In 2011, Sharon Kahren of Carpentersville lost both her job and her husband.
She's since secured another job, but is making less money.
As a result, she says she cannot afford to repave her driveway, which would bring it up to village code. This week, she pleaded with village trustees to ease the requirements for other people facing economic hardship.
"The families in this town need a little help," Kahren said. "I would love to repair my driveway, but I need some help."
Her pleas did not fall on deaf ears.
"Based on the economy ... I don't know how we cannot extend it any further," Trustee Pat Schultz said of the compliance deadline.
Village President Ed Ritter has asked the community development department to come back with recommendations that would help residents such as Kahren.
Kahren was asking that the village either extend the June 2012 deadline, or let people get an exemption from repaving their driveways. The rule has been in place since the mid-2000s.
If the village decides to a start a program that allows people to apply for an exemption, discussion will focus on how to prove that those signing up truly need it, Ritter said. Extending the deadline will probably be on the table, he added.
"Hopefully, relief is on the way," Ritter said.
Meanwhile, Trustee Doug Marks can't understand why the village is regulating driveways in the first place.
"I know we have a lot of distressed families in town. but to me, to mandate that everyone has to have a paved driveway is kind of ludicrous," Marks said. "That's the property owners' problem. It's not a village problem."
While the board's kind words moved Kahren, she said actions speak louder than words.
"It was nice, but I'll believe it when I see it," she said.