April 11, 2023 Objection to West Park Construction Permits Sent to Village of Wilmette
Dear Village Board and Staff,
We have conferred and determined to state our objection to issuance of Village construction permits for the two additional paddle courts and hut expansion in West Park, which we understand from Staff may be imminent. Construction fencing to the edge of the playground and close to the community gardens is already up, as seen in this picture taken this morning.
The Park District failed to comply with nearly all the disturbance-related requirements of the May 10, 2022 Ordinance, even with deadlines extended by Village Staff. Those disturbance-related requirements were the stated justification for the Board to allow a second expansion of the Platform Tennis Club facility over vigorous and uniform neighborhood objections.
Among other things, there has been no submission that we know about of the required noise, light and traffic studies and they appear not to have been completed by the Park District during the recently completed winter League season. Ordinance violations related to closing time and league play versus non-league play went on throughout the winter League season despite resident complaints.
The Park District's Ordinance compliance failures were acknowledged in the Village's November 15, 2022 letter. There has been no improvement since that time. On January 31, 2023, the Park District filed a pending zoning application for operational expansions as well as adjustments to the disturbance-related requirements established by the May 10, 2022 Ordinance.
As the Park District has largely failed to comply with the disturbance-related requirements of the May 10, 2022 Ordinance and is now seeking their modification, it stands to reason that the physical expansion authorized on the premise of those requirements should also wait until such matters are resolved.
Why is the Park District being allowed to control the timeline to its advantage?
With the Park District's track record of willful Ordinance violations stretching back years to the unauthorized expansion of the 10pm closing time approved in 2017 and before, does anyone expect the neighborhood to trust that the Park District will improve its ways AFTER construction is done?
What are the Village's priorities here?
Thank you for your attention to this serious matter.
Friends of West Park