Southtown Oak Park's future

Opinion: Editorials

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The issue that divided the village board last Monday was retail zoning restrictions for the Southtown shopping district at Oak Park Avenue at the Ike. Right now the area has the same strict retail-only limits as Downtown Park and the Hemingway District (formerly The Avenue).

Should it? The Oak Park Plan Commission will now hold hearings and make a recommendation to a village board that may or may not be split on the topic. A few thoughts: Actively listening and actually inviting business owners and landlords to speak out is a fine thing. This is not a black-and-white issue or a government-vs.-free market issue. Look for the middle. Our sense is that the middle, for right now, is easing the restrictions. But we'll listen too and hear what business people and neighbors have to say.

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Reality Check  

Posted: June 17th, 2013 2:20 PM

We live in a democracy. Our elected officials, NOT a bunch of faceless bureaucrats, should have final say on zoning decisions,

Mimi Jordan from Oak Park  

Posted: June 13th, 2013 9:53 AM

Unfortunately, a minority on the Board seems to think they should have final say on zoning. Zoning affects the property rights of building owners. Accordingly, zoning decisions must accord them due process and consistency. The board's sole job in zoning is to set policy, then let staff and the zoning board apply it. Let's end the era of meddling in landlord-tenant contractual relations. Now.

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