Candidates face off, CTA gets facelift


East Village Association board minutes for Sept. 15, 2014, submitted by Catherine Garypie

COUNCIL OF ASSOCIATIONS

The council's organizing aldermanic debates for the 1st & 2nd wards. Format:

  • Moderator (possibly moderator from last Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association debates)
  • Submit questions in advance to screen repetitive questions
  • Same question for each candidate
  • Time limit for candidates to answer
  • Have candidates provide a personal statement in advance (post them, hand them out to crowd)
  • Question ideas include public safety, zoning, planning, education

President Neal McKnight has reached out to Wells High School. Another possible location is the theater at Northwest Settlement House.

LIBRARY FUNDRAISER

Please get teams signed up (and/or sell spectator tickets). Prizes contributed so far are awesome. We are 10 days out. Sponsors can contribute cash.

SSA RENEWAL

In an email exchange with West Town Special Service Area program manager Kace Wakem, McKnight asked about the 20% PIN threshold (20% of properties, counted by PIN number, have to agree to extend the SSA). Wakem responded that they need 5% with the application and the remainder (15%) can be gathered between date of application and date of City Council hearing Oct. 2.

SSA Wicker Park also doesn't have a lot of signatures ("We don't have to worry about it because Moreno said he'd take care of it"). We need to have a strong showing on Oct. 2 at City Hall. It appears that aldermen Burnett, Waguspack & Moreno decide how many PINs are needed before the hearing. McKnight will send an email to the three alderman and the commissioner.

PLANNING, PRESERVATION & DEVELOPMENT

1947 W. CHICAGO AVE.: EVA asked for a restrictive covenant to prohibit certain uses on ground floor, and for restoration of the facade consistent with the EVA landmark district guidelines, in exchange for supporting upzone from B3-2 to be B3-3; this will allow developer to use the 4th floor that has been under construction for 8 to 10 years. (PINs for this property are now combined.)

The board raised concerns regarding whether the developer will use historically correct metals and windows on the facade, and who will police the restoration. The building is in the 1st Ward. EVA has only sent a letter to the developer. EVA will ask for list of materials from the builder.

1822-50 W. CHICAGO AVE.: The affordable housing issue has been referred to committee. EVA will draft a letter to the Department of Planning and cc every member of the committee, including the chair. Ald. Proco Joe Moreno said to EVA: "I won't let them out of affordable housing," and then later changed his mind "based on financial hardship." Relevant committee is Zoning Landmarks & Building Standards or Housing & Real Estate.

POLISH TRIANGLE

Rob Buono of 1611 W. Division will make a financial contribution for an improvement to the Polish Triangle. Food sales will be allowed. Advertising must exist on the Polish Triangle. The Chicago Department of Transportation has hired a third party to get community input and work on an upgrade to create community space and add revenue. The CTA is also doing a renovation of the L stop.

CDOT owns the land around the stairs coming up from the L stop. This will be a public/private partnership. Architect Jeanne Gang may eventually be approached. Ideas generated by board include: moving fountain (current fountain is not well maintained), build on the Site, etc.

OCT. 6 MEETING

Suggested business minute: Authentaco, First Midwest Bank, Whisk, El Metro. Aldermanic candidates: 2 candidates at the start of each meeting for 5 to 10 minutes. Will start with 2nd Ward candidates in October.

OTHER ISSUES

Short discussions on membership, contributions, website.

Leona's on Augusta has new owners ("Quality Pizza"), the food has changed. ... Club Foot – EVA needs to check current zoning and investigate liquor license issues. ... Inner Town Pub is seeking permission to put in a beer garden (again).

Historic preservation efforts by EVA continue. Preservation Chicago, Landmarks are looking at the Chicago Historic Resource Survey gaps and researching preservation efforts. In other similar cities, "certificate of appropriateness" must be submitted by the developers. Is the demolition appropriate? The developers actually have to prove this rather than constantly seeking input from the community as in Chicago.

EVA may seek to expand 90-day delay to 270-day delay, add green components. A draft ordinance is to be done by Sept. 22 and a draft package by Nov. 1. Lake Forest has 365-day demolition delay.

Meeting starts 6:30pm, adjourns 7:30pm at West Town Bakery & Diner. Attendance: S. Rynkiewicz, M. Van Dam, N. McKnight, KK Goh, Dan Johnson, Rich Anselmo, Gladys Alcazar-Anselmo, C. Garypie, T. Tomek, B. Foote, Elaine Coorens (Our Urban Times).

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