Beauty shop moratorium is wrong approach

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I just want to quickly clarify my statements [6/06/2012 Six months: No wig stores] and feelings regarding the current moratorium and future zoning issues facing all of Forest Park. I voted no for a few reasons:

First, two items were lumped together (personal services businesses and beauty supply stores) and should have been separate.

Second, we are not Oak Park but look at Marion Street in Oak Park, high end boutiques next to cafes next to plenty of hair salons, spas, etc. They are not eyesores, they are longstanding, successful businesses in a charming business district that brings people to the area who then shop, eat lunch, etc. afterwards. Go no further than Team Blonde here in Forest Park who openly admitted they need the financial boost of their personal service business to stay afloat, those patrons come in and spend more money -- right in their store -- that translates to neighboring stores as well.

Third, as to my quote, I was speaking about Roosevelt Road. Yes, I think any business on Roosevelt is a good business -- empty storefronts are not good for any fledgling business district looking to grow. We have an extremely friendly reputation with businesses, why isolate certain businesses as 'bad'? What if there were a 500 foot rule for Irish themed taverns?

Forth, I do not paint 'beauty supply stores' with a broad brush -- We have now limited ourselves from the opportunity to have a high end consumer store such as 'Ulta' open in the Forest Park mall or the pro-level high end places such as 'Salon Centric'. This was directly pointed at 'wig stores' as the headline wrote, so we now lump in all 'beauty supply stores' -- I disagree with that.

Lastly, the thought of a 'moratorium' that is enacted two weeks after its first mention is disturbing to me. I would much prefer it go through the proper channels and have public discussion via the ZBA, etc. It squashes public comment and discourse, and that is never a good thing.

Chris Harris, Commissioner
Village of Forest Park

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