Cook County Taxpayers May Pay To Turn A Public Golf Course Into A Street

Bob Roberts
November 17, 2018 - 2:49 pm
Canal Shores Golf Course

Canal Shores Golf Course

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The taxpayers of Cook County are being asked to pay for a street carved out of a public golf course that would benefit one developer and his clout-heavy partner.  But opponents say they've just begun to fight.

Anne Mason has lived for 32 years next to the non-profit Canal Shores golf course, which lines the North Shore Channel just south of Wilmette Harbor, in Wilmette and Evanston.  Her reaction to Thursday's 5-4 vote by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) board to grant an easement for the otherwise land-locked street is a mixture of disappointment and rage.

"They may have picked the wrong group of people to mess with," she said.

Mason says that despite the fact that developer Joseph Keefe's attorney and business partner is State Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago). Now Mason and other opponents of the Keefe development hope to target Cook County, which would be on the hook for the costs of building, maintaining and shoveling the 426-foot-long, 60-foot wide street, which would erase Canal Shores' 10th hole.  Legal action, permits and three separate wetlands issues on the one-acre plot could tie up the development for years.

Wilmette Park commissioners are expected to discuss the easement and the Keefe development in an executive session Dec. 10.  Canal Shores receives no subsidies from MWRD, Wilmette or Evanston and survives on greens fees, golf classes and revenue from football parking for nearby Northwestern football games.