Despite objections, parking variance approved for dentist

The Homewood village board approved a parking variance Tuesday for a new dental office on 183rd Street despite the objections of two nearby business owners.


Basit Nisbeth purchased a vacant property at 2421 W. 183rd Street. The building he rented in Glenwood was set to be torn down. Homewood code requires one parking space per employee plus two for each examination room.

Nisbeth plans to have one employee and three exam rooms, thus requiring seven parking spaces. The building offers four parking spaces with no available land to expand the lot, according to village documents. The larger lot is shared by a dry cleaner, electronics repair, chiropractor, personal trainer, insurance agent and real estate broker. Each business property is owned individually.

Mark McGee, owner of Infiniti Properties located four doors east from Nisbeth’s storefront, and Jeff Sachs, owner of Sweat Equity personal training two doors down, attended the board meeting to voice their objections.


McGee called the lot “a powder keg waiting to happen.”


“I’ve been through three beauty shops and several other businesses over the years that were completely wrong for the center,” McGee said. “We did put out that restaurant. We did put out three beauty shops. This is the power that we have because we own our own parking.”


McGee said the last beauty shop on the property expanded, requiring more parking and putting a strain on the lot.


“We had to put our foot down and we had to put them out of business,” McGee said. “Between me and Jeff Sachs, we kind of control the parking in the center and we are not going to give up any more of our parking.”


Nisbeth told the board he wasn’t aware of any objections when he purchased the property and didn’t think he could go back now. 


He said he had informal agreements with some of the other business owners sharing the lot. They’ll allow his customers to use some of their parking spots when necessary. Nisbeth said he also spoke to the managers of nearby Walt’s grocery store, who said he and his employees can park in that lot.

“If a dentist’s office shouldn’t have a variance, then I don’t know what business would be suitable. It’s almost like any business, (McGee and Sachs) would have an objection to,” Trustee Barbara Dawkins said. “I, quite frankly, think that the tone of ‘driving businesses out’ of a plaza is offensive.” 


The board approved the variance 5-0. Trustee Lisa Purcell was absent.


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