Tag Archives: Roosevelt Road

Scofflaw Trustees Did It Again

January 25, 2013

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By Norman Abramowitz

Trustees Jay Olson, Tim Allen, Tony Reyes and Jim Hughes violated village and State of Illinois law with their illegal rezoning of the Marathon station on December 6, 2012. And then, not satisfied with two flagrant violations of the law, they did it again on January 10, 2013 with yet another illegal rezoning. So the four Scofflaw Trustees that have the Village of Winfield board in a death grip broke the law three times in a month.

First, a recap. The Marathon station on the corner of Winfield Road and Roosevelt Road has been zoned residential with a ‘special use’ to operate as a gas station for many decades. The Patels, the owners in 2012, were perfectly happy with this arrangement, but apparently trustees Olson, Allen, Reyes and Hughes weren’t. They wanted to forcibly rezone this to commercial, despite the heartfelt objections of the Patels and many neighbors.

The final vote to rezone Marathon was at the November 15th board meeting. But since Trustee Reyes was not present they did not have the votes, and the rezoning failed. In a parliamentary move, Trustee Allen (who drove the forced rezoning effort) voted “no.” Normally this would mean the issue could be reconsidered and voted on again when Trustee Reyes was present at the next board meeting – ensuring success of the forced rezoning.

But apparently Trustee Allen did not understand village law, since if he did he would have known that the vote on November 15th was truly final. The village attorney clarified the situation in a memorandum sent to all trustees on November 30, 2012.

Trustees Olson, Allen, Reyes and Hughes were fit to be tied: they had lost their beloved forced rezoning of Marathon. So, at the December 6th board meeting they violated State of Illinois law by illegally forcing a ‘vote to reconsider’ on the agenda without the required 48 hour notice. This is an Open Meeting Act (OMA) violation. The village attorney warned them this was an OMA violation at the meeting, but the barged forward anyway. And then, despite warnings from the village attorney and objections from Trustees Jack Bajor and Erik Spande, they directly violated village law and illegally rezoned the Marathon station. Yes, that’s right – they blatantly violated two laws at one board meeting. A record!

Village President Birutis did the only thing she could do, and on December 20th she vetoed the illegal rezoning. At least she understands and upholds the law.

But the four Scofflaw Trustees were not done yet. They demanded the right to overturn President Birutis’ veto at the January 10, 2013 board meeting. And true to form, Olson, Reyes, Allen and Hughes dutifully overturned Village President Birutis’ veto and forcibly rezoned Marathon once and for all. In doing so the four Scofflaw Trustees violated village law yet again – the third time in a month.

Trustees Olson, Reyes, Allen and Hughes have shown all of Winfield that they have complete contempt for the law, will trample the rights of the public with more OMA violations, and that they will do whatever it takes to get their way. The four Scofflaw Trustees contempt for the law shows they have contempt for us – the resident of this village.

Winfield is a wonderful community that we all love. Winfield deserves better than four Scofflaw Trustees.

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Zoning Without Planning

January 24, 2013

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By Karen Skillman

From time to time over the years individuals have wondered if the Roosevelt Road corridor that passes through Winfield should be zoned commercial.

Each time this question has risen several things have happened: village planners look at the expense of providing commercial-grade infrastructure necessary to attract commercial enterprise to the area and have rejected it as too costly,  residential developers have bought more of the available land and put in more houses ( ie: Normandy Woods Lane, The Woods of Cantigy and Garfield Court)  making future commercial redevelopment less attractive, and residents hesitant to lose the residential and wooded beauty of the area across from Cantigny.

One thing that has not happened is no commercial developer has stepped forward with an actual plan or serious proposal.  Without a plan or proposal the village has no reason to rezone the area and, in the process, negatively affect […]

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Red Light Camera Installed

January 23, 2011

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by Karen Skillman

Below is the press release from the village regarding the newly installed red light camera at Winfield and Roosevelt roads. The camera, it seems, is on the east bound direction, a grace period is in effect until February. As someone who lives nearby on Winfield Rd, I can attest to the number of accidents, sometimes we can hear them. I hope this helps reduce accidents as promised.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 20, 2011

Village of Winfield Launches Red Light Camera Program

The Village of Winfield has begun implementing a Red Light Photo Enforcement Program at the eastbound intersection of Roosevelt and Winfield Roads, with signs clearly posted alerting drivers to the presence of the cameras.  The primary objective of the program is to provide 24-hour automated intersection enforcement and increase traffic safety by reducing accidents resulting from red light-running violations.

Statistics indicate red light running is the leading cause of urban auto accidents.  Motorists and pedestrians are more likely to be injured severely in accidents involving failure to obey traffic controls than in any other type of accident.  Deputy Chief Stacy Reever is confident moving forward with the program will benefit the community. “We spent a substantial amount of time evaluating information including traffic data and comparing both the technology and services provided by a number of vendors.  We wanted to be absolutely certain we made the best choice on behalf of our residents”.

A 2-week grace period through the end of January introduces the program, during which time violators will receive Warning Notices, as opposed to actual $100 citations which will be issued beginning on February 1, 2011.

A comprehensive program has been established to govern the issuance of the tickets.  The video images of all potential violations are first reviewed by a specially trained Winfield Police Officer before any notices are sent to the vehicle’s registered owner.  Like a parking ticket, these violations are treated as a civil offense and will not impact driving records or insurance rates, unless the owner fails to pay the fine or to contest liability in a timely manner, which may result in a suspension of the driving privileges of the registered owner of the vehicle.  When a citation is issued and received by the violator through the mail, they will be referred to a website where they can review the still and video images of their violation.  The vehicle’s registered owner has the right to contest a citation through the Village’s administrative hearing system for red light enforcement violations.  This hearing system is a local method to judge municipal violations as opposed to going through the County court process.

Motorists should be aware they will not receive a violation if:

  • They enter the intersection on a green or yellow light which turns red prior to them completing their left turn;
  • They come to a complete stop and then proceed forward to gain a better sight distance before turning right;
  • They come to a complete stop after the stop bar (unless they force a pedestrian or biker from the crosswalk).

According to Deputy Chief Reever, there are a number of benefits associated with these cameras.  Specifically, the installation of the equipment came at absolutely no cost to the Village and a camera monitoring intersection frees up officers to focus on other areas within the community.  “Drivers need to understand that it’s dangerous to run a red light. You put yourself and others at risk in an attempt to shave a few seconds off the time it takes to get to another red light a few blocks down the road”.

Residents interested in learning more abut Winfield’s photo enforcement program are invited to visit the Town’s website at www.villageofwinfield.com for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

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Development & Roosevelt Road

January 22, 2011

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by Dennis Clark

In these difficult times when so many people are struggling with employment, higher cost everywhere and perhaps the inability to sell their home to move to a better place – it is very easy to look for someone, a local agency or government, to blame.

Yet in this dismal climate I would like to point out some positive facts I found on the internet:

  1. Eleven businesses decided to come to Winfield in 2010. Pepper-Jack’s Southwestern Grill will be opening in early 2011 and Winfield’s Economic Development Committee sent out over 150 inquires to businesses as Winfield looks to continue this trend including a bakery that has been consistently identified by residents as a desirable business.
  2. In 2010, Winfield, despite its relatively small size, according to a Metro Study report, ranked among the top ten communities in the Chicagoland area for new housing permits. As Fisher Farms is reaching it completion, the president of Airhart Construction stated, “There’s pretty amazing activity; I think it is very fair to say that Winfield is at or near the top of residential building permits pulled in DuPage County for 2010.”
  3. The Village Board and staff have shown builders such as Airhart and MI Homes that they value good partnerships. Last year MI Homes received approval for a major change to the planned development off Highlake Road and is adding 44 additional townhomes over commercial development.
  4. And tonight I see listed on the agenda that yet another residential development is being discussed for County Farm Road by a very familiar and quality development group, Kingsland Properties.

It is hard to argue with facts, and in this economy these are pretty amazing facts. I am not sure what draws these types of activities to Winfield and the people who buy these homes, but perhaps it could be attributed to the Village’s natural beauty and character that is provided by our mature trees, the surrounding golf courses and forest preserves, the DuPage River and the Illinois Prairie Path. Perhaps they have heard of the planning going on with the Riverwalk spurred in no small part by the matching donation of Central DuPage of $80,000 and the spirit of the people working on this project. Perhaps they see a Village Board that cares more about quality of life of its citizens and is making plans to address infrastructure issues and balance the budget. When I look back on past administrations this was not always the case and this Board is now saddled with some of these mismanagement issues from those past administrations.

When I look to many other Villages such as; Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, and Oak Brook to name a few, I see Villages that are currently struggling to pay for services in spite of a heavy concentration of retail development. West Chicago has a number of empty stores and Winfield has some of its own – notably on Geneva Road.

So if retail development is the key, as some folks are now claiming, why is it that other Village’s that have far more retail development can not fill their empty stores with merchants and are having financial difficulties? The idea of development of Roosevelt Road by eminent domain will cost the Village dearly in money, time and most likely lost property. The last time this was attempted, about 15 residents signed pre-annexation agreements with West Chicago and about 20 acres are now lost forever. I understand that several others are once again thinking of talking to West Chicago. For the taking of people’s land to give to another private entity usually does not settle well with people and they take very aggressive steps to protect themselves. I think that Roosevelt Road will one day be developed, but at this time it does not yet seem right. A feasibility study conducted back in 2003/2004 clearly showed the high cost to provide infrastructure to Roosevelt Road and a much better value and return could be obtained by going north to St. Charles and North Ave.

Studies have shown that empty retail stores do not produce the needed local taxes like residential development since residential goes on year in and year out regardless of the economy. Thus, it seems that our path of development for additional residential areas and infill, the concentration on the downtown redevelopment and push for commercial activity for St. Charles and North Ave corridor is probably the most prudent and safe course of action.

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