The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 | village@oak-park.us

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Village Manager's Weekly Report

Week Ending Nov. 8, 2019

Meetings scheduled for next week:

  • Monday, Nov. 11:
    • Finance Committee Meeting, 7 p.m., room 101 (approval of prior meeting minutes only)
    • Village Board Special Meeting, 7 p.m., room 101
  • Tuesday, Nov. 12
    • Aging in Place Commission, 7 p.m., room 101
  • Wednesday, Nov. 13:
    • Farmers’ Market Commission, 7 p.m., room 101
  • Thursday, Nov. 14:
    • Civic Information Systems Commission, 7 p.m., room 102
    • Transportation Commission, 7 p.m., room 101
    • Historic Preservation Commission, 7:30 p.m., Council Chamber
  • Friday, Nov. 15:
    • No meetings scheduled

ZBA actions – The Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously this week to recommended approval of a special use permit for a Holiday Inn Express Hotel at 1140 Lake St. In response to concerns raised about traffic congestion and delivery truck issues, the ZBA recommended that the Village study current conditions and help the applicant work out a delivery plan during the construction permitting process. In other business, the ZBA also unanimously recommended approval of a special use permit for a day care at 941 Garfield St., which would be adjacent to the applicant’s Montessori school. The applicant was required to provide reasonable sound proofing with an adjacent business. Finally, the ZBA unanimously recommended approval of a second-floor nail academy at 1036 Lake St. The space, which is above the applicant’s current nail salon, would train approximately 15 students per term from 6 to 9 p.m., weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. No testimony was given in opposition to the nail academy.

Plan Commission update – The Plan Commission voted unanimously to postpone till Feb. 6 further consideration of an application for a special use permit to allow construction of a new parking garage at Rush Oak Park Hospital. Multiple residents attended the commission meeting last night (Thurs., Nov. 7) and voiced opposition to the garage and street vacation proposal. Hospital representatives asked for the continuance, indicating that they would meet with the neighbors prior to the February Plan Commission meeting.

Dementia awareness training – The Aging in Place Commission will host dementia awareness training at its Nov. 12 meeting. The training will be offered by a commission member with expertise in the area. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in room 101 at Village Hall. In the meantime, the first meeting of the Dementia Friendly Community Action Team held this week at Village Hall attracted about 40 attendees. The team is working to have Oak Park designated as a Dementia Friendly Community by the non-profit organization Dementia Friendly America. More information about the effort is posted at www.oak-park.us/dementiafriendly.

Survey collection period ends – The collection period for the National Community Survey underway in Oak Park ends next week. Response collection closes Wed., Nov. 13. The survey is conducted by the National Research Center, Inc. (NRC), a social science research firm that specializes in gathering and analyzing information for local governments, non-profit agencies and foundations. This will be the eighth community survey conducted by NRC for the Village since 2000. Click here to learn more...

Vaping education initiative – The Communications and Health departments recently took to Instagram to warn teens about the dangers of vaping. With $150 in marketing funds, an Instagram post was targeted to people ages 12 to 20 within a two-mile radius of Oak Park. The post noted that teens across the country are being hospitalized due to a vaping-related illness and included a link back to a recently-created page on the Village website about the risks of vaping. The promoted post reached 8,493 people, 90 percent of whom weren’t following the Village on Instagram and otherwise would not have seen the post if not for the paid promotion. In addition to raising awareness about the risks of vaping, the post generated 82 likes, 29 comments and 66 visits to the vaping risks webpage. Staff from the Health and Communications departments also recently met with counterparts at Oak Park and River Forest High School to discuss ways to collaborate to create and promote messages about vaping risks and other public health issues related to teens. Future plans include social media campaigns and informational materials that can be distributed to students and parents.

Miscellaneous construction updates – Work on the pavement markings resumed this week on Madison Street after the weather delay. Activity focused on applying the specialty bicycle lane symbols, which should wrap up by mid-month. Preparation work for next spring’s water main replacement project on Austin Boulevard between Chicago Avenue and Lake Street was pushed to next week due delays in material delivery. In the meantime, City of Chicago contractors are replacing curb and sidewalk on Austin Boulevard as part of a resurfacing project underway between Iowa Street and North Avenue, with the goal of paving before Thanksgiving.

Lake Street update – Stenciling of the open-for-business message on select sidewalk sections along Lake Street was expected to wrap up this week. The message, which includes the project website betterlakestreet.com, is intended to help alert the community and share the details about the major streetscape project planned for next year. The sections of sidewalk with stencils will be replaced as part of the project. Crews also pulled cable for the new street lighting at Lake Street and Forest Avenue along the Albion building frontage. The new light poles are scheduled to be installed and the planter and the brick sidewalk restored next week.