Reporting Bob Roberts
CHICAGO (CBS) – One day before Plan Commission hearings on the Wrigley Field renovation plan, irate Wrigleyville residents rallied outside of the Cubs’ ballpark to call on the Cubs to scale back the proposal.
More than 200 people turned out for the rally, on the corner of Clark Street and Patterson, in the ballpark’s shadow.
Community leaders said they are not against renovation in itself, but said the Cubs have frozen community residents out of the process as they load more and more changes into the plan. They spoke out against the renovation plan’s proposed exterior signage, plans for a pedestrian bridge over Clark Street, a side-street hotel entrance and pyrotechnics.
Hawthorne Neighbors Association President Kevin McIntire said Mayor Emanuel is trying to ramrod the plan through the approval process with lightning speed without thought to the long-term effect on Lakeview.
“Where does it stop?” he asked. “You can’t negotiate with a moving target. It’s an unfair situation. Keep in mind that the majority of these added elements are located outside of Wrigley Field and directly affect our neighborhood aesthetics, our lifestyles and the quality of our lives.”
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) was on hand but did not speak. He has backed the residents and said he wants to avoid a fight, but has issues with a number of the Cubs’ proposals.