The Heritage Corridor Program
The rural byways of the Barrington area are a treasure that define our community and give us the space to breathe that we crave. And yet, if the pressure of increased traffic and the need to relieve congestion on major suburban roads continues to grow, we may see our hills flattened, our roads expanded, and our gravel lanes paved.
The Heritage Corridor program was developed in 2007 to ensure that the rural and scenic character of our residential roads is preserved. With outside pressures to widen our “cut-through” roads, there are a few tools that the BACT has developed to discourage road expansion.
In 2010, the organization protected its first Heritage Corridor along Old Sutton Road, from Lake-Cook Road to Donlea.
The program uses conservation easements along specifically designated roads to protect these byways in perpetuity. The easements extend from 10 to 30 feet from the edge of the roadway into a homeowner’s property (the landowner still owns the land) and would be held by BACT and the municipality (such as the Village of Barrington Hills or other village government). The easement may also include any structures such as bridges, signs, shoulders and vegetation. Following state statutes for scenic easements, this strategy can effectively preserve a road from being threatened.
Currently, BACTt is working with a number of landowners on protecting Ridge, Old Sutton, and Brinker Roads in Barrington Hills. Other strategic roadways are also under consideration, including Bateman Road, Chapel Road, Cuba Road, Haeger's Bend Road, Miller Road, Otis Road, and Plum Tree Road.
This program allows residents to take a stand on protecting their roads for the future, and it will ensure that the roads will be maintained in their natural scenic condition in perpetuity for the benefit of the entire community.
How does a road qualify to become a Heritage Corridor?
Roads that qualify must possess both of the following characteristics:
- They must connect major thoroughfares, but were originally designed for residential use
- If they were altered, the rural character of the area would be altered as well.
In addition, qualifying roadways must fulfill two or more of the secondary conditions. They must:
- Have scenic value or possess public vistas
- Be two-lane residential roads with minimal shoulders
- Pass through or be adjacent to environmentally sensitive areas or habitats
- Run parallel to or be crossed by historic riding trails
- Have a documented historical value to the community
- Possess archaeological features
- Possess distinct expressions of local community life
For more information, please contact Lisa Woolford at 847-387-3149.