Lisle mayoral candidates have different views on development
All three candidates for Lisle mayor agree the village needs to attract new businesses and development, but disagree on the best way to achieve that goal.
Incumbent Christopher Pecak is seeking a second term as mayor in the April 6 election. He is facing challenges from two sitting trustees, Stephen Winz and Sara Sadat.
Pecak says he has made strides over the last four years to counter the perception that Lisle is unfriendly to businesses.
He pointed to how the village has relaxed "burdensome" development standards regarding certain building materials, including copper and stone masonry. He said that made Lisle more aligned with other municipalities nationwide.
"We've had more development on Ogden Avenue in the last four years than the last 30 years," said Pecak, citing the arrival of West Side Tractor Sales Co., a new mini-mall and a Tesla dealership.
Winz says relaxing development codes are a step in the right direction. But he said more changes could be made to zoning regulations, particularly in regard to Lisle's downtown business district.
According to Winz, the owners of a taproom decided not to open the business downtown because zoning codes weren't relaxed around food preparation on the premises. The village refused to make the code change even though the Downtown Lisle Retail & Business Association argued the taproom would help increase sales and foot traffic in the downtown.
"We are viewed as an encumbrance on business and retail sales," Winz said. "We have many attorneys that come before the planning and zoning, and they express those concerns regularly."
Instead of businesses conforming to Lisle, Sadat said the village needs to be more open to the needs of businesses and to promote itself.
"We are literally right in the middle of great interconnectivity between north and south and east and west of Chicago," Sadat asked. "We have booming economies in any of our neighboring towns."
Sadat said Lisle can attract more businesses by thinking outside the box and making the village "the model for the rest of the world to follow."