The Tall Trees subdivision is comprised of 194 residences developed in three phases from 1960-62. A ridge separates the subdivision's drainage patterns into two sections -- a north and south section.
In 1979, the first Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Map put all of the subdivision into the 100-year flood plain. After the Techny Basin was expanded in the 1980s and 1990s to hold 1,120 acre-feet of water, an updated FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map took approximately two-thirds of the subdivision out of the 100-year flood plain.
The subdivision borders the west side of the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River, which overtops its banks as well as back flows into low-lying areas via the South Navy Ditch or an existing storm ewer system. The neighborhood historically has experienced flooding, including six significant flood events since 2008. One of them was a 100-year event in September 2008 that resulted in direct structure flooding of 63 properties (see photos here).
The Village commissioned studies to explore solutions to regional flooding -- in 2007 into expanding the Techny Basin and in 2009 for Chestnut Avenue detention. The Village of Glenview also worked with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) to review feasible flood protection projects based on the federal government's cost-benefit methodology.
Resident Stormwater Task Force
Created in response to the storms and flooding of September 2008, the Resident Stormwater Task Force in 2009 was charged with identifying local stormwater projects with cost estimates and revenue sources.
On February 11, 2009, a presentation on the Tall Trees subdivision was made to the Stormwater Task Force.
In 2010, the Village Board of Trustees approved a Flood Risk Reduction Program Master Plan to help guide Village staff, the task force and project contributors on flood-related issues.
MWRD Flood Mitigation Study
In 2007, MWRD established countywide goals for countywide stormwater responsibilities, and in 2011 it published the "Detailed Watershed Plan for the North Branch of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan Watershed."
In 2013-14, MWRD conducted a flood mitigation study to evaluate flood-control projects and local and regional solutions. Glenview staff held a meeting with MWRD staff on July 10, 2015 to provide background and information.
A preliminary design report in 2015 indicated a potential 100-year flood protection project comprised of a floodwall and stormwater pumping station would cost an estimated $10.3 million to $15.7 million. Its benefit-cost calculation methodology, however, determined only up to $6.6 million could be invested by MWRD, which prompted Village staff to initiate discussions with ACE for additional funding authority.
Army Corps of Engineers -- Section 205 Study
In December 2015, the Village Board of Trustees directed Village staff to work with ACE to investigate potential 100-year flood protection solutions for residential areas along the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River that have experienced historic flooding problems.
Section 205 of the Flood Control Act of 1948, as amended, authorized the USACE to investigate and construct local flood protection projects with up to $10 million in total federal expenditures. On March 27, 2017, a Federal Interest Determination Report, the first step in the federal process, was completed and determined the study should continue into the feasibility phase.
On July 18, 2017, the Village Board of Trustees authorized a feasibility cost sharing agreement with ACE to take the next step and investigate flood protection improvements along the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River.
The feasibility report was conducted from 2018 to 2020, concluding that the cost-benefit methodology had not been met.
Alternative project solutions evaluation
While a larger local flood protection project does not meet the feasibility standards, ACE remains committed to funding alternative project solutions. The Village continues to work with consultants on designs that improve the drainage in the neighborhood as well as working with MWRD to obtain MWRD's funding commitments.
April 21, 2021 meeting
The Village of Glenview is hosting a virtual meeting for Tall Trees neighbors at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, 2021 via Zoom to review proposed short- and long-term stormwater improvements planned for the subdivision (see letter).
At the meeting Village staff and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) will review the following topics and provide an overview of the proposed neighborhood improvements:
- Tall Trees subdivision background
- Tall Trees drainage characteristics
- Pearson site drainage opportunities
- Previous stormwater studies
- Presentation by ACE (Section 205) of its Flood Protection Feasibility Study and results
- Summary of proposed projects:
- Phase I - FY2022-2023 – Storm sewer storage on south streets, pump station and other infrastructure improvements
- Phase II - FY2023-2024 – Storm sewer storage, culvert replacement and other infrastructure improvements on the remaining streets
- Phase III – FY 2026-2027 – Berming and off-site compensatory storage
- Potential funding for proposed Phases (ACE – Section 219, MWRD, Village of Glenview)