Thursday, February 12, 2009

Neighborhoods For Sale , Cash, Clout, Campaign Contributions and Stacking Commissions with Developers Sounds Familiar

Below the fold is a 8 part article on Neighborhoods For Sale Chicago style by the Chigago Tribune.If you would like to see all the articles CLICKHERE or click on the title above. Great investigation by the Chicago Tribune, these are the kind of stories that make you want to shake your head and say enough is enough time for a changing. This needs to stop.

In an unprecedented investigation, the Tribune analyzed a decade of zoning changes to detail how real estate interests have funneled millions of dollars to the aldermen who dictate what can be built. The series has examined how aldermen ignore city planners and frustrated residents as they frequently permit new and bigger buildings that leave neighbors in their shadows. The series so far:
Part 1: How cash, clout transform Chicago neighborhoods click title
Tribune investigation:
DEVELOPERS: Many give to aldermanic campaigns in quest to build bigger, pricier projects.
ALDERMEN: They decide who can build what. Money, not planning, often drives process.
HOMEOWNERS: They are often left out of the decision-making and boxed in by towering structures.

Part 2: Community input an illusion click title
Tribune investigation:
ALDERMEN: They decide who can build what. Money, not planning, often drives the process.
ADVISORY GROUPS: Billed as neighborhood's voice, they are often stacked with developers.

Part 3: A curious tale of two properties click title
Tribune investigation:One parcel was owned by friends of Mayor Daley. One wasn't. Guess which rezoning request was OKd?

Part 4: He zones. She sells. And it's legal. click title
Tribune investigation:Alderman OKd zoning for developers who retained his wife as sales agent. She sold homes worth $22 million.

Part 5: Who calls the shots in your backyard? Not you. click title
Tribune investigation: In a system city officials call a national model, aldermen collect campaign donations from developers. Developers benefit from looser building rules approved by aldermen. And residents?

Part 6: Congressman's $200,000 loan click title
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez's loan from a developer who contributes to his campaign raises questions about how clout drives the city's zoning system

Part 7: Gutierrez cashes in with donors click title
Many are done with campaign contributors

Part 8: House of cards emerges in zoning-change game click title
TRIBUNE ANALYSIS: Market collapse is aggravated by system where aldermen benefit from campaign donations from developers

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