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6 | April 25, 2019 | The lake forest leader NEWS

LakeForestLeader.com

Lake Forest City Council

City approves beach parking plan as North Beach Access Road construction begins

Stephanie Kim

Freelance Reporter

Accessing and parking

near the beach in Lake

Forest will be tougher

this summer, due to the

Hughes Gateway project

and construction on the

north end, according to

Superintendent of Recreation

Joe Mobile.

The Lake Forest City

Council reviewed beach

parking plan recommendations

from the Lake Forest

Parks and Recreation

Board as North Beach

Access Road construction

and bluff restoration begins

during its meeting on

Monday, April 15.

The north parking lot is

expected to be closed until

the project is completed

in September (weather

permitting), which means

104 less parking spaces

and an additional loss of

$27,000 in operational

costs for the 2019 beach

season.

The parks and recreation

board also anticipates

a revenue loss of

at least $8,100 from suspending

pavilion and fire

circle rentals and prorated

sales of beach permits.

“Deerpath Road is the

main artery to reach the

facility. There won’t be a

north access, so you won’t

be able to turn left off of

Deer Path Road this year,”

Mobile said. “So the only

direction you can go is

right, or south. The ring

road will also be closed

because the north end will

be tied up with construction

and there won’t be an

exit point.”

According to the Lake

Forest Park and Recreation

Department, Lake

Road will be closed going

north at Deerpath Road

and due to construction

and truck traffic, there will

be no parking available on

the city streets. The Ring

Road will be closed at the

north end for reconstruction

of the bluff and the

upper south lot can only

accommodate 15 cars,

which will be used for

staff parking and to manage

turnaround traffic.

Lake Forest Parks and

Recreation said there

will be clear signage and

communication outlining

changes throughout the

summer, increased staff

availability at entrance

points to answer questions

and direct traffic, police

support to manage traffic

and safety.

In anticipation of the

2019 beach season, which

opens during Memorial

Day Weekend, Mobile

gave several recommendations

to address parking

and access issues during

the meeting.

The City Council unanimously

approved the following

recommendations

by an 8-0 vote, commending

Mobile and his team

for their monthslong work

in devising the plan.

Weekday Parking

• Lower south beach

parking lot will be open

to all residents with a City

of Lake Forest vehicle

sticker.

• Middle row parking

will be reserved for trailer,

boat storage, and watercraft

permits.

• We will open spots in

the middle row to residents

and park two cars

per space if available.

Weekends and Holiday

Parking

• Lower south beach

“There’s always going to be

concerns with anything before

you, but this is what staff and

our park board have found to

be the best option.”

Joe Mobile — Superintendent of Recreation on

Lake Forest beach parking plans.

parking lot will be open

to all residents with a

City of Lake Forest vehicle

sticker from 6 a.m.

– 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m.

to close to accommodate

residents walking in the

morning or enjoying dinner

or the evening hours at

the beach.

• At 9 a.m., first priority

parking will go to south

beach access and watercraft

permitted vehicles.

• Once the season is underway,

adjustments may

be made. If it becomes

clear that the lower south

parking lot has space

availability on the weekends

and holiday, parking

may be opened up to residents

with City of Lake

Forest vehicle stickers.

Overflow parking will remain

at Deerpath Middle

School.

• Middle row parking

will be reserved for trailers.

• Lake Forest Parks and

recreation will open spots

in the middle row to residents

and park two cars

per space if available.

Other

• Bicycle racks will be

available at both staircase

entrances.

• Uber can be utilized

and beachgoers can be

dropped off at the Upper

South Lot drop off area.

• On July 4, the parking

and shuttles will run

from the Lake Forest

High School East Campus

parking lot, not Deerpath

Middle School, due to

the Festival & Fireworks

event being held there.

• The top south parking

lot will be designated for

beach staff only.

• Signage will be added

in key locations regarding

parking and the shuttle

service.

• Handicapped parking

will be available in the

lower south parking lot.

• Anyone with a LF vehicle

sticker may drop off

people and/or equipment

at the lower south lot.

• Residents with City

of Lake Forest vehicle

stickers bringing in a

paddleboard or kayak on

the weekend from offsite,

will be issued a temporary

parking pass at the facility.

• Golf cart transportation

between the south

beach pavilion and the

north pavilion swimming

area will be provided.

• Pedestrian traffic will

access the beach from the

north belvedere stairway

and the south wooden

stairway.

Round it up:

A brief recap of City Council action on Monday,

April 15

• The City Council also unanimously approved

a resolution in support of Senate Bill 1111 and

House Bill 1571, which allows municipal officials

to direct the local pension fund board to transfer

and consolidate its investment funds into a single

statewide fund.

• The council approved an award of a $1.5 million

bid for the Old Elm storm sewer and Forest Hill

water main project to Bolder Construction, in

addition to a 10 percent contingency fund for any

unforeseen constructions issues that may arise

during the project.

• Mayor Robert Lansing highlighted the

appointment of Gale Strenger Wayne as

chairperson of the senior resources commission,

along with the reappointment of Thomas Sullivan

and appointment of Mark Dewart.

• Caretaker passes,

daily boat launch passes,

and guest parking passes

will continue to be issued

for weekdays only (not on

weekends or holidays).

• All beach pavilion

and fire circle rentals

have been temporarily

suspended for the summer.

Any existing rentals

of these facilities will be

honored.

• All emergency vehicles

will access the lakefront

from the south parking

lot unless access from

the north lot is available.

“There’s always going

to be concerns with anything

before you, but this

is what staff and our park

board have found to be the

best option,” Mobile said.

City approves fiscal year

2020 budget

The council also approved

the comprehensive

fiscal plan for fiscal

year 2020, which includes

$90.5 million in revenues,

$88.7 million in expenditures

and $7.2 million

in capital program initiatives.

Overall, for an average

household, the proposed

budget would increase

property taxes and service

charges by $148, Lake

Forest Finance Director

Elizabeth Holleb noted.

The city’s sales tax rate

for general merchandise

would also increase from

7.5 percent to 8 percent by

July 1, Holleb added, with

the additional $600,000

in annual revenue going

toward capital improvements.

“In summary, the current

financial condition

for the city is excellent,”

Holleb said. “The city

continues to have healthy

fund balance reserves.

The city carries a AAA

bond rating, which is

the highest bond rating

achievable from the credit

rating agencies. Residents

of Lake Forest continue

to enjoy the lowest

property tax rate in Lake

County.”

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