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Funny what happens when an institution residing in a residential neighborhood asks for something extra. The institution, in this case the 107-year-old River Forest Tennis Club, thought its relations with its neighbors were copasetic. Turns out the neighbors were just barely tolerating the inconvenience and nuisance of living adjacent to a seven-day-a-week sports club.
But last month when the tennis club was about to ask the village government for permission to install lights so that more tennis could be played, the neighbors said, "Wait a minute. What about the traffic and parking congestion? What about the noise? And now you want lights in the middle of our neighborhood so members of your private club can play more tennis!?" That would be the gist of the 85 comments on the issue at OakPark.com as of Monday.
Wisely, the tennis club's leaders, who are also River Foresters, have chosen to spike the lights application, at least for now, and do some serious listening and problem-solving with neighbors. This is a good response but one that may never have happened if the issue of lights had not been raised.