Recap: Planning and Development Committee

A map showing some of the proposed transit-oriented development areas outlined in black.

Here's a recap of our live coverage of tonight's Evanston City Council Planning and Development Committee meeting.

The committee is scheduled to consider reducing parking requirements for new developments near transit stations and decide whether to approve expansion of a retirement home at 120 Dodge Avenue.

(We'll also include coverage of the Rules Committee meeting in this story.)

A packet with information on the agenda items is available online.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m.

Meeting called to order at 7:36 p.m.

Minutes approved.

P 1 - Special use for Amanecer Taco Shop, 512 Main. Approved for introduction and action.

P 2 - Extention of time for planned development at 318-320 Dempster. Approved for introduction and action.

P 3 - Special use to expand retirement home at 120 Dodge Ave. Approved for introduction and action.

P 4 - Transit oriented development parking requirements.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, says she has concerns about the proposal because the TOD areas are so large and includes areas that are "over parked."

Says she'll vote for introduction, but probably vote against it at Council.

Approved for introduction.

Meeting adjourned at 7:52 p.m.


Rules Committee

A packet with information on the Rules Committee agenda items is available online.

Meeting called to order at 7:59 p.m.

Public Comment

Junad Rizki says ethics violation against Alderman Holmes should be addressed. Complains that doors of aldermanic library are closed.

Betty Ester complains about changes in structure of the Board of Ethics.

Minutes approved

Equity and Empowerment Commission

Would create a new group with that name.

Approved ... goes to City Council.

Substitutions of City Council members on committees

Recommendation from Alderman Tom Suffredin, 6th Ward. Suggests that when there's a lack of a quorum could substitute other council members to serve.

Says that's done b other legislative bodies.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, asks who would choose the substitute.

Suffredin says it would be chosen by the person who was going to be absent.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says she doesn't support the idea. Says aldermen take being present very seriously.

Says a standing committee hasn't had a quorum more than once or twice in all the years she's been on the council.

Says it might make it easier for people to not show up.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says already have the option of people participating telephonically.

Says many items carry over rom meeting to meeting -- wouldn't be a good idea to throw somebody new into it.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, says things are managed pretty well under the current guidelines.

Fiske says she thinks it's an idea worth considering.

Motion fails 3-7.

Recording of board meetings where aldermen are members

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz asks whether there's interest in having audio or video recordings of the meeting.

(This would involve the Economic Development Committee, the Transportation and Parking Committee and Housing and Community Development Act Committee.)

Bobkiewicz says it costs $18 an hour with a three hour meeting to have video recording.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, says its much easier to have a discussion in the smaller committee rooms -- and since video can't be done there, she'd prefer to have just an audio recording.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says he'd favor having video recordings of Economic Development Committee, since it's already in the City Council Chambers.

Rainey says the HCDA meetings -- when they're dealing with money allocations -- already are done on video.

Bobkiewicz says he'll draft a proposed change to the council rules to implement that.

Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, says she wants to have a revision of the way committee members are selected -- says they don't now reflect the entire community.

Rainey says a small business owner on the Economic Development Committee has been told he can't request participation in the city's small business programs as long as he's on the committee. Says that's unfair. Says they hsoulnd't be allowed to vote on it or participate in the discussion -- but if they're qualified for the program they should be allowed to apply for it like anybody else.

Fiske asks about her referral regarding ethics policies in other communities. Bobkiewicz says it's been on the Ethics Board's agenda and he'll get an update on where it stands

Next Rules Committee meeting likely to be on Oct. 16.

Meeting adjourned at 8:24 p.m.

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