At last check, the Chicago Cubs had paid for a free remote parking lot, as part of the agreed-upon Wrigley Field renovation package, and as required by City Council to get a deal done. The idea was to increase the number of spaces the Cubs offered in a remote lot, and to provide free parking/shuttle service to clear up pre-and-post-game congestion in Lakeview.
Days before the lot was to go active, a handful of nearby residents complained that it was going to be a disastrous nightmare of epic proportions, complete with zombie uprisings and raining frogs. And then Opening Day came, and it turned out that it was no big deal.
But that won’t stop the political wheels that are already in motion. The alderman of the ward in which the remote lot sits has been pushing for the Law Department to conclude that the Cubs’ operation of a lot of a private business violated zoning restrictions (because parking was supposed to be just for people using that particular business), and, this weekend, the Law Department agreed, according to Serena Dai at DNAinfo.
What does that mean for the Cubs? Well, you can read Dai’s piece for some of the particulars, including a response from the Cubs, but the upshot is: they’re going to have to scramble to come into compliance with the zoning rules. They will have to apply for a special permit – and application that the alderman intends to oppose. In the interim, they can continue using the lot.
In the grand scheme of the renovation process, this is a relatively minor issue (case in point: the renovation hasn’t even started yet because of the major issue sitting outside Wrigley’s outfield walls). But the politicking of the city and its officials continues to frustrate the Cubs’ efforts, even as they try to do things to be good neighbors.