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Aldermen move to impose west side development moratorium

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Evanston aldermen are moving to impose a 120-day moratorium on consideration of new development projects for the industrial land along the old Mayfair railroad corridor.

The Robinson bus property on Emerson Street is among those that would be affected by the moratorium.

Faced with objections from some residents to two development proposals already pending in the area, and word that several other parcels may soon be in play, Aldermen Lionel Jean-Baptiste, 2nd Ward, and Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, introduced the moratorium idea at the Planning and Development Committee meeting Monday night.

The aldermen voted unanimously to have staff prepare a moratorium ordinance for discussion at the special Planning and Development meeting scheduled for April 4.

The boundaries of the moratorium area would be Church Street on the south, Darrow Avenue on the west, Foster Street on the north and Green Bay Road and Ridge Avenue on the east.

The moratorium would not affect projects already in the review process – including the Church Street Village townhome plan for the former Hines lumber yard at 1613 Church St. and the Darrow Corners rent-to-own affordable housing proposal at the intersection of Darrow Avenue and Church Street.

But it would impact the Robinson bus property at 1528 Emerson St., which is currently for sale, and the Tapecoat Co. property at 1527 Lyons St., for which, Ald. Jean-Baptiste said, a deal is believed to be in the works.

The Tapecoat Co. property on Lyons Street.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, suggested extending the moratorium to 180 days, but Ald. Jean-Baptiste said he hoped the review of zoning in the area could be completed in the 120-day period.

The city is already seeking proposals from planning firms to act as a consultant on urban infill design for properties in the West Evanston Tax Increment Financing District. Those proposals are due April 7.

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