The basement of the single-family home at 5304 S. New England has been transformed into a modern game room complete with pinball machines and video arcade games. --Photo posted by the home’s owner to airbnb.com

The basement of the single-family home at 5304 S. New England has been transformed into a modern game room complete with pinball machines and video arcade games. --Photo posted by the home’s owner to airbnb.com

Neighbors rally against ‘Mario’s Pad’

Spread the love

Launch petition drive against home rentals 

By Tim Hadac

CRRNH 5304Exterior 081022

The exterior of the single-family home at 5304 S. New England (center). –Photo posted by the home’s owner to airbnb.com

At first glance, the single-family home at 5304 S. New England appears to fit in perfectly in Garfield Ridge: nicely appointed and neatly manicured.

But after it was sold a few months ago and then listed (as “Mario’s Pad”) for rent on airbnb.com for $899 a night, some of the neighbors are rallying against what they see as little more than an unregulated, overnight party house.

“I have no problem with a house being rented out, but only if it’s a long-term arrangement,” said one neighbor on the block, who asked that her identity not be disclosed. “This is a nice, quiet neighborhood that values stability. We want to keep it that way.”

She went on to say that in recent weeks, she has forbidden her children from playing outside without adult supervision. She had not done that before and added, “That’s no way to live, in fear.”

When asked if those who rent the house have engaged in any illegal activity, neighbors contacted by the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound were unable to point to any, but said that several people were spotted smoking cannabis on the home’s front porch.

Neighbors have also complained that the property’s security cameras are pointed directly at the home and yards of adjacent houses, instead of the residence and grounds at 5304. They said they find that invasive.

“What gets me the most is how this was slipped in with no public notice,” said one neighbor. “We should have been asked if we want that kind of thing so close to where we live, where we raise our kids, where we pay taxes. But no. Nothing.”

The new owner of the four-bedroom house, 30-year-old David Anthony Williams, has listed “Mario’s Pad” (so named because some of its interior bears a Super Mario-inspired theme) on airbnb.com with a clearly stated prohibition on parties, events and indoor smoking. He also said he does not rent the home for less than two nights at a time.

The photos he has provided show the interior to be clean, attractive and inviting. The basement appears to have been transformed into a pinball and video arcade, with at least a dozen machines.

CRRNH 5304Arcade 081022

The basement of the single-family home at 5304 S. New England has been transformed into a modern game room complete with pinball machines and video arcade games. –Photo posted by the home’s owner to airbnb.com

In written messages exchanged with the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound, Williams said, “It seems like the neighbors are making up fake complaints based on the evidence from my Ring camera.”

One of those involves Williams himself. A neighbor claimed Williams is an absentee landlord who lives in the suburbs. Williams said he lives at 5304 but is away quite a bit, traveling on business. He said he works in supply chain management.

In a telephone interview with the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound, Williams indicated he is interested in being a good neighbor.

He said he grew up in the northwest suburbs and purchased the home in Garfield Ridge because he finds the neighborhood to be a strong combination of attractive and affordable, with the added convenience of its close proximity to the airport and quick access to the Loop.

He added that the home gives him and his girlfriend more living space.

Williams is a former college student and an athlete. For a few years in his 20s, he was a professional mixed martial arts fighter.

He said that since he purchased the home, became certified as a shared-housing site via the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and listed with airbnb.com, he has only rented his home once, to a family of five adults and two children.

He added that he decided to list with airbnb.com because the practice is legal and it would provide him with a bit of added income.

Tabares agrees with neighbors

Neighbors objecting to turning 5304 into a rental property have made their case to 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares, who herself lives within walking distance of the house.

She also opposes short-term rentals of single-family homes and has united with neighbors to launch a petition drive to forbid the practice in the precinct.

“The support has been overwhelming,” Tabares told the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound. “We’ve had no shortage of volunteers going door to door with petitions.”

If all goes as planned, the drive will culminate within a matter of weeks with a City Council vote, with the practice banned in the precinct. However, it would not be retroactive, so it will not affect the short-term rental of 5304 as long as Williams owns the property and successfully lists it with airbnb.com.

Tabares expressed frustration with the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, who she said failed to notify her in advance that a property owner had applied to be a home-sharing site. She said it is her understanding that BACP usually does.

Slightly less than half of all precincts in the 23rd Ward prohibit short-term rentals of single-family homes.

That fact was not lost on another neighbor, who requested that his identity not be disclosed.

“This whole situation would never have happened if we lived in the 13th Ward,” he said, noting that under 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn’s leadership, all 48 precincts in that ward long ago banned short-term rentals of single-family homes.

5 Comments

  1. Metro Man on August 8, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    What is wrong here? Cannabis is legal, get over it



  2. Migz on August 9, 2022 at 12:07 am

    Cannabis is not liked by many and they don’t have to tolerate it.



  3. Mr fair on August 9, 2022 at 11:03 am

    Drunks aren’t liked by many yet after every sporting even or weekend the streets are filled with them. It doesn’t matter if people don’t tolerate it. It’s legal. Its revenue for our city.



  4. Faith Connors on August 10, 2022 at 1:03 am

    Wow, what a fantastic collection of old time pinball and video games!



  5. South Side Pragmatist on August 10, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    So an unsubstantiated claim of pot smoking when the guy just started renting it…to a family with kids. Seems like this is a case of the “not in my neighborhood” crowd. “Dear God there’s people there that we don’t know! *clutches pearls* Earl call the alderman and get the pitchforks!”

    Does this guy not pay taxes? Does his listing not say parties and smoking are not allowed? Isn’t he REGULATED by the city of Chicago? It’s funny how we are a nation of freedoms UNLESS you don’t like it the way you want it. All these “please hide my name” people need to worry about being a good neighbor and minding their own dang business. If you can’t point to anything wrong or illegal other than it makes me feel like he shouldn’t be here, then maybe the issue is in your own home and not this poor kid trying to get ahead in life.

    Oh and I might start walking my dog at 9pm instead of 7pm. Which one of you neighbor marshalls should I contact to file to form to clear it with the neighborhood so keep your fear at bay and mental stability?



Local News

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Mount Carmel, Marist and Oak Lawn among 84 teams at Riverside-Brookfield shootout

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent   High school boys basketball does not stop in March and pick back up in late autumn. For many players, playing hoops is a year-round commitment. AAU ball is a big reason for, that there are summer camps, shootouts or other events at most schools during the summer. The…

Alyssa Naeher clears a ball at North Carolina on June 23 in a 3-1 Red Stars loss. IMAGN photo

Loss to Courage brings Red Stars’ winless streak to five games

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Chicago Red Stars historic start to the season is all but forgotten. In the last five matches, the Red Stars have failed to win, with the latest setback being a 3-1 loss on the road to North Carolina on June 23 in an NWSL battle. The Red Stars…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Summer League Basketball | Illinois powers compete at Riverside-Brookfield Shootout

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent School’s out for the summer, but high school athletes across Illinois are remaining active during the summer sports season. This includes basketball players, who can be found at camps, open gyms, camps and even weekend tournaments. Among the more high profile hoops action in the area was the Riverside-Brookfield…

Dana Rettke, a graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School, will play on the U.S. women's volleyball team at the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

Dana Rettke and Ryan Murphy heading to Paris Summer Games

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Area fans of the Summer Olympics will have extra reasons to cheer athletes from the United States in the upcoming Paris Games. Dana Rettke of Riverside is a member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team and Palos Heights native Ryan Murphy will represent the country in swimming. Rettke, a…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound June 19, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Shepard basketball coach Corey Wolf draws up a play during the Astros game against Argo June 14 at the Stagg Shootout. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Corey Wolf ‘living the dream’ as new Shepard hoops coach

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent For Corey Wolf, obtaining the ultimate high school basketball prize started in the summer of 2007. Wolf was playing for a Richards team that had showed much promise, having gone 26-3 and winning a regional title the previous season. Then-Bulldogs coach John Chappetto let his players know when summer…

Mallory Swanson of the Chicago Red Stars had a goal and assist in a 2-2 draw with Kansas City. IMAGN photo

Staab header helps Red Stars forge draw with KC

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Heading into the weekend, only Kansas City and Orlando were unbeaten among NWSL teams. The teams were tied atop the league standings, with each sporting 8-0-4 records. They now share another common denominator: Both have forged draws with the Red Stars. Red Stars defender Sam Stabb’s header in the…

NWSL ball

Red Stars unhappy with Riot Fest conflict

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Among the bands that will headline the newly minted Riot Fest music festival are Chicago-area natives Fall Out Boy. The annual concert featuring an eclectic mix of musical acts will be held in Bridgeview Sept. 20-22 — and boy, oh boy, there is a lot of fallout from the…

Sandburg sophomore Daniel Morakinyo is looking forward to the 35-second shot clock, which will be used for the first time in Illinois high school basketball when he is a senior. Photo by Jeff Vorva

It’s about time | Illinois high school hoops gets 35-second shot clock beginning with 2026-27 season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Count Sandburg sophomore Daniel Morakinyo as someone who can’t wait for the 2026-2027 basketball season. The rising guard/forward will be a senior that year, and he will embrace the IHSA’s implementation of a 35-second shot clock for varsity boys and girls basketball. “It’s a good feature,” Morakinyo said after…

Student volunteers from Brother Rice, St. Rita and St. Laurence assist in the
burial of 160 indigents  last week at Mount Olivet Cemetery. (Photos by Nuha Abdessalam)

Volunteers from Brother Rice, St. Rita and St. Laurence help indigent on their final journey

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Nuha Abdessalam Father Larry Sullivan, a director of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Chicago and pastor of Christ the King Parish, joined County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and spoke words of love, respect, and God at the 35th annual committal service at Mount Olivet Cemetery. The service on June 6 at…

Neighbors

Speaker Welch rebuffs lawsuit from would-be staff union as ‘forum shopping’

Speaker Welch rebuffs lawsuit from would-be staff union as ‘forum shopping’

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is urging a Cook County judge to dismiss a lawsuit members of his staff filed against him last month seeking to force recognition of their union. In a new filing Monday, attorneys for Welch argued the Illinois Legislative Staff Association has no…

Advocates say SCOTUS ruling paves way for law ensuring abusers have guns confiscated

Advocates say SCOTUS ruling paves way for law ensuring abusers have guns confiscated

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com After the U.S. Supreme Court last week upheld a federal law that bars those under domestic violence-related restraining orders from owning guns, victim advocates say Illinois lawmakers should pass a measure to ensure firearms are actually confiscated in those situations. The legislation has been stalled for more than…

Communities, commission push Pritzker admin for more prison plan details

Communities, commission push Pritzker admin for more prison plan details

By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com Jimmy Soto spent more than 42 years wrongfully imprisoned in Illinois Department of Corrections facilities. In 2020, he was moved to the “F-House” at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, a condemned unit, not because he was being punished, but because it was where the facility was housing individuals…

Elections board urged to dismiss complaint that Bailey illegally coordinated in 2022 campaign

Elections board urged to dismiss complaint that Bailey illegally coordinated in 2022 campaign

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com A hearing officer is recommending the Illinois State Board of Elections dismiss a complaint that alleged conservative radio host and political operative Dan Proft illegally coordinated with former Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey during his 2022 campaign for governor. Proft, a one-time gubernatorial candidate himself, is behind an…

State highway shootings decline as critics sue over ‘dragnet surveillance’

State highway shootings decline as critics sue over ‘dragnet surveillance’

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinois State Police say an automated license plate reader program has helped the agency identify witnesses or suspects in 82 percent of highway shooting cases this year, including all eight that resulted in a death.  But as the state looks to further expand its network of more than…

Just weeks before Republican National Convention, Illinois GOP chair announces resignation

Just weeks before Republican National Convention, Illinois GOP chair announces resignation

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com Halfway through the 2024 election cycle and just a few weeks away from the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Illinois GOP Chair Don Tracy on Wednesday announced his resignation as head of the state Republican Party. Tracy, who’d held the job since February 2021, explained his resignation in…

As Illinois session ends, lawmakers’ attempt to reinstate wetland protections fails

As Illinois session ends, lawmakers’ attempt to reinstate wetland protections fails

by JENNIFER BAMBERG Investigate Midwest jennifer.bamberg@investigatemidwest.org In 2006, 19-year-old Jessica Whinston inherited 20 acres of land that her grandparents once farmed in Quincy, Illinois. The land had sat dormant since the 1980s and was overgrown, but Whinston and her husband Bradley worked to turn it into a productive farm. The couple were eventually able to…

Elections board dismisses illegal campaign coordination complaint, declines to clarify law

Elections board dismisses illegal campaign coordination complaint, declines to clarify law

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – State elections officials on Tuesday indicated they were unlikely to step in to clarify what constitutes illegal campaign coordination after voting to dismiss a complaint alleging such coordination in the 2022 campaign for governor. At their monthly meeting in Chicago, Illinois State Board of Elections members…

Illinois’ ban on ‘bump stocks’ remains in place despite U.S. Supreme Court decision

Illinois’ ban on ‘bump stocks’ remains in place despite U.S. Supreme Court decision

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – An Illinois law banning the sale and use of “bump stocks” and other devices that increase the firing power of semiautomatic weapons remains in place, at least for now, despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision Friday striking down a federal ban on such items. “Illinois law…

Lawmakers pass on oversight vote for Pritzker’s prison closure, rebuild plan

Lawmakers pass on oversight vote for Pritzker’s prison closure, rebuild plan

By HANNAH MEISEL & DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – For the last two decades, each time a governor has moved to close a large state-run facility like a prison or mental health center, a legislative oversight panel has voted on the plan. That changed on Friday – at least for now –…