Fixing Chicago street festivals

East Village Association board minutes for June 9, 2014, submitted by Catherine Garypie

JOINT COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MEETING

Street festival discussion continues among leaders of EVA, Bucktown Community Organization, Chicago Grand Neighbors Association, Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association and Wicker Park Committee. The group discussed the concept of no permits without:

  • Improvement in traffic or garbage;
  • Safety/security planning with community organizations at table;
  • Greater local business participation in the fests;
  • Extending cleanup further geographically;
  • A greater share of profits to community;
  • Better control of finances.

Some in the group are concentrating on a press push (e.g., WBEZ interview). EVA wants results and agreements. Bucktown Arts Festival immediately came forward with a lot of information.

This group will try pull in some other neighborhood associations north of Bucktown. EVA will propose that the group sponsor aldermanic debates in Wards 1 & 2, probably in January 2015. Some aldermen are resisting already.

BLOCK PARTY

Sunday Aug. 3. Neal McKnight will ask Ronda Locke to pull permit.

PLANNING, PRESERVATION & DEVELOPMENT
Trader Joe's Division Street

Smithfield Properties presented to the EVA board last month. McKnight sent an email to Smithfield on May 23 outlining EVA guidelines, outlining the issues EVA has identified. No response to date.

The LaSalle II Local School Council recently had a meeting with Ald. Proco Joe Moreno. He's determined that Marion Court will not change direction.

Current Smithfield/TJ's proposal is not compatible with this stretch of Division and East Village generally. The goals of both are: pedestrian oriented, not overwhelmed by commercial traffic, not overwhelmed by alcohol sales, not overwhelmed by national retailing.

There are too many problems with the current proposal to take it to the general membership. EVA will send a letter to Ald. Moreno outlining the problems the EVA board has identified, and will conclude that EVA opposes the current proposal. There are probably solutions to some of these problems, but as currently proposed the development is unacceptable. EVA will ask other neighborhood associations to sign the letter too.

Discussion: Offer of funds to LSC by developer Smithfield creates a wedge in the community; should the LSC and/or EVA fund an independent traffic study?

Fifield Chicago Avenue

West Town Chamber has now supported the Fifield development but acknowledged EVA's concern. It was muted support from WTC. The current position of EVA: (1) Use the property for a park; (2) Give us an alternative proposal.

WEST TOWN LIBRARY

EVA is donating $500 to the West Town Library Summer Reading program. Looking at Sept. 18 or 25 for fundraiser: Literary charades with teams of four (each team will spend $50), March madness style. Goal: low overhead, little upfront work; will seek food donations.

Let Gladys Alcazar-Anselmo know if you know businesses that will donate for September fundraiser or Summer Reading program.

JULY SPEAKER PROPOSALS

Chicago Department of Transportation (How do boulevards work?) and Park District (updates to local parks and connecting parks via boulevards).

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

Working on getting new members from east of Ashland in particular. Best success so far: Talk to people one-on-one.

May put together packets for new people moving into the neighborhood. Maybe Ask Nagel can assist.

To attract businesses, will have someone come in with business minute (& EVA can give them a free ad in the newsletter).

Number of current members: 115. We'd like to get this number up to 200. Wicker Park Committee & UVNA are both is less than 100 people each. Bucktown Community is around 200.

Square for payment: Square won't automatically renew, so KK Goh has an issue with it.

Should make sure there is an announcement every meeting: "Who wants to join??"

WEBSITE

Sam is out of town today. Web team needs instruction from EVA Board re: scope of website changes. Working on more content for the website, things to demystify the neighborhood. May provide info on school choices in East Village.

McKnight wants to do electronic surveys of members only. The surveys would seek a response to proposals. This would be one more piece of feedback.

Survey topics? CGNA approach with its membership has included asking: What is the most important things you'd like the board to address in the upcoming calendar year? Start general, then drill down. Ultimately members will need to come to the meeting and vote.

Possible first survey topic: How the signage ordinance has failed in East Village.

NEW ITEMS

No news on hockey/champagne bar.

Haddon proposal (spot upzone on one lot, near Eckhart Park). EVA PPD said no already.

Thomas proposal (3 lots with one single family) has approached EVA.

Trees. EVA may attempt to get the Chamber & SSAs to agree to pursue the City for funds to address City’s failure to replace trees that have been removed in the EV.

EVA may submit a FOIA seeking information on trees cut down in last 3-5 years + trees which have been replaced, so then EVA will know the number of EV trees that currently need replacements. City appears to be trying to eliminate trees so they can eliminate maintenance. EVA may seek a speaker from the City to address tree issues (Dept of Forestry, etc).

Roots restaurant bricking over the trees on Winchester has caused them to die.

The Winchester has 3 tables out. They asked Moreno for the permit because Fioretti has not been responsive. EVA gave them some limitations for the permits.

City doesn't have enough personnel to inspect sidewalk cafe areas before they issue the permits - they currently rely on the drawings submitted with the permit application.

START 630pm END 745pm

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