Board talks Whiteco in closed session, details undisclosed

OP VILLAGE NOTES

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By KATHARINE GRAYSON

A closed village board session Monday night focused on the agenda item of "Whiteco," though village elected officials contacted Tuesday morning declined to elaborate on what aspect of the project was discussed.

Some trustees have said they would be willing to weigh the legal consequences of backing out of the village's redevelopment agreement with the company. Village President David Pope said he couldn't offer comment on whether the board considered the ramifications of such a decision.

The village held two closed sessions Monday night, one citing the Open Meetings Act exemption of "litigation," the other of "property acquisition."

"We have a contract with Whiteco and we continue to be in contact with them. That's all I can say," Pope said. When asked if the board is aware of explicit legal consequences to terminating the agreement, Pope said, "I've not received any direction from the board with respect to [that issue]."

Village Trustee Robert Milstein said only, "We have a partner; we will have to talk more with our partner," and directed calls to Pope.

Whiteco Residential President Tim Connelly couldn't be reached for comment before press time Tuesday.

In close vote, cell antennas
approved for 715 Lake

The village board voted 4-3 last Monday to allow Verizon Wireless to install cellular antennas atop the Medical Arts building at 715 Lake St.

At the meeting, some trustees questioned a policy established by the Federal Communications Commission that bans local municipalities from rejecting applications to install the antennas based on health concerns.

"We usually vote this up, and then we smile. I think we have the obligation to not just blanketly approve them," said Trustee Robert Milstein.

Trustee Elizabeth Brady, however, said the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)?#34;which recommended that a permit be granted?#34;had done "due diligence" and that the board should approve the measure.

"This is a political hot potato. Yeah, we may not really like it, and we're looking for wiggle room. But this is the right decision," she said.

Though he said he was "reluctant," Trustee Greg Marsey also voted to approve the permit.

Joining Milstein in opposition were Trustees Martha Brock and Geoff Baker. Trustee Ray Johnson and Village President David Pope joined Brady in supporting the permit request.

Beye school safety plan to change traffic, parking restrictions

The Oak Park village board voted unanimously last week to approve a new safety plan for the Beye School neighborhood that will result in multiple changes to parking and traffic regulations prior to the start of the school year.

The changes were in part prompted by a shift in the school's start time.

New guidelines and measures approved last Monday include:

 Allowing Erie Street, between Harvey and Cuyler, to be temporarily closed to westbound traffic for an hour both before school starts, and after class is dismissed. Cuyler Avenue, between Ontario and Erie, will also be closed to southbound traffic both before and after school. In addition, the alley beyond the school will be temporarily blocked off at the same times.

 The 2-way stop sign at Ontario and Elmwood will be changed to an all-way stop.

 An east-west yield sign will be installed at the intersection of Erie and Taylor.

 A sign establishing a no-parking, loading/drop-off zone from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, will be installed on the south side of Erie Street, between Harvey and Cuyler.

 The existing no-parking, loading/drop-off restriction on the west side of Harvey, north of Ontario, will be removed, making the west side of Harvey, between Ontario and Erie, unrestricted parking.

 The no-parking, 8-10 a.m. restriction on the north side of Ontario Street, between Harvey and the alley west of Harvey, will be replaced with a 15-minute, 7-9 a.m., Monday through Friday, restriction.

 The no-parking, 8-10 a.m. restriction on the south side of Ontario, between Harvey and Cuyler, will be replaced with a "no stopping, standing, or parking" 7-9 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. Monday through Friday restriction.

 Flashing yellow lights on Ridgeland Avenue at Erie will be installed and used during times when crossing guards are present.

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