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Crest Hill City Council gives Broadway businesses ultimatum to clean up

CREST HILL – Crest Hill City Council members said they are fed up with the eyesore on Broadway Street. 

But on Monday, they begrudgingly gave three auto shop owners until April 18 to clean up their properties of cars, debris and garbage. If the businesses don’t comply, the City Council may take legal action.

In September, the city gave several auto shop owners until the Feb. 1 to clean up their lots. During Monday’s review of the businesses’ efforts through before-and-after photos of the properties, the City Council commended a couple auto shops seemed to have listened.

But the auto shops at 1600 Broadway St., 1740 Broadway St. and 1812 Broadway St. didn’t satisfy the city council’s review.

“I’m sick and tired of all the excuses,” Mayor Ray Soliman said. “When I look across the street and see what [other businesses] can comply, why can’t anybody else?”

For decades, several auto body shops have been non-compliant in adhering to the B-3 zoning district. The auto shops have been selling cars But it wasn’t until 2010, when the city council hired a compliance officer, the city council started a process

“We always hear complaints about how Broadway looks, and if we can get rid of some of the car repair shops,” Alderwoman Candi Thuringer said, noting that the city is doing its part by spending $300,000 to refresh the train viaduct area nearby.

Representatives of two of the business owners spoke to explain their situations.

George Lattas, an attorney representing A-1 Elite of 1600 Broadway St., said a recent death in the family has led to delays in cleaning up. He noted that although the lot wasn’t completely clean, the cars still on the lot were out of sight of Broadway Street.

Soliman extended his condolences, but he and the city council were fed up with what they perceived as deception by the businesses.

After hearing the business representatives’ comments, Soliman asked Ward I Alderman John Vershay and Ward I Alderman Scott Dyke about their recommendation moving forward. The stretch of Broadway Street in question is within the first ward of the city.

They recommended a 45-day-extension for those three properties, which the city council extended to April 18.

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