Busy corner on Madison could see pizzeria

A River Forest man heard no objections from the zoning board or the Department of Public Health and Safety during a March 16 hearing on his request to open a pizzeria on Madison. Gil Paringella is looking to open the restaurant in a currently vacant property on the southwest corner of Desplaines and Madison. The space has seen several tenants; most recently Rocco’s which closed in 2007.

The zoning board heard Paringella’s request and voted unanimously to recommend to the village council that the business be allowed to open.

Bowlers raise $3K for charity

An estimated 100 participants turned out to raise money for Oak-Leyden Developmental Services during a recent fundraising event held at Circle Lanes in Forest Park. This year’s 9th annual candlelight bowling event, held Feb. 28, garnered almost $3,000 in support of Oak-Leyden’s efforts to help people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Forest Park business owner and photographer Chris Guillen sponsored the event, and prizes and gifts were donated by House Red, Team Blonde, Two Fish art glass and other local artists, according to a statement released by the agency.

Oak-Leyden is an Oak Park-based non-profit agency that serves some 600 people annually with programs for infants and adults. For more information on the agency, visit www.oak-leyden.org.

Police to see federal earmark

With the president’s signing of a federal spending bill, Forest Park is set to receive $100,000 that will be funneled toward the police department. In a March 11 statement from U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (Dem., 3rd District), the congressman announced that the money will go toward equipment and technology costs.

“In these pressing economic times, it’s great to have an advocate like Congressman Lipinski in Washington to work on behalf of the people of Forest Park,” Mayor Anthony Calderone said in a prepared statement. “This grant will allow the village to make necessary upgrades to our public safety department and will unquestionably lead to better, more effective law enforcement.”

The money is part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, and represents only a portion of the $6.5 million in local funding secured by Lipinski, according to the statement.

Little progress in zoning discussion

A homeowner who for years has bemoaned Forest Park’s zoning regulations will have to wait a little longer for a decision on her request to create off-street parking at her home.

Sharon Daly, 447 Marengo, went before the zoning board March 16 with a request that she be allowed to construct two parking spaces. Because she owns a two-flat with a coach house, the property does not conform to zoning regulations for the neighborhood, thus triggering the need for municipal review.

Daly would also need at least one curb cut, which is left to the discretion of the director of the Department of Public Health and Safety, Mike Boyle. Boyle is also recommending that a street light be relocated if Daly’s request is granted.

Currently, Daly has two off-street spaces that are accessible through a nearby alley.

Following an hours-long discussion, the zoning board voted to continue the matter until its next meeting in April. Late in the conversation, Daly considered pulling her application so that she could consult with an attorney.