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More on Viking Dodge

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Topics:  Viking Dodge

More on Viking Dodge

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
September 17, 2007


Viking Dodge secured a permit from the City of Crystal Lake to place a temporary wooden advertising sign on its property on Route 176, just east of U.S. 14. You know the spot, right? It’s easily found, because it’s catty-corner from Wayne’s infamous parking spot. Wayne’s the guy from Marengo who is so mad at Viking Dodge that, in addition to being in court with Viking Dodge, he pickets frequently by parking his car on the shoulder of U.S. 14 (Northwest Highway) and holding up a sign directing passersby to go to http://www.ripoffreport.com/

OK, so Viking Dodge got their permit from the City. The permit allows them to place their temporary wooden sign on their property. That means, on their own property – on their own private property.

Today I visited the Crystal Lake City Hall to view a large-scale architectural drawing of Viking Dodge’s land. Around their property is a solid black line on the drawing. When I asked what that meant, the clerk said it “usually” meant the boundary of the owner’s property; i.e., that private property.

I was interested in the State’s right-of-way, or easement, along Route 176. That is hallowed ground, from the State’s perspective. You are not supposed to advertise in the right-of-way. More importantly, Crystal Lake issued a permit for Viking Dodge to advertise on their own property. A couple of weeks ago I had asked a Crystal Lake employee why the City’s permit apparently allowed Viking Dodge to advertise in the State right-of-way.

The property line is about 32’ from the curb along Route 176, according to the solid black line on the drawing. The distance measures about 13/16” on the drawing, which is on the scale of 1’=40’.

This means that their sign should be 32’ back from the street. So why is their temporary wooden advertising sign only about six feet from the curb?

Because the City of Crystal Lake is not going to go out to Viking Dodge and look for the surveying markers. After all, Viking Dodge says the sign is on their property, and so it must be. Yeah, right…. Like the disgruntled buyers posting on http://www.ripoffreport.com/ are all blowing hot air.

Now it appears to me that not only must Viking Dodge move its sign back to the 32’ boundary, but it’s going to have to be sure that none of its cars parked out front is closer than 32’ to the curb. The sign needs to be back where the cars are. The cars look like they could be 32’ back, and they are there because Viking Dodge knows exactly where its property line is. Of course, the line is back where the cars are. Viking Dodge would not risk having the City or the State tow a whole row of cars away some night.

Hmm, whom would the City hire? Maybe those guys that prowl apartment parking lots in the middle of the night, looking for cars that have no parking stickers. You know the companies. The ones with their warning signs at entrances to apartment complexes and shopping centers. But that’s a story for another day.

Come on, Crystal Lake. Get some backbone. Go tell Viking Dodge to move that illegal sign! Or cancel the permit, since they are violating its terms.



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