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Harley Clarke Legislative History

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Timeline of Legislative History

Beginning in July of 2011, the City Council directed city staff to begin a process to identify other uses for the property. On May 15, 2012, after Council approval, City staff distributed a Request for Interest to seek statements of interests from parties interested in either purchasing or leasing the Harley Clarke Mansion and coach house. The City received four Statements of Interests.  After approval from Council in the fall of 2012, staff distributed a Request for Proposal to the four respondents.  The RFP yielded only one proposal to purchase and renovate the property for use as a hotel. In response to concerns raised by neighbors about traffic and preservation of public beach access, the City Council voted to reject this proposal on July 22, 2013.

Near the end of 2013, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) approached the City about acquiring the mansion in order to relocate the offices of the state’s coastal management program and establish an education center open to the public. These negotiations continued through 2014 and ended in January of 2015 when the City and State were unable to come to agreement on the sale versus lease of the property and uncertainty in the future direction of IDNR with changes in administration.  

A Citizens Committee was appointed on January 26, 2015 to study the use for the mansion. Pursuant to Council request, the Committee prepared and presented a report on June 8, 2015. On October 26, 2015, staff requested City Council continue the discussion on proposals for the future of the mansion and provide direction. Council directed discussions on the property be postponed until after the State of Illinois reaches an agreement on the state budget.  

Pursuant to Council approval, the property was opened to the public for a one-day tour on August 3, 2016. On September 12, 2016, Council approved a proposal for the City to own and operate the facility, and to allocate $250,000 for immediate improvements. The property will be used for City-sponsored summer recreation activities in 2017.  The Parks and Recreation Board, Lighthouse Landing Complex Committee and City staff will develop a plan for future operation of the property beginning 2018.  In November of 2016, the Harley Clarke Planning Committee was formed to discuss next steps.  

On June 26, 2017, a proposal was brought to the City Council to negotiate a lease to Evanston Lakehouse and Gardens. The motion was amended at the same meeting, asking City Staff to prepare a request for proposal (RFP) to find out if other not-for-profit organizations would have interest in leasing the center.  The amended motion was passed, and RFP was issued in August of 2017 seeking qualified Non-Profit entity lease for the Mansion. In November of 2017, Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens (ELHG) response was received and approved by Council. Ordinance 42-O-18, authorizing ELHG lease was approved for Introduction in March of 2018, but failed April 2018 for Action. 

On June 18, 2018, City Council considered Resolution 43-R-18, authorizing the City Manager to meet with the Evanston Lighthouse Dunes organization to negotiate on the costs associated with the restoration of the dunes and gardens and demolition of the Harley Clarke Mansion and Coach House. The Resolution was approved 6-3. On July 23, 2018, City Council considered Resolution 51-R-18, authorizing the City Manager to execute a funding agreement with the citizens' group known as the Evanston Lighthouse Dunes to pay for costs associated with demolition of the Harley Clarke Mansion and Coach House, grading the property and site restoration. The Resolution was approved 5-3. Staff will begin preparing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Evanston Lighthouse Dunes for funding of the costs association with the restoration of the dunes and demolition of the mansion and gardens. In addition, City Manager or designee will file an application for certificate of appropriateness with the Preservation Commission.


Committee Date (Of Meeting Or Release Of Information) Relevant Packet Materials Minutes Other
 City Council  7/23/18  Meeting Packet Documents    
 City Council  6/18/18  Meeting Packet Documents    
 City Council 4/9/18  Meeting Packet Documents    
 City Council  3/12/18  Meeting Packet Documents    
City Council  11/13/17  Meeting Packet Documents    
City Council 6/26/17 Meeting Packet Documents
City Council 9/12/2016 Meeting Packet Documents Approved Proposal
City Council 10/26/15 Meeting Packet Documents
City Council 9/21/15 Meeting Packet Documents
Citizens Committee 2/12/15 2/12/15 Meeting Agenda
City Council 1/26/15 Agenda- special committee appointments
City Council 1/12/15 Meeting Packet video
Human Services 1/5/15 Meeting packet Status Letter from IDNR
City Council 9/22/14 Meeting packet Video
City Council 7/23/13 Minutes Video
City Council 2/25/13 Minutes
City Council 8/13/12 Meeting packet Minutes Video
City Council 5/14/12 Meeting packet Minutes Video
City Council 7/11/11 Meeting packet Minutes Video



History of Harley Clarke Mansion

Harley Clarke Documents and Reports