The ordinance prohibiting Oak Park gas stations and convenience stores from operating 24 hours a day is set to go into effect following a recent Cook County Circuit Court ruling. The exact date it will go into effect has yet to be determined.
The ordinance limits gas station and convenience store hours to between 5 a.m. and midnight in an effort to reduce violent crime. The village board first adopted the ordinance Sept. 19 but was barred from enforcing it after the legal team representing the impacted gas stations filed for a temporary restraining order. The order was issued 11 days later.
Judge Neil Cohen rescinded the temporary restraining order Nov. 15. He also denied a motion for a new temporary restraining order, the request for which was also filed on behalf of seven gas station owners. Wednesday Journal has reached out to the gas stations’ legal representatives for comment.
Cohen’s concerns over the ordinance were assuaged after the village held a public hearing Oct. 25, according to a news release from the Village of Oak Park.
It was at that public hearing that the owners of Oak Park’s two 7-Eleven convenience stores asked that their businesses be included in the ordinance. The ordinance was amended to incorporate convenience stores. The village board passed the updated ordinance at its Nov. 7 meeting.
The repeal of the restraining order is a blow to local gas stations, but it is not a definitive legal victory for the village either. The seven Oak Park gas station owners are suing the village over the ordinance. The complaint, filed Sept. 27, argues that the restriction of hours threatens their livelihoods and forces a breach of contract with fuel suppliers. The lawsuit is pending, according to Oak Park Village Attorney Paul Stephanides.