The neighbors on south Lombard have joined together in protest of the activities and conditions surrounding the property located at 6200-6216 Roosevelt Road. As it should, Wednesday Journal has supported their concerns.

What I found interesting in WJ’s editorial [Attention to Roosevelt, Our Views, Viewpoints, Oct. 12] was the last two sentences: “There are other parcels in this awful stretch the village ought also to purchase because clearly the marketplace is not going to be the solution. Time for action.”

It made me wonder why WJ hadn’t expressed any interest in a land transaction involving the acquisition and sale of the vacant lot at 6104 Roosevelt Road earlier this year by the Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA). The purchase of the lot by the CCLBA in 2018 wiped out hundreds of thousands of delinquent property taxes owed by the previous owner since 2012. Under the agency’s ownership, the property was exempt from taxes. This past May the CCLBA transferred the title of the lot to a private party for redevelopment as a privately-owned electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Wednesday Journal was informed of this impending ownership transfer in March and published my letter regarding this matter at that time but hasn’t itself reported anything else about the property for over seven months.

In documents provided to Wednesday Journal, which included emails by the village of Oak Park to the CCLBA and the private buyer, it was explained that currently a privately-owned EV charging station is not permitted under village code or under the zoning ordinance for that location. The village’s Development Customer Services director, on Nov. 8, 2021, informed the now-owner that his proposed use would require “a text amendment to the zoning code … a special use application and have a public hearing to alert the community.” To date there is no record of the owner and the village initiating these procedures or alerting the community.

What makes this pressing is that the CCLBA deed transferring the title to the property includes “Purchaser Obligations” for the owner to comply with all the regulations for constructing and operating requirements for the EV charging station within 18 months or forfeit the purchase.

Perhaps the WJ could inform the community at large, especially the concerned residents of SEOPCO’s area, of the status of EV charging station. If the new owner is unable to comply with the “Purchaser Obligations,” WJ could endorse that the village purchase 6104 Roosevelt Road, too.

Chris Donovan
Oak Park

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