Evanston aldermen tonight are expected to tell city staff whether they’re ready to consider modifications to planned high-rise developments along Emerson Street themselves, or want the plans sent to the Plan Commission first.
The aldermen have approved modifications to eight plan developments themselves in recent years, but the city’s zoning code provides an option for the Plan Commission to review such changes as well.
Although some readings of the zoning code language would suggest the return to the Plan Commission is mandatory, the city’s legal staff has concluded that it is not.
Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, requested that the Law Department review the code to determine whether returning the proposal to the Plan Commission was required.
The revised plan from developer Bob King of Carroll Properties and his new partner, Steven Fifield of Fifield Companies, calls for lowering the height of the planned building at 1881 Oak Ave. from 185 to 164 feet and of the planned building at 1890 Maple Ave. from 158 to 145 feet.
As part of the shift from the original condominium development plan to rental apartments, the total number of units in the project would increase from 342 to 368.
The plan achieves some of the proposed height saving by combining what had originally been proposed as two separate parking structures into a single parking deck that would span the two property lines.
Top: A rendering of the proposed new design for 1881 Oak and 1890 Maple. Above: The proposed new design for the first floor, showing the combined parking garage.
A city staff memo estimates sending the project to the plan commission would add several months to the timetable for reviewing it.
The 1881 Oak project was originally approved by the City Council in 2006. The 1890 Maple project was approved in 2009. The planned development approvals for each project are now scheduled to expire in July and October of next year if construction hasn’t begun.
The new version of the plan is expected to cost $106 million to build and to generate $1.2 million in annual property tax revenue.