Taking Homes For Parking? Think Again!

A back door plan to use eminent domain to provide additional parking for a main street shopping district creates outrage in a Chicago area community.

"Plans to buy several Forest Park, Ill. homes and businesses to expand two parking lots were put on hold this week when more than 100 residents protested the idea.

The village's main commercial district along Madison Street has transformed into a dining and shopping destination with new stores, restaurants and condominiums in recent years. With that success, parking has become premium commodity, especially in the evenings, said Joellen Charlton, a consultant hired to study the problem.

In a closed meeting in September, the Village Board decided to build surface lots rather than a parking deck because of the cost. In that meeting commissioners also discussed the need for acquiring properties for additional parking.

But when the agenda for the Nov. 13 board meeting came out, residents and some commissioners were shocked to see mention of the possible use of eminent domain to acquire those properties."

Full Story: Forest Park backs off idea of taking homes for parking

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