Tonight there was a meeting at the American Legion hall on Central Street to hear about plans by the Board of the Frank Govern Memorial Golf Course (formerly Peter Jans and also affectionately known as Canal Shores) to request a permit from the city to park up to 300 cars on two areas of the golf course during football season.
The Board estimates that this will be for from 4 to 6 games. The cars would be parked on hole #9 south of Isabella and west of the canal and hole #18 west of the CTA tracks and east of the canal between Central and Lincoln.
They are promising to have portable restrooms at each
location, off duty police, and will not allow tailgating.
The claim is the course is having a tough time and needs additional funds to help with expenses. Once things turn around for the course they claim they will do away with the parking. Ha! Once they get a taste of the extra money it will be hard to turn down.
We have recently spent a great deal of time and effort in crafting the Central Streen Plan and its attendant zoning that calls for the clean up of certain areas and the "greening" of others. I fail to see how parking cars on the golf course moves further along that continuum.
The only thing this will do is move cars that now have to park further out (say at the NW lots on the lakefront) closer in.
Should this be approved I believe it will also set a bad precedent. Others with large parcels will also seek approval to turn their "lawns" into parking lots for a quick buck.
Present from the City at the meeting were alderpersons Liz Tisdahl, Cheryl Wolin, and Doug Gaynor from Parks and Rec.
I believe they will be moving quickly on this. I think there is only one city council meeting in August and they are trying to get this in place for this season. I suspect this may show up in the agenda for July 28, 2008.
I don't know how the course thinks they will come out ahead on this deal. They have to pay for security, portable toilets, clean up, and the restoration of the course after 300 cars drive over it; especially if it is one of those wet and rainy Saturday games.
I believe this to be not in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Central Street Plan that we all worked so hard on and sets a very, very bad precedent.
If you would like to express yourself please check the agenda for the next City Council meeting and plan on attending and voicing you opinion.