A Buffalo Grove business owner implored village trustees at a recent Village Board meeting to adopt an ordinance that would restrict large events on private property.
Cody Romano, Buffalo Grove resident and co-owner of Everything Games, 404 W. Half Day Road, told trustees at the Feb. 5 meeting that a large event in the Woodland Commons parking lot on Feb. 3 filled the parking lot with vehicles and people. , paralyzing his business and that of others.
“It was an impromptu memorial service car show that didn’t have a permit and was held at the Woodland Commons shopping center,” Romano explained in a phone interview with the Pioneer Press. “The entire parking lot was full. People were standing in cars and lounging, and the bathroom lines at Mariano’s (grocery store) were 20 to 30 people long.”
He said the event, which took place between 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. that Saturday, attracted hundreds of people, according to police at the scene, who told him they couldn’t break up the gathering because it was on private property. .
Romano wants that to change.
“If someone doesn’t have a permit, police should be able to remove them from private property,” Romano said, “specifically for outdoor events in a parking lot. “It was a huge safety concern.”
He said he lost $5,000 in business that day, and many customers called and said they couldn’t park or access his business because of the crowd. He believes other nearby businesses suffered as well.
“If someone had a gun, if someone was in a situation (and needed medical attention), Buffalo Grove Road and Route 22 were basically unusable,” Romano said at the meeting. “We have to implement an ordinance where we can actually do something about it. I really hope those who were involved are fined. It was unforgivable. We were lucky that nothing happened, but what if it did?
Romano spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting. The trustees took no formal action on his request because it was not part of the evening’s official agenda. But the Pioneer Press reached out to the police department after the meeting and asked about the event Romano reported.
Deputy Police Chief Michael Rodriguez confirmed that the “car meet” meeting was held in honor of the car club’s founder and president, who recently passed away. He said police had been notified that the event would be moved from another city to Buffalo Grove, but only 150 to 200 attendees were expected and police officers were on site, he said in a statement to the Pioneer Press.
“As vehicles and occupants filled the parking lot (we estimate over 700 people), officers worked with the event organizer to end the event early at approximately 4:20 p.m. and the parking lot was cleared within two hours,” Rodriguez said. .
Police report that this was a “very rare and unique event” in the town.
“Although there was a large crowd, all interactions were friendly, polite and cordial,” according to the deputy chief.
Elizabeth Owens-Schiele is a freelancer.