Wheaton residents voice opposition to Cosley Zoo parking lot expansion

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Wheaton residents attending a Planning and Zoning Board meeting on Tuesday voiced their opposition to a potential parking lot expansion at the Cosley Zoo.

Concerns over property value, taxes and safety were all expressed by residents, who oppose a proposed lot that would force pedestrians to cross the frequently busy Gary Avenue.

“We are very concerned with moms with little kids, people with disabilities, crossing at grade,” Wheaton resident Chuck Smith said.

Bringing their concerns before the board is just one step in their fight. Residents like Smith hope to voice his concerns in front of City Council members next.

While the majority of residents in attendance did not want to see the Cosley Zoo parking lot expansion happen, a Wheaton Park District representative explained how it could have a positive impact on the community and not initially be funded with taxpayer money.

“87% of the people that go to the Cosley Zoo aren’t taxpayers, yet they want us to foot the bill," Smith said.

The Planning and Zoning Board is a recommending body, who will take their recommendations to Wheaton's City Council from here, who will make the final decision regarding the matter.

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