Ordinance mandates cleanliness

An ordinance requiring business owners to maintain the sidewalk and parkways immediately outside their door was approved with a 4-1 vote this month, though earlier suggestions that ashtrays also be mandated were found to be in conflict with a statewide smoking ban.

Commissioner Mark Hosty voiced the lone objections to the ordinance during an Oct. 14 council meeting, arguing that feuding neighbors may use the rule to sabotage one another by dumping trash on each others’ doorsteps. Hosty also worried that future councils might leverage the rule to unfairly penalize business owners. Mayor Anthony Calderone said the intent of the ordinance is clear enough, and that it’s important for everyone to take ownership of their community.

Violating the ordinance can be sufficient cause to revoke a business’ operating license.

Street renamed for longtime director

In recognition of Beverly Thompson, former longtime director of the Howard Mohr Community Center, a portion of Wilcox Street will be dedicated in her memory. Thompson died Aug. 18 after working for more than two decades at the center. From 1985 to 1998 she served as assistant to the coordinator, and then held the director’s position until her death.

Members of the village council presented a plaque to Thompson’s widower, Lou Thompson, while members of their family sat arm-in-arm during the Oct. 14 meeting. Wilcox Street between Desplaines Avenue and Jackson Boulevard, where Thompson lived, will be designated Beverly Thompson Way during a ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 25.

Council upholds minimum lot size

A Circle Avenue property owner asking to build a single-family home on a 24-foot wide parcel was denied a variance to the zoning code, which requires that the parcel be at least 25 feet in width. Discussion between commissioners immediately prior to an Oct. 14 vote on the request revealed that a majority of the elected officials wanted the minimum standard upheld. Those who argued for granting the variance for the 1234 Circle Ave. property said the project has the support of the neighborhood, and the council has a history of frequently granting variances, most notably those related to parking.

“You have to draw the line someplace,” Commissioner Marty Tellalian said of upholding the minimum lot width of 25 feet.

Commissioners Rory Hoskins and Michael Curry voted to allow the construction, while Tellalian was joined by Mayor Anthony Calderone and Commissioner Mark Hosty.

Family-friendly Halloween

From 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, kids and their family members can come to park district headquarters at 7501 Harrison St. to hunt for Halloween eggs and play pumpkin shot-put. The critters in the spook house will be furry, but the monsters will be friendly. There also will be a bounce house, creepy storytelling and a costume contest. $7. Call 574-8179 for other ghoulish details.