Traffic map
Article posted: 2/9/2014 4:40 AM

Parking garage meeting concerns

  • Article
text size: AAA

I am writing to express concerns regarding the actions of the Elmhurst Zoning Commission during its open meeting of Jan. 30. This meeting was the public's opportunity to comment on the application for zoning variances for the controversial Addison Street parking garage.

Tamara Brenner, a resident opposing the garage, presented a detailed critique of the parking study commissioned by the city. Rather than listen to her complete analysis, a commissioner asked if her work had been "peer reviewed". Later Ms. Brenner was challenged by the commission's acting attorney to demonstrate her status as an "expert witness."

Advertisement

It is undemocratic and contrary to the Illinois Open Meetings Act to place limits on who may participate in an open meeting and what they may present. The commission cannot require that critiques be offered only by "experts" or pursuant to a peer reviewed study. They are obligated to consider all input but may value it based on their assessment of its quality.

The commission chose to cut off Ms. Brenner's presentation, as well as that of another garage opponent. Brevity is important but any time limits should be announced in advance, expansive enough to allow for substantive input and applied evenhandedly.

Ms. Brenner has done us all a service by identifying flaws in the needs analysis supporting the garage's construction. Given the amount of concern about the project, and the millions of dollars of taxpayer money at stake, it's important that the Zoning Commission keep an open mind rather than give any impression that hearings may be a charade.

The next meeting on the Addison parking garage application will be on Feb. 13. At that meeting I hope that the commissioners conduct themselves in a manner consistent with both the letter and the spirit of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

Lauren Pittelli

Elmhurst

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Latest Video

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.