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Wheeling restaurant's brick wall will cost them
By Sheila Ahern | Daily Herald Staff

The owners of XO Sky Restaurant built this brick wall that the plan commission did not give them approval for.

 

Courtesy Village of Wheeling

XO's owners said they never meant to break the rules and offered to make the wall more attractive.

 

Courtesy Village of Wheeling

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Published: 8/25/2010 10:49 AM | Updated: 8/25/2010 3:27 PM

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Is it better to ask for permission or forgiveness?

Turns out the owners of XO Sky Restaurant in Wheeling should've asked for permission.

The restaurant built a brick wall enclosing their patio, separating it from the rest of the Garden Fresh Plaza on the 1700 block of Hintz Road and carving out an outdoor dining area.

The Wheeling plan commission had given the owners permission to put up a temporary wall, not a permanent one.

On Monday, the restaurant's representative went before the village board, passed out photos and tried to persuade trustees to let them keep the wall.

It didn't work, exactly.

On Monday, Wheeling trustees sent the owner back to the plan commission to get the wall approved and said a fine might be in order. Community Development Director Mark Janeck will inspect the wall and decide the fine, which could run around $1,000.

"XO has a history of ignoring what this board has to say," Trustee Ken Brady said. "They always come back after they do something. They're not concerned with the rules of this village. I think this was done on purpose."

Nadia Maykova spoke on behalf of XO's owners, who don't speak fluent English. She said the owners put up the wall to prevent the restaurant's music from spilling over to the rest of the plaza.

"We think it brings character to the place," Maykova said, adding that the restaurant's owners would put out flowers to make the wall more attractive.

Trustee Dean Argiris liked the wall and pointed out that XO "took initiative."

"It's up now, and we're going to make them tear it down?" he said. "I don't see any pattern that they're doing things on the sneak here."

But Argiris was the only trustee on XO's side. Most said the restaurant's owners should at least go back to the plan commission. Some officials - including Village President Judy Abruscato - said fines on top of that were in order.

"You can't always say, 'Oops,'" she said. "You need to make it right and you will be fined, I'm sorry to say."

Trustee Robert Heer agreed.

"Rules are rules," Heer said. "What's to stop a neighbor from putting up a wall? What good are rules if people can just came back and say 'We didn't know.' They wouldn't let people get away with this in other towns."