Haddon apartments get nod, Ashland BRT gets closer


East Village Association membership meeting minutes
December 2, 2013
Submitted by Meghan Quinn

1515-17 W. Haddon St.

Mark Sutherland discussed changes to his project since his November visit with the East Village Association board. The original unit mix included 8 studios, 24 1-bedroom units, 8 2-bedroom units and one large 6th floor penthouse apartment with its own entrance. After hearing concerns about the lack of 3-bedroom units for families, Sutherland made adjustments to the unit mix, leading to a current proposal of 4 studios, 24 1-bedroom units, 8 2-bedroom units, 4 3-bedroom units and the penthouse for a total of 41 units, the same unit count as the previous proposal.

In the new plan, there are no longer borrowed-light bedrooms, and the average unit size increased. Additionally, the building height is down to 71.5 feet from 73 feet, with the height of the first five stories corresponding to the parapet on the building to the west of the project and the sixth floor set back from the facade.

Brininstool + Lynch Architecture chose light materials to play down the mass of the building, including pressed cement at the base and metal panels above reminiscent of zinc when wet. The project is aiming for LEED Silver certification with features such as photovoltaics on the roof, pervious paving and electric vehicle parking spots. Sutherland has also had discussions with Enterprise CarShare about possibly putting a few cars at this location.

The new Transit Oriented Development ordinance, passed in July, allows for reduced parking within 600 feet of public transit, the Division Blue Line stop in this case. Sutherland said parking spaces will be rented, most likely on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nearby residents at the meeting voiced concern about tenants receiving street parking permits for the area, which is already congested and difficult to park in. Sutherland said he had not previously thought about the issue, but at the request of EVA would be open to a discussion regarding not allowing permit parking, similar to the 1611 West Division transit oriented project, where the residents are not eligible to receive permits.

Aside from the parking issue, residents in the area are positive about the project and feel it will be a welcome improvement to the site and surrounding area, bringing pedestrian traffic to Milwaukee Avenue. It was also suggested that the concept of transit oriented development seems to go with limited street parking, which perhaps should be included in the ordinance. One commenter contended that congestion comes with being in a desirable place.

After the discussion, EVA president Neal McKnight called for a vote whether to oppose the zoning change requested by Sutherland. The EVA PPD committee recommendation was to not oppose the request for a zoning change, and 13 present voted to not oppose the request for a zoning change, while the rest of those present abstained from voting. EVA will send the appropriate letter to Aldermen Proco Joe Moreno and Robert Fioretti and will request parking permit restrictions similar to 1611 West Division.


Ashland BRT: Environmental Assessment 30-day comment period

The Ashland BRT Environmental Assessment is now available online. CTA and the Chicago Department of Transportation would like your comments on the EA, which can be made at the two public open houses (6-8pm Dec. 10 at Benito Juarez Community Academy and 6-8pm Dec. 11 at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse) or by e-mail at AshlandBRT@transitchicago.com. Comments will be accepted until Dec. 20.

Planning, Preservation & Development

Developers of the 1822-50 W. Chicago Ave. site have proposed a new design they will present to the EVA board. McKnight has sent a series of questions to further the conversation in advance of the presentation.

EVA would like to get together with neighboring community groups to discuss current and future transit oriented developments in the area. Additionally, EVA is still requesting ideas and brainstorming regarding future development of our neighborhood. Please feel free to post comments here, on the EVA Facebook page or via email to any board member.

Parks

Commercial Park will hold its annual Holiday Party 12-2:30pm Dec. 14. Bring the family to this free event and enjoy a puppet show, pictures with Santa, holiday craft-making and horse-drawn wagon rides.

Newsletter

We are getting close to 1,000 fans on our Facebook page. Also, EVA was nominated for Best Neighborhood Group in the inaugural 1st Ward Awards.

Upcoming meeting

Our next membership meeting on Monday, Jan. 6 will be not be at Happy Village due to a private party. Stay tuned for an announcement on the location.

Meeting commenced at 7:05pm, adjourned 8:07pm at Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott St. Attendance: board members Neal McKnight, Peter Locke, KK Goh, Meghan Quinn, Stephen Rynkiewicz, Tom Tomek, Scott Rappe (partial).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the reminder about the Ashland BRT. I spent a bit of time looking over the environmental assessment and the fundamental problem is that they are going to spend $210 MM allocating 50% of Ashland's traffic capacity to 18% of the travelers: http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2013/12/ashland-bus-rapid-transit-plan-is-dumb/

    It makes no sense.

    ReplyDelete

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