Division streetscape, demolition delay


Work to remove a tree pit July 1 for a sidewalk cafe was halted at the Red Square spa.

East Village Association board minutes for July 14, 2014, submitted by Catherine Garypie

1819 W DIVISION (SMITHFIELD/TRADER JOE’S)

TJ's is no longer seeking to land at this property. What's next for the property? Smithfield wants B-3-3 zoning. EVA position is that the zoning should be B-3-2. The upzone to B-3-3 that EVA agreed to several years ago was conditional.

Neighborhood residents should call the city & report it if weeds/garbage observed at the lot.

Reasons why TJ's pulled out? It's unclear. School community concerns and lack of involvement by TJ's seemed to be deciding factors.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION ORDINANCE

A draft ordinance will target demolition permit delay. Several aldermen support it. Will move demolition delay from 6 months to 9 months. Aldermen want to learn more about equalizing the playing field via permitting. EVA is putting draft ordinance together. Will try to get other neighborhood associations to sign on.

Tech developer Steven Vance is designing a new database to help average citizen navigate city data. He has about 50 people on his newsletter. He has agreed to use East Village as a focus group. The site will have historic research data, county data, color coding, demolition permits and community groups within an area. He will meet with board soon.

STREETSCAPE ON DIVISION

Tree pit was an issue in front of Red Square, 1914 W. Division St. The city got involved at EVA request. Red Square is now trying to “restore” the pit in a way that will make the pit smaller. EVA has complained to the alderman.

Other businesses are getting aggressive with sidewalk cafes and using tree pits inappropriately. We're in a self-policing situation; The city rarely inspects sidewalk cafes.

EVA is drafting a letter to area businesses regarding tree pit usage. Letter will be circulated to EVA board and will try to involve chambers, SSA, press and businesses.

TREE HEALTH/REPLACEMENT

Chicago Department of Forestry discussion: EVA will help identify ash trees that were not inoculated for Emerald Ash Borer. Will get list of trees w/in the EVA boundaries were inoculated. Trees at with damage at the bottom didn't get inoculated. Forestry is all for a partnership to catch trees that were not inoculated - they want to save trees too. Not all inoculated trees have plaques. There are two $50 inoculations for each tree.

EVA will ask Forestry later about replacement trees – there are budget issues now – and write something for EVA newsletter about this. Sometimes SSAs will help with this. West Town SSA has concerns with getting involved.

STREET FESTIVAL DISCLOSURES

A new disclosure template has been drafted. Talcott School's parent group (and maybe principal) wants to join on requests for disclosures. LaSalle, Pritzker and Mitchell will be asked to sign on also. Street fests are charging the schools to participate and/or rent equipment (tents, stage, etc.).

SUMMER BLOCK PARTY

Sunday August 3, starts at noon, Will rent a bouncy house so EVA controls timing. Will ask for contributions from local businesses (food, pop, beer, coffee, etc), Library will have a table. Will ask for donations from Moreno, Fioretti. Advertising: fliers & website. Everyone please bring school supplies to donate to library. Board approved expenditures for jazz & bouncy house.

NEW PUBLIC ART IN EAST VILLAGE

To counter graffiti at Wood & Chicago (at construction fence), artists came in and did a project. Usually tagging slows down where these art projects are done. Any other spaces where the artists can do this? EVA may need to pay for paint.

POLISH TRIANGLE

Ashland/Division/Milwaukee: Polish Triangle Coalition is working on a “bigger vision.” Developers want something bigger and more permanent. EVA will help with this effort.

No update from alderman on median or sign in front of Wendy's on Division, just west of Ashland.

Meeting starts 6:40pm, adjourns 7:45pm at West Town Bakery. Attendance: Stephen R., KK G., Gladys A., Neal M., Michael V., Rich A. Membership meeting will be in September because of the block party, but board will meet in August.

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