VILLA PARK : Tree Firm’s Permit Extended on Split Vote


A divided City Council has allowed a tree-trimming company that was the target of neighborhood complaints to continue to operate for six more months at 9856 Santiago Blvd.

The council’s 3-2 vote allows the company’s owner, Bobby Gilbert, to continue to use the land until next June. Gilbert could ask the city to extend the conditional-use permit as soon as April, city officials said.

Councilmen John Frackelton and Barry L. Denes voted against the permit, saying that Gilbert’s company had caused too many problems, and neighbors had complained of odors.


“We have an ongoing pattern” of problems, Frackelton said, in explaining why he opposed a six-month extension of the tree-trimming company’s conditional-use permit. Denes similarly said he believed problems would continue if the company were granted an extension.

But Gilbert told the council he has heeded warnings from the city about violations of land use. “I’m here not to cause anyone a problem,” Gilbert said. “The place (business site) is spotless now. I’m here to work with the city.”

City staff, after an inspection of the tree-trimming company’s business site last month, said they found an illegal compost pile on the land. “Our inspection revealed that more than 100 cubic yards of decaying plant material were being stored on the property,” City Manager Fred Maley said in a written report to the council.

Gilbert, however, told the council that he and his employees had removed the offending decaying plant material. “The compost pile is gone, and it will never happen again,” Gilbert said.