Controversial residential development gets OK to pave road through Evanston golf course

The Keefe family is now talking to potential buyers for the land. (Credit: Google Maps)

A controversial proposed development on the Evanston-Wilmette border cleared a key hurdle last week, but the battle over its impact to the environment and to nearby home values is just beginning.

Late developer Dick Keefe bought the 1.1-acre wooded parcel in the 1980s, and his family has been working to build homes on the land ever since. The property, however, is landlocked by a golf course on one side and CTA tracks on the other.

The Keefe family has been trying for 30 years to get street access to the site, and last week they succeeded. On Nov. 15, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which owns the golf course land, voted to approve an easement that would connect the Keefe land to nearby Maple Avenue, according to Crain’s.

With the road plans approved, the Keefe family is now talking to potential buyers for the land, which could hold four houses. The land could go for $1 to $2 million, Joe Keefe told Crain’s.

But not everyone is on board with the plan.

For one, the road would be built between the golf course and nearby houses, and those homeowners could collectively lose $1.2 million in home value if the plan goes through.

The Wilmette Park District is not happy either, with its executive director saying it will pursue legal options to stop the road.

Critics said the vote to approve the road easement was boosted by the Keefe family’s ties to Illinois Senate President John Cullerton. Cullerton is the Keefes’ lawyer and has an ownership interest in Dick Keefe Development Corporation, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. [Crain’s]Joe Ward

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