Atty. Heise: If the moratorium were to lapse before zoning changes were made law, "we’d be back where we started." [However, a] moratorium can be extended or shortened any time before its end date.
. . . .
Trustee Ray Johnson did not support the moratorium idea in part because of the process to enact it that was cut short in observance of the board’s month off in August.
"This is normally a process that should take several weeks, not several days," Johnson said, asking Heise to confirm. Heise said it was "not that unusual" for the board to respond quickly to an issue.
Is there more turning to Atty. Heise these days than usual? Is he being asked to do more than give legal opinion?
Johnson said the move could create an environment of uncertainty for developers, and that, taken together, this and other moves Oak Park has made might [together make] the village seem anti-development.
"There is also a lot of uncertainty when it comes to residents," responded Trustee Robert Milstein.
"Sometimes it does take courage to say no," Johnson said, adding that he understands concerns of neighbors on the 400 block of North Maple Avenue, but thinks the moratorium goes too far.
At a study session Thursday [four days before the vote], Johnson [had] said he was concerned about approving the moratorium without giving residents an opportunity to comment on it. The board heard a first reading of the ordinance Thursday and passed it Monday.
"In circumstances where we don’t have some pressing issue, it’s always preferable to allow time, as much as you can, but it’s not necessary," Heise said of public comment Thursday. "We’re perfectly within the law as a home-rule community."
Here is Heise as lawyer, essentially telling trustees what they can get away with. It’s what a lawyer does.