Statement on zoning at 1916-24 W. Chicago

May 12, 2009

Alderman Manny Flores
2058 North Western Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60647
Re: RT-4/B3-2 Split Zoning
1900-1916 West Chicago Avenue

Dear Alderman Flores:

As communicated in a previous letter, the EVA membership voted to approve the requested zoning change for the 1924 W. Chicago Avenue parcel only. A separate vote was taken on the 1916 W. Chicago Avenue property because there was a consensus that each property should be evaluated on its own merits. It is worth mentioning that the general membership clearly validated this position by opposing the zoning change on 1916 by a vote of 19 to 8.

Similarly, in regards to the other 'split-zoned' parcels on this block of Chicago Avenue, we would like to retain the ability to review and approve zoning changes on a lot-by-lot basis. Thus, we respectfully request that you not pre-emptively change the zoning on the remaining split-zoned parcels.

We are aware that this creates an additional burden on the property owners, but there are larger issues at stake. Without EVA's input on the zoning of 1916-1924 W. Chicago Avenue two years ago, Ranquist Development would have demolished both the 1916 and 1924 buildings. This would have been a great loss to Chicago Avenue, which will now see at least one of the buildings renovated.

The Winchester Restaurant serves as another example. The need for community review of the requested zoning change created a forum for communication between neighbors and the
business. Without the necessity of a zoning change, the restaurant owners would have had little incentive to address these concerns.

Community input, in the form of zoning-change reviews, is an important element in ensuring that development on Chicago Avenue is positive and serves the larger good.

Thank you,
Scott A. Rappe, AIA
Chairperson
Planning, Preservation & Development Committee

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