The line community leaders walk to please residents and appease the business community can be a fine one as we’re learning in Evergreen Park.
In one instance, an Irish pub has been approved for a location at 99th Street and Clifton Park Avenue. The co-owners are village residents interested in making a go of the restaurant business.
But some residents who live on Clifton Park Avenue have concerns about an eatery that serves alcohol replacing the meat market that previously occupied the location. They say they were never notified of plans for a restaurant and worry about its future impact on the neighborhood.
Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton attempted at Monday’s village board meeting to assuage residents’ concerns, saying that the pub owners will have to abide by the limitations of their business and liquor licenses and take the appropriate steps to be good neighbors.
The meat market was part of the community for many years, but converting it into another business trumps letting it sit vacant, an eyesore that we see all too often in the communities we cover. Hopefully, the residents, restaurant owners and mayor can work out their differences, and the pub is a success.
At the town’s western gateway, Walgreen’s is making significant progress on its new store, which will anchor the southeast corner of 95th Street and Pulaski Road.
At Monday’s meeting, a resident who lives across the street from the store raised concerns about the height and color of a wall designed to prevent noise and car headlights from invading the community. The color of the wall may not be to the resident’s liking, but Sexton and Walgreens did hash out a plan designed to meet most of the community’s requests, including the wall’s height.
As Sexton pointed out, Walgreens is an asset to the community and superior to the muffler shop that previously occupied the corner. Again, compromise is the key to making business and residents happy.
Finally, the village board on Monday approved 24-hour weekend drive-thru hours for the McDonald’s on 95th Street over the objections of two trustees. Restaurant officials said the extended hours are needed to remain competitive, especially since the White Castle across the street also has a 24-hour drive-thru on weekends.
We understand that the drive-thru abuts a residential area and support the board for approving the new hours on a six-month trial basis. Hopefully, things go smoothly and the drive-thru speakers do not present a problem for residents.
Businesses and residents rely on one another, though their needs are often very different. Evergreen Park is demonstrating how to successfully make both sides happy.