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Proviso Probe

Sunday, January 11, 2009

a zoning hearing for Commissioner Mark Hosty

The video shows citizen-activist Steve Backman attempting to hold Mike Boyle accountable. Boyle is the village employee who oversees zoning matters.

The person blocked-out of the video is Forest Park Commissioner Mark Hosty. Hosty has a history of getting preferential treatment from the village. For example, when Hosty did work on his previous house his department (commissioners are department heads as well as legislators) gave Hosty permission for a curb cut. To obfuscate the signature granting Hosty permission was illegible and to my knowledge the village never identified which village official gave Hosty permission to act. There were also questions about whether Hosty was living in a unit zoned residential. So the guy has a history of appearing to get preferential regulatory treatment by the village.

Rawrahs (Rehctaw) and Forest Park Review (Josh Adams) has the back story for what's happening in this video.

One of my concerns is that Cherryfield is the biggest developer in Forest Park. Cherryfield applies for the most permits and exceptions to zoning ordinances. It seems logical for Cherryfield to do work on Hosty's building below cost in exchange for Hosty being supportive of Cherryfield developments. Having the largest developer in Forest Park do major construction work for a commissioner creates the appearance of conflict of interest.

BTW, Boyle is a real gem. Bill Kircher formerly sat on one of the commissions that had to do with zoning. Kirchner pointed out to the village that a local business was doing construction that needed zoning review. Boyle's response was to come give Kirchner a ticket for the work Kirchner is doing on his home.

The conspiracy theory of Forest Park zoning is that the village changed the zoning code in such a way that about 50% of properties in Forest Park are "non-conforming". To do work on these properties, in theory, the owner has to make the properties compliant with the zoning code. This forces about 50% of Forest Park property owners to need to grovel to the village, including elected officials.

And the council led by Mayor Anthony Calderone greases the skids for friends and uses the power of the village to punish their enemies.

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