City Hall going after parking-lot owner for not meeting settlement terms
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City Hall now wants to punish the owner of a Near West Side parking lot — who had been parking cars on city-owned land near the United Center for years without paying rent — for failing to meet the terms of a settlement reached eight months ago.
Following inquiries from the Chicago Sun-Times, city inspectors have found Peoples Stadium Park LLC failed to get permits for signs hanging over the sidewalk, designate wheelchair accessible spaces and erect required fencing around the lot at the northwest corner of Madison and Paulina.
“Key markers of the plan have been executed, and although the company is no longer operating on city property, more work needed to be done to ensure compliance,” according to Lilia Chacon, spokeswoman for the city Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
The agency is asking the city’s license discipline commission to punish Peoples.
Under the settlement, the city was to give the company licenses to park cars in the 1700 block of Madison and Warren streets, and Peoples, which is owned by the family of attorney Ronald Shudnow, would pay the city $180,000 and make improvements in six months.
But City Hall has refused to issue business licenses to Peoples Stadium because the company owed the city $11,384, a debt Peoples paid July 17 — about three weeks after the Sun-Times sought records to determine whether the company had lived up to the settlement.
Peoples attorney Stephen Novack said the company “has executed the bulk of its obligations and has been working with the city hand in hand to complete the few remaining items.”
City Hall tried to revoke Peoples’ licenses after the Sun-Times reported in December 2014 that the company was charging customers to park cars on land the city owned that sits in the middle of the company’s parking lot near the home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks but wasn’t paying the city for using the property.
Peoples said then that the city received parking taxes from each car parked on the city property and sued to block City Hall from shutting down the lot. A Cook County judge let the lot remain open, and Peoples agreed to stop parking cars on the city’s property, which it began doing in 1996 under a deal with the administration of Mayor Richard M. Daley that was supposed to last five years.