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Recap: Planning and Development Committee

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

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:55 p.m. A packet with information on tonight's agenda items is available online.

The only item on tonight's agend is introduction of the proposed planned development at 831 Emerson St. — a 12-story, 260-unit residential building with 3,300 square feet of ground floor commercial space ant 145 parking spaces.

Previous coverage of the 831 Emerson development

Meeting called to order at 7 p.m. Minutes approved.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, moves to hold the discussion until the next meeting. No second for the motion. Fiske withdraws the motion to hold (so she cn preserve it for later).

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, asks how the affordable housing fee is determined. Community Development Director Mark Muener says it depends on the number of units.

Muenzer says says the new ordinance would require a contribution of $2.6 million — or $100,000 for every 10 units — for a project like the 831 Emerson development. (The 831 Emerson project itself is exempt from the ordinance because it was proposed before the recent amendments extending it to rental housing took effect.)

Rainey notes that the units in this project are on average 350 square feet. Says if the unit sizes were far larger they'd still pay the same amount per units. Suggests the ordinance needs to be revised.

Says multimillionaires will be paying less for affordable housing than the poor students living in this development.

Says an all-studio development would have to pay far more on a square foot basis than a development of all three-bedroom units.

Public Comment

Lisa Pildes, 2321 Park Place, complains about proposal for TIF district for area north of downtown. Says it would break the traditional downtown northern boundary — and that 831 Emerson seems to be the first step toward that.

Liz Luby, 721 Foster St., says if the concept doesn't work, doubts can find a different use for the property. Says not a desirable thing for this part of Evanston.

Judith Segal, 800 Elgin Road, says city should have a long term plan for future development that people could count on so citizens could know what the rules are and be protected by those rules.

Jerome Seeman, 1856 Sherman Ave., says it would be a very speculative development. Objects to having the entrance to the 7-Eleven store on the side of the building.

Fiske moves to hold in committee. Holmes seconds.

Fiske says the developer has requested a neighborhood meeting.

Held until the Feb. 22 meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

City Council meeting to start at 7:55 p.m.

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