During the on March 29, 2016 Lombard Park District’s Board of Park Commissioners Board meeting, Library representatives presented an initial new building concept plan prior to voting on going for a referendum. Following that meeting, the Library requested a discussion to begin drafting an Intergovernmental Agreement that would cover aspects such as property boundaries, protection of the Coach House and air rights restrictions. In an effort to address any concerns the Park District might have regarding the new building concept plan, the Library commissioned a Shade Study that determined that the new construction would not cause any additional shade interference of Lilacia Park. The Park Board responded with a letter stating that any contracts, IGAs or joint position statements with the Library prior to passage of the referendum would be potential violations of the Illinois Election Code and they declined to meet with the Library Board to discuss any of these issues.
Following the successful passage of the Library referendum, the Library was told that the Park District would not waive any air or property rights and suggested the Southland Park land exchange. A study of that property in 2003 determined that the location was not suitable for the Library as it was not near public transportation, there were parking and soil quality concerns, and the Library would lack visibility. Liaison groups from both the Library and the Park District then met several times to review revised Library building concepts in an effort to negotiate a plan that would satisfy the Park District’s requests. None of those concepts were satisfactory and in March the Park District suggested a move to the Lombard Common Park.
The Library Board determined that the Lombard Common would not be a solution because of concerns about traffic and parking increases, resistance from adjacent residents, and the need for a very expensive storm water retention system, costs for site studies, the need for community input, and the extensive delay of the project. Had the Library been given an option like this prior to the referendum, they could have engaged the community about this possibility.
The Park District Board of Commissioners were presented with a Memo of Understanding from the Library in hopes that they would review at their March 27 Board meeting. This MOU proposes construction of new building that will follow the intent of the 1977 IGA, the 1980 IGA and the 2007 IGA. The final plan will not encroach on any Park District property and will follow the IGA air rights understanding. The most recent building concept fulfills all of the features proposed during the referendum except for the remodel of the Henderson Plaza.