By Joe Boyle
A local deli that attracts an overflow of shoppers that has made it a popular destination in Palos Hills will now face parking restrictions because of complaints from a nearby business and local residents.
The owner of Palos Deli and Liquors, 10656 S. Roberts Road, had just returned from an overseas trip and told Ald. Donna O'Connell (5th) that he would address the woes created because of a lack of space for shoppers to park their vehicles.
Since the owner has not addressed the issue as of yet, the Palos Hills City Council approved a measure last Thursday night to enforce resident parking near the deli. The restrictions were enacted because deli employees have been parking along a nearby street that has prevented those homeowners from parking by their residences, according to a series of calls and complaints the city has dealt with.
“This will now force the employees to park in their (deli) lot," said Palos Hills Mayor Gerald Bennett. "They will have to figure out how they are going to add more parking.”
The mayor added that the owners need to be warned about the new parking restrictions that will be enacted by the city. O'Connell had indicated that the owner has not made a decision because his mother has been ill.
O'Connell has not heard from the deli owner recently and the board decided it was time to enforce the parking restrictions. While no one is disputing the popularity and quality of the food that ranges from Polish and other ethnic brands at the food store, ownership has not provided adequate parking for the overflow of shoppers, according to the board.
Bennett was concerned because a business next door was complaining that their lot was full with shoppers from the deli. The mayor had said at previous meetings that the owner has been previously warned that they needed to provide additional parking.
In other news, a representative of a group who would like to open a dispensary in Palos Hills spoke during the public forum segment. He asked the mayor and the board what it would take to open a recreational marijuana facility within the city boundaries?
The board has discussed the issue of recreational marijuana after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law the Cannabis and Regulation Tax Act on June 25. The new law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. The measure allows the possession and use of cannabis for Illinois residents ages 21 and over. The board has not made any decision on whether they will allow a dispensary or dispensaries to operate in Palos Hills.
“We have been contacted by vendors," Bennett said. "Two or three vendors have already contacted us.”
The man who was inquiring about opening a dispensary in Palos Hills said the facility could bring in $10 million to $15 million annually.
Bennett informed him that Roberts Road would "be definitely out" due to to several schools located along this path.
The Palos Hills Police Department has increased patrols in both marked and unmarked vehicles in all areas of the city. Police officials said the moves have been made due to an increase in vehicle break-ins and burglaries throughout the surrounding suburbs.
According to police, groups of individuals randomly drive throughout the southwest suburbs and enter unlocked vehicles and steal unsecured property. In some cases, they also burglarize homes.
After a long investigation, Palos Hills detectives identified and arrested a burglar who had broken into two homes in the city. He was also found to have committed burglaries in other suburbs as well as Chicago, according to information provided by the Palos Hills police.
Palos Hills police remind residents that are driving in the area to be aware of children going to and from school, Drivers are reminded not to pass a stopped school bus with their lights flashing. Police will be paying special attention to drivers who speed through school zones or pass stopped school buses in violation of Illinois law, according to police.
The Palos Hills police will also be handing out on a first-come basis gun locks to prevent children from accidentally firing a weapon that is kept in the home. Supplies are limited and will be given out, one to a household, free of charge. Beginning Monday, Sept. 30, gun locks will be issued from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday while supplies last. Residents must provide a government-issued ID with a Palos Hills address to receive this free locking device.
Police Chief Paul Madigan had passed a memo from the North Palos Fire Protection District requesting parking restrictions on Interlochen Drive across the entrance of the Green Hills Library. Fire Department officials have said that it is difficult to navigate vehicles and equipment along this path near the library, which is located at 10331 S. Interlochen Drive. Bennett's concern was that this would prevent some homeowners from parking in front of their residences.
North Palos Fire Department officials said they would be willing to make some modifications. A decision would be made at a later meeting.
A business license has been approved for the Folk Tybycik Co. at 10554 S. Roberts Road. O'Connell said the owner has provided all the necessary paperwork. The business is a clothing store, specializing in Folklore outfits.
Ald. Mike Lebarre (3rd) said that he has received complaints that someone is raising pigeons in the city and inquired if an ordinance could be passed to prevent other residents from doing this.
Bennett said that would not be necessary.
“We don't need an ordinance," the mayor said. "They can't raise pigeons in the city. It's against the law.”