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It’s far too early to judge whether the latest proposal for a residential development at 7329 Harrison is a perfect fit. Too many questions still need to be answered”most importantly, where will residents and visitors park once the 157 spaces for the 102 units run out?

Twenty-three of the 157 parking spaces proposed are available to the public. The two-car garages that will come with each townhouse unit account for 56 spaces. That leaves 78 spaces for the remaining 74 non-townhouse residential units.

Compliance with the village’s requirement of two spaces per unit seems unrealistic, but we would hope the village would insist on at least some added parking. A variance allowing 1.5 spaces per unit sounds fair.

Still, though some details need to be reviewed, a couple things seem definite. First, the plans are far superior to those presented by the previous developer, which called for higher density and the demolition of the existing Roos building.

Second, unlike the previous developer, the current team, headed by architect John Schiess and developer Alex Troyanovsky, seems committed to working with the public and the village to ensure that all bases are covered and all needs are addressed.

So far, it seems there is a willingness to compromise, a desire to fit in with the surrounding neighborhood, a concern for imnportant traffic and safety issues, and a level of professionalism and experience that often seemed to be missing from the previous team.

This, as much as the plans presented, was responsible for the surprisingly welcoming reception Schiess received when presenting his plans to residents last week at the Forest Park Community Center.

Village sends a message to D209

The Village of Forest Park made the right move by confronting Proviso High School District 209 regarding its decision to hold summer school at its new magnet school in Forest Park without first consulting with village officials.

Until Dist. 209 is governed by an administration that shows a commitment to cooperation and honesty, it is essential that the village keep a watchful eye out for any tricks they may try to pull.

At this point, it seems unrealistic to expect Dist. 209 to move its summer school program to another facility for the remaining two weeks of classes. But the village must make it known that Proviso cannot get away with these kinds of tactics in the future.

It seems, at least on the surface, that the zoning variance granted to Dist. 209 for the magnet school allows the village to make the district pay for any security that the village must provide at the school. We hope to see the village work to ensure that it is reimbursed for the expenses brought on by the need for extra police work related to the summer school.

If it does, it will help ensure the school district knows that despite what it may get away with in Maywood and Hillside, Forest Park is not a town that can be manipulated.