Is it possible to talk about something for years without ever making a decision about what to do? The answer not surprisingly is yes; most of us do that about something in our personal lives. I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to clean out the garage, I’m going to get to it, and the time never comes.
That’s happening in Naperville regarding a proposed Islamic Center mosque at 3540 248th Ave covering 13 acres of land. Islamic Center officials have owned the property since 2011. There are those who want it, and those who don’t, with the strategy being if you talk about it long enough, one side or the other will ultimately give up, which hasn’t happened yet.
The City has received 1,354 written comments in support or opposition to the project, and there are almost 500 people on the runway waiting to speak at Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) meetings. While city council meetings have a 3-minute limit per speaker, there is no time restriction on how long a speaker can speak, during PZC meetings.
The biggest concern of those opposing the project is traffic congestion, which was demonstrated by an aerial view videoed on a Friday last December involving over 200 people who volunteered to drive their vehicles near the proposed site on 95th St, 103rd St, and 248th Ave which included a 58-car backup on 248th Ave. The idea was to show what type of traffic congestion can result from a typical mosque event. Words are one thing, however videos provide evidence far more powerful, much like reading about what a council member ‘said’, versus seeing a video of a council member actually saying something foolish. Words can be forgotten or misconstrued, whereas videos can leave lasting and accurate impressions, especially at election time.
City officials are getting impatient because they don’t want to experience, what residents have to endure during city council meetings, which is council members talking endlessly about an issue on which they all agree, but they continue to talk. It’s funny how they can’t do, what they expect residents to do; listening to mindless talking, just to hear themselves talk. Just as Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said, “Speakers really need to take other people’s time into consideration”, council members need to do the same for residents.
Here is the fun news, when the issue finally comes to a conclusion with the Planning and Zoning Commission, whenever that happens, it will then move to the city council for the whole process to start over again, speaker after speaker. Even with a 3-minute limit, it could take along time for 144,000 people to speak.