Recap: Planning and Development Committee

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

The meeting is scheduled to start at 6:45 p.m.

A packet with information on tonight's agenda items is available online. The committee is scheduled to act on a renewal of the tenant-based rental assistance program and discuss a proposal to provide for preservation of heritage trees.

Meeting called to order at 7:02 p.m.

P1 - Tenant-based rental assistance program renewal

Public Comment ... Landlord Tina Paden says she favors the program. Betty Ester complains that has seen no report on results.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says a cover letter in the proposal answers all of Ester's quetions.

Connections for the Homeless representatives respond ... saying 100 percent of the participants this year moved into permanent sustainable housing. Also saw strong results for children of the families.

Approved.

P2 - Plat of re-subdivision of 1211-1217 Ridge Ave.

Property owner says wants to maintain the circular driveway

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says he thinks the proposed solution is the best one available and recommends approval, with amendment including an easement for the driveway to each of the owners of the two lots.

Proposal, as amended, is approved.

P3 - Extention of time for planned development at 318-320 Dempster. Conversion of former livery stable to dwelling unit.

Approved.

Discussion item

PD1 - Heritage Trees preservation

Leslie Shad speaks in favor of the ordinance

Paul D'Agustino says the existing tree ordinance only applies to larger developments. Haven't been a lot of projects affected.

Defining a heritage tree can be very subjective or objective, depending on how the council wants to go. Could limit to particiular sizes and species or to a certain part of town.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, says lets look at being the most objective -- people think of oak trees and elm trees as heritage ones here.

Says that would be a good place to start.

Scott Mangum, zoning administrator, says Preservation Commission considered the issue very important but didn't think it belong in the preservation ordinance, because this is a city-wide issue, not just a historic district issue. Also said don't have any arborists on the Preservatin Commission.

Fiske says 200 and 300 year old trees should matter in our community -- were here long before any people were here. Is time to make them part of our protected streetscape and character of neighborhoods.

Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, says trees are an environmental asset that can't be replaced.

Wynne says she supports a heritage tree ordinance and that it should cover the entire city. Wants an objective standard. Lkes Menlo Park ordinance that lists certain species and sizes.

Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, favors protecting trees based on age and size. But says need to be reasonable about what ones want private property owners would be asked to retain.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says has a family in her ward is suffering because of large tree that's destroying their sewer line. Says calling it a heritage tree ordinance creates problems.

Fiske says there would be an opportunity for homeowners to appeal.

Communications

PC1 - Design Evanston Charette on library parking lot site

Dave Galloway, from Design Evanston, presents the report.

Says shouldn't do anything with the site now.

Says most participants in the charette thought the 2009 proposal for a "woman's park" with underground parking was not feasible.

Suggests developing some new building use that might create a "woman's campus."

No questions from aldermen. Two thank DE for it's report.

Meeting adjourned at 7:51 p.m. City Council to start at 8 p.m. 

 

 

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