Web Extra! See a copy of the proposed ordinance

A law that would regulate special events in Oak Park is close to going on the books, three months after the village put the idea on hold.

With the number of events in Oak Park swelling each year, the village has been looking for a way to better regulate them and keep its costs down. Village hall estimates it pays $50,000 to $100,000 a year for events.

So in October, village staff proposed regulating public functions by creating new fees and rules. But the village board sent the proposal back with a handful of concerns.

The new-and-improved version came back last week. Eliminated was an idea to charge groups by the space for using parking lots for events. Also removed was a requirement for event sponsors to protect the village from any injury or damage caused in an event.

“It just wasn’t a practical thing to expect insurance companies to agree to that,” Village Clerk Teresa Powell said in an interview.

Two people made other suggestions last week to refine the ordinance, such as not regulating how sponsors market events. Jim Kelly of the South East Oak Park Community Organization worried about small groups such as his having to pay for expensive liability insurance for events.

Trustees are expected to approve a final version of the ordinance Feb. 1.

-Marty Stempniak

Web Extra

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