Controversial issues on hold in Arlington Heights as village focuses on essentials
Nearly two weeks ago, Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes was addressing local business leaders about top issues the village would be addressing, including a proposed inclusionary housing ordinance and tax increment financing district.
But that March 12 State of the Village speech was given just as the coronavirus was starting to take hold in the United States, and now many of those issues have taken a back seat.
Now village hall is closed to the public, and staff available by phone, email or appointment only. Public meetings of the village board and advisory boards and commissions have been canceled.
Hayes said Tuesday that plans are being made for a special board meeting on Monday, April 6, during which many trustees would attend electronically, and public participation would be available by phone and online.
There aren't any controversial items planned for votes that night, Hayes said.
The draft housing ordinance, reviewed once by the village board and twice by the housing commission, was set to return to the board March 16 until that meeting was canceled. Also put on hold was a March 18 joint review board meeting of local government taxing bodies in the proposed South Arlington Heights Road TIF.
Those are just two items that could attract a crowd to a board meeting, and make it difficult for social distancing recommended by health experts.
That's why the April 6 board meeting will just cover basic items, like the paying of bills on the warrant register and consent agenda, Hayes said.
"It will be pretty much routine, but we do need to conduct some business," he said.
As local liquor commissioner, Hayes by executive order last Friday was able to approve a temporary change to village rules allowing restaurants to sell bottles of beer and wine as part of carryout food orders. Rosemont, Aurora and other towns have relaxed similar liquor code restrictions.
Hayes said the village also is allowing delayed payments on liquor licenses to help bars and restaurants that are closed under state order.