[Letter] Dear City Council: Forget About Chickens and Tackle Some Real Issues
No one is paying attention to how and where home generators are being installed, and it's creating hazards for neighbors.
Chickens are being reviewed in a city committee. Interesting. Well, let me tell you what Elmhurst does not care about.
I have contacted Mayor DiCianni, along with my alderman, to let them know that although permits are required for permanent generators, no one is enforcing this. As a matter of fact, if I had not gotten very upset over a neighbor putting a generator 13 feet from my kitchen window, the city wouldn't have cared anything about it. The contractor didn't get a permit ahead of time, neither did the resident, and no one saw the plat of survey in advance to make sure my neighbors were not violating any laws.
At the time the unit was installed, I asked if the contractor was licensed in Elmhurst and if they had the qualifications to work with electricity and gas lines that were 13 feet from my kitchen window. They couldn't answer that. A permit was applied for after the fact, and then I was told that yes, a permit was issued and that they were a licensed contractor.
The generator is installed on patio bricks in the soil. They have already sunk into the soil due to the weight of the unit. What happens when it shifts? Gas and electric connections will be compromised, and I and others will have to worry that our homes could go up in flames.
I really hope that no other resident in Elmhurst has to listen to a generator running right outside their kitchen. The mayor says the laws regarding generators are going to be more lenient because Elmhurst loses electricity often. But what about the people who have to live next door?
I don't know about anyone else, but I am trying to protect future installations that may or may not be handled by licensed contractors. I think this is much, much more important than a committee looking at chickens in a back yard. Chickens do not pose a danger to neighbors, but generators installed close to homes do.
Elmhurst has laws that say a permit is required. But, as the gentleman who works in the permits department at the City of Elmhurst said, "We usually do not know work is going on unless a neighbor tells us." So that tells me that the city knows only if the neighbor "rats" on them.
I just want to feel safe and know that electrical work is inspected, and the placement of generators is done legally. Just because you want one doesn't mean your neighbor should have to suffer.
The contractor told me, "Well, go ahead and complain to the city, but they will have to spend $1,500 more now to put it in back or on the side of the garage."
This all could have been prevented. The city should be monitoring the contractors, the permits and the placement of generators.
One last point: I asked if this was going to be discussed at one of the City Council meetings, and Mayor DiCianni said no.
But chickens will!
What is happening to Elmhurst?
—Terrie Provenzano, Elmhurst