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Bank branch plan moves forward in Evanston

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Plans for a new Chase Bank branch on the site of a shuttered gas station at Crawford Avenue and Gross Point Road are now heading for the Evanston City Council.

The Plan Commission recommended approval of the project on a split vote Wednesday night.

Community and Economic Development Director Steve Griffin says the commission voted unanimously in favor of changing the zoning code to permit drive-through uses in the zone around the intersection.

But it split 3-2 on the question of rezoning a vacant residentially-zoned parcel on Crawford next to the gas station for commercial use, so it can be included in the proposed bank site.

Some neighbors had objected to the rezoning as an encroachment of commercial uses into a residential district, even after the project developers cut back the size of the project to leave untouched a third property, which now houses a single-family home.

City staff had recommended in favor of the scaled-back project, and the developers said the bank's branch and drive-thru plan couldn't be squeezed onto the gas station parcel alone.

The City Council's Planning and Development Committee is scheduled to discus the project at its July 9 meeting, and assuming it wins approval there, it could be introduced at the full City Council meeting later that night.

Top: A file photo of the closed gas station.

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