Council quashes unusual house colors

Lawmakers in Niles want water retention ponds to be cleaned up.
NILES -- City council has approved legislation by a 6-1 vote that essentially stops homeowners from painting their houses unusual colors.
The dissenting vote was cast Wednesday by Councilman Frank Fuda, D-1st, who argued that he doesn't want to tell people what color to paint their homes.
Other lawmakers have said they want to protect housing values and the appearance of neighborhoods.
The amendment to the city housing code says that the color of paint used on a structure "shall be compatible in color, texture and design with similar dwellings or structures in the immediate neighborhood."
The issue surfaced after a property owner painted his home and fence red.
Hearing on landfills
Council also set a public hearing for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 2 before the normally scheduled council meeting to discuss placing restriction on where landfills can be located in the city.
Law Director J. Terrence Dull submitted draft legislation Wednesday, but no action was taken on it.
Lawmakers are interested in changing the zoning regulations before a company submits an application to create a landfill.
The proposal legislation would place limits on construction and demolition debris facilities. For example, they must be 2,500 feet from land already zoned residential and a mile from an "environmentally natural area."
The proposal also would place restrictions on the level of noise from a landfill.
Retention ponds
Also during the meeting, lawmakers approved legislation controlling the maintenance of retention ponds.
Fuda, chairman of council's utilities committee, said developers construct above-ground retention ponds, but some don't maintain them.
They are designed to hold water during heavy rainfall and release it slowly into the storm sewer system to reduce flooding.
The ordinance controls, among other items, erosion repair, tree and vegetation removal, grass mowing and the removal of standing water after the rainfall.
WWI monument
Councilman Stephen Papalas, D-at-large, told lawmakers that he wants to work with the Niles Historical Society and veterans groups to construct a monument for residents who were killed in action during World War I or died of natural causes while in uniform during that war.
Papalas said the photos of 19 men and one woman from WWI are in the Ward-Thomas Museum. All of them have city streets named after them.
"They deserve to be honored so they aren't forgotten," Papalas said.
A list Papalas had of the 20 veterans contains the dates they died, some of whom were killed during major battles in Europe.

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