Private Citizens Now Bearing Brunt Of Defective Zoning Code


John O’Flaherty apparently doesn’t care about winning friends and influencing people here in Park Ridge.

It’s one thing for the real estate developer disgruntled with the way the City is responding to his development plans to sue the City and/or City officials for not giving him his way. But when he sues ordinary citizens simply for expressing their opinions at an open public meeting, O’Flaherty might just as well have told Dale Carnegie to go pound sand…and the horse he rode in on.

O’Flaherty responded to the Park Ridge Planning & Zoning Commission’s denial of his application to build a 22-unit residential building on top of a parking garage and 1,500 square foot commercial space at 400 W. Talcott – the last feature apparently being the bare minimum commercial space he needed in order to camouflage his residential building as a “commercial” structure for purposes of the property’s “B” (for “Business”) zoning classification – by filing a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County: 400 W Talcott LLC v. Argionis, et al., Case No. 2014-CH-17457

We can understand O’Flaherty suing the City, the Planning & Zoning Commission, and the individual P&Z commissioners. We can even understand his suing Ald. Joe Sweeney, the Council’s liaison to the P&Z Commission, and Jon Branham, the City’s Senior Planner in charge of evaluating the Zoning Code compliance of projects such as this. They are City officials so they at least technically fall within O’Flaherty’s field of fire.

But naming twenty-two private citizens – Al Beltuzzi, Larry Devereux, Krystyna Doerhty, Linda Foss, Joe Fresel, Patricia Gagliardi, Tom Harris, John Hildefra, Missy Langan, Dan Lawlor, Pat Livensparger, M. Christina, Tom Maheras, Carol McComb, Steven Nadler, Ron Pollina, Karen Sloma, Ray Wachnick, Jerzy Wachnick, Paul Wright and former ald. Frank Wsol – just for speaking out against the size and density of the projects is nothing but unvarnished political hardball.

It also may be a violation of the Illinois Citizen Participation Act, 735 ILCS 110/1 et. seq., commonly known as the Illinois Anti-SLAPP (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) statute, which is designed to prevent folks like O’Flaherty from filing lawsuits not so much to actually win them but, instead, to “chill” citizens’ exercise of their free speech and protest rights, and to discourage future opposition to their projects by causing the sued citizens to incur the time, expense and distraction of being a defendant in a lawsuit.

Interestingly enough, the lead attorney for O’Flaherty, Ronald Cope, is himself an elected official in Lincolnwood. And, even more interestingly, within days of filing the suit naming all these individuals, Cope reportedly offered to drop them from the suit if they would sign waivers agreeing not to seek attorneys’ fees or damages from O’Flaherty and his attorneys.

In other words, Cope – on behalf of O’Flaherty – intentionally scared the beejeezus out of many/most of those private citizens, then offered an olive branch in the hope of extricating himself and his client out from potential Anti-SLAPP liability, which includes an award of the wronged individuals’ attorneys’ fees.

A few of us folks here at PublicWatchdog are trial attorneys who make decent livings from waging courtroom battles, but we’d be the last folks to encourage anybody to litigate – including our fellow residents, especially a developer who has far more to gain from unleashing a pack of high-priced attorneys on ordinary Park Ridge citizens.

But from what we know of this situation, it appears Team O’Flaherty’s lawsuit is the exact kind of action the Anti-SLAPP law is intended to discourage and punish. And his attorney’s attempt to let bygones be bygones by tendering waivers to the folks they just sued seems like a pretty transparent acknowledgment that O’Flaherty and Cope may have overplayed their hand.

Whether any of the 22 private residents choose to hold O’Flaherty’s feet to the fire and try to Anti-SLAPP him remains to be seen. Given the expense, the potential exposure to liability, and the distraction presented by this lawsuit, we can understand if all 22 choose discretion over valor, take the waiver deal, and leave with a whimper instead of a bang.

But as we argued pre-SLAPP suit (in our 10.02.14 post), the real lesson from this situation is just how inadequate and/or screwed up our Zoning Code is – and how it encourages uncertainty, acrimony and expense for the City.

Now 22 ordinary citizens have discovered that, up close and personally.

To read or post comments, click on title.

31 comments so far

I am not a lawyer, so I apologize that these questions are probably very basic.

Could the City help the 22 citizens with this Anti-SLAPP suggestion either financially or in a counter suit?

Can the City put this project on indefinite hold until both cases are wrapped up?

Can a different developer come in with a new plan and under cut Mr. O’Flaherty?

Would it be best for the 22 to counter sue and than try to settle out of court?

If you were the 22’s attorney, what would would be your recommendation?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Why should the City use taxpayer money for the benefit of 22 private citizens, the claims against which are different from those against the City?

“Indefinite hold” is contrary to why the developer sold.

Only if O’Flaherty wants to sell the property to another developer.

If the 22 can prove O’Flaherty’s suit is a SLAPP, they could recover their attorneys’ fees in defending against it.

Without knowing what any of the 22 want to do and how committed they are to it, we wouldn’t speculate.

It’s as bad as that stupid Farmers Insurance lawsuit that got dropped. Actually, it’s worse. And you wonder why people think attorneys are little better than pond scum.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We wish you a life in which you never need one.

Contemptible. The developer obviously is doing this as a publicity stunt, but to upset decent, normal (I object to “ordinary” on principle) taxpayers in this way should be punished as seriously, by the law and by the marketplace, as possible to discourage it ever happening again. There are clearly folks who think anyone getting in the way of their personal ambitions is or should be against the law. Let’s stop this one in his tracks. And don’t forget to deploy Ms. Livensbarger (of CURRB) — on her own she can make him wish he’d never set his beady eyes on our city.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Unfortunately, as we wrote in our October 2 post, the City may actually have invited this on itself and its citizens by how it rolled over to this same developer on his 20-30 South Fairview project.

I listened to the city attorney at one of the past council meetings say that the developer attorney interpretes the ordinance to have to name “everyone of record”. Interestingly the lawsuit DID nOT name everyone. Conspicuously absent as a defendant was the resident who spoke in favor of the project who by the way was also the real estate agent that sold the property to the developer.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For $12-15K of commission you might have a few nice words to say, too.

Call his name out. Well known real estate agent Danny McGovern publicly sided with the developer.

Pubdog- you are probably waaaaayyyy light on the commission. Who was in line for the condo listings I wonder???

Think of that next time you see him weasling around for listings. Yes, same guy that was trying to get homes built on the youth campus. Wonder why?
$$$$$$$$ over park ridge.

I’ve never seen a more loathsome and ballsy developer than Oflaherty. Hopefully he stays away from park ridge.

Hopefully the citizens counter sue.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We don’t like what O’Flaherty is doing or how he’s doing it. But if the City’s Zoning Code permits it, then he’s within his rights to do it.

That’s why we don’t begrudge Mr. McGovern his commission on the sale/purchase of the property in its current condition, or on any condos that may be built there. That’s his job, just like it’s O’Flaherty’s lawyer’s job to press whatever advantages can be obtained from the vagueness, ambiguity and gaps in the language of the City’s Zoning Code – or from any inconsistencies in how the City has applied that Code in other analogous circumstances.

I looked back at the fair view property (same developer). The whole frontage of that development along fair view is commercial space unlike the other project where neither Talcott nor vine frontage have an significant amount of commercial space frontage. Also the units above fair view comply with R-4 density and sq footage requirements where Talcott and vine exceed even r-5 and units are as small as 1400 sq ft. Also fair view project is going to have the entrance/exit to parking facing an alley. Talcott vine project the developer is placing such entrance/exit on an already crowded Talcott. Finally the residential zoned property on fair view is only to the west of the planned development across an alley and that residential zoned property to the west is currently vacant and even if homes were built there the back of the development would face the back of the homes (garage). Talcott vine to the east is already developed and all single family homes. I do not see the similarities in these projects even though I have heard some try to say they are similar. What am I missing?

EDITOR’S NOTE: For one thing, O’Flaherty will be providing only partial stormwater detention – and paying a fee in lieu of the remainder – for each of those properties.

Your amoral perspective — that it’s everybody’s job to press for whatever personal advantages can be gained by any flaws or vulnerabilities displayed by the rest of the taxpayers — is one many people in Park Ridge do not share. It’s all fun and games for some of us, but since the City apparently can’t hire anyone sharp enough to stand up to the fancy dancers (same thing happened in the TIF project, BTW)and write watertight codes, etc., wouldn’t it be more fun to use your sharp skills to prevent disasters than to mock them after the fact?

EDITOR’S NOTE: What’s “amoral” about the developer’s attempt to legally exploit what appears to be a gap in the zoning ordinance to maximize his profit on redevelopment of an empty and decrepit building that has been vacant for awhile? He’s not exploiting the “flaws or vulnerabilities” of any “taxpayers,” just those of their government’s poorly-drafted zoning law.

Now, if you’ve got a beef with how the zoning law was drafted, take it up with the folks who comprised the City’s Ad Hoc Zoning Ordinance Re-Write Committee: Kirke Machon, Rich DiPietro, Ann Tennes, attorney Gary Zimmerman, Atul Karkhanis, attorney Ellen Upton, Brian Kidd, Philip Mitchell, attorney Cynthia Funkhouser, Timothy Metropolus, Rob Lohens, Judy Barclay, attorney Joseph Cwik, attorney Terry McConville, Tom Provencher, Anita Rifkind and attorney Aurora Abella-Austriaco. Maybe they can explain why the ordinance they helped re-write apparently lets a developer put more residential units in a “B” building than he could if it were the top-rated “R-4” building.

But don’t even try to compare this zoning issue with the financial abortion known as the Uptown TIF development, a project launched on the borderline-fraudulent premise that it was to be primarily a “retail” project rather than a “residential” one – for which a complicit majority of the Council grabbed their ankles as part of a two-bit political deal to get then-mayor Mike Marous’ support for then-ald. Mike Tinaglia’s 2005 mayoral campaign against then-ald. Howard Frimark.

Why hasn’t the zoning ordinance been visited and changed by the Mayor and council?

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’d guess too many other more important things to do, but you should show up at a Council meeting and ask.

Money over pr???? So 3:22, who exactly elected you to determine what is or is not “over PR” or in the best interest of PR. McGovern has a right to voice his opinion, just like you.

meanwhile, let’s all go down to the address in question and gaze at what is currently there. So you are saying having empty crap like that all over town is in the best interest of PR???

As for the neighbors, I’d you buy near South Park or Uptown you have to expect development.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We had “empty crap” over at Touhy and Washington for a number of years, now we have a Whole Foods. We had “empty crap” at Prospect and Summit where Pines used to be, but we hear there will soon be a restaurant in there.

“Empty crap” is more a function of the owners of property holding out for a better deal. So sometimes you just have to out-wait them.

Here is the link to fairview. 3 buildings with commercial space on bottom and each with 6 units on top. Total of 18 and units will be much larger than 400 Talcott project. Apparently per article no neighbors came out to complain – then again there are no immediate residential neighbors at the fair view site and it is a less dense project and lower traffic congestion area.

State law on “Administrative Review” requires that all parties to an administrative proceeding must be sued in circuit court or the party challenging the administrative body’s decision will have its case dismissed. Those who objected might be considered “parties,” so it would have been an unacceptable risk for the developer’s counsel to leave them off the complaint. Recognizing that they should not really be involved, the dismissal offer makes sense. The realtor who spoke in favor of the development, in contrast, is probably considered a witness, not a party.

Prospectively, it is our state legislators who should be looking for a way to exempt individual citizens who express their opinions from becoming entangled in litigation. by amending the Administrative Review Act.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Time to call and write Sen. Kotowski and Rep. Moylan to use their Party’s veto-proof majority to do something productive for a change.

I received an email saying the administrative review act WAS amended in 2008 to correct for developers trying to sue everyone. This makes this developers actions in suing citizens suspect. How can he or his lawyer rely on an old statute and be allowed to get away with it? Shame in them.
Here is the info I was sent

Effective: August 14, 2008
735 ILCS 5/3-107
Formerly cited as IL ST CH 110 ¶?3-107
5/3-107. Defendants
§ 3-107. Defendants.
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) or (c), in any action to review any final decision of an administrative agency, the administrative agency and all persons, other than the plaintiff, who were parties of record to the proceedings before the administrative agency shall be made defendants. The method of service of the decision shall be as provided in the Act governing the procedure before the administrative agency, but if no method is provided, a decision shall be deemed to have been served either when a copy of the decision is personally delivered or when a copy of the decision is deposited in the United States mail, in a sealed envelope or package, with postage prepaid, addressed to the party affected by the decision at his or her last known residence or place of business. The form of the summons and the issuance of alias summons shall be according to rules of the Supreme Court.
No action for administrative review shall be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction based upon the failure to name an employee, agent, or member, who acted in his or her official capacity, of an administrative agency, board, committee, or government entity, where the administrative agency, board, committee, or government entity, has been named as a defendant as provided in this Section. Naming the director or agency head, in his or her official capacity, shall be deemed to include as defendant the administrative agency, board, committee, or government entity that the named defendants direct or head. No action for administrative review shall be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction based upon the failure to name an administrative agency, board, committee, or government entity, where the director or agency head, in his or her official capacity, has been named as a defendant as provided in this Section.
If, during the course of a review action, the court determines that an agency or a party of record to the administrative proceedings was not made a defendant as required by the preceding paragraph, then the court shall grant the plaintiff 35 days from the date of the determination in which to name and serve the unnamed agency or party as a defendant. The court shall permit the newly served defendant to participate in the proceedings to the extent the interests of justice may require.

The vulnerable taxpayers I was evoking were not the 22 hapless individual residents, but the entirety of Park Ridge, all of whom would be paying to defend the City from a frivolous and/or malicious suit. You try to distinguish the taxpayers from their feckless government but see, in America, the taxpayers ARE the government. We’re all at risk from this jamoke.

As to the Uptown redevelopment project being torqued from mostly retail to mostly residential to further some plot against Frimark, you are delusional. Remember this was started at least three years before the Great Recession and many, many residents — especially the younger families on whom every town depends for growth — wanted something besides three mangy evergreens and a 1950s-era event sign on that key property. Optimism was not misplaced, but it was misled. There was too much residential and too little retail, the parking was limited in ways that helped speed the loss of Walter E. Smythe, and other by-inches manuevers were employed, any one of which on its own appeared innocuous to our “professional” staff on whom the elected officials relied for advice. You and Chuck Baldaccino were instrumental in delivering the death blow to the momentum on leasing the spaces, because his threat of immiment lawsuit to stop the project had to be taken seriously by officials. You do get that, right? So drag it out a few years and, voila! Forgotten but not gone.

Meanwhile, at least you can cross Touhy in Uptown without taking your life in your hands, and we do have some high-profile retail providing wanted services and products to our residents. Yes, it’s too damned expensive by far. But a plot to impede Frimark? Not.

EDITOR’S NOTE: No, the taxpayers ARE NOT the goverment and they never have been under our Constitution – you know, that document folks like you tend to view as some cheap political tract written 200+ years ago by a bunch of racist, sexist, elitist now-dead white guys. Our government is a REPUBLIC where the voters elect the REPRESENTATIVES who oversee the hired bureaucrats who actually run the government on a daily basis.

And no, we never said that the Uptown develoment was “torqued from mostly retail to mostly residential to further some plot against Frimark.” That’s because it didn’t need to be: even though the project from Day One was sold to taxpayers as a COMMERCIAL/RETAIL development with some residential, in reality it was always going to be a RESIDENTIAL development with some commercial, irrespective of the Frimark/Tinaglia petty political intrigue. That’s because no developer was willing to commit to substantially more commercial/retail space than the project ultimately ended up with; and the fact that a number of the limited storefronts are filled with NON-retail businesses proves that those developers were right, while the “delusional” ones were the nut-jobs who saw the project as a retail mecca throwing off tons of extra revenue annually.

And speaking of “delusional,” your fantasy about “the loss of Walter E. Smythe” [sic] pretty much fits that bill. That loss became a fait accompli when the City (i.e., Wietecha and Schuenke) refused even to enter into negotiations with WES after WES inquired about purchasing the “reservoir block” and putting up its own free-standing store and parking – because Wietecha, Marous, Schuenke, et al. wanted to give the whole project, from six corners down to Meacham, to one single developer: PRC. And PRC already had the deal in hand before Baldacchino even filed his wrong-headed lawsuit (on June 1, 2005) that did absolutley NOTHING to significantly slow down the project because (a) he couldn’t get an injunction to stop it, and (b) Frimark and the then-aldermen fell all over themselves giving PRC’s lender every financial guaranty it wanted.

Finally, the “plot to impede Frimark” had been hatched in 2003 by what was then the “Anderson Four” (which became the “Anderson Nine” in May 2005) and finalized in 2003 when a majority of aldermen voted then-ald. Marous to be acting-mayor – on the promise that he wouldn’t run for that seat in May 2005 and would, instead, support then-ald. Tinaglia over Frimark. The anti-Frimark contingent, in return, promised to go along with Marous’ Uptown plans. And that’s exactly what happened to give us that massive financial white elephant.

anon 11:50– Nice tactic. I didn’t say he couldn’t voice his opinion, I just said it was a $$$ self-interested one. It’s the lawyers for O’flaherty that want to stifle free speech.

Don’t conflate a issues. Park Ridge is TERRIBLE to develop or run a commercial business. That doesn’t mean we settle for another giant condo complex. I think the city council should almost ban new condo developments like this.

That’s why I asked if the Mayor or City Council has done anything to clear it up. ****Crickets****

Why should the city bail out land owners? They should just lower their price.

EDITOR’S NOTE: WHY is “Park Ridge…TERRIBLE to develop or run a commercial business”…other than that residents don’t patronize some of the businesses that have been tried here?

As for what the mayor and/or city council should be doing about this problem, until the suspected gap/anomaly in the Code was suggested by the developer of this Talcott project, there was no reason for anybody – mayor, council, P&Z, staff, residents – to scour the Zoning Code looking for such a gap/anomaly. So now that a lawsuit has been filed, it should be up to the City staff – with the aid of the City Attorney – to determine whether there truly is a gap/anomaly in the Code; and, if so, whether it can be solved by an amendment that can be drafted and submitted to the Council for its consideration.

The alleged “gap/anomaly” is on the Council’s radar and has either been sent or will soon be sent to the Planning and Zoning Commission for tightening. FYI-our Zoning Ordinance requires that any changes to the ordinance (which this would be) go through P and Z first.

Good point about people vs government. I still believe in a democracy they’re one and the same, but I can see how the three-way disconnect between the actual human-type people, their replicant representatives and their bureaucratic employees would make one despair. And no, “we” don’t dis the Constitution for being written by racist, sexist dead white guys. For their time they were waaaayyyy ahead of the curve. The ones who are identical except they’re still nominally alive and running around today are the ones we cheerfully dis.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Why does it not surprise us that you believe a republic and a democracy are “one and the same”? And your comment about the racist, sexist dead white guys demonstrates once again that their principles and values – which are timeless and are embodied in our Constitution – are as meaningless to you as the difference between a republic and a democracy.

But thanks for yet another nameless and clueless comment.

If you are a WOW watcher, you may have seen that 10 residents have contacted the City Atty, 7 of those 10 have opted NOT to sign the waiver and have representation.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are not, but that sounds like a good thing for citizen free speech.

Regarding the difference between a republic and a democracy: Most people won’t take the time and effort necessary to educate themselves. That said, I believe that citizens of this country, especially voters, should take 11 minutes and listen to this short lecture:

EDITOR’S NOTE: The difference is clearly lost on 11.17.14 @ 8:01/5:12 but, unfortunately, he/she won’t watch the video.

You must be tired. What I said was that racist, sexist views by dead white guys who were way ahead of their time in their development of the Constitution get a big pass — racist, sexist white guys today do not. Especially the ones who use all their guile and money to undermine said Constitution with a smile. I’m a hell of a lot more in sync with the “timeless principles and values” of the Constitution than you are, bub.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If we come across any racist, sexist white guys we’ll tell them – especially the ones with all that guile and money.

You don’t even know the difference between a “republic” and a “democracy,” so you’re more likely to be “in sync” with Joey Fatone and Lance Bass than with the “timeless principles and values” of our Constitution.

at last Monday’s council meeting the city attorney mentioned that an attorney is taking up the citizens cause pro bono. Sounds like the developer might be in for a first amendment feud. the city attorney explained how the developer may have relied on ambiguous old court decisions to manufacture a reason to add the residents and admitted in response to an aldermans question that simply naming individuals in the lawsuit may have already accomplished the chilling effect the developer and attorney desired. Shameful. Pubdog you got it right when you said we sometimes have to wait it out for the right business to come and develop and in meantime look at an eyesore. Otherwise we would potentially destroy the primarily single family residential character of park ridge. If we allowed all commercial space to convert to muti units our community will turn into a different place and I do not think the majority of residents want that. Certain suburbs strive to maintain more single family homes and limited commercial space others maximize commercial space and multi units. Neither is per se wrong but each creates a different atmosphere.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Multi-family residential has been the low-hanging fruit for local “development” since the bait-and-switch Uptown TIF project went from commercial/retail to residential. At least we got a Whole Foods instead of more condo buildings at Touhy and Washington; we will be getting the health club coming to the old Napleton dealership on Touhy and Cumberland; and the former Embers will become single family homes.

Joey Fatone and Lance Bass! Dog, you rock!

8:01/5:12 just does not get it. But at least you give these goobers a chance to prove what goobers they are, and the rest of us a laugh. I just hope none of them are public officials.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We do too, but we suspect they are.

yep, low hanging fruit indeed. Just talk to any one in the high priced condos uptown, and ask them how their dealing with the now renters who apparently have no regard for condo rules. But hey multi family units in Park Ridge will be filled with single professionals who don’t have cars, or seniors just looking to downsize. It surely won’t be filled with families with multiple cars and kids who will be entering our already crowed schools or adding to the very frustrating traffic issues we all endure traveling through town.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If the schools continue their comparative mediocrity vis-a-vis places like Glenview, Northbrook, Northfield, Elmhurst, Western Springs, LaGrange, etc., maybe fewer families will come here for them. And then property values won’t be lucrative enough for the empty nesters to want to sell and move away.


Ahhhhh the traffic complaints!!! SO that is why we have bad traffic in PR. It’s all the renters and more renters will make for grid lock……ahhhhhh!!! We are still reeling from all the added traffic and congestion, not to mention risk to SPC kids, brought on by Wholefoods (remember that one).

Look, you decided to live in PR, which includes such streets as Cumberland, Devon, Dempster and Touhy. All that traffic you see on these streets is not generally due to things in PR, like people or businesses but rather people going through PR. All those renters with multiple cars you are so worried about generally are like you and me. They get up and either take the train or drive to work. If they drive they typically drive out of PR to work. I would urge you to buy a cup of Starbucks and stand at the corner by the Pickwick and observe the traffic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wasn’t that sarcasm from 7:28?

Honestly… so a block with say 6 single family homes who generate the ordinary traffic use of going to school, work, or grocery store wouldn’t change if 22 residential units we added. Putting at the very least another 22 cars into the traffic system or the 116 units that are going in on Touhy with similar math applied. The point here is density. Which has historically been a very sensitive issue. but hey,Stack em and pack em because more doesn’t really mean more right? Just ask the experts.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If the Zoning Code permits it, or is unclear about it, it will be built. If you don’t like it, come to a City Council meeting and beef about it.

Note to your goober acolytes: It’s a DEMOCRATIC republic. Your insistence on separating the populace from its representatives is a big part of why they sell out to faux people, aka corporations, and keep getting reelected anyway. I cannot imagine what benefit you find in parsing our government this way except to further less representative government. Certainly you would not be alone in dreaming of a pre-1776-era scenario in which white male landowners — you know, the only people who really have a stake in the economy and are contributors — were the only voters. You may get your wish, but by then you’ll be elderly and infirm, and, according to the gospel you and yours espouse, valued only for your contribution to Soylent Green. But meanwhile, rock on!

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re the last folks who would insist on “separating the populace from its representatives” – and if you read and understood what we’ve been writing in this blog for the past 7+ years, you wouldn’t state otherwise; or trot out irrelevent red herring racist/sexist arguments about “white male landowners.” One reason we love referendums for significant issues is because we love to hear directly from the taxpayers who are chronically neglected and ignored, especially by the folks who want more, bigger, and more expensive government.

As for what will happen to the “elderly and infirm,” we assume all of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel’s fellow Democrats/Progressives/Socialists like yourself will take his advice and work on dying at 75. Bon voyage.

Not bickering about the zoning code per say but rather those who suggest that anyone voicing a genuine concern about the impact of large, dense projects in or around their single family neighborhood are in some way wrong about them. Or maybe 7:58 agrees with the idea that the 20 + residents who are getting sued for voicing their concerns had it coming. I mean really, who are they to actually care about where they live?

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re not “bickering about the zoning code” then you’re wasting your time barking up the wrong tree – because most of the density and development problems we have had over the past decade stem from the Zoning Code.

…or lack of true enforcement of it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes. However, when it is vague, ambiguous, or inconsistent it may be unenforceable in many respects.

“Resisential character”———If that’s true,please tell me how inundating us with giant, multi-family eyesores, maintains the “residential character”.

So, commenters think residential character means increased density and transient living?

I believe the word you’re looking for is “flexible” and when coupled with “intent” could easily be enforced. Inconsistent enforcement has been problematic.


7:58 here. I do not agree with citizens getting sued for voicing their opinion. Hell, I voice my opinion all the time.

This is one of those times we disagree. I am so tired of the absurd reasoning behind some of the grousing. Sorry but if you live in this neighborhood you are very close(or right on top of) the south park area which is what I would call “commercial” or “retail”. This is the kind of development that one might expect in such an area.

The bottom line is you and the folks in the neighborhood do not want the development. You have every right to make your case but if you want folks (or at least me) to take you seriously you are going to have to come up with better reasons that “a genuine concern about the impact of large, dense projects in or around their single family neighborhood”. 20 units neither large nor dense. If you think that an additional 20 cars moving around Talcott/Devon on a daily basis is even going to noticeable you are flat out wrong.

This is the same argument the SPC group used against WF. There has been no issues.

7:58 9:50 … it will to the people who live there. Who the hell are you to suggest that anyone’s concerns of how their day to day life may be impacted by a dramatic change to their neighborhood isn’t genuine?

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