Palos woman asks city to exempt cab driver from livery ordinance

By Kelly White

  A Palos Hills woman has asked the city to issue a special parking pass to a taxi driver who is a friend of her chronically ill daughter.
  Colleen Brewer, a resident of the Riviera town-home complex on Cour Versaille, pleaded to the City Council last Thursday night for a pass that would allow the man to park his taxi in the complex’s lot when he is not working. City ordinance prohibits commercial trucks and livery vehicles such as taxis and limousines from being parked overnight on city streets or in driveways and parking lots during the driver’s off-hours.
  Brewer claimed the man — who she said is one of her 34-year-old daughter’s only friends — was issued an $80 ticket at 10:15 a.m. because he parked his cab in the town-home lot while visiting. The minivan-cab is the man’s only means of transportation.
  “My daughter is physically disabled, and because of this is very limited on what she can do,” Brewer explained, noting her daughter has Chrone’s disease. “The only time she really gets out of the house is to go to and from doctors’ appointments. This is one of her only friends and preventing him from coming to visit and spend time with her, by ticketing his vehicle and as a consequence having him visit her less, will take away from her quality of life.”
  The ordinance was adopted to prevent residents from parking and storing oversized commercial vehicles in residential driveways, and was revised in 2009 to also include limousines. The City Council’s rationale at the time was that such an ordinance would keep residential areas from “looking commercial.”
  Palos Hills Mayor Jerry Bennett noted that if the man’s taxi was not parked in the town-home lot overnight, it should not have been ticketed.
  “The ordinance was put in place to pertain more to overnight hours, not daylight hours,” Bennett said.
  Brewer suggested a special-use parking pass could be issued car to her daughter’s friend to prevent from being ticketed. She also said he could park his cab in her carport instead of the common lot of Cour Versaille.
  “I do understand the ordinance, and I do agree with it,” Brewer said. “But, with this particular case concerning my daughter, I cannot help what type of vehicle her friend drives. She doesn’t get out much or get many visitors, please don’t take this away from her.”
  The council advised to talk to Palos Hills police Chief Paul Madigan about whether arranging a special-use parking pass would be possible. City officials said amending the ordinance to exempt a single person or building complex could open the city to litigation, and the council does not plan to make any changes to the law.