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Recap: City Council

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Here’s a recap of our live coverage of tonight’s Evanston City Council meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:35 p.m.

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

Meeting called to order at 7:38 p.m.

Mayor Hagerty is away in Puerto Rico.

Alderman Fleming is out sick.

Alderman Braithwaite is expected later.

Parks Director Lawrence Hemingway says expects to have over 800 students at the summer job fair this Saturday at ETHS. Says more than 650 kids were hired last year — could place more this year.

Public Comment

Glenn Mackey, Janet Alexander Davis and other residents object to plans for a pumping station at 2525 Church St.

Bill Stack speaks in favor of additional affordable housing options.

Consent agenda

Items taken off consent agenda …

A 3.1 – Pilot landlord rehab assistance program … held in committee.

A 8 – New F-2 liquor licence class (for Binny’s) …. off consent … postponed to next meeting at request of applicant.

A 9 – One way traffic around Willard School

P 1 – 1827 Dobson vacation rental license … off consent … at request of Fiske

P 2 – 710 Madison … withdrawn at request of applicant

P 3 – Special Education Institution … off consent.

Consent agenda approved.

A 9 – One way traffic around Willard School

Approved unanimously (apparently removed from consent in error.

P 1 – 1827 Dobson vacation rental license.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, says she objects to vacation rentals that aren’t owner-occupied.

Rainey says she’s concerned about having the owner never living there. Says also concerned about notice to neighbors.

Approved 7-1. Fiske votes no.

P 3 – Special Education Institution

(for ETHS).

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, objects — based on city’s prior opposition to having a school in what’s now the Autobarn property on Hartrey.

Says city spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend against an educational use there. Now the city, she says, is caving in to ETHS.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, says he sees this as a unique opportunity to take care of kids in the community who traditionally have been bused out of Evanston.

Says the high school will be paying taxes for the property, as well as tax savings not having having to bus the kids out of town.

Says there’s a swim school and educational and social service agencies in the building already.

Says there’ll be heavy staffing — roughly one staff member or every two kids.

Given that there are 3,000 students just a few blocks away at the high school — can’t understand why neighbors are objecting.

ETHS officials says the proposal has gone through nine city meetings plus a ward meeting. Over 100 notices went out to neighbors for a meeting — and only six showed up.

Another ETHS staffer says about 60 percent of the students in the program are white and 30 percent are black.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says it appears there was plenty of notice, despite what neighbors said at the meeting tonight.

He says the students in the program are members of the community and shouldn’t be shipped out of town.

Rainey says the zoning should have been amended.

Approved 7-1. Rainey votes no.

Call of the Wards

Revelle… 7th Ward meeting Thursday, March 8, 7 p.m., Ecology Center.

Fiske … 7 p.m. tomorrow in Parasol Room… Eruv meeting.

March 6 1st Ward mtg at EPL

Rue Simmons… pumping station before DAPR Wednesday.

Council votes to go into executive session.

Public meeting ends at 9:06 p.m.

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