From the time of the founding of our civic association, we have established standing positions on certain matters that have a direct impact on the quality of life in our community. Some positions were formulated pursuant to formal resolutions adopted by our membership, while others were established via voice vote at our general membership meetings. Listed below, in alphabetical order, are those positions.
Adult Bookstores/Novelty ShopsOpposed
Auto Vehicle, Scrap/Recycling Facilities & JunkyardsOpposed
"Gentlemen's Clubs," Adult Entertainment Venues, or Any Related VenuesOpposed
Liquor Licenses - Dry Precinct Vote/Dram Shop Act
Pursuant to the Illinois Dram Shop Act, the Archer Heights Civic Association (AHCA), independent of any elected official, political party or organization, has lead neighbors to circulate and file petitions for voter referendums to vote two precincts dry in order to rid the community of a nuisance bar and liquor store.
The process involved collecting petition signatures, notarizing and filing petitions, successfully surviving petition challenge, publicizing the referendum, bringing a vast majority of the voters to the polls on Election Day and following subsequent court challenges. After two very successful dry precinct campaigns, the following precincts were voted dry and remain so:
12th Ward/12th Precinct: 4601 S. Cicero Avenue (former Rosetta’s Lounge II).
23rd Ward/50th Precinct: 4753 W 47th Street (former Cask/R&S Liquor Store).
A dry precinct means the entire original precinct in which the aforementioned properties are located remains dry, in perpetuity, and no type of liquor sales are allowed within the street boundaries of the original precinct, regardless of any subsequent ward or precinct redistricting or boundary changes.
We take great pride in knowing that we are the only civic association on the entire southwest side of Chicago to take such action to protect our community. Our civic association’s commitment to ensure these precincts continue to remain dry, remains unchanged.
For any of our residents who may be having ongoing problems with any establishment selling liquor, we stand ready to assist with a dry precinct referendum. In the past we have worked with neighboring civic groups if an establishment is on a border immediately adjacent to our community, and are prepared to do so again.
Liquor Licenses - New
Each individual request is subject to thorough review by our civic association officers and the residents adjacent to or nearby the address of the proposed license.
Before any new liquor license is granted, it is our position that a community-wide meeting must be held for the neighbors and property owners who live adjacent to and nearby the address of the proposed site for the liquor license. Persons contemplating a new liquor license for any address located in Archer Heights, which boundaries are defined according to the Chicago Neighborhoods Map, should call our civic office at 773-843-2232 and leave a message with your contact information.
Persons considering applying for any category of liquor license are strongly advised to get legal counsel and to perform due diligence to be sure the address under consideration is not located in a dry precinct of our community.
Liquor Licenses - Underage Drinking/Sales Stings
Our civic association has partnered in sting operations with the Chicago Liquor Control Commissioner, the 8th Police District, and Alderman to have liquor licenses suspended and/or revoked for the sale of liquor to teen and underage young adults. In such instances where underage drinking or sales are suspected, the police will send older looking, but under age college students into the establishment and pursue punitive action if a sale is made. Residents are urged to contact our civic association office and leave a message on our answering machine if there is an ongoing problem with any establishment that serves or sells liquor in our community.
Neighbor One-on-One or Tenant/Landlord Disputes
We are an all volunteer community homeowners and businessmen’s group and as such are not involved with, nor are we equipped to or have authority to provide any arbitration services. Hence, we do not get involved in any types of these disputes.
Pawn Shops, Cash for Gold, Cash for Jewelry Stores, Cash for Car Title StoresOpposed
Red Light Cameras at Major IntersectionsFavor
The use of red light cameras to enforce compliance of laws regarding traffic signals at major intersections has been a very controversial issue with many people, and the cameras are either hated or favored.
Shortly after red light cameras were installed on major thoroughfares through and bordering our community, our civic association had a lively debate on this matter at a general membership meeting. It was pointed out that traffic was extremely heavy on both Pulaski Road and Cicero Avenue and at any given time of the day, vehicles (especially taxi cabs) routinely violate both city ordinance and state law requiring a full stop for traffic signal red lights. This in turn results in a serious danger to both pedestrians and vehicles that legally entered a intersection cross street on a green light. Violations of red lights on Cicero Avenue are especially exacerbated from the high volume of traffic heading to and from Midway Airport.
It also must be pointed out that Cicero Avenue, for most of it’s length, is six lanes wide with a additional right turn lane at Archer Avenue for both north and south bound Cicero traffic. For seniors and mothers with babies and multiple children, this wide intersection is especially difficult to cross.
The intersection of Cicero Avenue and the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) is an especially busy intersection for ordinary passenger cars/SUV’s, various classes of trucks and vans, and many semi-trailer rigs. It is not uncommon for vehicles of all types who are exiting the Stevenson (both east and west bound ramps) to be confronted by vehicles that run the north and southbound Cicero Avenue red lights.
Requests to have Chicago Police periodically station patrol cars at key intersections along Cicero Avenue to issue tickets have been turned down due to inadequate manpower resources in the 8th Police District. Our civic association understands this unfortunate situation, but recognizes the critical need to ensure the safety of pedestrians and vehicles that legally and properly enter an intersection.
For all of the aforementioned reasons and scenarios our civic association favors the ongoing operation of red light cameras at the following Cicero Avenue intersections: Stevenson Expressway (approximately 4200 south), 47th Street, and Archer Avenue.
Residential Zone Permit Parking
Unless there is an area-wide problem, parking situations on any individual block are generally unique to that block as homeowners are most familiar with the circumstances. Therefore our civic association takes no position for or against residential permit parking and does not get involved in any situations resulting from the establishment of such restrictive parking.
Residential Parking Zones are established per City ordinances introduced by Chicago aldermen. Chapter 9-64-090 of the Municipal Code outlines the requirements to establish a Residential Parking Zone.
For people who desire permit parking for their block, we strongly recommend that a petition be circulated to secure the signatures of at least 51% of all homeowners/renters on that block and submitted to the Alderman of the ward in which that block is located. We caution people that if a minimum of 51% of the block favors residential permit parking; that means 49% do not, and what may appear to be a simple solution; often turns into a contentious block issue.
Residential Zone Parking costs $25.00 per year. This price will be prorated based on the durations offered to you.
Chicago Residential Parking Daily Permits are $8.00 for 15 permits (one sheet), $16.00 for 30 permits (two sheets) or $24.00 for 45 permits (three sheets).
SPECIAL NOTE RE: 14TH WARD: As of the 2010 Census remapping, most of Archer Heights lies in the 14th Ward and because of the volatility of this issue, the 14th Ward has advised AHCA that as of November 1, 2017, they will only honor petitions for permit parking that reflect signatures of 80% of the units on a given block. (And by units they mean dwellings units.)
As an example – while a single family home is considered a dwelling unit, if there are two or three flats on the block, each individual flat is counted as a unit, and residents in those units must be solicited to arrive at the 80% signature requirement. Therefore, you must get signatures from a person representing the individual flat.
If you are contemplating Zoned or Permit parking for your block and you are unsure of how many signatures you need, or if there are any other questions, you can contact the 14th Ward directly at 773-471-1414.
AN ADDITIONAL NOTE & WARNING:
There have been instances where individuals who signed petitions FOR Zoned or Permit parking, either did not fully understand the consequences of the Zoned or Permit Parking Law; or signed the petition to “get rid of the person on my porch”. Subsequent to the establishment of restricted parking on the block, visitors and relatives did not display a Chicago Residential Parking Daily Permit and the cars were ticketed. The homeowners in turn then asked our civic association to get the Zoned or Permit removed.
As was mentioned in the opening statement of this section, our civic association will not get involved in any situation regarding restrictive parking on an individual block. Homeowners and renters are cautioned not to sign ANY TYPE of petition unless they thoroughly understand the content of the petition and are completely aware of the action that will result from the petition.
Speed Humps/Bumps IN ALLEYSOpposed but Defer to Majority
Generally we are opposed to these as an organization, but defer to those residents requesting such devices as long as a majority of the residents whose houses are adjacent to the alley are making the request.
From past experience of our Night Watch Group and Graffiti Team, we caution people that vehicles may be subject to serious damage as a result of hitting the black and yellow striped rubber type speed bumps at a not slow speed. These same speed bumps also can be significantly more treacherous during the winter months when accumulations of snow and/or ice occur.
Speed Humps/Bumps ON STREETSOpposed
Police, Firefighters and Paramedics do not favor street speed humps/bumps as the devices are a potentially life threatening hindrance to the delivery of emergency services. With the exception of the Crawford Industrial Section of our community (Pulaski Road west to Kilbourn Avenue/41st Street, South to 47th street), our civic association opposes speed bumps on any and all residential streets.
Stop Signs on Major Thoroughfares
Traffic control of the major thoroughfares that run through or border our community has far reaching consequences for not only any one specific intersection, but also the entire neighborhood. Therefore, it has been, and remains, our position to oppose the installation of Stop Signs on 47th Street, Pulaski Road, Cicero Avenue and Archer Avenues
If a particular intersection has a serious pedestrian or traffic control issue, we recommend that a traffic study be performed to determine the need for the installation of a traffic signal.