Milan and Maria Letica have lived in their Harwood Heights apartment for 20 years, but if a mosque moves in next to them, they say they are moving out.
“Why doesn’t the village take care of the people who have been here for years?” the Leticas’ son, Branco, said. “So many more people are against this than the village knows.”
Branco Letica, who spoke on behalf of his parents because of their limited English, said no one in his parents’ apartment building in the 4700 block of Olcott is pleased with the proposal to turn the old Eisenhower Library building next door into a mosque. He expects many apartment dwellers in the other three buildings butting up to the library property at 4652 Olcott feel the same.
“There will be more people coming. There will be issues,” Branco Letica said of a mosque being in the area. “There will be a lot of traffic. There will be more noise.”
John Pikarski, an attorney with 40 years zoning-case experience, said a mosque is a much more conducive use of the property for the nearby neighbors than what the building, zoned industrial, could hold.
“Some fairly offensive uses can go in there as a matter of right,” Pikarski said.
“This is what I consider a substitution of uses,” Pikarski added. “This is one public use for another.”