Marshfield-Paulina alley swap proposed


Existing alley configuration, EVA’s recommendation

By Scott A. Rappe

A 36-unit residential development has been proposed for the vacant land that connects the 800 blocks of Marshfield and Paulina. This development presents a rare opportunity to increase pedestrian safety, improve city service delivery, enhance automobile circulation and increase the potential for green space, by simply restoring the original alley configuration of the block.

The redundant east-west alley was created when the original alley was removed to construct a now-demolished parking garage. This alley interrupts the sidewalk on both Paulina and Marshfield, disrupts normal traffic flow and threatens pedestrian safety. Additionally, the new development will require a private alley to facilitate parking and trash pickup, adding more paving to the block.

The East Village Association has asked Ald. Proco Joe Moreno to facilitate a trade of the east-west alley to the north of the property in exchange for the developer dedicating the original alley right-of-way back to the city. This swap would enlarge the developer’s property by 1,400 square feet and widen the property by 14 feet, allowing for normal-size lots, more efficient parking, increased green space and less paving than the current configuration. In exchange, EVA will expect the development to adhere to the setbacks and open-space requirements of the RM4.5 zoning.

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