Gladstone Park group looks to spruce up Milwaukee Ave, worried about jet noise
by BRIAN NADIG
Plans are moving forward to form a new Gladstone Park neighborhood organization following an Aug. 18 community meeting in which 50 residents discussed beautifying the area’s commercial corridor and fighting the jet noise problem over the Northwest Side.
A consensus was reached at the meeting that the group should become a registered nonprofit. In the past year the group members have been communicating primarily through e-mail and a Facebook page called "Friends of Gladstone Park – Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association," although the official name has not been chosen.
A Gladstone Park community group formed about 25 years over concerns about a proposed Checkers restaurant with a drive-through restaurant that would have been built next to McDonald’s, 6125 N. Milwaukee Ave. The group stopped meeting shortly after the project never materialized.
In addition, the Chicago Park District’s Web site states that the Gladstone Park Community Club about 90 years ago successfully lobbied for the construction of a park fieldhouse at 5421 N. Menard Ave. It is not clear when the club disbanded.
At last week’s meeting, about 10 residents volunteered to plant 200 perennials, which were donated by the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce, along Milwaukee Avenue, said area home owner Joe DiCiaula, who is working with residents Michelle Kerr and John Garrido to organize the group.
The group is hoping to team up with area merchants who will water the flowers themselves or provide access to water, DiCiaula said. To allow for a greater visual impact, the flowers will be planted in a centralized area instead of being spread out over several blocks, he said.
In addition, Alderman John Arena (45th) told the group that his office will work on getting more trees installed along the parkway on Milwaukee, DiCiaula said. Several trees which were cut down on Milwaukee have never been replaced, DiCiaula said.
Also at the meeting, representatives of the Fair Allocation In Runways Coalition urged residents to report problems of jet noise to the city’s non-emergency 311 phone center and to contact their elected officials about the problem, DiCiaula said. The coalition also is urging home owners to claim on their property tax assessment appeal to the county that the recent increase in jet noise over their home has lowered its value, he said.
The coalition has property tax appeals information on its Web site, which can be accessed at www.fairchicago.org, and the Friends of Gladstone group is asking residents to fill out a community survey on its Web site.
The group also is working with the chamber and city officials on a planned community assessment workshop, which will seek feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the commercial area.