There was a vote by the village board in Niles, IL on July 22, 2014 regarding a zoning variance to allow a new gun shop to open within a mile of three schools and within 1 block of one of them. The board room was packed with citizens wanting their say on this hot issue and each wanted a win for their view. That is to say, everyone there wanted this to be a test of the Second Amendment.
Back to the point: This was a zoning variance case. In order to get the variance approved the applicant had to pass three tests. Interestingly, the applicant failed all three. The application for a variance, though, was granted.
Yes, you read that correctly: The variance was granted even though it failed all three tests for a variance.
Some of the comments of the village trustees made immediately prior to the vote had to do with revenue for the village from the new gun shop. Others had to do with a fear of the cost of litigation if they were to deny the variance. Still others said that there would be increased safety because there would be training offered at the new gun shop and that would then be the safest place in the village. And, other than one woman on the board who instructed that the vote was solely about whether the applicant passed the necessary tests for a zoning variance, every comment by every trustee had nothing to do with the issue in question.
Which leaves us wondering why the village trustees voted as they did.
There is a big rock with a plaque affixed to it outside the Niles, IL village hall, recently placed there to commemorate Niles being consistently named a “Best Place to Raise a Family.”
Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue. Please help by offering your comments, as well as by passing this along and encouraging others to subscribe and do the same. Thanks. JA
Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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