The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
May 29, 2020
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • Phase 3
  • Outdoor Dining
  • TIF Registry
  • Darling Farm
  • Village Zoom June 2
  • Park District Update
  • VH Senior Org
  • Blood Drive
  • Mall to Open
  • Metra Procedures
  • Pageant
  • Reach Out

Village Voice eNews

The Village Voice eNewsletter is provided as a service of the Village of Vernon Hills. This eNewsletter is distributed once or twice each month, or as information dictates. You may manage your subscription at the bottom of the page. Please direct your comments to

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Restore Illinois Moves to Phase 3

As most of you are aware, Governor Pritzker has moved our region into the "Phase 3 - Recovery" portion of the Restore Illinois plan to reopen the state. Phase 3 states: Manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons can reopen to the public with capacity and other limits and safety precautions. Gatherings of 10 people or fewer are allowed. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.
Please support all of our local businesses that are preparing to open for in-person visits, with restrictions. Many retailers and restaurants continue to provide options for online and phone orders with no-contact pick up and delivery.

We also encourage you to continue to follow best practices to ensure that you, your family, and our whole community stay healthy – wash hands frequently, wear a face covering, practice social distancing, and isolate when you are ill. 

Local restaurants, including The Claim Company, are preparing their outdoor dining areas in anticipation of re-opening on Monday. Note that all businesses must follow guidelines (increased space, reduced capacity, face coverings, etc.) to operate outdoor dining service.

Outdoor Dining Expanded

Village Enacts Support for Temporary Outdoor Dining

In order to support our local restaurants, Mayor Byrne has signed Executive Order 2000-04 proclaiming that outdoor dining in all Vernon Hills restaurants may be temporarily allowed by a no-fee permit. It further states that Class A and E liquor license holders who currently have an outdoor dining license, or are granted a temporary outdoor dining permit under this order, may serve alcohol in conjunction with restaurant outdoor dining.

This action comes as our region moves into Phase 3 of Governor Pritzker's plan to reopen Illinois. Under Phase 3, restaurants and other businesses serving food, drink and liquor may begin serving food and beverages outdoors. For the Village of Vernon Hills, securing an outdoor serving area would usually require submitting plans and petitioning for permits. Under this Order, those businesses that have not gone through this regular process will be able to quickly get up and running with a temporary permit. The Order also facilitates the use of tents or canopies over these temporary outdoor spaces.

Restaurant partners were informed of these new options this week. If you have questions, please review the list provided below, or contact Community Development Director Mike Atkinson at

Thank you for continuing to support all of our business partners. Please consider checking in with all of your favorites, many of whom will continue offering carry out/curb side delivery in addition to the outdoor dining option. For inspiration, check the list of Vernon Hills restaurants with outdoor dining spaces, as well as the Village Dining Guide.

New TIF Registry Available

During the April 21 Village Board Meeting, Trustees approved Ordinance 2020-052 authorizing the establishment of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Interested Parties Registry. This new Registry allows Village residents and organizations to sign up to automatically receive key notices regarding any TIF within the Village. While the Village has always maintained registries for each TIF District, this new Registry encompasses all present and future TIFs into one sign-up process. For more information, please review the TIF Registry Rules, as well as the Application for either Individuals or Organizations. 

Darling Farm Development Progresses

Members of the Village Planning & Zoning Commission reviewed plans for construction of four flex-use light industrial buildings on approximately 60 vacant acres known as the Darling Farm. Representatives from Panattoni Development Group were on hand during the May 27 P&Z Public Hearing (Vernon Hills Planning & Zoning Meeting - 5/27/20) to explain their plans for the new South Lake Industrial Center, which will be located between Forest Edge Drive and Corporate Woods Parkway in the Corporate Woods Industrial Park. An artist's rendering appears above.

Village Meets Via Teleconference

Residents are reminded that to support social distancing and public health mandates, Village meetings have moved to virtual Zoom teleconferences. Instructions for logging into each meeting are provided with each agenda, which is posted on the Village Agenda Center webpage prior to each meeting.

Residents wishing to provide public comment are asked to send an email to by 6:45 p.m. on the evening of the meeting to be included in that meeting's public comment time.

The Village will continue to follow this format until mandates and best practices determine it is appropriate to return to traditional gatherings at Village Hall. Upcoming Village Board Meetings are planned for June 2, June 16, July 7 and July 21.

Log In Instructions for
the June 2 Village Board Meeting

URL to join:

Or visit and click "Join a Webinar" 

Webinar ID: 826 1549 7824
Password:  938334

To join by phone, dial a number listed below based on your current location, and provide the Webinar ID/Passrord listed above:
US: +1 312 626 6799, +1 301 715 8592, +1 646 876 9923, +1 253 215 8782, +1 346 248 7799, +1 408 638 0968 or +1 669 900 6833
International phone numbers are available on the
Zoom website


Vernon Hills Park District Update

The Vernon Hills Park District has alerted us that they will begin providing day camps starting June 22 through August 14. In addition, outdoor youth athletics will resume this weekend. Watch for details on these and other opportunities on the Park District website –

Update: VH Senior Center

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village was required to drastically change the manner in which we conduct official business, meet and host Village events. These adjustments, unfortunately, included the suspension of all Vernon Hills Senior Organization activities. The Vernon Hills Senior Center, located in the lower level of Village Hall, has been closed since Stay at Home Orders were first issued by Governor Pritzker.

Though the State is moving into Phase 3, which allows more businesses to re-open so long as they modify their processes to support social distancing, etc., the Village does not have clear directive on what is allowed, appropriate, or prudent with regard to reopening the Senior Center. We are especially cognizant of the responsibility we hold as providers of this social opportunity – especially since those who participate represent one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to exposure to COVID-19 or any illness. Until the Village receives additional guidance, the Vernon Hills Senior Center will remain closed.

That said, members of the Village Community Development Team will continue to reach out through calls, emails, mailings, and even a plan to drop off gift bags to residents who are registered with the VH Senior Organization.  

Are you a Village Resident who would like to be included in the Vernon Hills Seniors Organization? Do you know someone who might want to become involved? Are you a current member who would like to update your contact information – particularly your email address? Please reach out to Lisa Fischbach at or 847-918-3562.
Until we are able to again host activities, please know that we miss seeing you! Take care!


Red Cross Blood Drive
Tuesday, June 2, 9a to 3p
Friday, June 26, 10a to 3p
Christ Church Vernon Hills, 480 E. Ring Drive


Christ Church Vernon Hills, 480 E. Ring Drive, is partnering with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive. Make an appointment through the sign-up link that follows. Please note this event is run by the American Red Cross and all safety precautions are taken. Make an appointment and review Red Cross procedures on the Christ Church webpage. Please remember to bring a photo ID or your blood donor card, or two other forms of ID.

Hawthorn Mall is gearing up to reopen.

Hawthorn Mall to Reopen Monday

Hawthorn Mall has announced it will reopen beginning Monday, June 1. The center has instituted a number of new healthcare safety procedures, will operate on a reduced schedule for the first 30 days, and will maintain a 50 percent occupancy, per the Governor’s directive, to help protect the health and safety of the mall’s shoppers and employees. While the center is opening for in-person shopping and patio dining on June 1, each individual retailer or restaurant will determine its own reopening timeframe. For a current list of Hawthorn retailers and restaurants reopening to the public, please check the Hawthorn Mall Directory.

Visitors will notice signs and traffic flow directors, additional cleaning, and the removal of some high-touch amenities (such as strollers). The Mall has installed UV sterilization on escalator handrails, and Food Court businesses will continue to use disposable take out containers for serving meals.

The Mall is also launching an Ambassador Program. Staffers will welcome shoppers as they enter the Mall, provide “wellness amenities” to each customer by request, including hand sanitizer and face coverings. 

In an effort to honor those who have cared for us during the Stay at Home orders, the Mall will offer a Gratitude Wall. Shoppers are encouraged to post thank you notes to our first responders, healthcare workers, and essential employees.

Finally, residents interested in supporting Mall businesses may continue to use the new Retail to Go service. Contact participating Mall businesses directly to make your purchase, and your items will be run out to designated parking areas around the property.

Metra Procedures Support Phase 3

Metra has announced procedures to support ridership and public health in light of the move toward more normal work schedules. In general, Metra will work to maintain 50 percent capacity on trains, encouraging people to sit every-other seat. Metra reports that they will add cars to busier trains to provide additional capacity. If a train appears to fill, they also offer the possibility of providing a second train immediately behind the first. While Metra will again accept cash, riders are encouraged to purchase "touchlessly" by buying a Ventra card. Riders who choose to purchase tickets on the train may incur a $5 service charge. For a more complete outline of Metra procedures, please visit – and review the May 28, 2020 News Release. (And for a little more "train news," check out the drone video from the Vernon Hills Metra Station.)

Be a Part of the Vernon Hills Pageant!

2020 Pageant Moved to August 15
Applications now due July 15
Learn more at


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