by Alejandro Cortez
Neighbors of Turano Bakery have won a legal victory as a judge has halted the demolition of homes and construction of parking lots behind the Roosevelt Road factory.
At a Feb. 10 hearing, Cook County Judge Kathleen Kennedy ordered the bakery and the city of Berwyn to comply with the city ordinances and receive a zoning permit for the work on the parking spaces.
Since then, Turano has stopped all demolition until it gets its paperwork in order. Neighbors had initially stopped demolition when Judge Kennedy gave them a temporary restraining order against Turano in late January.
“The TRO (temporary restraining order) has been dismissed and Turano is currently in the process of doing the application for a zoning permit but it has not been presented yet,” Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero said last Friday.
A November n explosion and fire at Turano’s parking garage, across Roosevelt Road in Oak Park, put the bakery in a jam. It needed a place to park its delivery trucks.
Later, Berwyn’s 8th District Alderman Nora Laureto wrote a letter to Lovero and the City council stating,
“I am asking for City Council approval to allow Turano to move forward as quickly as possible for demolition and graveling of the area.”
On Nov. 25 the city council unanimously approved the demolition, waived the ordinance involving parking and granted approval for temporary parking, according to meeting minutes.
On Jan. 5 Turano sent out demolition notices to its neighbors. On Jan. 19, Turano began tearing down the five houses they owned. On Jan. 28, neighbors asked Judge Kennedy to stop the demolition, claiming that the city had violated its own zoning ordinances in approving it.
Plaintiffs David J. Miklos, owns the property at 1214 Scoville Ave., Jorge Flores, 1217 Scoville Ave., and Thomas Thompson, 1217 East Ave., filed the lawsuit, and were represented by Steven S. Shonder and Peter S. Stamatis.
Representatives of the Del Gado’s Law Group, which represents Berwyn, could not be reached for comment.
Berwyn resident Amber Hickey attributes the problems to a failure of communication.
“This could’ve been avoided if you would’ve just assured residents how the city would work with the residents,” she said. “Instead, he [Mayor Robert Lovero] said nothing to all the people who reached out to him.”