The Golub project must be stopped

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I have been following the news in Wednesday Journal since the first announcement of the Golub project. I was encouraged by Mayor Abu-Taleb's letter and the reports of other village board members' response to their position on the proposed 28-story building.

I am 100% opposed to the project. If the village keeps approving taller and taller buildings, it will not be able to stop the ever-increasing height of new buildings dwarfing everything around them. The next developer will want 40 stories, then the next 48, etc. 

Is any federal financing or program involved in the present proposal? In the 1970s, when Jonas Stankus proposed two 40-story buildings at Forest and Lake Street, as chairman of the Landmarks Commission I requested an Environmental Impact Study required because FHA funds were involved. Other preservationists and nearby neighbors supported the request to the U.S. government and the study was undertaken. The study delayed the Stankus project, which could not be approved until the study was finished. 

The study included the shadow impact on Unity Temple, which was a perceived negative affect. The recommendation of the report was not binding on the federal agency involved in the Stankus project, but by the time it was completed, the real estate market had changed and the project was put on hold after a huge excavation was made. When the property was sold to the developer of 100 Forest, the proposed design was much less dense and, thankfully, about 15 stories, the height of the Mills Park Tower, the only building of that height in the village at that time. 

Golub must be stopped. This project does not have a negative impact just on Unity Temple; it affects all the adjacent neighbors and has a negative impact on the future of the village. Height limits need to be made law and enforced as in Washington DC; Paris, France, etc.

Bob Bell

Unity Temple UU Congregation Member, former BAG Chairperson, first chairperson of the Oak Park Landmarks Commission, Oak Park resident for 56 years

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