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City Claims East Lakeview Homeowner Took Public Park Land As Part Of Front Yard

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The city is threatening to sue a wealthy homeowner accused of turning part of the park of Lincoln Park into his own front yard.

The city said the well-connected owner of the home on Lake Shore Drive West north of Wellington Avenue in East Lakeview has sectioned off 3,000 square feet of public land with hedges and fencing in front of his house.

The Chicago Park District has been sending notices to the homeowner since 2015.

Activists says it's time to give back the land.

"This is a time when there's a lot of questions about equity in this city and this country, and to have a wealthy, affluent resident of Chicago just being able to take up public resources is a real problem," said Friends of the Parks Executive Director Juanita Irizarry.

On Tuesday night, the homeowner did not back down – telling CBS 2 he was granted special permission, and saying the land is still open for the public to use.

The city's Inspector General is recommending a 30-day deadline for the homeowner to turn over the land, or face a civil lawsuit.


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