The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
December 1, 2017 – Issue #13
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • One More Yard Waste Pick-up
  • Holiday Lights Map & Activities
  • Online Vacation House Watch Request
  • Shop in Town
  • VH Update Show
  • Watch Your Purse!
  • Board Meets Dec. 12
  • Board News: Snow Plan, ALDI, Kinder Center...
  • County Budget
  • New Businesses
  • Toys for Tots Due
  • Mark Your Calendar

Village Voice eNews

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

Keep In Touch

Yard Waste Extended One Week!

The Village was able to get a one-week extension on the yard waste pick-up season. Advanced Disposal will pick up one more time, either on your Monday (Dec. 4) or Tuesday (Dec. 5) regular garbage day. Hope this helps with your fall clean ups!

Enjoy the Holiday Lights

The Village of Vernon Hills hopes you are enjoying the light displays set up around town. You may remember these displays from the Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show, which ran for many years on the grounds of the Cuneo Museum and Gardens. Public Works crews have worked to bring this "alternative" light show to all corners of our Village. If you want to make sure you see all of the displays, check out the interactive Light Display Map. To make your self-guided tour even more interesting, consider downloading this Fill-in-the-blank Story or Car Quiz check list.  Happy Holidays from the Village of Vernon Hills!  

You Can Now Schedule Your Vacation House Watch Online

It is now even easier to request a free Vacation House Watch, provided by the Vernon Hills Police Department. Visit the House Watch webpage which offers information and a link to the online request page where you then select Vacation Watch. The quick form lets you provide PD with the particulars – address, time frame, contact info, etc. A VHPD officer will then swing by to keep an eye on your home. Officers don't enter, but they do check the perimeter – which certainly can offer peace of mind while you are traveling.

Residents are reminded that the same online portal lets you also schedule overnight parking requests. (Parking is not allowed on Village streets during overnight hours.) Visit the Vernon Hills Police Department's Overnight Parking webpage for details and to access the online request form

Please Shop In Town!

We can't say it enough – if all things are equal, please consider shopping in town! Supporting our local stores, restaurants and entertainment venues helps them stay successful. Plus, a portion of sales tax dollars earned by Village entities comes back to us to fund such services as the Police Department, snow removal, local road repairs and the like. (The Village of Vernon Hills does not collect any property taxes – a rather unique situation, to say the least.)


December Vernon Hills Update Show

Check out the December edition of the Vernon Hills Update Cable/Web Show. This month's show features:

Safety Tip: Watch Your Purse!

As you know, Vernon Hills has plenty of restaurants that are extremely busy during lunchtime and dinner – especially during the holidays. This type of environment can sometimes make it easy for thieves who are looking to steal purses (or the wallet inside). Historically, when these crimes occur, the stolen credit card is usually used very shortly after the theft – before the victim realizes that it's missing. 

purse hanging over the back of a chair or sitting on the floor is an easy target. The safest thing is to keep it on your lap and keep the wallet at the bottom. Be wary of someone brushing or bumping into you while you are eating. As long as there are crowds, professional thieves will find vulnerable victims. Just don't let it be you!

More suggestions for staying safe while shopping (in person or online), dining, and vacationing are available on at on the Holiday Safety for Home and Away webpage.


Notice of Village Board Meeting Schedule Change 

The next meetings of the Vernon Hills Village Board is planned for December 12 at 7 p.m. (This is a change from originally scheduled December 5 date. There is only one meeting planned for December. The 2018 schedule is not yet approved.) Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are held at Village Hall, 290 Evergreen Drive at Route 45. Residents are encouraged to attend meetings, as well as view them on the Village YouTube Channel and on Cable Access. Agendas and minutes are posted online. 

A Few Items of Interest...

  • 2017/18 Snow & Ice Control Plan: During the November 28 Vernon Hills Village Board meeting, Public Works Director David Brown noted a few items of interest on this winter's snow/ice plan – including the fact that the Village salt bins are filled, with about half of the salt being carried over from last year's "short" winter. The plan makes adjustments for changes to HOA contractors (with whom the Village likes to coordinate for work in clearing cul-de-sacs and tighter roadways), provides a list of extra resources in cases of extreme snow/ice emergencies, and adjusts coverage for places such as the Laschen Center, which will be closed at the end of this year. Reminder: Do not throw snow from driveways into the streets – blowing your snow into the street creates hazardous conditions that often remain all winter. Trustees also remind residents that there is no parking on Village streets after a 2-inch snowfall.  (11-28-2017 Board Meeting)
  • ALDI Grocery Store Progresses: On November 28, representatives of ALDI and Bradford Real Estate presented updated site plans and building renderings for the store proposed for the Shoppes of Gregg's Landing North. Plans incorporated recommendations from the October 4 Planning & Zoning Commission meeting. When concerns were raised about the proximity of four parking spaces to the entrance drive, representatives agreed to eliminate two spaces and relocate a median to provide more room at the entrance. ALDI presented materials samples and renderings for the store, which features an upscale look to coordinate with other buildings in the area. ALDI notes this is the first store they will build with this new look.  (11-28-2017 Board Meeting)
  • Hawthorn District 73 Kindergarten Center: Hawthorn Superintendent Nick Brown and Park District Executive Director Jeff Fougerousse provided a concept presentation for the Hawthorn Kindergarten Center planned for the corner of (and connecting to) the Park District Sullivan Center on Aspen Drive. The two-story addition, which will feature from 18 to 22 flexible use classroom/maker spaces as well as a larger multi-purpose area and playground, is expected to go out for bid in March or April, with current cost estimates at $12.1 million funded out of existing District 73 capital sources. The District hopes for a June groundbreaking, with Kindergarteners from across the district (not including Dual Language students) moving into the new center by fall of 2019. District 73, the Park District, Cook Library and the Village have been working together to solve traffic pattern issues alone Aspen Drive. With the proposed kindergarten project now under consideration, specific attention is being given to future traffic circulation projected for the Sullivan Center property once the kindergarten is open. One of the largest concerns is having only one access point off Aspen Drive to the Sullivan Center. The Village and Library are currently discussing the creation of an easement on the Library property that would allow a driveway connection to the west end of Phillip Road. This driveway would serve the Sullivan/Kindergarten Center. Design of this driveway and determining the vehicle usage patterns for the driveway are ongoing. More discussions will take place in the coming months. All parties involved noted the opportunities and cost savings arising from this unique collaborative effort.  (11-28-2017 Board Meeting)
  • Short-term vs. Long-term Rental: Village staffers have been working to clarify ordinances and procedures for dealing with residential rentals within the Village. During the October 3 meeting, Trustees had reaffirmed the prohibition of short-term residential rentals (such as AirBnB) within the Village. On November 28, Building Commissioner Michael Atkinson proposed that allowable long-term rentals be defined as 12-months or more. Trustees directed staff to forwarding the proposal to Planning & Zoning for schedule a public hearing (date not yet scheduled). (11-28-2017 Board Meeting)
  • FY 2018/19 Capital Improvement Plan Draft: Public Works Director David Brown walked Trustees through an initial draft CIP outlining projects under consideration for the next Village budget. Noting that revenue sources moving through the State create funding questions, the draft is conservative, and may become more so through the budget process. As provided, projects include milling and topping Midway and Linden streets with a layer of asphalt as a fiscally conservative way to improve those concrete roadways. Other draft-level projects include Phase 2 improvements to the busy Lakeview/Fairway/Route 60 area (which qualifies for 80% federal funding); improvements to the access road connecting VHAC/VHHS to American Hotel Register athletic fields; extension of Phillip Road to serve the new Kindergarten Center; continued conversion of street lights to energy-efficient LEDs; examination/repair of the Village's flat roofs; and an estimated $300,000 to demolish the Laschen Center, tentatively planned for next fall.  (11-28-2017 Board Meeting)
  • Mid-Year Financial Update: Finance Director Nikki Larson updated Trustees on the Village's financial status as of September 30 (mid-fiscal year). In general, revenues are tracking flat to a bit low, which is not unexpected as the Village is only now entering our major sales tax revenue generating season. Revenue/expense funds related to more seasonal activities such as Summer Celebration, golf course operations and building permits generally see more activity during the summer, which causes mid-term annualized calculations to appear skewed. The Mellody Farm TIF District funds included a one-time payout of $18 million, per the development agreement. The Vernon Hills Police Department budgets have been impacted by several retirement package payouts as well as required staff overtime to account for vacancies, which the department is working to fill. (11-28-2017 Board Meeting)
  • Impact of State Actions on Village Finances: Of primary concern for the Village (and for most governmental agencies in Illinois) are State-level mandates and revenue reductions. While the State has raised taxes, it is expected that those funds will only go toward State-level expenses. Illinois has also lowered levels of payouts from the LGDF (Local Government Distributive Fund), and has begun levying "service fees" for State-run pass-through accounts, which municipalities are generally required to use. (Approximately 76 percent of Vernon Hills' revenues are required to pass through the State before returning to the Village.) At this time, the Village is projecting a reduction of nearly $566,000 in State revenue due to State imposed cuts or service fees. The Village is working to reduce overall spending to offset this reduction and will continue to monitor holiday sales activity in hopes of sales tax revenue will offset a portion of the lost State revenue.    (11-28-2017 Board Meeting)
  • Lake County Budget: The Lake County IL Budget is now available on the County's Budget webpage. 18th District Representative and Board Chair Aaron Lawlor also discussed the budget and County initiatives during the December Vernon Hills Update Web/Cable Access Show.

Visit for information about the recently approved Lake County IL budget.


Vernon Hills has recently issued occupancy permits for the following new businesses. Please check them out. Shopping in town keeps our businesses vibrant – and earns sales tax dollars for Village services. (The Village collects no property tax, rather services are funded primarily through local sales tax.)
  • Beer Head (formerly Beer Market) addition, 1270 Milwaukee Ave.
  • Professional Dry Cleaners (new owners), 283 Evergreen Dr.
  • Skate Room, Hawthorn Mall
  • Bath Planet, Hawthorn Mall
  • The Painted Penguin, Hawthorn Mall
  • Fashion 5, Hawthorn Mall
  • Hickory Farms, Hawthorn Mall kiosk
  • Polar X Ornaments, Hawthorn Mall kiosk
  • Occasions Gifts Hallmark, Hawthorn Mall kiosk
  • Truffoier Skin Care, Hawthorn Mall kiosk
  • Folklore Crafts Clothing & Jewelry, Hawthorn Mall kiosks
  • Glam Bar Beauty, Hawthorn Mall kiosk



Toys for Tots Deadline is December 14

Thank you for all of the new, unwrapped toys already collected!

The Village has again placed collection bins for the annual Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. Donate new, unwrapped toys until December 14. Bins are located at the Police Station (740 Lakeview Parkway; open all day, every day), Village Hall (290 Evergreen Drive; open Monday through Friday, 8:30a to 5p), and Public Works (490 Greenleaf Drive; Open Monday through Friday, 7a to 3:30p). The Park District also has collection bins available. Read more on the VHPD Toys for Tots webpage.

Mark Your Calendar...

Screenagers Documentary – December 6 at 6:30 p.m., Vernon Hills High School. VHHS Registration

BG Singers Holiday Concert – December 7 at 7 p.m. at Aspen Drive Library.  Cook/Aspen Library registration

Village Board Meeting – December 12 at 7 p.m. (note new date; only one December meeting).  Agenda Center

Toys for Tots Collection Ends – Items picked up on December 14.  Toys for Tots info

VHHS Holiday Concert – December 14 at Vernon Hills High School.  VHHS website

VHHS Winter Break Begins – December 21.  VHHS calendar

Hawthorn D73 Winter Break Begins – December 22.  Hawthorn calendar

Park District New Year's Eve Family Party
– Sun., December 31 at 4 p.m. Count down the New Year family style.  Park District events

Park District Cheers to Five Years Celebration – January 6 from 8 to 11 a.m. at Lakeview Fitness Center.  Park District events

VHHS Resumes Classes – January 8.  VHHS calendar

Hawthorn D73 Resumes Classes
– January 8.  Hawthorn calendar

Park District Winterfest – January 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Century Park Pavilion on Indianwood Drive.  Park District events

Park District Just the Two of Us Dance – February 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Sullivan Center.  Park District events

Park District 5th Annual Craft Beer Tasting – March 3 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Sullivan Center.  Park District events

Thank you to all who came out for the Village's annual Tree and Menorah Lighting on November 25. Special thanks to Countryside Fire for providing transportation for Santa!

Thank you all for reading. Suggestions? Questions? 
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