SSA tax spreads to Damen

East Village Association board minutes for Aug. 13, 2012 submitted by KK Goh

Guest speaker for September

The next meeting will be on Sept. 10 and we have a speaker, Anthony Rubano of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Still looking for a business minute.

Block party

EVA summer event is a block party on the 800 block of North Winchester. Tasks were assigned for food and entertainment, beer, barbeque, bag toss, karaoke, face painting for kids, street signs, member signup table, banners and fliers. $100-$200 was allocated for the event.

SSA expansion

The Special Service Area 29 business district is expanding its borders to cover additional areas in East Village, including Damen, Ashland and Milwaukee avenues, resulting in a tax increase to residents. Ukrainian Village would likewise be affected by an expansion on Western and Grand avenues. 

Ronda Locke of the 1st Ward office advised in an email that the Damen extension between Chicago and Augusta is entirely within the 32nd, soon to be 2nd ward. A public hearing is to be conducted in late October with a final vote at the November city council meeting. At that meeting, the new ward map will be in effect. The SSA covers parts of the 1st, 2nd, 26th and 27th wards.

Complaints should be registerd in writing to:
Kace Wakem
West Town Chicago Chamber of Commerce
1819 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Phone: 312-850-9390
Fax: 312-850-9414

City contact is Gina Caruso, (312) 744-8356.

The email said the chamber feels the Damen extension has not received significant opposition.

The EVA board discussed concerns that SSA and chamber goals are not aligned with residents and local business interests. Dollars are not properly spent to improve the community as the SSA tries to expand its reach. Results of a survey regarding expansion had a low response rate, and 70% of those surveyed were against the expansion.

The SSA also has not provided sufficient documentation to EVA (budgets, activities performed for local communities etc.). When residents contact the chamber and request information they are instructed to submit a Freedom of Information request with the city.

The Department of Housing and Economic development, which is responsible for supervising all the funded SSAs, has promised to provide the requested documents to EVA and improve communication.

EVA and the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association (Patrick Danaher attending) will share and compare information regarding expansion. EVA will raise issue with members and consider a legal response after collating more data.

Proposed building at 1944 W. Thomas

Height and size of the building is a big concern. Scott Rappe in an email advised that the RT-4 maximum height is 38 feet to ceiling of top floor; the proposed building is 35 feet tall under this definition.

Larry Shure at the landmarks commission told EVA the plan "is likely to receive a positive recommendation.” Rappe requested that lintels be added over the windows and a mullion between ganged windows.

The developer is seeking an EVA endorsement before a Sept. 7 commission meeting; EVA does not issue letters of support. Jen & Tom DeBower, neighbors of the property, discussed with the EVA board how to ensure the developer complies with the city landmarks law. Requirements under the ordinance are limited:

a. The new structure exhibits the general size, shape, and scale of the features associated with the property or district.

b. The site plan exhibits the general site characteristics associated with the property or district.

c. The design respects the general historic and architectural characteristics associated with the property or district in general character, color, and texture.

d. The materials are compatible with the existing structures in the district in general character, color, and texture.

13th District police station

The city has decied that the building will be demolished, and the 1st Ward working group plans another survey on future uses.

30th Anniversary Celebration

Newsletters are ready for dissemination. Gladys Alcazar-Anselmo hopes EVA members can hand out hard copies to businesses and ask for contributions to the public library in the Goldblatt building. Several businesses have already expressed interest:  Banco Popular is on board to join EVA as business member; contributions have been made by State Farm Insurance on Chicago, and Wicker Park Athletic Club on Division joined as a business member.

EVA members can attend 30th Anniversary event for free. Non-members contribute individually or sign up as members; a portion of fees will go to the library fund. Food is included; Landmarks Illinois will present an award to EVA to install in the library.

New business

A business owner is attempting to set up a microbrewery on Chicago/Marshfield building (20,000 sq ft). Rich Anselmo said the brewery is likely to have no parking lot and might be seeking EVA approval.

Red Apple Convenience wiil have an appeal hearing for their liquor license denial. Suzy Wahl and Gladys Alcazar-Anselmo met last week with the city attorney in preparation for the hearing and are alerting residents to turn out for the Aug. 15 hearing.


Peter Locke (presiding), Gladys Alcazar-Anselmo, KK Goh, Greg Nagel, Stephen Rynkiewicz, Rob Schickel; also Patrick Danaher, Jennifer and Tom DeBower, Marjie Issacson, Chris Long, Rich Anselmo.
Tom Tomek business card
Anselmo @properties business card,
Ask Nagel business card.

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