Monday, March 03, 2008

Silverstein Stumps for Obama, Brewer Stops Stone Project

Word is that Sen. Silverstein, our new Democratic Committeeman, was in Ohio yesterday knocking on doors for Barack Obama. Imagine a Democratic Committeeman from the 50th Ward doing that! Meanwhile, I hear rumors (and nothing more) that Ald. Stone is planning on returning to the Republican Party so he can run for alderman under the Republican banner. If this is true, I'd imagine that his Democratic Club will become the Republican Club of the 50th Ward. Makes sense to me.

What really stands out here, though, is that Ira has done in a couple of months more to help Democrats than Berny did in eight years. That's promising.

We got word late last week that Cook County Judge Leroy Martin Jr. issued a preliminary injunction stoping construction on a planned parking garage and condominium development at Rockwell-Devon:

Today’s court order is the latest in a series of setbacks for the controversial project and a significant victory for homeowners who filed suit in October to block the development. Homeowners allege the planned six-story mixed-use structure would violate restrictive covenants established to protect the residential character of their neighborhood. Deed restrictions recorded with the original subdivision in 1913 permit only residential structures on Rockwell and adjacent side streets. The same restrictions require that all buildings be set back from the property line. The homeowners’ lawsuit seeks to enforce the covenants through a permanent injunction. Today’s ruling means that no construction may begin before a final decision in the case.

You have to really wonder whether this monstrosity will ever get built. Proposed at the end of the housing bubble, I can't imagine people wanting to pay the prices that the developer wants -- or banks loaning money to such a controversial project. Brewer accuses Stone of ignoring city rules and regulations, as well as "the right of these homeowners to protect their neighborhood and their property values." It's good to have an advocate like Greg Brewer on the side of the neighborhood.