Collection Agency Denied Variance For Parking Spots, May be Forced to Move

A collection agency in Skokie, Ill., is fighting to stay in its offices because a growth spurt is angering local residents.

Residents are upset that employees of the agency, Unifin, are parking on the street because the office building they work in does not have enough parking spots to accommodate the new influx of employees. The company has grown to more than 100 employees, up from 15 when the agency moved into its current office. The company had been seeking a variance from the town’s zoning board to allow it to continue occupying its office with 55 fewer parking spaces than the law required.

If the company wishes to appeal the zoning board’s denial of the variance, it must do so in court, according to a published report.

Residents who live around the office park reported that employees of the agency were parking on the street in front of their houses and disrupting the neighborhood, by talking on cell phones, littering, and smoking cigarettes. A block that has 27 street spots now only has two or three available during the workday, according to homeowners in the area.

Without the parking variance, the company said it will have to move or may even close down if it can not find a suitable office. The company hired a traffic engineer who said the amount of parking required by the zoning board was excessive. Nonetheless, the board did not see it the same way. The zoning board also denied a request from the company to rent spots in a nearby town lot used by commuters who take mass transit.


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