Local, Park Forest, Politics

Trucks May Not Park on Residential Lots, Driveways, or Vacant Commercial Properties, but They Still Do

Trucks parked at the former Stop-n-Shop on Western Avenue
Trucks parked at the former Stop-n-Shop on Western Avenue in February. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Passed in February but still allegedly violated, Park Forest put an ordinance on the books forbidding trucks in excess of 8,000 pounds to park on residential lots and driveways, or vacant commercial properties. The ordinance includes all tow trucks, dump trucks, farm, road and truck tractors, buses, and special mobile equipment. The only exception includes “tow trucks with companies who have a Home Occupation Registration and/or Business License Registration,” according to the ordinance.

One cooperative faces fence repairs in excess of $1900 it alleges are from trucks that have parked in the vacant commercial lot at the northeast corner of Western Avenue and 26th Street. Members of Ash Street Cooperative still regularly report trucks allegedly backed into the co-op’s fence on the west side of its property facing Western Avenue, including this Sunday.

Truck up against Ash Street fence Sunday
Truck up against the Ash Street fence Sunday. (Photo: Antoinette Dabney-Wooten)

“We are disappointed that we are still faced with trucks parked up against our fence,” said Antoinette Dabney-Wooten, President of Ash Street Cooperative. “Repairs are very costly.”

Another truck parked up against the fence at Ash Street Cooperative, this one in March.
Another truck parked up against the fence at Ash Street Cooperative, this one in March. (Photo: Brenda Hewitt)

Sunday was no exception, with another semi, cab and all, Parked at the site of the former Stop-n-Shop on Western Avenue up against the fence owned and maintained by Ash Street Cooperative.

Lots like this are also used for illegal dumping.

In the original memo to the Park Forest Village Board in February, former Police Chief Chris Mannino requested the ordinance, saying, “Approval is sought to amend Chapter 102, Article II of the Municipal Code of the Village of Park Forest to address the parking of second division and similar commercial vehicles on residential lots and on the property of shuttered businesses. The parking of second division vehicles on residential lots is an eyesore and perceived to negatively impact home values. Furthermore, this change would bring existing neighborhoods in line with Uniform Development Ordinance, which impacts new developments. Similarly, the parking of these vehicles on the property of vacant businesses is an eyesore that is perceived to negatively impact the property value of commercial areas and to generally contribute to an appearance of blight. Currently, several locations of vacant business property are being used as storage for semi tractors and often trailers as well.”

The ordinance passed on February 21, 2022. Anyone who sees trucks parked on vacant commercial properties is urged to call the non-emergency police number at 708-748-4700.