Recap: Planning and Development Committee

A new scoreboard for NU's baseball field is up for review tonight.

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

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

A packet with information on tonight's agenda items is available online.

Meeting called to order at 7:16 p.m.

Minutes approved.

P 1 - Open Communities contract for landlord tenant program. $37.5K.

Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, asks if there's any feedback from residents about their level of satisfaction with the program.

Sarah Flax of city staff says in most cases Open Communities is able to resolve issues raised by callers.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, asks about eviction cases.

Told most are result of non-paid rent.

Approved.

P 2 - Change to Ozinga concrete plant building location at 2525 Oakton.

Approved.

P 3 - Special use for scoreboards at NU Rocky Miller Park and Sharon Drysdale Field at 1501 Central St.

Charles Davidson, construction project manager from NU, presents plans for the scoreboards.

The fields are along Isabella Street, on the Evanston-Wilmette border, and several Wilmette residents have turned out for the meeting to complain about the scoreboard plans.

Davidson says have lowered the height of the scoreboard in response to those concerns and also moved the scoreboard further to the east.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, asks how many Evanston and how many Wilmette residents have been concerned about it.

Davidson says three were from Evanston and 12 from Wilmette were at a recent meeting.

Fiske asks whether could shrink the scoreboard size by eliminating advertising.

Told the scoreboard ads would vary during game times, and that the scoreboard would be dark except during games.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, asks whether have to have advertising on the sign?

Told sponsorships for events usually include advertising opportunities episodically during the games.

Wynne asks how soon the landscaping will be as mature as shown in the renderings -- which are labeled as showing growth at 10 years after planting.

Alderman Holmes asks when field will be in use.

Told it runs from March 30 to early May. 18 games for baseball, 13 for softball.

Celine Peuyre, 100 block of 4th Street in Wilmette, says sign will have adverse impact on traffic safety and other issues. Says can't wait 10 years for the landscaping to shield the sign.

Laurel Sheffer, 4th Street in Wilmette, says trees won't have leafed out for most of the baseball season. Says would need to plant full grown sequoia trees to adequately hide the scoreboard.

Says there are power lines along the street that have to be trimmed by the power company so the trees will never adequately shield the scoreboard.

Claims the scoreboard will be a hazard to migratory birds.

An aerial view of Rocky Miller field from Google Maps. 

Alderman Judy Fiske asks whether scoreboard could be located differently to reduce concerns. Davidson says moving it might reduce concerns for Wilmette residents but would create more problems for Evanston residents.

Fiske asks about putting the power lines underground.

Davidson says the power lines now run in the public right of way. Says plan is to place the new landscaping further south on NU property so they won't need to be trimmed to clear the power lines.

Vote is to move the proposal to City Council, but Fiske and Wynne say they want to see a revised landscape plan before a final City Council vote in two weeks.

Meeting adjourned at 8:18 p.m.

City Council meeting to start at 8:30 p.m.

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