May 7 Board Meeting

EVA president Mary Szpur convened the meeting about 6:30 p.m. at Happy Village Tavern. Also attending: Brian Thompson, Marjorie Isaacson, Scott Rappe, Roman Sundaralingam, Greg Nagel, Stephen Rynkiewicz, Mark Lawton (Wicker Park Booster).

Newsletter/website

John Sekowski bought the Web address eastvillagechicago.org, and Stephen Rynkiewicz built a prototype site at evachicago.blogspot.com to which board members can contribute.

Planning and development commitee

Mary proposed reviving the committee to give EVA a voice in development matters. Scott Rappe founded an EVA planning and development committee 10 years ago; it continued with other leaders but was disbanded a few years ago when landmarking had become a contentious issue. Rappe said the committee reviewed zoning changes, variances, special uses and liquor licenses. It worked with aldermen and city planners and established a fair and predictable process that gave residents notice of issues in time to affect the outcome.

The Leona's restaurant site had no such process. When 936 W. Augusta was listed in January for $3.25 million, its C1-5 zoning allowed a huge building. Rappe asked the alderman to downzone it closer to current use as a restaurant-bar and pool hall. Greg Nagel noted the Pharmacy lounge, where West Town Property Owners is supporting a liquor license at at 1450 W. Chicago.

Rappe proposed that as an initial sponsor of the East Village landmark district, EVA should take on responsibility of monitoring the district. Rynkiewicz moved and Isaacson seconded a motion to reestablish a zoning committee. The motion passed.

Membership

Brian Thompson will lead a committee that will draft a membership flier and solicit support from businesses. Greg will assist with labels. He suggesed that members in June be asked to invite 2 neighbors or bring their email addresses to July meeting.

Membership meetings

Proposed speakers: June, chambers of commerce; July, 1st Ward recycling; August, Aldermen Manny Flores and Scott Waguespack at annual barbecue.

Ward liaisons

Greg volunteered to be liaison with Flores. Officers would try to meet with Waguespack. Marjie: said carts would be delivered at end of May or start of June to front of buildings. Deb Milkowski will be liaison to Flores on Dominick's Finer Foods construction on the 2000 block of Chicago.

Frankie Machine Garden

Marjie circulated a history of the community garden EVA sponsored.

New business

Roman Sundaralingam suggested an early report on 1st ward recycling and more contact with neighborhood schools.

News articles for the newsletter and website are due May 20.

The meeting broke up about 8:10 p.m.