Monday, May 24, 2010

Save Wrigleyville Petition Badly Flawed

The recent furor over a proposed commercial development in Wrigleyville has spawned one of the most poorly worded petitions I've ever read. First let's look at the petition, by, that is posted on their website. Then, of course, I'll rip into it. We, the registered voters below, oppose the development of a new 8 story building demolishing current small businesses along the south side of Addison and the east side of the 3500 block of Clark Street. We believe it destroys a neighborhood of thriving local businesses in a struggling economy, and debilitates Wrigleyville's charm and history. For these reasons, we oppose this or any similar development. For these reasons we respectfully ask you to oppose the "Addison Park on Clark" proposal. Don't get me wrong. I'd like to see the group succeed in stopping the proposed development. This petition, however, just won't cut it, and here's why: Did you get the part where they specify "8 story building?" Even if this petition was binding (it's not), all the developer has to do is change the plans to, say, 7 or 9 stories and suddenly the petition applies to ... nothing. Nothing at all. The petition would then refer to a non-existent project. Perhaps the worst part of the petition is that part that asks signers to "oppose this or any similar development." That is so generic and all-encompassing that it could include ANY multi-story development in Wrigleyville. You want "similar?" How about ANY retail development? "Similar?" ANY hotel project. "Similar?" ANY commercial development. Think about it. A hypothetical four story development with space for several local retailers could be called "similar." Believe it or not, I was told that this petition was written by an attorney. Wrigleyville's Alderman Tom Tunney must be laughing his ass off.