Reid seeks to block trucks from business

Evanston alders Monday are scheduled to consider a proposal from Ald. Devon Reid (8th) to bar truck traffic on streets leading to a long-standing local business.

Reid’s plan would bar trucks from the four streets that surround the Clesen Wholesale nursery location at 316 Florence Ave.

Neighbors voiced complaints earlier this year about trucks making pickups and deliveries at the business.

Neighbors claim the trucks block driveways, hit cars, use the street for storage and loading and work overnight.

The business, which dates back to 1941, appears to be the last of several greenhouse operations that once dotted that section of the city.

City parking officials last spring proposed several steps to try to address traffic concerns. It’s not clear from the information in Monday’s council packet whether those changes have been implemented or how effective they may have been.

A memo from the Police Department indicates that officers met with business owner Tom Clesen in June and that he agreed to several steps to try to address the concerns.

Clesen also told the police that the traffic issues occur mainly in May and early June, the business’s busiest time of the year.

A city staff memo on Reid’s proposal suggests that it would not actually be effective in reducing traffic to the greenhouse — because another provision of the city code permits trucks to use restricted streets if it is the only way to get to their final destination.

And it raises a concern from the city’s Law Department that if the restriction were effective, Clesen might be able to sue the city for inverse condemnation — because the restriction would effectively amount to a taking by the city of the current business value of the property.

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