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Residents Concerned About the Fate of the Historic McMillan Park Site Reveal Dubious Dealings Between the City and Developer

By P.L. Wolff

The controversy swirling around what appears to be a “giveaway” of an historic site listed on the National Register of Historic Places has been the subject of two lead stories published by The InTowner: in October of 2013, “Historic McMillan Park Site in Bloomingdale Set for Big Development; Neighbors Object to Plan, Seek to Retain and Restore Open Space (http://tinyurl.com/nh3oa65) and in last month’s issue, “Developer’s Plan for Historic McMillan Park Site Vigorously Questioned During Hearings; Serious Community Issues Said Unaddressed” (http://tinyurl.com/lry5wdv).

During the May 27th Zoning Commission’s fifth and final hearing on the Planned Unit Development application of Vision McMillan Partners (VMP), necessitated by the unusually large public response to VMP’s extensive mixed-use development proposal currently under review, Bloomingdale neighborhood resident and member of the Friends of McMillan Park (FOM) group Jerry Peloquin testified about what he characterized, as he later reported to The InTowner, as “dismissive and demonstrably arrogant” the manner in which both the developer and city officials “set out to deliberately deceive the community by organizing a fraudulent, faux citizen’s group called Create McMillan Park!” To back up his assertions, Peloquin submitted for the record copies of memoranda and other documentation between VMP and city officials.

Late last month we published a memorandum from the FOM group outlining its contention that the city’s negotiations with the developer had specifically excluded community leaders (http://tinyurl.com/py6ydd7). We then invited VMP to respond to that document as well as our May issue lead story, but they declined with the terse statement that VMP’s director, Anne Corbett, was “not interested.”