Recap: Planning and Development Committee

A rendering of one of the planned ice rinks in the new Crown Center.

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

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

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

The committee has three items on its agenda tonight -- zoning changes needed for the new Robert Crown Community Center, a proposal to loosen some restrictions on the size of front porches and a proposal to strengthen city review of lakefront restoration projects.

P 1 - Major zoning relief for the Robert Crown Community Center.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says its a great idea.

Approved.

P 2 - Changes to front porch regulations

Matt Rodgers, former chair of Zoning Board of Appeals, says the current proposal "doesn't really work."

Says should have someone from ZBA on the Zoning Committee of the Plan Commission.

He favors and alternative of 25 percent encroachment in the front yard setback. Suggests the maximum depth permitted should be eight feet.

Suggests should have a minimum 10-foot front yard, subject to requesting a major variation.

Says enclosed porches should not be allowed at all -- because they tend to turn into rooms -- and then somebody later asks for yet another front porch in front of that. (Says neighboring communities don't permit them.

Aldermen ask for a written version of the alternative proposal.

Committee votes to hold the item until the committee's April 9 meeting.

P 3 - Floodplain regulation amendments

Attorney Jerry Callahan, representing owners of 925 Edgemere Court, objects to proposed changes. Says the ordinance appears to target their property and is based on complaints from some neighbors. Calls for expeditious issuance of the city permits for the revetment work they wish to do.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, asks for clarification from legal department about impact of the ordinance on this property.

Michelle Masoncup, deputy city attorney, says the city doesn't have anything in the city code now to make sure the city is notified of proposed lakefront project.

Rainey says approval from Army Corps of Engineers is arduous.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, says the property has been a concern and that now the city is the last agency to be notified of a proposal.

Says ordinance would also require notification to adjacent property owners.

Projects currently are also reviewed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Wilson says this wouldn't apply to projects already under review.

Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, says the ordinance as proposed doesn't acknowledge that the city wants property owners to be able to protect their property.

Gary Gerdes, of inspection services staff says notification would be required for property owners within 625 feet of the proposed changes.

Says purpose is to give residents an opportunity to have input on the joint review process.

Committee votes to introduce the ordinance.

Meeting adjourned at 7:48 p.m.

City Council meeting to start at 8 p.m.

 

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