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Our View: Konicki zoning idea smells bad

Updated: November 19, 2012 3:35PM



Political maneuvering for personal gain usually does not pass the “smell test.” That’s the case now in Will County, where such a situation is emitting an odor akin to a fat slice of Limburger cheese.

County board member Kathleen Konicki (R-Homer Glen) is pushing hard to change county zoning rules so she can split her six-acre residential lot in two and sell half of it. Sure, she proclaimed it as a measure that many landowners can use, but it’s mostly by her, for her. Her “pet issue,” she said.

Despite Konicki’s elbowing, or perhaps because of it, the board appears ready to reject her proposal. A board committee stalled it so officials of some of the more rural townships can get more information.

We know her idea is stinky because she hid her true intentions until confronted by board member Walter Adamic (D-Joliet) during a meeting of another board committee. That and the fact that Konicki, who’s leaving the board soon, doesn’t want the ordinance to require a property owner to notify neighbors of such a lot subdivision.

If we were Konicki, we’d like her idea, too. The only people who wouldn’t are those who live close to her and everyone else in the county whose home would be next to such carved-up land.

Under Konicki’s proposal, if you own a large residential lot, you could subdivide it to create one or more flagpole-shaped areas, each with a narrow driveway, and sell the new lots — all without telling anyone nearby. Such lots are generally viewed as undesirable because they mean more curb cuts, can be a problem for emergency vehicle access and place driveways too close to adjacent houses.

Clearly, it’s bad public policy to allow such lot subdivision without strict notification rules and allowing neighbors a chance to fight it.

In her 16 years on the county board, Konicki has been a maverick. This uncharacteristic, self-serving move is an unseemly farewell to her dedicated public service. She surely knows better. You might say it’s a cheesy idea. And a smelly one at that.



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