A lifelong Oak Parker and real estate developer has announced his plan to run for the Oak Park Board of Trustees in the April 2017 election.
Dan Moroney has served on the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission since 2014, the Oak Park Board of Realtors since 2005 and as treasurer of Horace Mann School PTO since 2011.
But Moroney is probably most well-known for being the developer of an 11,000-square-foot mixed-use, 4-unit apartment building in Forest Park earlier this year at 7228 Madison St. – between Fat Duck and Skrine Chops.
Moroney told Wednesday Journal that as a trustee he would focus on lowering real estate taxes on homeowners, generating "sensible development" beyond downtown Oak Park and creating stronger partnerships with the Austin neighborhood of Chicago.
Moroney, a former self-described house flipper, said he's more focused these days on new construction projects like the recent development in Forest Park.
He described himself as pro-development but said multiple large-scale developments downtown are changing the quiet suburban nature of the village.
"Nearly 800 units are being added to our downtown district via three enormous buildings. This scale of building is just too large for our community. The impact on our community will be great," Moroney said in a policy paper listing his reasons for running.
He said he also would encourage the village to reject approving a zoning change to allow for a 16-story building at the northwest corner of Lake and Forest, across from the new 21-story Vantage apartment building.
Moroney noted that large-scale developments will help reduce the tax burden, but "it can be argued that the developments have been allowed to be too large and the incentives too generous."
As an example of generous incentives to developers, Moroney pointed to a $100,000 request in TIF funds from Golub & Company, developer of the Vantage tower, to build out a ground-floor restaurant space for the building that was completed earlier this year.
Moroney says the village should focus more on smaller development projects along Madison Street, Roosevelt Road, North Avenue and Harrison Street.
"We need to get beyond downtown," he said in an interview.
He said high taxes are making it impossible for middle-class families to live in Oak Park. The taxes on his own home, Moroney said, have increased 150 percent since 2000.
"I have an 8-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. I want them to be able to afford to live in Oak Park when they become adults," he states in his policy paper. "If real estate taxes grow at the rate that they have over the past 15 years, Oak Park will not be an option for them as a community to live in."
The three open trustee seats in the upcoming election are currently filled by Glenn Brewer, Colette Lueck and Peter Barber. Barber is the only trustee who has said he will run for re-election. Lueck said earlier this year that she does not intend to seek another term.
Moroney said he plans to seek the endorsement of the Village Manager Association, an organization that vets and slates candidates for elected positions at village hall, but added he will run with or without the group's backing.
Answer Book 2018
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