River Forest officials addressed present and future parking concerns raised by residents in the vicinity of the senior living center under construction at 800 Harlem Ave., approving two ordinances at the Sept. 29 virtual village board meeting.

Following a recommendation from the River Forest Traffic and Safety Commission, the village board addressed future concerns by voting to install resident-only parking zones at both sides of Bonnie Brae Place between Chicago Avenue and Iowa Street and on both sides of Iowa between Harlem and Bonnie Brae.

The restriction on Iowa Street will be 24-hour while the restriction on Bonnie Brae will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The zones previously allowed two-hour parking.

The Traffic and Safety Commission undertook a review of parking in the area as a condition of approval for the large planned development in 2018. A public discussion also was held Sept. 16 to address general concerns regarding offsite employee parking on a daily basis and visitor parking, most notably during holidays.

Although the Traffic and Safety Commission addressed requests from residents that there be some means available to them to allow recurring exemptions for contractors, nannies/caregivers, family and friends by informally recommending the village investigate the possibility of providing homes in these zones with placards, officials deferred action on the recommendation.

Village Administrator Eric Palm said staff members are working on “some sort of mechanism” to identify residents and their guests who will be parking on the street in these zones. 

The Sheridan at River Forest will include 125 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments for seniors needing assisted living and memory care services. The structure will be four stories in height in the middle, with its north and south ends topping out at three floors.

The village board also addressed present concerns regarding construction workers parking on Chicago Avenue west of Bonnie Brae by voting to install a resident-only parking zone from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both sides of Chicago between William Street and Bonnie Brae. Parking on the block was previously unrestricted. Palm said he anticipates removing the restriction when construction nears completion in early 2021.

The developer agreed to restrict parking on the 700 and 800 blocks of Bonnie Brae and installed signs at the construction entrance indicating that all contractors are not to park anywhere west of the site but Jeff Loster, village engineer, acknowledged that enforcement is challenging.

“I know they have made concerted efforts, but it’s tricky,” he said.

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