Land cooperative and artist retreat near Hovland gets approval from Cook County Planning Commission
Tamarack Land Cooperative via Cook County

Land cooperative and artist retreat near Hovland gets approval from Cook County Planning Commission

An artist retreat of sorts is coming to the woods near Hovland.

Known as the Tamarack Land Cooperative, the 40-acre property along the North Road will be a unique enterprise in Cook County.

The request to use the property for a variety of reasons – including vacation rentals, artist residencies, public events and to raise chickens – was approved by the Cook County Planning Commission during a meeting June 8. The request, now in the form of an interim use permit, still needs approval from the Cook County Board of Commissioners. The commissioners will review the application during an upcoming meeting, likely in June.

There were concerns expressed by some Hovland residents about the proposal that arrived to county officials ahead of the planning commission meeting. However, nobody spoke against the project during the public comment period Wednesday evening.

Moving forward, the property will be unique both in terms of how the land is owned and what it offers to artists or others looking to enjoy life in a remote pocket of the county. According to the property’s current owner, Paul Stucker, cooperative members will pay a monthly or annual usage fee to grant them full use of the property while on site.

According to county officials, there will be three full time resident members, six members staying 50 or less nights per year, and ten members staying 14 or less nights per year. There are nine conditions the property owners need to meet in order to comply with the permit, including expanding the septic system on the property, monitoring and limiting noise and light pollution and following all rules and regulations related to short-term rentals in Cook County.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Cook County Land Services Director Tim Nelson about the land cooperative and other recently proposed projects near Hovland. Audio below.

During the June 9 discussion, Nelson also spoke about a survey the county offered this week specific to vacation rentals. Nelson said Cook County is entering into a period of full review of its vacation rental licensing program, and “we would like to receive some feedback and comments relating the varying community perspectives with regards to vacation rental operations within the county.”

The survey will be active until Friday, June 17 at 4 p.m. People are asked to only complete one survey.  As of June 8, approximately 400 people have completed the survey, Nelson said.

Click here to take the survey.