The 242-unit, nine story apartment development proposed for 831 Emerson St. won an introductory vote at the Evanston City Council Monday night.
Introduction of the planned development was approved 5-3.
Two of the dissenters, aldeman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, and Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, objected to the zero setback of the planned building from the lot line -- which is allowed under the zoning code in the C1a zoning proposed for the site.
Wynne initially claimed the sidewalk would only be eight feet wide and said "a person with a stroller couldn't get past a street light and another obstruction."
She said similar limited setbacks along Chicago Avenue in her ward created terrible congestion.
Told that the planned sidewalk would actually be 11-foot-6-inches wide, Wynne said she believed the design still created "too much of a shear wall" rising 103 feet straight up from the street over much of its length.
Fiske asked whether the developer would be able to increase the building's setback if the city wasn't requiring a $2.4 million contribution to the affordable housing fund.
Tim Anderson of Focus Development said the project was designed to comply with that ordinance, but "of course there could be some offsets" if the contribution was reduced.
The developer also presented an analysis officials had requested at a previous meeting of how many school-age children might live in the project.
That analysis, by Residential Planning Partners, said that:
- In census block groups near the site only 6.5 percent of renter households include children 18 and under.
- The number of children per household in households that have any children in those districts ranges from 1.2 to 1.5.
- A little over half of the children in those households are of school age.
- Parents with children are only likely to live in two or three bedroom apartments in the new development.
- That likely only 8 of the 131 two and three bedroom apartments in the developmet would have children.
- That a total of 10 to 12 children would be in the development -- and, of those, 5 to 7 would be of school age.
Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, joined Fiske and Wynne in voting against the project. Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, wasn't present for the vote.
The project still requires another vote by the council to win final approval. That vote is scheduled for next Monday.