I have sometimes wondered if city planners are trying to destroy the cities they serve.
Here in my neck of the woods we’ve had to fight the city’s plans to put everything from dumps to strip clubs in quiet family neighborhoods. We usually lose.
Resident’s only learn of the plans after the wheels have been greased, so to speak. When they try to protest, they are forced to take off work, go downtown, pay parking, and then sit through all-day waits to testify before bored commission members who obviously have already made up their minds.
What usually happens after that is that the commission ignores their protests and votes to go ahead with their bad idea. The citizens then go home to live with the disastrous effects this decision has on their neighborhoods, homes, families and lives.
Before too many years, the same commissioners who voted to destroy the neighborhood are asking for a bond issue so they can “rebuild” it. They decry the strip clubs, street walkers, drugs, gangs and run-down buildings as if they were dropped in by a big bird instead of being invited, supported and forced into these neighborhoods by their own actions.
Guess who makes money from these bond issues? Why the people who own the construction companies that do business with the commissioners.
And we wonder why American cities are in such chaos.
A case in point is a recent action by the village officials in Stone Park, Il. These officials have decided that good city planning requires that they allow a strip club to go into business less than two feet from the property line of the convent of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo Scalabrinians.
It seems that the strip club would be next to the retirement home for elderly sisters and the building that houses the formation house for novices and the provincial offices. The nuns, not surprisingly, object.
The EWTN News story about this new strip club says in part:
Religious sisters in Stone Park, Ill. are fighting the opening of a new strip club near their convent, saying the business is contrary to their Christian work and undermines the neighborhood.
“It’s built right next to our premises, about 400 feet away. It is against our Christian principles,” Sr. Madonna Daltoe, treasurer of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo Scalabrinians, told EWTN News Feb. 9.
“This new structure has gone up already behind us,” she added. “We do not need to add any more to the village’s social problems. They have enough of these sorts of places, I would say, and we do not want any more. It is not helping the neighborhood.”
The sisters work with poor migrants in their area and provide evangelization outreach as well.
They have objected to Stone Park village officials’ approval of the strip club, which will have partially nude performers and alcohol, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The group questions whether village officials properly followed the rules during the approval process for the club. Its green-walled metallic structure may have been built too close to the sisters’ property, less than two feet from their fence line.