Proposed Lake and Forest building

Are Oak Parker Kevin Murphy and the former mayor of Park Ridge gods that walk the planet?

The other night at the Oak Park Plan Commission hearings for the 270-apartment building that President Pope and Trustee Johnson want to subsidize, Kevin Murphy, a neighbor of the project, cross-examined the Sertus appraiser, who testified, essentially, that the impact of a 22-story building to the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District property owners will be minimal.

During Mr. Murphy’s cross-examination of the appraiser, we, as a village, learned the following:

The Sertus appraiser is a former alderman and a former mayor of Park Ridge and that Park Ridge and Oak Park share many similar characteristics. The appraiser, during his term as alderman and mayor, had to work with many of the same issues that Oak Park is now struggling with. Park Ridge had a transit-oriented TIF district where a developer wanted to build a huge mixed-use condo/retail development smack dab in the middle of their downtown.

Under his watch as alderman/mayor, the appraiser testified that the following happened:

The building was restricted to a height of five stories.

The number of condo units was restricted to low density even though it is 1/4 of a block from their train station and sits on a 5 1/4-acre site.

The number of parking spaces the Village of Park Ridge required was over 700 on two floors of underground parking to fully accommodate retail parking needs.

Interesting, huh?

By the way, we also learned that the Sertus building is going to be precast concrete. The same technique as Whiteco. The same technique as our new crumbling $14 million parking garage. How many awards has the Whiteco building piled up so far? Have I seen the Whiteco building on a postcard being sold at our visitor center?

I’d like to invite the Sertus appraiser to move here so I could nominate him for Oak Park Village President. We residents could then be fully protected from developer abuse. I’d like to build a statue to Kevin Murphy as a great example of a citizen/savior, one who looks out for all of our property rights when our own village will not.

That’s why Kevin Murphy and the former mayor of Park Ridge are gods that walk the planet.

Paul Hamer
Oak Park

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