A mixup with zoning notification letters to neighbors of medical marijuana dispensary hopeful sites means the Sept. 15 Zoning Board of Appeals ruling on the two sites is voided and the zoning board needs to meet again, the village said. The board will re-convene Oct. 20, said Village Administrator Tim Gillian.
The zoning board hearing announcement letters were not sent to neighbors by the Village of Forest Park within 15 days, as required by state law. Some residents at the ZBA meeting said they got the wrong letter. Neighbors of the proposed location at 7228 Circle Avenue said they got notices about the proposed 7501 Roosevelt Rd. location.
Another wrinkle is that the zoning board could rule completely differently on Oct. 20 because the board was not fully seated. Board Chair Austin Zimmer and Jeff Chen were absent and one board member, Robert Teets, abstained from voting. At that Sept. 15 meeting the ZBA voted 3 to 1 to approve the 7501 Roosevelt Rd. site and deadlocked 2 to 2 on the Circle Avenue site where Kevil’s restaurant sits now.
“The two applicants who were here are going to have to show up again [on Oct. 20],” Gillian said.
The window for applications to the state of Illinois closed Sept. 22. But Evan Hilton of Green MC Meds said he wasn’t concerned.
“My lawyer called the Illinois Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation to confirm,” Hilton said. “We can still submit our application. They gave us permission to let the state know on the application there were clerical errors.”
Hilton said he’s been working with Forest Park Public Safety Head Steve Glinke for about a month to get his ducks in a row. Linda Cibula, hopeful for the 7228 Circle location did not return a call from the Forest Park Review.
This is the village’s second clerical misstep with regard to ZBA hearings about the medical pot dispensaries. On Aug. 15, the village clerk failed to post the ZBA agenda 48 hours before a scheduled Aug. 18 ZBA meeting. That meant the meeting was cancelled and kicked forward to Sept. 4. The village had to start again with public notice, including publishing legal classified ads and sending out notices to neighbors.
Gillian said a third group, The Green Solution, represented by Western Springs resident Tanya Griffin, might make a new application for a different location. The group withdrew their application for the former Deal$ dollar store site at 7709 Roosevelt Road.
Mayor Anthony Calderone alluded to a fourth company wanting to set up shop in Forest Park at the Sept. 22 Village Council meeting.
At that meeting, townhouse neighbors again showed up, some exasperated that a three hour meeting the week before was void.
“To me this is a very important decision and everyone wants to get through the process,” said Ronald Suber, of the first block of Elgin Avenue. Suber called for the village to post the status of the voided ZBA hearing online.
Village attorney Nick Peppers said it was he who pulled the plug on the ZBA ruling and ordered the village to set up another hearing in October.
“It’s an important process and it needs to be done fairly correctly and accurately,” Peppers said.
Teamsters bargaining agreement signed
Forest Park’s Village Council passed a new contract with members of the Unit 705 Teamsters Union for the next three years. Union members are employees of the village’s public works department. The new three-year contract boosts wages by 2.25 percent the first two years and 2 percent the last year. Members of the Teamsters classified as Chauffeurs Operating Heavy Equipment will earn $27.50/hour payable retroactively from May 1. This will go up to 2.25 percent to $28.12 in 2015 and 2 percent to $28.68 in 2016. Class C Water Operators will be paid $31.78/hour this year, again retroactive to May, followed by a 2.25 percent raise to $32.50 in 2015 and a 2 percent raise to $33.15 in 2015. The village negotiated a slight reduction in the portion of health insurance contribution paid by the village. The amount was .75 percent the first year and .25 percent the second year, Village Administrator Tim Gillian said in a memo.
Repaving of alleys put out to bid
The Forest Park Village Council agreed to issue a bid request for the following alleys in the 2014 alley repair program schedule: The alleys are in the 300 block of Elgin and Harlem, the 850 block of Lathrop/Dunlop, the 100 block of Marengo/Elgin, the 800 block of Troost/Dunlop and the Adams/Wilcox alley.
Commissioner Mark Hosty said he owned a “piece of property attached to one of those alleys,” so he abstained from voting.