Porch meeting to hear merits of improvements

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Another struggle of Oak Park-proportions may be on the horizon.

Richard Carroll and Joyce Hopkins, owners of the home at 747 S. Elmwood Ave., have repeatedly been turned away by the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission in their attempts to fix their porch.

Their plans include replacing stairs, handrails, roof, decking and front porch columns. They say the column replacements will be in a similar style to two other houses in the Gunderson Historic District.

But the couple has been denied a Certificate of Appropriateness for their proposed porch repair, necessary for homes within historic districts.

At a public hearing scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 18, the couple will argue their case before the Historic Preservation Commission.

They say the denial was based primarily on the replacement of "two round full height columns," according to a statement. They claim the element can be found on other homes in the district.

Representatives from the commission and village staff couldn't be reached before deadline.

But Carroll and Hopkins also question whether the commission has the authority to issue the certificate.

"Approved as a historic district by the village board in 2002, local residents were assured by village trustees that the commission would act only in an advisory capacity in the Gunderson District," the statement reads in part.
?#34;Drew Carter

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