCZBA Recommendation: Planning Principles, Downtown Lane Use Plan and Long Range Public Parking Plan

    June 8, 2016 PCZBA Packet

  • On June 7, 2016 the ABR met and recommended the Board approve the following: (i) the Downtown Design Guidelines with certain photographs removed (refer to the June 7, 2016 ABR Packet) noting the remaining photographs are intended to illustrate what is discussed in the caption and other aspects of the photograph may not be suitable for development in Lake Bluff; and (ii) establish a downtown daylight plane (refer to the June 7, 2016 ABR Packet) requiring any third story to be setback from the wall of the second floor.

    June 7, 2016 ABR Packet
  • On May 18, 2016 the PCZBA commenced with a public hearing to consider the Proposed Amendments to the Village's Comprehensive Plan.  Following feedback from the public and questions and discussion from the PCZBA Members, the PCZBA continued their discussion to a special meeting on June 8, 2016 (7:00 p.m.). 

    Any person desiring to be heard or desiring to present any evidence or testimony relating to said matter should appear at the time and place above specified. Information will be available for inspection beginning on the Friday before the aforementioned meeting date at the front counter of the Village Hall, 40 East Center Avenue, Lake Bluff, Illinois and online.

    May 18, 2016 PCZBA Meeting Packet

  • On May 3, 2016 the ABR discussed the Downtown Design Guidelines and recommended the following changes: i) third floors should be less visible to pedestrians from ground level, and ii) apply a daylight plane restriction to the third floor to further regulate building height.  At its next meeting, scheduled for June 7, 2016 (7:00 p.m.), the ABR will review the photographs currently used in the Downtown Design Guidelines and consider a recommendation regarding which photographs are appropriate and characteristic of the types of development within the Village.

    May 3, 2016 ABR Meeting Packet
  • On February 9, 2016 the PCZBA and ABR were scheduled to further discuss the Downtown Design Guidelines and Planning Principles; however, due to the late hour, the discussion was continued to an upcoming joint workshop meeting. 
  • On January 20, 2016 the PCZBA and the ABR met for a workshop meeting and discussed the design guidelines for Blocks Two and Three presented by Teska Associates.  The members drafted revisions to the 10 planning principles contained within the Downtown Design Guidelines and received comments from the public.  The PCZBA /ABR anticipate scheduling an additional workshop meeting to finish the discussion of the Downtown Design Guidelines and forward a recommendation to the Village Board. 

    Click here to view the revised 10 planning principles.
  • On December 16, 2015 the PCZBA and the ABR held a joint workshop and received a report and presentation of the findings from Jodi Mariano of Teska. Following a discussion of the results and neighborhood feedback, further consideration and discussion of the report is scheduled for January 20, 2016 (7:00 p.m.) in the Village Hall Board Room.

 

February 9, 2016 Joint PCZBA and ABR Meeting Packet

January 20, 2016 Joint PCZBA and ABR Meeting Packet

December 16, 2015 Joint PCZBA and ABR Meeting Packet

For additional information, please contact Brandon Stanick, Asst. to the Village Administrator, at 847-283-6889.

 

Lake County and all participating municipalities are in the process of updating the Lake County All Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (ANHMP). The ANHMP identifies activities and projects to reduce damage caused by natural hazards such as tornadoes, floods, and severe summer and winter storms. Mitigation is the action of reducing the impact of a natural hazard.  Public input and comments are important to the ANHMP update. All Lake County residents and property owners are encouraged to complete a short survey by clicking here or on the link below. Survey responses provided will help Lake County prioritize natural hazards that could impact residents and property owners, and determine how to better prepare for natural hazard emergencies.

Lake County 2016 Natural Hazards Public Survey.

The Village of Lake Bluff is making efforts to prepare its residents and businesses for disasters by taking part in America’s PrepareAthon! and in conjunction with the CodeRED emergency notification system.  The CodeRED Weather Warning system is an opt-in service that automatically notifies those registered of tornado, flash flood and severe thunderstorm warnings just minutes after an alert is issued by the National Weather Service, making it an essential preparedness tool to stay safe.

“It’s important to Be Smart, Take Part and Prepare for disasters. The CodeRED system will help us prepare our residents if severe weather is headed our way. We will also use it to keep the community informed throughout an emergency event,” said David Belmonte, Lake Bluff’s Chief of Police.

Chief Belmonte urges all residents to enroll to receive emergency alerts through CodeRED. Those who have already enrolled to receive CodeRED notifications but have recently moved or changed telephone numbers are encouraged to  click on the CodeRED logo on the Village's website (lakebluff.org) to update their contact information.

“We ask residents to encourage their family members, friends, colleagues and other groups about the CodeRED system and make sure they are in the emergency database. We rely on the CodeRED system to keep our community informed, but we need to make sure we have your correct contact information,” Belmonte said.  “It is important that even if you previously registered, you should again to verify you are in the database.”

Those without Internet access may call the Lake Bluff Police Department Records Division at 847-234-8760 extension “2” Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. to subscribe to receive CodeRED alerts by supplying their information over the phone.

America’s PrepareAthon! is a national, grassroots campaign for action to increase individual and community preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions and exercises throughout the year. One of the Village of Lake Bluff’s role during this campaign is to increase the number of residents and businesses enrolled to receive CodeRED emergency and severe weather notifications.

For more information about America’s PrepareAthon!, please visit ready.gov/prepare or email

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Join the twitter discussion @PrepareAthon.