Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Political influence, special interests cloud the decision making process.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The approval of the SkyRise Building at Lake and Forest highlights the “lack of democracy” that I have been observing with Oak Park’s One Party System. It was quite noticeable if you look at the current dynamic that occurred with the Plan Commission. For those of you who have watched this process, the Plan Commission voted 4- 4 for the Lake Forest SkyRise Development. So the Village Board had to override the vote. There were 4 commissioners who voted against the development. Susan Roberts, one of those commissioners, was not reappointed to the Plan Commission when her position was up for renewal. Gail Moran, another commissioner, who voted for the development and whose term was up at the same time, was reappointed for another term. This …
Monday, January 9, 2012
Special meeting will address the fate of controversial Lake Street high rise.
The Oak Park Village Board on Monday could decide the fate of the high-rise tower planned for the heart of downtown. Sertus Capital Partners, a Chicago-based development company, is aiming for the board to approve new plans to it glitzy tower, which call for two floors of retail space and 20 stories of high-end luxury apartments. If approved, the structure would be Oak Park's tallest. Construction for the high-rise building would require tweaks to village zoning, height and density codes. The Oak Park Plan Commission considered those changes in November, resulting in deadlocked 4-4 vote. Technically, that's a denial and in order to overturn it, a "supermajority," or five votes to approve by the village board, is required. "It's a fairly …
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Controversy over affordable housing project settled with 6-1 vote.
A long vacant building on one of Oak Park’s major thoroughfares will become a site for affordable housing. The village board on Monday voted 6-1 to back the height, density and parking variances the Interfaith Housing Development Corp. and the Oak Park Housing Authority requested to develop the property at 820-832 Madison St. In approving the findings of fact drawn up by the plan commission, trustees added no extra conditions to the 21 the developers would have to meet to get a building permit. The project, which has been under consideration for months, would allow low-income wage earners, seniors and people with disabilities who currently live and work in Oak Park to remain in the community and get a variety of supportive services through…
Monday, January 24, 2011
Hearings continue on controversial housing development.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified a member of Neighbors for Madison Renewal. For nearly three hours, the Oak Park Plan Commission heard from dozens of supporters and detractors for an affordable housing project at the long-vacant Comcast building on Madison Street. The commission must assess whether to recommend or deny a series of variances that will allow the project to get under way. The developers want to convert the vacant Comcast structure at 820-832 Madison St. into an L-shaped, environmentally friendly apartment building with 5,200 square feet of retail space on the first floor and 51 single-family units on the second through fourth floors. At Thursday's packed-house meeting at Oak Park Village …
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
First forum on proposed Madison Street development scheduled for Dec. 16.
A controversial affordable housing development proposed for the long-empty Comcast building on Madison Street will get its first formal public hearing next month before the Oak Park Plan Commission. The session, slated for Dec. 16 at 7 p.m., will not be the last. At Monday's Village Board meeting, trustees unanimously decided to move the project forward, acknowledging that the commission will need to hold several hearings and review reports from a variety of village departments before gathering testimony and writing a recommendation — all of which could take months. "This needs a fair and forthright hearing before it comes back to us," Trustee Ray Johnson said. Residents will also have a chance to weigh in at a series of forthcoming …