By: Diane Benjamin
Remember back to last year. Usually when a zoning change is requested it is because some entrepreneur wants to develop a property in a way it isn’t zoned for.
That isn’t the case with One Normal Plaza. The Town is pushing allowing alcohol in the park. Yes, it is a park setting with kids playing, lots of green space, and a family atmosphere because it was created as a children’s home many decades ago. Since the only supporter who addressed this issue last year was Julie Hile, the Town must be catering to their friend. Hile owns property in ONP.
The area residents don’t want alcohol in the park. Many meetings were held by the neighbors, some included elected officials and Town staff.
One would think the opposition shown by these citizens would send a message to the Town to drop it. It would have greatly increased the chances of killing alcohol in the park if all the bobbleheads hadn’t been re-elected. Nice job Normal for not bothering to vote last April.
Anyway, the zoning change is coming back to the Planning Commission August 5th. The only consideration Normal gave to the area residents was delaying this hearing until meeting in person could take place. That is now. Signs should be visible around One Normal Plaza announcing the hearing.
If the Planning Commission approves what the Town wants then the whole Council will hear it. From experience we know how that will go, citizens are (of course) not seeing the change as being great, but the Town knows better.
The Planning Commission meeting will be at 5:00 pm in the Council Chambers, 4th floor at Uptown Station.
If you care about preserving the beauty of ONP and the property values, you need to attend this meeting. Since the Town’s history of only catering to their buddies is extensive, this one will be interesting.