March events at West Town Branch Library

By Jason Nosek, library associate

Chicago History Book Club

Please join us at the West Town Branch at 6:30pm Tuesday, March 4 as we discuss City of Scoundrels: The Twelve Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago by Gary Krist.

The Chicago History Book Club explores the city’s history through reading and discussing books on events, themes, time periods and personalities that have contributed to making Chicago what it is today. If you cannot join us this time, please stop by the branch to pick-up our next book, The Division Street Princess: A Memoir by Elaine Soloway.

Letter Writers Alliance: Fountain pen workshop

Get to know all the tips and tricks of fountain pens at 6:30pm Thursday, March 20 with our friends from the Letter Writers Alliance.

This workshop will walk you through the best type of pen for each writing style, tricks to refilling, good inks and taking care of your nib. Feel free to bring in your own fountain pen or try out our demonstration pens. All skill levels welcomed. This workshop is free but registration is required, so please call us at 312-743-0450 or drop by to sign up.

Would $50,000 permit stop demolitions?

East Village Association board meeting minutes, Feb. 10, 2014
Submitted by Meghan Quinn


Forbidden Root, 1746 W. Chicago Ave.

Rather than lift the liquor moratorium in place, Forbidden Root is pursuing a change in city ordinance that would allow package and carryout sales of their beer as incidental to production onsite. The ordinance has already been introduced to city council and put into committee, so the process is underway – more info to come.

Neal McKnight has been working with FR’s attorney, Rolando Acosta, on the C-1 zoning and Plan of Operations. There is a preliminary Plan of Operations being circulated, and some issues such as truck loading still need to be detailed further. McKnight will continue to work with Acosta and present more information to the general membership at the March 3 EVA meeting.

1822-50 W. Chicago Ave., Steve Fifield

In response to EVA’s inquiry into the possibility of a Commercial Park expansion, Fifield has stated that he will not sell the property. Ronda Locke will make a presentation to the Chicago Park District regarding the expansion idea. EVA is still within its agreed upon 90 day period to explore the feasibility of the plan.

Wednesday meeting for residents in business tax district

More homeowners and landlords will pay city improvement taxes in a planned business district expansion. Residents can ask questions in a meeting Wednesday from 6 to 8pm at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, 2320 W. Chicago Ave.

Representatives of the West Town Special Service Area 29 will be on hand. The East Village Association and Ald. Proco Joe Moreno are sponsoring the meeting, and EVA encourages all residents to attend.

Two-thirds of properties in the district are residential, according to an SSA consultant. It estimates that the SSA tax for a condo owner with a $70,000 equalized assessed property value would total $366 a year. Details are in the SSA 29 presentation.

EVA has been seeking an agreement on the level of service residents should expect from the district, and easier access to financial information.

The majority of its $572,000 budget for 2015 covers extra trash pickup and other maintenance, aesthetics and facade improvements. Administration accounts for 27%.

Forbidden Root ready for another round

Neal McKnight (left) fields a question from Chris Long.

East Village Association membership meeting minutes, February 3, 2014
Submitted by KK Goh


Forbidden Root
  • Clarification by Neal McKnight that there is no adversarial relationship between EVA and Forbidden Root. Forbidden Root had initially approached EVA to request lifting liquor moratorium.  EVA requested Forbidden Root to consider historical issues in the neighborhood and to consider alternative measures.  Forbidden Root was receptive to working with EVA to discuss alternatives.
  • In last public meeting, Forbidden Root suggested that first step will be to push for a legislative change on liquor licenses that are incidental to a brewery business, and if that fails the brewer might request lifting the current moratorium.
  • The brewery requested an opportunity to present plans for a Chicago Avenue zoning change (C1 with restrictions) and ordinance change (incidental liquor sales), complying with the license moratorium.
  • Attorney from Forbidden Root will send an updated proposal in a few weeks. EVA will publish on its website when available.
  • Forbidden Root also offered to present plans of operation for EVA review.
  • EVA has traditionally tried to push for consistent B zoning restriction to avoid heavy commercial enterprises such as car washes.