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HAMMOND | The Hammond City Council is expected to vote Monday on a parking lot ordinance that stirred up Hammond residents in June and also discuss rezoning an area for commercial use.

The usual meeting on the first Monday of the month was moved to next Monday. The meeting will be 5:15 p.m. at Hammond City Hall, 5925 Calumet Ave., in Room 205 on the second floor.

The council will make a final vote on the parking lot ordinance, which will regulate parking in city-owned public parking lots.  

Councilwoman Janet Venecz, D-at large, the ordinance sponsor, said she created the ordinance to help alleviate crime problems in the city, such as littering and loitering.

"Our objective here is to keep Hammond safe ..." Venecz said. "(The ordinance) is for the safety and well-being of people that live here."

Several employees of AquaVor NightClub, in the 5200 block of Hohman Avenue, came to the June 24 meeting to voice concerns when the ordinance was introduced and approved on first reading.

"By putting a no-parking ordinance on the lot, it's basically forcing us to close our business," said Enrique Balerini, an AquaVor manager.

Since then, Venecz said she has gotten surprising responses on the ordinance.

She said a few downtown Hammond businesses and a resident voiced concerns on how the ordinance will affect businesses. Consequently, Venecz said there will be an amendment on the parking restrictions that will go to a vote on Monday.

Reclassifying the area around 4504 Towle Ave. from residential to commercial also will be discussed then. The property, which was once a laundromat and is now vacant, is intended to be used as a computer lab and study area open to the public.

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