New Town Park

A new and exciting recreational area will be developed on the grounds of the Greenhills Golf Course.  We have noticed for years that the course was being used by fewer and fewer golfers, although the maintenance costs remained high.

A concept plan was developed by landscape architect Todd Wales of the environmental design firm of Vivian Llambi & Associates.  Todd has local roots and as a result, is already familiar with the property.  We asked him to develop a park that first would take advantage of the natural beauty and terrain of the site.  Finally, we wanted this beautiful land to be an amenity for all of Greenhills!

As a result, residents can look forward to a new recreational area in the heart of our Village.  The park will be located on approximately 10 acres of property that sadly has been the most underutilized property in the Village.  Unless you have a passion for golf and are one of the few who have utilized the golf course in recent years, you most likely didn’t even know the Village had a golf course.  For many years, the number of memberships has been extremely low and had continued to decline.

As the years have passed, more golf courses and driving ranges offering a variety of play opportunities have been developed in our immediate area, creating competition that we could not match.  After decades of trying various scenarios to attract members and increase usage of the course, the Village is bringing to fruition the federal government’s original plan for that property: a town park.

The result of Todd’s concept is a walking system with both short and long loops winding around the picturesque property, all accessible by wheelchair.  The pathways will connect the east side of Greenhills to the Village center.  His design calls for a pond, a natural prairie habitat surrounded by lawns, overlook points, a “natural” amphitheater (also part of the original plan), community gardens, pickleball courts, and more!

The golf course officially closed on October 31st.  It had been developed around 1960, after the federal government had deeded much of Greenhills to the Greenhills Homeowners Corporation.  Prior to that, it was said to be a forest with a creek running through it.

So, as one chapter ends, another one begins.  We are excited about the possibilities, knowing that this area recently used by just a few will now become a centerpiece of our community, providing a relaxing respite from urban noises and congestion.  It will become a focal point of what makes our Village so unique, and another reason why Greenhills residents love their great community.

SEE THE FRONT PAGE OF THE GREENHILLS WEBSITE FOR GOLF COURSE DATA.

 

Update on Local Historic District designation process

Work continues on the report to Council regarding the establishment of a local historic district.  The Village hired Historic Preservation Consultant Beth Sullebarger to prepare this report.  To date, 6 property owner meetings have been held for the purposes of discussing possible guidelines, reviewing the designation process, and getting input on the boundaries for a local district.

Commons themes discussed in all 6 meetings included the following:

What are the boundaries of the local historic district?

The boundaries have not yet been determined. The existing National Historic Landmark district boundaries include Greenhills’ original historic district that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, plus Gambier Circle and single-family homes on the west side of Ingram and Farragut, and Damon Road.

The local historic district could include homes built in the 1930s as well as those built in the 1940s, since homes in both time periods exceed the 50-year mark for historic consideration.

Will the shopping center be included in the boundaries?

Yes!  There was consensus in all 6 meetings that – given the importance of the shopping center – it should be included in the boundaries.

Will the value of homes in the local historic district increase?

The value of homes does typically increase in an historic district. This is because there is a high degree of certainty offered through design guidelines that all surrounding homes will be maintained in a similar manner, thus protecting your property investment.

Would design guidelines cover paint color?

There was a consensus in each meeting that paint color should be regulated to the extent that a palette of colors (probably natural/ earth tones) would be permitted and bright primary colors would not. Concern was expressed by residents that just one home painted a hideous color could blight an entire neighborhood.

Would residents have to restore their properties to its original look if changes have already been made?

No. Any existing improvement can remain in place. The design guidelines would only apply going forward.

What if a certain type of item, such as a door or window, cannot be found or would be too costly?

The design guidelines will be drafted in such a manner that a variety of acceptable materials or rehab techniques will be identified and available in a range of prices.

If cost is truly a hardship, that will be taken into consideration.

Who will enforce the guidelines?

The Planning Commission (working with an historic consultant), and zoning and building department officials will be responsible for enforcing the guidelines.

Will the Village be able to restrict small satellite dishes?

No. Per federal regulations, design guidelines WOULD NOT, and legally CANNOT restrict TV dishes / antennas.

Are property owners giving up their rights as an owner?

No. Property owners are gaining an additional level of protection for their own investment, over and above current zoning codes. At the same time, they can insure that quality housing – as intended in the original plan for Greenhills – continues for future generations to use and appreciate.

Garbage & Recycling Container Storage

Do you know if your garbage or recycling cans are visible to the public? If they are, then you are not in compliance with Village regulations.

Something so simple as storing garbage containers neatly makes such a big difference in how our Village looks.

FYI, when it is not collection day, Village Code requires containers to be neatly stored next to the rear wall of your house or garage, or in a confined area where at least 90% of the containers are screened from the view of anyone passing by. 

Screening is not as difficult as you may think.  If you don’t want to do a small fence, try a couple of bushes.   You can view examples of garbage can screening by clicking here. Materials for these projects can be found at Home Depot, Menard’s, Lowe’s or other similar stores.

The first batch of flyers with this very message went out last week.  After driving 16 of our streets, 55 instances of unscreened containers were found. So, if you receive one of these notices, don’t worry – you are not the only one!   Interestingly, 22 of the notices went to rental units and 23 went to homeowners.

Why is screening and storage of garbage cans so important?  Because proper storage will certainly add to the curb appeal of your home.  And with each home looking its best, everyone benefits.  Face it – garbage containers are – well, full of garbage!  Please keep them hidden away except for garbage day!

What’s coming up in Greenhills this summer?

Here are a few things coming up in the Village this summer:

  • Road repaving in the I & J blocks. This will complete the water main project that began last year.
  • Construction of the new school will continue.
  • Winton Road will have repairs and be repaved in front of the shopping center.
  • Street sign replacement throughout the Village will continue.
  • The local historic district process will continue, with a report to Council & Planning Commission due in early summer.

SO WHAT IS GOING ON ALONG WINTON ROAD NOW!?!

Well, no one can say Winton Road isn’t taking a beating this year! After multiple water main breaks and our crazy weather, the road surface in front of the shopping center is practically crumbling! Temporary filling of the holes is lasting less than a week. So to address the bumps and potholes, the Village has had the road milled down 1 to 1.5 inches.  That will actually provide a better temporary driving surface than what existed.

The road will be like this for a while. Asphalt is extremely expensive right now, and – in fact – plans are being completed for improvements to this portion of Winton Road. The project will go out to bid probably in July and work will start later in the summer. Milling the road is part of the bigger project to come, but pouring asphalt is an expenditure we would like to avoid if possible.

In the meantime, know that we will continually evaluate the road surface and take the steps necessary to keep it safe.

Signage will be posted to alert drivers – we can only hope they will adjust their speed, accordingly.