Village boards in both River Forest and Oak Park, Monday night, OK’d mid-sized building projects that we actively support.

In River Forest it is a new assisted living senior project for the under-developed northwest corner of Harlem and Chicago avenues. First a pie shop and more recently a branch bank swimming in a huge parking lot, this parcel can bring greater value to River Forest. This project also adds three single-family homes stretching north along Harlem.

There has, of course, been opposition from immediate neighbors who haven’t minded the quiet, empty parking lot. But this is progress and it brings a necessary benefit to River Forest in a high-end assisted living facility that has been lacking in town.

Meanwhile, the Oak Park Village Board on Monday approved an affordable housing project for a long-vacant corner at Oak Park Avenue and Van Buren. A respected developer will turn this abandoned gas station into 34 units of housing for working people. Again, some neighbors have objected. Too many units and not enough parking, they say. But a block from the Blue Line and with income levels not likely to clog a parking lot, this is a strong addition to Oak Park.

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