Friday, December 15, 2006

Disputed condo development . . .

. . . in 400 block of N. Maple has townhouses next door, on NW corner, Superior. Across the street is a house garishly festooned with anti-war messages, including a banner in German stretching its width. This is Oak Park’s best-known incipient development because it’s too big for neighbors’ taste and they have been complaining and the village board has been discussing.

If the developer were to trade it for the also much-discussed Colt Building on Lake Street a few blocks away, as he is reported in Wed Journal to have said he might, his fame would go off the charts for at least 15 minutes, probably 15 months until he had completed transformation of the Colt into lavish condos with shooting gallery on first floor — just kidding, all you literalists out there.

Do those anti-war signs and banner violate an ordinance somewhere, somehow, by the way? Remember the Greek restaurateur who was given a hard time because he ran Greek letters across his garish awning on OP Ave. across from the Green Line stop? Commercial establishment, yes, but do we want garish signs on residential blocks? Especially one where neighbors have made such a case against a new building with too many units? I don’t know the answer, as one or other trustee has said he doesn’t know the answer to other, less pertinent, conundrums.

As for Trustee M., one who has said he does not know answers, for him I have some characteristically good advice: Go easy on your trademark frontal attack at board meetings or you lose your shock appeal. Getting in the face of the mild-mannered board president, for instant, suffers from the same law of diminishing returns that devalues currency. From respect born of discomfort, other trustees’ response could degenerate to there-he-goes-again. It’s a problem.

As it is for bloggers, who on the formality scale of one to ten come to two or three.  They have no time for vast ideas, only half-vast ones, it seems.  I don’t know the answer.

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