Mayfair residents complain of woes with parking, jet noise
by BRIAN NADIG
The Feb. 12 meeting of the Mayfair Civic Association featured a discussion of problems with parking and jet noise, an update on a proposed hookah bar and the announcement of a new community organization.
“Planes and cabs,” a resident said at the meeting. “This was a quiet Northwest Side neighborhood until the last couple of years.”
The resident said that the increase in jet noise due to the runway reconfiguration at O’Hare Airport and the parking of cars by workers for Dispatch Taxi, 4536 N. Elston Ave., are hurting property values on his block. He said that he would like resident-only permit parking for the 4500 block of North Keokuk Avenue but that Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th) has imposed a moratorium on creating new permit parking areas in the ward.
Laurino spokesman Manuel Galvan said that the alderman will consider the instituting of permit parking on Keokuk after she meets with residents of the block.
It was reported at the meeting that Elston Avenue continues to be lined with parked taxicabs at times despite efforts by the company to address the problem and that some drivers park their cars for days on area side streets. Under city ordinance taxicabs cannot be parked on side streets, but they can be parked on main streets, with a 2-hour limit between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.
The association will invite company officials to a meeting to discuss the residents’ concerns, association president Ron Duplack said. Last fall a representative of the company told the association that a shuttle service from nearby train and bus stations was being offered for employees who take public transportation to work.
An application for a special use that would allow a hookah bar to open in a former carpet store at 4614 W. Lawrence Ave. has been filed with the city Zoning Board of Appeals. Galvan said that Laurino plans to seek the opinions of residents on the project and that a Feb. 20 hearing on the special use request was being deferred.
Last summer the city Department of Buildings issued a stop work order on the project because work was being done without permits. A resident reported that a for lease sign has been posted on the building.
Duplack said that the association has not received any updates on a proposal to build a mosque and community center near Elston and Lawrence avenues on the former site of an auto body shop and car rental agency. The mosque would be located on a triangular parcel that is bordered by an alley on all three sides in the interior of the area bordered by Lawrence, Elston and Kentucky avenues.
Also at the meeting, a resident announced that a new community group called the Friends of North Mayfair has been formed. The Mayfair Civic Association serves the section of Mayfair south of Lawrence Avenue, and the North Mayfair Improvement Association serves the area north of Lawrence.
The group describes itself on its Web site as an informal organization, and the site features a picture of a luncheon that the group held at a local restaurant.
“The mission of Friends of North Mayfair is to build and foster a strong and cohesive community by bringing neighbors together for fun, positive experiences that add to their enjoyment and knowledge of the North Mayfair community,” the Web site states.