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Proviso Probe

Thursday, January 26, 2006

GOV, paying for zoning variance [FP]

Monica Golant and Jim Angelo are complaining about being charged an excessive amount to get a zoning variance from the Village of Forest Park.

My husband, Jim Angelo, and I bought a house in Forest Park in May of 2005. We purchased the property "As Is", knowing that the garage and electrical had to be upgraded. This did not seem as such a daunting task at the time.

June of 2005, we went to the village and handed in all of the relevant paper work for the variance and building permits required to tear down and rebuild the garage. At that time we paid $150.

We did not make the July ZBA meeting and while waiting for the August ZBA meeting, Jim and I decided to go slightly larger. We met with Danley Garage Company and took some measurements and found that we could go slightly larger and remain with in our budget.

Danley drew up all the required paper work and we ran it over to Lin in the Building Permits Department. Unfortunately, we did not know that we needed a second building permit cover sheet stating that we had changed the measurements. We were approved for the original measurements by the ZBA board in August of 2005.

August 31st of 2005 we received our first bill from Forest Park concerning the garage. I called Jo Ellen Charlton and spoke to her about the bill. She told me that it was for running the notice in the paper, mailing all our neighbors information as to what we were doing, and other miscellaneous legal fees. We were not happy with this at the time, but Jo Ellen assured me that since all the paper work had already been done, the next bill we would receive would be for less.

September rolls around and we're back at the ZBA. The correct measurements are approved and we can start building. We receive the second bill from Jo Ellen around November 10 th, 2005. This bill is less than the first bill and we just pay it.

Jim and I have our garage built and we're happy. January 21st, 2006, we receive the third bill regarding the garage. This one is the most expensive and by far the latest.

I call Jo Ellen first thing on Monday, January 23rd. She tells me that she needs to speak with Michael Boyle about this bill. I looked up Michael Boyle's phone number from the Forest Park Web Site and call him as well.

Michael Boyle explains to me that the invoice was lost for the last three months in a file folder. That the invoice is for mailing my neighbors, running the notice in the paper, and other legal fees; the same thing the other two invoices were for. He goes on to tell me that he's working for lowering these costs and a better explanation of these cost.

My husband and I can not in good judgment pay this bill until we have an acceptable explanation of why we are being charged $906.25 for what should have been a very simple variance. We are asking for a detailed invoice with all of the costs broken down. Secondly, we have to put off the purchase of a much needed water heater and other home improvements because of this bill. This also puts doubt into our minds as to other home improvements that we would want to do, but with an addition $900 charge tacked on to the building permit and variance we would not be able to afford to start new projects. We are trying very hard to be good homeowners and good neighbors in our new community. (emphasis added)

Is $900 a reasonable amount? Is this just a case of bureaucracy and incompetence? Is there something sinister going on?

2 Comments:

  • Thank you!
    Also, if anyone else has been charged for a variance, we would like to hear about it.
    Stuccolow@gmail.com

    Thanks Carl for running this!
    Monica

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:25 PM, January 26, 2006  

  • I truely believe that paying $906.00 for upgrading your garage is way to much and leads me to believe that when you move into Tonyville or what you use to be Forest Park, added costs are added on to the taxpayers to pay for lobbyists and contractors who work for Tony" I think I'm Joe Pesci" Calderone and his his cohort Timmy "angry drunken dwarf" Gillian!Those two bums,Calderone and Gillian are trying to bilk the taxpayers to pay for the small egos to be lifted up by those lobbists,such as Al "I'm Indicted again by the feds" Ronan and Tom" I support Gene Moore and the Democrats" Walsh!
    Keep Faith taxpayer of Tonyville, soon there will be an election in your village and hopefully the voters will reject cronyism,corruption,reject Gene Moore and Chris Welch and tell Calderone and Gillian to go spend someone else's money!

    By Anonymous Citizens to free Forest Park from the grips of Little Tony and Little Timmy, at 3:46 PM, January 26, 2006  

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