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January 24, 2024

Lenny Asaro Addresses Proposed City Council Ordinance on Chicago Tonight

In a news segment for Chicago Tonight, construction and real estate litigation partner Lenny Asaro discussed a proposed ordinance from the Chicago City Council that aims to restrict the locations of small-box retailers.

Asaro said, “The problem with the ordinance is that it’s a one-size-fits-all. It is a one-mile restriction with no exceptions, and it doesn’t address the ultimate issues, which are to address store conditions and to actually deliver and produce results.” He added, “There is a better way to approach this, and what has been offered is an alternate ordinance…which would actually empower the Alders.”

“Under the zoning ordinance, there are a lot of different mechanisms, and one is requiring a special-use permit to open up a new store, and the second is to require a letter of support from the Alders,” Asaro explained. “It [would allow] the Alders to have input, accountability, and be responsive to their constituents.”

Asaro added, “The ordinance is really not designed to address conditions as much as what the original ordinance’s stated purpose was, which was to address food deserts, and that is a completely separate and larger issue.”

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