Better the village negotiate for creative development

Opinion

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I live on the block where John Schiess has already leveled a building on Madison and now the neighbors are engaged in the game playing going on to try to get Mr. Schiess to build something that takes a little creativity and actually adds to the neighborhood.

I sent this message to a village board member who encouraged us to bring our own creative ideas to an upcoming meeting with Schiess with the idea that, if he's pushed enough, Mr. Schiess can get creative. I suppose this board member means well, but it's not enough help.

The message follows:

I have been on the sidelines of this and certainly do not speak for all my neighbors engaged in this process. They've done a remarkable job of being polite and trying to follow about the only advice I see coming out of the village, which is to be nice to Mr. Schiess and play along with him until he gets creative.

Your e-mail reflects little more than a shill for a process that is filled with wasteful game playing. That these people took their good time to already meet with Mr. Schiess on this project, with him full well knowing what the general views of the community would be toward his packing a small lot with six stories of as many small condos as he can, shows a complete disregard for not only the people who live here but reflects the really lousy work the village has done in sending a message that we deserve quality development in Oak Park.

Where's he getting the message he may be able to get away with the junk he's offering? You speak for what these good people should do.

What is the village doing? What is the village board doing?

Who's saying to Schiess what would be acceptable here? Who's giving him advice to give us something we want so we won't rock the boat? I don't think you get it, that someone in the village should be representing us, not Schiess, and certainly not a process that repeatedly pits neighbors against developers in a drag-down fight of attrition?#34;until he gets creative.

We vote for someone to represent us. We pay taxes for someone to do the work necessary to hold developers to a reasonable set of standards that keeps Oak Park livable without making development impossible. I don't see that we're getting either. Nice advice you give, but you should be working on changing the process.

Dave Heidorn
Oak Park

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