Orr criticizes council,denies carnival permit
By ROBERT KOEHLER
CITING THE disruptive effect a carnival would have on the surrounding neighborhood, Ald. David Orr (49th) has denied the Rogers Park Community Council a permit to hold its annual fundraising event in a parking lot at Sheridan Road and Arthur Avenue.
In a letter to RPCC president Sanford Goldman, Orr criticized the Community Council for neglecting to involve area residents in the
carnival planning process and for failing to make a substantial effort to find another site. The Sheridan-Arthur location has been a matter of controversy each year the carnival was held there and recently was opposed for such use by the Homeowners Association of Rogers Park.
The community has “a right to expect greater sensitivity on RPCC’s part to the legitimate concerns of area residents,” Orr wrote to Goldman. “The RPCC has set a standard of community accountability which it now must itself meet.”
ORR ENCOURAGED the Community Council to continue planning for a carnival this year and said he has contacted Ald. Bernard Stone (50th), asking him to support the use of Warren Park for this purpose. He has also written to John Langdon, vice president of Loyola University, urging him to let RPCC have use of a parking lot east of Sheridan Road. Loyola owns the Sheridan-Arthur lot.
The Community Council had been planning to hold its carnival over Memorial Day weekend, May 24-28.
“Right now we’re in limbo,” Dolores Collins, RPCC executive secretary, said in response to Orr’s veto. She was doubtful about being able to find another site, noting that the Chicago Park District in the past has not allowed its facilities to be used for carnivals.
She added that neighborhood opposition to a carnival at the Sheridan-Arthur site is not unanimous, noting that some area residents have complimented RPCC on how well the carnival was run last year.
The carnival is the Community Council’s major fund-raising event of the year. It was held last year, after two years without one because of permit difficulties. RPCC nearly went bankrupt both years it was unable to hold a carnival.