Myths vs Facts
The misinformation being spread by opponents of the project is doing a disservice to the Church, the Park District, and other residents of the Village who stand to gain from this development.
Following are some of the myths that are being spread by these opponents of the development and the Church.
Facts: The instigator of the attacks on the Area N project is Richard Marsh, who left the PBCC years ago after he killed a mother of three in a car crash, for which he was criminally charged: Read Story.
The courts have confirmed that Marsh is a liar. He has been sentenced to prison in his home country (England) for his repeated contempt of court.
Marsh has never lived in nor has any connection to South Barrington.
In addition, Marsh often tries to conceal his lies on social media by posting under the fake name “Muhammad Sohail.”
Facts: Fourth Ave Gospel has cooperated with local authorities at every step along the way and has been fully transparent in providing impact assessments and plans to locate a church building and a school on the property.
The connection between Fourth Ave Gospel and the PBCC congregation was fully disclosed since the developer first expressed interest in properties on public record as early as 2020.
The fact that the end user of the development is a not-for-profit tax-exempt entity was clearly stated on the record. All Village and Park District meeting records are public record.
The Park District has acted within its authority, and the developer remains committed to working with the community, as demonstrated in its recent hearing and in the developer’s consideration of specific community concerns.
|Fourth Ave Gospel has been informed by the Park District’s legal counsel that all required notifications according to routine and pre-approved procedures were followed.
Facts: At no point was there any pre-arranged sale.
The Park District informed Fourth Ave Gospel that a public auction would be required for the sale, whereby any potential buyers could be present to place bids on the property.
Fourth Ave Gospel was the highest bidder and operated in full transparency throughout the process.
Facts: Fourth Ave Gospel expressed interest in multiple properties throughout the area and conducted typical due diligence on this property.
The current zoning classification for the property allows for church and school use.
Facts: This is a lie.
The development includes plans for a school store operated by the Church. There will be absolutely no alcoholic products sold on the property. The project is led by local developers who have served the community for decades.
To suggest that these upstanding community members would undermine “community values” is absurd.
Facts: Area N is a completely overgrown area of land owned by the Park District, not currently used as a public park.
The community expressed its desire to develop Area N when it previously voted to approve a sale in the local referendum. This development will clean up this eyesore and complement the local community.
No one claimed Area N was benefiting the community until Fourth Ave Gospel proposed putting a church on the site, at which point anti-Church activists came forward.
Facts: The original purchase of $3 million for the property was paid above market value to settle a legal dispute with the developer of the Woods Community.
Since then, multiple developers have backed out of developing the property.
Fourth Ave Gospel presented the best legitimate offer in 20 years and was selected by the Park District in an open and transparent process. Fourth Ave Gospel’s plans will bring in far less traffic and disruption than the tract housing that had previously been planned for the site — plans that the community did not object to.
The present opposition is thus based on anti-religious bias, not on the merits of Fourth Ave Gospel’s high-value, low-impact offer.
Facts: Fourth Ave Gospel has meticulously designed its plans to preserve the wetlands. Only 3.4% of the wetlands will be affected by the development and multiple experts were involved in the planning, including civil engineers and wetland consultants. This is a very low impact percentage as compared to any previously proposed development work done on this property.
Years ago, Area N was stripped by its prior owner of any of its valuable trees, as confirmed by an expert arborist.