Naperville squatter makes camp outside Show-Me's
Just days before Naperville officials are set to discuss how to deal with Scott Huber camping outside businesses, the city's infamous squatter has moved to a new spot on the city's northeast side.
Managers setting up the Show-Me's restaurant and bar at 1126 E. Ogden Ave. said Huber has been spending time outside their establishment for about three weeks.
On Friday, Huber said he's there to stay and is prepared to boycott and protest the restaurant, which is expected to open next month. He said he believes the restaurant, with its "scantily clad servers is destroying the city's moral fiber."
Show-Me's Vice President Joel Hon said he asked Huber to leave but Huber responded by yelling at him. Female employees already have complained to Hon about Huber camping so close to the employee parking lot.
"We're preparing to open and trying to put our best foot forward," Hon said, "but it looks a little rough out there with a homeless guy propped up alongside a utility box."
Huber says he's the one who will be disturbed when the restaurant opens and servers pass his tent while going to and from work.
"Their girls are scared of me?" Huber asked. "Well I'm scared of their girls and their butts hanging out of their shorts."
Huber's stay may be shorter than he expects, because the city council will consider two new options Tuesday to get him off the streets.
One of those options is expanding the city's downtown camping ordinance to apply to the entire city.
The ordinance currently prohibits camping, sleeping and storing personal property on public ways in downtown and was enacted to keep Huber from setting up his encampment near the Central Parking Facility on Chicago Avenue.
In her memo to the council, city attorney Margo Ely warns the original ordinance was limited to downtown to decrease challenges to its constitutionality. Any changes, she says, "must directly address a reasonable government interest and be narrowly tailored to further that interest."
Councilman Grant Wehrli said he believes the city has plenty of reasonable government interest.
"This is not about First Amendment rights. This is impacting commerce and that is a totally different issue," Wehrli said. "We need to look at this through commerce to protect rights of free enterprise from this harassment."
A second option includes establishment of a "free speech zone."
In her memo, however, Ely suggests the city faces significant constitutional limitations with respect to regulations directed at speech.
Ely has said such zones are usually temporary and set up for large events like the national political conventions where protesters are cordoned to a limited area. She has yet to find a situation where free speech zones have been implemented as a permanent restriction in a municipality.
Huber, 59, has lived on Naperville streets for more than nine years in a self-proclaimed protest to denounce perceived injustices by city officials, whom he blames for the loss of his home, business and personal property.
When the city passed a law in 2009 that effectively forced him from his previous spot outside a downtown parking garage, he established a new location outside a psychologist's office near Washington Street and Benton Avenue.
The psychologist has sued Huber, alleging assault, trespass, defamation, emotional distress and invasion of privacy after the two had a well-publicized dispute.
Huber has denied all the allegations and claims to be a victim himself.