East Village issues, from taverns to transit

A feisty exchange between East Village Association members and a local alderman drew wide interest in 2015.

Efforts to reopen the Club Foot bar drew a crowd to EVA's September meeting. Ald. Proco Joe Moreno expanded the debate, saying he'd consider opening East Village to new tavern licenses. The 1st Ward alderman warned EVA members that he doesn't feel bound to follow the group's guidance, and signaled his vote for a city budget that increased taxes and fees by $755 million.

Posts on the Club Foot site at 1824 W. Augusta Blvd., including audio of Moreno's comments, drew links from Facebook groups, EveryBlock, DNAinfo and Chicagoist.

The East Village freeze on tavern licenses sprung from EVA's longstanding role advising local aldermen on zoning and licensing. The moratorium encouraged East Village's growth as a restaurant hotspot, and community votes approved of exceptions such as the Forbidden Root taproom planned for 1746 W. Chicago Ave.

EVA's development guidelines are this website's most popular feature, and planning issues dominated 2015's most-viewed posts as well. Several posts tracked bids to use Chicago's special Transit Oriented Development rules, which Moreno drafted with EVA and other organizations.

The ward's election debate, sponsored by EVA and three neighboring groups, drew a large crowd to the Wells High School auditorium in January. Video of the debate was watched far more widely than the 2nd Ward debate that followed.

On EVA's Facebook page, members debated a wider variety of planning and preservation issues. Notable discussions revolved around the Chicago Avenue streetscape, West Town crime and the closed Leona's restaurant building at 1936 W. Augusta Blvd.

EVA's top posts of the year:

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  1. Moreno supports moratorium repeal, tax increase
  2. Chicago Avenue facade rehab to begin
  3. Augusta affirmed as residential street
  4. Chicago 1st Ward election forum video
  5. Ashland church apartment plan extends transit zone
  6. Ashland apartments scale down; liquor option on Augusta
  7. Developer rehabs St. Boniface plan
  8. Active Trans tracks stalled Ashland BRT
  9. Polish Triangle reset; Ace Hardware condos
  10. Eckhart Park, Peabody School, St. Boniface updates

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