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Cook County Board rejects request for 2 billboards along I-355 extension

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Chicago Tribune
by Tribune staff report

The Cook County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to reject zoning applications for a pair of new billboards in unincorporated Lemont along the new Interstate Highway 355 extension near the Illinois & Michigan Canal. "I would not want to see this in my district," said Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman (R-Orland Park), who represents the area. Gorman noted the strong local opposition to the proposal to put up a pair of digital, two-sided billboards along the highway where it crosses the Des Plaines River. The county's Zoning Board of Appeals had voted to allow the billboards. But commissioners meeting as the Zoning and Building Committee voted Tuesday against approving the required legal variance. The board ratified the decision later. "These billboards would deface the natural beauty of that valley," said Commissioner Tony Peraica (R-Riverside). Added Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-Chicago), "Billboards are all big and ugly -- why add two more?" The vote was welcome news in Lemont. "I wasn't surprised at all by it. I was happy, grateful that it won," Lemont Mayor John Piazza said. "I think hopefully that will deter anybody else or the current property owner [from trying to] bring the issue up again."


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