I believe the majority of Oak Park residents, including me, were shocked and disappointed that the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously that the Drechsler, Brown & Williams funeral parlor is a contributing structure to the overall sense of historic preservation of the district itself so Focus cannot demolish the structure and build a multi-unit apartment complex on the site. 

In my opinion the commission is completely out of touch with the effects of COVID-19 on our nation and Oak Park. Due to Oak Park’s major loss of sales tax revenue brought on by the pandemic depression, the board will have to consider major budget cuts and possible layoffs in 2021.

The development of the Drechsler Brown site will provide the village with additional tax revenue we really need. This revenue will help to reduce the budget cuts you will have to make in 2021. I am asking the board to place this issue on your next agenda and make the difficult and tough decision to unanimously overrule the decision of the commission and permit Focus to develop the site.

Tom Zapler

Oak Park

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