Montessori pupils to cultivate Wood Street lot

Minutes for Nov. 2, 2009 Membership Meeting
Submitted by Dana Palmer

  1. Anna Viertel, urban farm coordinator for Near North Montessori School at 1434 W. Division, presented plans to use the fenced wooded area at 1102 N. Wood as a plant-based learning center and urban farm. She stated that the school plans to start clearing out the trees this month and in December to start building temporary greenhouses or hoop houses so that food can be planted and grown year-round.

  2. Jennifer and Tom DeBower, new residents on Thomas Street, presented a problem they were having with the city Landmarks agency regarding windows they chose for their home. Jennnifer DeBower stated Landmarks has requested an opinion letter from East Village Associaton regarding windows the DeBowers have chosen. According to Mrs. DeBower, an original plan was drafted and approved by Landmarks but that she and her husband chose alternative windows they felt better suited the space. According to information distributed by the DeBowers, a permit hearing in December will review not only the windows but also the exterior lighting and entry doors. After much debate, it was proposed to have Scott Rappe, with the EVA Planning, Preservation and Development committee, to speak with Landmarks before any letter is drafted.

  3. Guest speaker Ald. Manuel Flores (1st Ward) presented various updates regarding developments in the East Village neighborhood:
    Pedestrian Retail Zoning: Alderman Flores stated that he has suggested supporting the zoning.

    Polish Triangle: Flores mentioned that many ideas have been presented on how to revitalize the triangle and that the Wicker Park Bucktown special service area is working to keep it clean and to have Christmas decorations during the holiday season.

    The Winchester: Flores reported that as far as he knows The Winchester restaurant has applied for permits and are moving forward as planned.

    817 N. Winchester: Currently in litigation due to exceeding zoning rights for the height of the building. Flores stated that he did not support a zoning change.

    Miller Lumber: The L. Miller & Son lumber company is leaving the building at 1815 W Division. Many questions were raised about restoring the parkway and who owns the parking in front of the building. However, Flores stated that he is not yet ready to decide on these issues until a potential buyer is available and he hears what their plans are for the space.

    Construction on Division: The reason there is so much construction in our area at this time is due to the city trying to modernize the sewer system.

    Library: The Goldblatt's Building at 1536 W. Chicago will be the new site for a Chicago Public Library scheduled to be open next summer. The alderman mentioned that he allocated $500,000 in discretionary city funds for the project.

    Post Office: The U.S. Postal Service office on Division has now moved to the strip mall on Ashland just north of Milwaukee. The previous space is still empty.

    Trees for Augusta Boulevard: Flores stated that his office is still working with the city forestry inspector about obtaining trees for Augusta.

    Wells Field of Hope: Wells High School has a new principal who Flores says plans to convert the open area behind the school into an athletic field.

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