Nearly two months after controversy erupted over a proposal to raze a Shorewood home to make way for a customer parking lot for Garden Room, the issue will come before village officials for consideration Tuesday night.
Garden Room owner Deb Kern has purchased the house at 3940 N. Frederick Ave. and will ask the village's Plan Commission during a meeting 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday to approve her rezoning petition.
If the rezone request is granted, she will demolish the home and construct a nine-stall, environmentally-friendly parking lot with permeable pavement and a rain garden.
Kern has said she needs the additional parking to accommodate her increased customer base. And, with most of her customers coming from outside of the village, parking has become problematic, she said.
However, residents in the area are trying to derail the project, because they say razing the home will be one less residence for a new family, lower property values on the block and attract crime.
The group has been circulating literature, and online and paper petitions in an attempt to kill the project. Frederick Avenue resident Sue Witas says the group has already turned in petition signatures to village officials, though she declined to say how many, and will continue to gather more this weekend.
Witas added the group has been "communicating with supporters and neighbors about the upcoming meeting." The meeting has been moved to the Village Center, lower level of the library, in anticipation of a large audience.
The group feels very positive heading into Tuesday meeting.
"We have a lot of confidence in our village officials," Witas said. "They live in Shorewood and they are very connected with the people they serve. They know what Shorewood is all about."
Meanwhile, Kern has been circulating her own petition, gathering 137 signatures and the support of area businesses like City Market, Capitol Cleaners and Feerick Funeral Home, according to a PowerPoint presentation she will present during Tuesday's meeting.
Kern could not be reached for comment Thursday.