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

dvn 6-14-24 riot fest lineup

Riot Fest abandons Chicago park for SeatGeek Stadium

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Last year, Lyrical Lemonade moved its Summer Smash hip-hop music festival from Chicago’s Douglass Park to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium. Thousands of fans poured into the stadium at 7100 S. Harlem Ave. over the course of three days and, by most accounts, enjoyed the experience. Summer Smash returned to SeatGeek this…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound June 12, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Softball stock

Softball | Marist will play for state title for fourth straight season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Marist returned to the state title game for the fourth straight season with a 7-1 victory over Mundelein in the semifinals, held June 7 at Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria. The Mustangs (36-2) were making their first appearance at state since 1996. “We have a core group of returners,”…

Chicago Red Stars player Penelope Hocking signs autographs before the team's match against Bay FC on June 8 at Wrigley Field. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Record crowd sees Bay FC top Red Stars at Wrigley Field

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Historic Wrigley Field hosted its first professional women’s sporting event in 80 years when the Chicago Red Stars hosted Bay FC on June 8. An NWSL-record announced crowd of 35,038  came out on a cool, rainy evening on the North Side and saw the expansion team from the San…

Marist seniors Caroline O’Brien (left) and Camryn Lyons hold the Class 4A state runner-up trophy after St. Charles North defeated the RedHawks, 7-2, in the championship game on June 8 in Peoria. Photo courtesy of Marist High School Athletics

Softball | St. Charles North rides big inning over Marist for Class 4A state title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent The final game was in doubt until the late innings but, in the end, Marist came up short in its bid for a second consecutive state championship. St. Charles North (25-6) broke open a tied game by scoring five times with two outs in the bottom of the sixth,…

Marist's Nathen Toth (3) was named the boys volleyball state finals MVP by the Illiniois Volleyball Coaches Association. File photo

Boys Volleyball | Marist’s Nathen Toth named state finals MVP

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent   With the IHSA boys volleyball state semifinals and finals championships held on the same day, the round of four tends to get overshadowed once the smoke clears. But Marist’s 28-26, 26-24 semifinal win over Glenbard West in a battle of two of the top five teams in the…

York's Ben Brown, shown getting ready to serve against Marist in the state championship on June 1, is the son of Chris Brown, who helped Oak Lawn finish fourth in the state in 1993. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Brown family legacy continues in world of Illinois boys volleyball

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Brown family’s legacy continues in the world of boys volleyball. Twins Chris and Eric Brown helped Oak Lawn finish fourth in the IHSA volleyball tournament in 1993, the second year the boys state tournament took place. Though the twins graduated that year, that season served as a springboard…

Two-time national wrestling champion Austin O'Connor, a St. Rita graduate, won his MMA debut on June 9 in Texas. North Carolina photo

Don’t sleep on grappling great | St. Rita grad Austin O’Connor starts MMA career with a win

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The “Irish Nightmare” was not about to be put to sleep. Austin O’Connor, a four-time IHSA state wrestling champion during his years at St. Rita, made his professional MMA debut on June 9; and despite some pre-match taunting from opponent Camden Fontenot — who claimed he would put O’Connor…

Owner Rosa Prieto prepares to cut the ribbon and is encouraged by co-owner and husband, Jaime Prieto, to her left, for the Healthy and Delicious Smoothie Spot grand opening in Oak Lawn on May 29. They are joined by Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce members and in back (from left) Steve Loulousis, president of the Oak Lawn Parks Foundation; Mayor Terry Vorderer, and behind Rosa, Natasha Miller Williams, president of the chamber. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Comings & Goings: New business offers fresh and healthy smoothies

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Rosa Prieto had been considering opening a business that provides refreshing drinks and food but was waiting for the right time. For Rosa and her husband, Jaime Prieto, that time has arrived. The Healthy and Delicious Smoothie Spot, 10408 S. Cicero Ave., Oak Lawn, officially opened on March 10. Since…

GSWNH_CitySnowReportCover_060724

Great idea or snow job?

Spread the love

Spread the love. SW Siders react to mayor’s winter plan .  By Tim Hadac A new plan to remove snow and ice from city sidewalks was released last Friday by Mayor Brandon Johnson, prompting a range of reactions from Southwest Siders. “Any time you see a politician announce something on a Friday, quietly with no…

Neighbors

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 –…

‘We don’t really know what we’re voting on,’ top Dem says of Pritzker’s prison plan

‘We don’t really know what we’re voting on,’ top Dem says of Pritzker’s prison plan

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com LINCOLN – On the eve of a scheduled vote to advise Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration on plans to close and rebuild a pair of dilapidated state prisons, hundreds filed into a junior high school gymnasium Thursday evening clad in matching green T-shirts. Printed on the shirts was a…

Illinois child tax credit: who gets it, how much is it?

Illinois child tax credit: who gets it, how much is it?

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com In the final hours of their spring legislative session, Illinois lawmakers approved a tax credit of up to about $300 for families with young children.  The credit is available to Illinoisans with children under age 12 who qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. Although…

Members of House speaker’s staff sue over ongoing unionization conflict

Members of House speaker’s staff sue over ongoing unionization conflict

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Members of a would-be union representing staffers in House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch’s office filed suit against their boss on Friday, asking a Cook County judge to force recognition of the union. The Illinois Legislative Staff Association, which formed in the fall of 2022, claims Welch’s…

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…

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…

Judge blocks law that would have banned newly slated candidates from ballot

Judge blocks law that would have banned newly slated candidates from ballot

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com A Sangamon County judge on Wednesday blocked the Illinois State Board of Elections from enforcing a new law that would have prevented certain General Assembly candidates who didn’t run in the March primary from getting on the November ballot. The move doesn’t void the bill in its entirety,…

“No Schoolers”: How Illinois’ hands-off approach to homeschooling leaves children at risk

“No Schoolers”: How Illinois’ hands-off approach to homeschooling leaves children at risk

By BETH HUNDSDORFER  & MOLLY PARKER  CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS investigations@capitolnewsillinois.com This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Capitol News Illinois. It was on L.J.’s 11th birthday, in December 2022, that child welfare workers finally took him away. They arrived at his central Illinois home to investigate an abuse allegation and decided…

Brushing off concerns of overspending, Pritzker signs $53.1 billion state budget

Brushing off concerns of overspending, Pritzker signs $53.1 billion state budget

By ANDREW ADAMS JERRY NOWICKI & HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday signed the state’s $53.1 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, the largest in state history.  The signing caps months of work – and tension – among top Democratic leaders in Springfield and within the…

Stalled bills: ‘Dignity in Pay Act,’ Prisoner Review Board changes fail to move

Stalled bills: ‘Dignity in Pay Act,’ Prisoner Review Board changes fail to move

By ALEX ABBEDUTO,  COLE LONGCOR & DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com A bill eliminating the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities failed to pass the General Assembly ahead of its May adjournment, although sponsors say they hope to pass it when lawmakers return in the fall. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938…