In a recent Chicago Tribune article it was reported that a Chicago alderman rejected and stopped further progress on a plan for three residential high-rises near Lake Michigan. The project would have created 1,400 condominiums and apartments. The alderman is quoted as saying, “The project is rejected and will not move forward in its current form.” The alderman wants the developer to meet with neighbors to resolve issues, such as more accessible green space, increasing signage, lighting, surveillance cameras and security, etc. The developer said, “With better listening on our part, we’ll be able to address the concerns the neighbors have and be able to move forward eventually.”
Several years ago, based on neighborhood complaints, another alderman stopped a proposed high-rise hotel condominium development across from Wrigley Field. Who thought Chicago would be so responsive to it citizens?
When I chose to move to Oak Park many years ago, it was because Oak Park had a government that listened to its citizens and welcomed and supported citizen input. Chicago was a city where citizens had no voice and the “machine” ruled. It looks to me like things have changed and not for the better.
We need a government that follows the intent of its own rules — whether zoning, planning or commission selection processes — and respects citizen and commission input and recommendations.