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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