Route to Polish Triangle rehab



East Village Association board minutes for Jan. 12, 2015, submitted by Catherine Garypie

Aldermanic debate planning

  • At Wells High School, on Jan. 29 (1st Ward) and Feb. 5 (2nd Ward), both 7-9pm.
  • Better Government Association will moderate. Waiting for confirmation from Andy Shaw; he'll likely do at least one of the debates.
  • Partnership: CGNA, UVNA, EVA, new group south of Chicago Avenue and west of Damen Avenue.
  • Format: opening remarks (including: “be civil, respectful, etc., and ask your supporters to do the same"), Q&A, close.
  • Volunteers needed for setup and breakdown.
  • Equipment being planned includes podiums, tables, microphones (hopefully lapel mics), possible digital timer.
  • Approval to spend $560 to rent auditorium? Board votes Yes.
  • Planning conference call with other neighborhood associations will be on Thursday.
  • No one on EVA board cares if there is campaigning going on at the event.
  • Can people park in high school parking lot? NM will find out.
  • Will CAN TV cover? NM will find out.
  • Draft Press Release: Stephen Rynkiewicz will draft.
  • The Winchester will offer drink and app specials before and after. Neal McKnight will get details.

Aldermanic speakers

Feb. 2 EVA meeting: Anne Shaw, Stacey Pfingsten, Bita Buenrostro. Catherine Garypie will get invitations out.

Polish Triangle
  • Chicago Department of Transportation meeting: Scott Rappe and a few other “neighborhood regulars” attended. Two main pathways to renovation at Ashland-Division-Milwaukee: get CDOT to do planning with community vision (liability stays with city) or all private dollars, where vendor does planning with community vision (liability stays with private funders). Possible private funders: LG Development, Centrum, Rob Buono, Jeanne Gang). CDOT would lease the space to the private party, which will have to fund maintenance. Is city selling naming rights to Polish Triangle? Unclear.
  • Centrum will construct a walkway from Division to Milwaukee in association with its planned development. CDOT owns the top inch of the Polish Triangle; under that is owned by different city entities.
Planning, Preservation & Development
  • Demolition Ordinance: Board meeting is tomorrow, city Landmarks Commission likes a lot of it, Planning Department likes a lot of it.
  • 1947 W. Chicago Ave. (for preservation purposes, this is considered an "Orange" building). Owner agreed to everything EVA asked for regarding preservation. But CGNA wants to see construction drawings. Presentation to CGNA is scheduled for Jan. 14.
  • Inner Town Pub beer garden request: Neal McKnight asked for information and materials. Inner Town Pub said when do I get to meet with group? McKnight said: send me the information and materials. Nothing yet. McKnight will send a letter to alderman about this.
Tree pits on Division

  • Marjorie Isaacson says the Wicker Park Special Service Area provides some funding for Division tree pits. The SSA is looking at providing leadership and possibly funding to restore tree pits. First suggestion was to shrink tree pits which have not been improved yet. SSA wants to get fences fixed; some people want fences, but SSA has low funding this year. Also, possibly plant new trees.
  • Another concern is sidewalk cafes 1st Ward chief of staff Raymond Valadez says no permits are going to businesses with ongoing tree pits violations: Would they blamed for something someone prior did? Moreno will have a meeting to "read the riot act" to building owners. A survey with photos was made last summer by the EVA Board regarding tree pits on Division from Ashland to Damen. Some of Division is vaulted.
  • EVA will send a letter to the SSA: There is no basis to change the streetscape (McKnight will draft). The streetscape should be maintained. Maybe involve Smoke Daddy, then approach Anthem and Bangers & Lace, who have been cooperative.
  • Red Square has not yet fully restored its tree pit.
  • EVA will ask SSA to include EVA in meetings re: tree pits & sidewalk cafe.

Nomination committee

Who will be next EVA president? McKnight named slating committee to include himself, Dan Johnson & Garypie. McKnight has five years of agendas & archival info for EVA.

Other issues

  • Marijuana consultants are thinking that Illinois will open up to more dispensaries and possibly recreational marijuana.
  • Recent shooting on Rice near Commercial Park are a concern.
  • Forbidden Root target for opening is next summer.
  • Ask the SSA to do a better job with sidewalks on Chicago Avenue. Businesses are concerned too.
  • 826CHI tutoring organization open house 5-7pm Friday at 1276 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Attending at West Town Bakery & Cafe: McKnight, Garypie, Johnson, Rynkiewicz, Isaacson, Gladys Alcazar-Anselmo, KK Goh, Tom Tomek.

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