Thought the Park District of La Grange Board has worked through its concerns and approved $2.1 million in improvements to Gordon Park, any breaking of ground remains stalled after a Feb. 12 plan-commission meeting left a land dispute unresolved, The Doings La Grange reports.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the District is seeking special-use permits for improvements like a band shell and skating area in the park, which the Village refuses to grant unless the District cedes a small strip of land north of Ogden Avenue; the District calls that “inappropriate.”
The District’s main concern, reports The Doings, is the uncertainty of the mess left when Atlantic Realty Partners abandoned plans to rebuild on the former YMCA west of the park, which included the right for the Village to build a traffic signal at the intersection of Ogden Avenue and tiny Locust Avenue (east of La Grange Road).
“I think you have to go back to the drawing board, figure out what needs to be done, rewrite the petition and then bring it before us when there's some agreement between both sides,” the Tribune quoted Plan Commission Chairman Wayne Kardatzke saying.
Nonetheless, Park district director Dean Bissias was optimistic. “We’re hoping to get any issues resolved in the next few weeks,” Bissias told The Doings. “Our goal is to start building April 1… I’m confident we can come to some kind of agreement to get this resolved.”
One of the primary reasons for the urgency of construction is that a $400,000 grant will expire and vanish if improvements are not complete by the end of 2013.
Other potential improvements mentioned by the Tribune are a concession stand, additional field lighting and a splash pad.
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