Garden Room Owner Aims to Bolster Support before Village Considers Rezone Proposal

The village won't consider a proposal to have a Shorewood house rezoned — to make way for it to be razed and a parking lot constructed — until late October. Meanwhile, residents who oppose the project say a petition campaign continues.

owner Deb Kern said she is taking some time to bolster support and address the concerns of neighborhood residents before she goes in front of the village for approval of a rezoning request, in hopes of razing a Shorewood home and constructing a "green" customer parking lot.

"I'll be meeting with residents to hear their concerns on the project," she said.

aimed at having the home at 3940 N. Frederick Ave. rezoned and razed, Kern said she removed her request from an Aug. 27 Plan Commission meeting. She didn't remove the request from a Sept. 25 agenda, but it will finally reach the commission for consideration on Oct. 23.

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Meanwhile, Frederick Avenue resident Sue Witas said the campaign to disrupt the proposal via a petition drive is still ongoing — they will continue to go door-to-door on weekends. The campaign was in full swing in the week leading up to an Aug. 27 meeting; it's lost a little of its vigor with the delay, but that will pick up as the meeting draws closer.

The community group wouldn't disclose how many petition signatures it has collected thus far.

"There's a general consensus against the project," Witas said.

Until the Plan Commission convenes in late October, Kern will continue to circulate her own petitions and encourage those patronizing her Shorewood garden and antique shop — which houses a greenhouse and — to phone the village manager's office and Village Hall and voice their support for the project.

Kern said she will meet with the police chief to inquire about any problems they have seen in the parking lot next to the house Kern is requesting be rezoned.

michael aita September 08, 2012 at 01:09 PM
who wants to be next to a parking lot?? what does a parking lot do for the value of nearby houses? why is the tax on garden room so low compared to others? razing houses for parking lots is a very bad idea
Bob McBride September 08, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Would you rather they move somewhere else and leave that odd piece of property vacant? Or are they supposed to stay there and try to get by with inadequate parking? What's the solution?
Kate Jacobson September 08, 2012 at 01:30 PM
There is plenty of parking immediately across the street from the proposed site in the library/village hall lot. It would utterly destroy the character of that residential block. Anaba would do better to clean up their kitchen. Five friends and I had tea there several months ago. There was black hair in 3 of the dishes comprising the tea trays. And a young woman with black hair tied back with a scrunchy bopping and shaking her head to dance music in the serving area...
Bob McBride September 08, 2012 at 02:10 PM
If that's the case then it would be interesting to hear why that's not workable for her. Most business owners don't make a habit of spending money needlessly for things that are available to them at no cost. And did you complain to the owner at the time about the hair?
Bonnie Pedraza September 08, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Why would anyone want to live next to a parking lot, especially one that was created by tearing down a perfectly good house next door to yours? I frequently drive past Garden Room and haven't noticed a parking issue.
Kate Jacobson September 08, 2012 at 10:36 PM
@Bob McBride a. There is no reason to buy and raze the house in question. 4 hours free parking is available in the library/village hall lot all day (she was complaining that on school days there's less free parking on Capitol). Existing free parking in greater quantity than that afforded by a cleared lot already exists. Unless her motive is to have a pay lot. b. The first time we complained, the server told us that they had a new outside supplier for the pastry shells who must have caused the problem, i.e., they added their own filling without visually inspecting the shells. On finding the second and third dishes with hairs in them, we asked to see the manager. A "supervisor" gave us a discount on our bill. A day or two later the owner called the woman who'd made the reservation, offering all of us free tea. She then polled us and none of us wanted to return. This was not a first visit for our group, it was the third time. The food's pretty good, but the service is erratic (understaffed for the number of guests). There seems no compelling reason to return.
Jenny Heyden September 13, 2012 at 04:34 PM
I would like to see them rent a few of the drycleaner spaces, and add a valet to park cars during busy seasons. They might get a nod for nice customer service that way. I am not sure money's an issue with the owner - she may be able to afford to do whatever she'd like. I know as a taxpayer in Shorewood it's nice having that home on the property tax rolls. Just some thoughts.


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