Park Ridge mayor to break veto tradition on police project
The city-owned house at 229 Courtland Ave., currently used by Park Ridge firefighters for training exercises, is expected to be demolished so a police evidence storage building can be constructed. | Jennifer Johnson~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 19, 2013 11:52AM
PARK RIDGE — Park Ridge Mayor David Schmidt says it is “unlikely” he will veto a measure to rezone property where the Park Ridge Police Department plans to build an evidence storage facility.
The Park Ridge Planning and Zoning Commission, which met Jan. 8, is recommending that the City Council rezone property at 229 Courtland Ave. from residential to commercial to accommodate the storage building. The City Council has already approved a $290,170 contract for the construction of the 1,500-square-foot building and parking lot on the site. The building will also include a fitness room for police officers, according to plans submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The zoning recommendation is expected to go to the City Council later this month or in February, according to City Planner Jon Branham.
Schmidt, who has unsuccessfully vetoed prior expenditures associated with the police station expansion project, said he doesn’t believe he will veto the rezoning if it is approved by aldermen.
“There is no sense in dragging this out any further. It would just be a waste of time and resources,” Schmidt said. “I can admit defeat.”
Schmidt already vetoed funding for the storage building as well as the hiring of a firm to design and construct it, but both times he was overridden by aldermen.
The Police Department will still be required to submit a site plan review for the construction of the building, Branham said. That site plan review — a detailed account of everything proposed for the site, including landscaping and property-line buffers — will go before the Planning and Zoning Commission for final action.
Ralph Cincinelli, a member of the Police Chief’s Advisory Task Force who spearheaded the police station expansion project, said the storage building will be located closer to City Hall than the existing house.
“It will take on a very residential look,” he said of the proposed structure.
Architectural renderings of what the building may look like are not yet available, according to a representative of the design and construction firm.
The city of Park Ridge purchased the house at 229 Courtland Ave. in 2006 for $662,000 when discussions of building a new police station were taking place. Aldermen never moved forward on a plan, and the house remained vacant. It is currently being used for firefighter training prior to demolition.