The village of Oak Park delayed its inspection of the former Associated Tire & Battery property at 6200-6210 Roosevelt Road to allow the latest tenant more time to move his vehicles off the property. Zoning does not allow the ground floor of the property to be used as a storage site.
The inspection was scheduled to take place Oct. 18, according to a letter sent Sept. 12 to the tenant, who has since been identified as Brian Kamar. An identical letter was sent the same day to the owner of the property, Polar Properties LLC.
However, one day before the inspection, Kamar called the village of Oak Park’s Development Customer Services Department and requested the inspection be postponed, Tammie Grossman, the head of the department, told Wednesday Journal.
Kamar was granted his request, according to another letter sent to him by the village on Oct. 27. The new date has been set for Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. and he is required to be present. All of the vehicles stored there must also be removed. Wednesday Journal has reached out to Kamar for comment.
Once the site of a popular neighborhood automotive repair the shop, the property is considered a nuisance by those who live nearby in the last few years. The sound of tires screeching and engines revving has kept neighbors up at all hours of the night, while parked vehicles and discarded automobile parts have blocked the alley behind the property. The police have been contacted 11 times between May 2021 and September 2022.
The perpetrator of the discord remained something of a mystery to the village of Oak Park; however, neighbors believe the noise has been coming from the car upholstery business and an unknown third tenant. The property has been subdivided to accommodate several tenants.
Kamar and Jeremy Storey are the only two known tenants at this time. Storey awaits village approval on his request for a special-use permit to operate BM Custom, his car upholstery business, at 6212 Roosevelt Road. He has been operating the business without the proper permitting and was cited three times; once he failed to appear in court and was issued a fine of $600. The village board tabled the vote on his permit request, which neighbors urged the village board to deny, and village staff agreed. Wednesday Journal has attempted to reach Storey by visiting the site of his business on several different occasions but to no avail.
Kamar met informally with a group of neighbors last Friday, according to Katie Ingrao-Sniegowski, who has been helping to mobilize neighbors in an effort to bring the village board’s attention to the nuisances. Ingrao-Sniegowski said Kamar admitted to being the initial noisemaker.
“Based on that conversation, he submitted a statement to the village supporting our statements and complaints against BM Custom and clarifying his role in all this,” said Ingrao-Sniegowski, whose husband attended the impromptu meeting, “which is that he originally was noisy when he was the only tenant. It was addressed through our [resident beat officer] and it died down until BM Custom and the third tenant moved in earlier this year.”
Wednesday Journal has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain that statement.
Storey and his attorney have publicly denied that he is the source of the disturbances affecting the neighborhood. During his Sept. 7 Zoning Board of Approvals hearing, he pointed the finger of blame at the tenant of 6210 Roosevelt Rd. He has also publicly stated he shares the concerns of the neighbors.
Kamar and his vehicle storage site is no longer of concern to Ingrao-Sniegowski, whose chief grievance lies now with the mysterious third party and how the village of Oak Park intends to address the issue. It is believed that the third tenant and Storey have been causing the noise.
Grossman told Wednesday Journal that the village is aware the neighbors believe there is a third tenant and she has asked staff to contact the owner of the building. She also directed staff to do a visual inspection of the property.
The village’s actions, Ingrao-Sniegowski believes, are far from sufficient.
“They should also listen to the neighbors and the original tenant, Brian Kamar, who have already provided all the information repeatedly to them to establish the facts of the situation and then act to address the nuisance complaints.”