Dial down single-family upzoning: EVA board

Proposed replacement for a single-family home on Thomas would be higher than either of its neighbors, inviting future teardowns.

By Michelle Hayward

East Village Association board of directors meeting
May 8, 2017
Bath House Cultural Center, 1019 N. Wolcott Ave.

Michael VanDam called the meeting to order. Agenda:

  • Presentation from 1538 W. Thomas (Planning, Preservation & Development)
  • Other PPD Updates/Marq on Noble
  • Inter-Group Candidate Forum (request from Lyn Wolfson at Chicago Grand Neighbors Association)
  • June Membership Meeting -- ideas
  • Safety/Security Update

1538 W. Thomas

EVA board was visited by attorney Stephen Barrios, developer Walter/Vladimir Zeleni, property owner Ernesto Rubio and Victor Drapszo of Red Architects.

  • Rubio is seeking to amend a zoning restriction for his property to be redeveloped in the middle of the block on Thomas.
  • Rubio purchased the property in 1998 and currently resides there. The single-family property is between a three-story and a two-story. He is seeking to sell the property to Zeleni for redevelopment and the contract is contingent on a zoning change.
  • Property is currently a RS-3 (residential single-family) seeking to go to RM-5 (residential multifamily) to build a 4-story brick building with 3 concrete parking pads in the rear.
  • Follow Up: The board asked whether the seller/developer might consider RT-4 (two-flat, townhouse, multiunit) zoning vs. RM-5.
  • Follow Up: Please send the list of neighbors that are in support.
  • Recommendation to PP&D, Ald. Brian Hopkins: Consideration for a multiunit building is OK at RT-4. Permitting much larger construction (RM-5) will be an incentive for other buildings in proximity to be torn down.

925 N. Damen

Zoning variance requested, according to notice received by board member Thomas Tomek. Brian Foote will reach out to Ald. Proco Joe Moreno to review details.

EVA joins in Noble-Walton objections

EVA members voted to support the Eckhart Park Community Council in its objections to rezoning for apartments at Noble and Walton.

By Michelle Hayward

East Village Association membership meeting
May 1, 2017
Happy Village
1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

President’s Welcome

Michael VanDam call the May 1 meeting to order. Michael announced his objective to engage local businesses in EVA. To that end, Michael invited several local businesses to discuss their summer camp offerings with the membership.

Business Minute: Summer Vacation Special Edition
  • City Epicurean Cake Camp: City Epicurean is run by Naomi Levine. Located at Grand/Oakland they focus on cake decorating vs. cooking with the goal of fun and engaging kids' creativity. $135 for 5 days, 9a - 5p. The camp will run weekly sessions for 8 weeks. Discounts for the second sibling and third. Two age groups: 4-9 and 9-18.
  • West Loop Soccer Club: West Loop Soccer club has opened a West Town location two weeks ago. They are offering spring camps at Commercial Park. The summer camps will run indoor during June, July and August from 9a-4p.
  • School of Rock: Representatives were present to share the programs run by the newly opened School of Rock location in Chicago. Summer camps will run 9-3p in July and running into August. Kids 8-18. Kids do need familiarity with their instrument. Camps will be a different theme each week. $450 for a week-long camp.
  • Eckhart Park: Eckhart Park offers quite a few camps this summer!
    • 6 week day camp ages 6-12 starting June 26-Aug. 4, 10a-4p
    • Leadership camp for ages 13-16 starting June 26-Aug. 4
    • Sports camps for ages 8-13 starting June 26-Aug. 4
    • Day camps for ages 8+
    Note: As camps are filling up quickly, registration is no longer open online. Please call the park. In addition Elkhart Park is offering general family activities and summer programs. May 11 is the fundraiser; July 1 is the bike parade. End of July into August, many family-friendly events to be announced.
  • Commercial Park: Offering several day camp options, including a basketball program starting at 4 years old.

East Village Association officers 2017-2018

Michael VanDam.

Michael VanDam, president

I've lived in East Village for more than 8 years, and in Chicago for more than 20. I grew up in Michigan and attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, before coming back to the Midwest. Living on Chicago Avenue, I'm particularly interested in promoting responsible development on the commercial corridors of East Village.

Marq at Noble Square apartments proposed for Walton-Noble lot

Parlor Pizza has its sidewalk cafe permit, even though it's missing one of its required tree pits.

By Michelle Hayward

East Village Association board of directors meeting
April 10, 2017
Bath House Cultural Center
1019 N. Wolcott Ave.

Planning, Preservation & Development

Brian Foote reported on Marquette Development's neighborhood Q&A session April 10 for the Marq at Noble Square development, proposed at Walton and Noble streets:

  • All 1 and 2 bedrooms
  • 160 units, 120 parking spaces
  • All rentals
  • Commissioned traffic study—need to ensure that Milwaukee and Augusta are included in study
  • City will review as a Planned Development

Follow-ups: Neighborhood is connected to all 3 wards. Developer only in contact with Ald. Walter Burnett. EVA to follow up with Ald. Brian Hopkins and Proco Joe Moreno.

Ben Wolf, candidate for Congress, speaks to EVA

Benjamin Wolf, Democratic candiadate for 5th District U.S. Representative, with East Village Association president Michael VanDam at Happy Village in Chicago.

By Michelle Hayward

East Village Association membership meeting
April 3, 2017
Happy Village
1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

President Michael VanDam opened the meeting and introduced himself at the new EVA president.


Our speaker for the evening was Benjamin Thomas Wolf, running for the U.S. House of Representatives, 5th District of Illinois. EVA does not endorse a particular candidate but does welcome all political candidates to share their platform with our community.

Candidate Wolf presented his background and career highlights in public service covering years with the FBI’s Espionage and Counter Terrorism units and the State Department.

A snapshot on some of the positions presented:

  • Supports term limits.
  • Elections to be funded by constituent donations, not money from corporations.
  • Agenda: Free health care, legalization of marijuana and free college tuition.
  • Feels Congress has not addressed the crime and murder rates. His platform: Funding, training and personnel will be found and brought to Chicago.
  • Wolf's plan is to fight the current administration every step of the way. This administration is undoing important advances in human rights.
  • Feels he can be a congressional leader to bring the two sides of the aisle together.
  • Supports the removal of all personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Will not support the renewal of the Patriot Act.

See Facebook for more information: Wolf for Congress. Wolf and his team hold office hours every Tuesday at Park & Field, 3509 W Fullerton Ave. in Logan Square. Wolf is a co-owner of Park & Field.