May 2017

Alderman’s Corner

As May quickly approaches, I hope to see many flowers bloom from the showers that we have experienced in April. Our City looks so pretty when the flowers are in bloom and the sun is shining. We have the most beautiful lakefront in the world. I encourage everyone to go out to the lakefront and take a walk, grab a bite to eat, go for a bike ride,or just relax at 31st Street Beach. Every time I go there it brings a smile to my face and makes me feel good. The 31st Street Beach is easily accessible by the CTA 31st Street Bus or utilizing the bike lanes that lead to the Lake.

Our neighborhoods are looking good because we have neighbors who care about our communities and take time to keep their property clean. I want to thank all of the volunteers who came out and made our Citywide Clean and Green Day such a success. It was great to see our neighbors come together and clean the following locations: Park 597, Healy School, Armour Park, McGuane Park, Valentine Boys and Girls Club, Bosley Park, Daley Branch Library Plaza, City owned lots on Halsted between 33rd- 34th, Donovan Park, Jefferson Park, University Village and Santa Lucia.

In addition to cleaning our communities, we will also be planting community gardens in various locations throughout the Ward. We look forward to planting these flowerbeds when the weather and soil permit. If you are interested in helping our Beautification Subcommittee of our Infrastructure Community Advisory Board please call my office.

I encourage everyone to keep your property clean and respect your neighbors. If you have a garden, please make sure it is not unruly or overflowing in your neighbor’s yard. Please make sure your garden is built in a way that you are not creating a nuisance with the material you use to construct your garden. This will not only improve the property value of your home but will also improve the quality of life for all who live on your block. Being in compliance with the Chicago Municipal code will keep you free from a citation and protect your property as well as your neighbor’s from rodents. Please refer to the Health Nuisance Ordinance chapter 7-28 of the Chicago Municipal Code:

  1. 7-28-120 (a) Weeds – Penalty for violation – Abatement – Lien.

Any person who owns or controls property within the city must cut or otherwise control all weeds on such property so that the average height of such weeds does not exceed ten inches. Any person who violates this subsection shall be subject to a fine of not less than $600 nor more than $1,200. Each day that such violation continues shall be considered a separate offense to which a separate fine shall apply.

  1. 7-28-261 Accumulation of refuse – Responsibility.

(a) No person shall deposit refuse in a standard or commercial refuse container, or compactor, in a manner that prevents complete closure of the container’s cover, or deposit refuse on top of a container in a manner that interferes with opening of the container, or pile or stack refuse against a container.

(b) The owner, his agent or occupant of a property shall not allow any person to violate subsection (a) of this section. The presence of refuse preventing complete closure of the container’s cover, deposited on or piled or stacked against a standard refuse container, a commercial refuse container, or compactor shall be prima facie evidence of violation of this subsection (b).

(c) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not less than $200.00 and not more than $500.00 for each offense. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

  1. 7-28-720 Accumulation of materials or junk.

It shall be unlawful for any person to accumulate or permit the accumulation on any open lot, or other premises, any lumber, boxes, barrels, bricks, stones, scrap metal, motor vehicle bodies or parts, or similar materials, or any articles of junk, which provides rat- harborage, unless the same shall be placed on open racks that are elevated not less than 18 inches above the ground, evenly piled or stacked. Any person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $300 nor more than $600 for each offense. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense to which a separate fine shall apply.

  1. 7-28-740 Lot maintenance – Required.

It shall be the duty of the owner of any open lot located within the City of Chicago to keep such lot free of garbage, ashes, refuse, trash, rubbish, miscellaneous waste, manure or other substance that may contain disease germs or be scattered by the wind, or decompose, or become filthy, noxious or unhealthful. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not less than $300 nor more than $600 for each offense. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense to which a separate fine shall apply.

  1. 7-28-670 Inspection notice.

Inspectors from the department of buildings and the department of streets and sanitation shall have authority to inspect the interior and exterior of buildings, other structures, or parcels on which a building has been demolished or is being constructed to determine evidence of rat harborage, rat infestation and the existence of new breaks or leaks in the rat-stoppage, and when any evidence is found indicating the presence of rats or openings through which rats may enter such buildings or structures, to report such evidence to the appropriate commissioner, who shall serve the owner, agent, or occupant of such building, structure or, parcel with written notice to abate the conditions found.

  1. 7-12-420 Removal of excrement.

No person shall appear with a pet upon the public ways or within public places or upon the property of another, absent that person’s consent, without some means for the removal of excrement; nor shall any person fail to remove any excrement deposited by such pet. This section shall not apply to a blind person while walking his or her guide dog. Any person found to have been in violation of this section shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00 for each offense.

  1. 10-28-070 (a1) Storage of goods on Public Ways.

Except as otherwise specifically permitted by this Code, no person shall use any public way for the storage of personal property, goods, wares or merchandise of any kind. Nor shall any person place or cause to be placed in or upon any public way, any barrel, box, hogshead, crate, package or other obstruction of any kind, or permit the same to remain thereon longer than is necessary to convey such article to or from the premises abutting on such sidewalk. (b) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than $250.00 for each offense. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

As we continue to work on keeping our homes and the public way clean, the City will continue to sweep the streets. To avoid any confusion or citations I encourage you to visit www.sweparound.us. This website allows you to enter your address and sign up for text message alerts of when your street will be swept. Copies of the street sweeping schedule are available at my office or on my website (www.ward11.org).

Finally, I also want to make you aware of the 11th Ward Shredding Event. It will be held June 3rd on the Southside of Armour Park from 9am-12pm. This is a great opportunity to shred proprietary materials at no cost. As always, if you are in need of any City Services or have questions/ concerns please contact my office at 773-254-6677.

11th Ward Alderman Patrick D. Thompson