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Recap Planning and Development Committee

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

The meeting is scheduled to start at 7:45 p.m.

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

An appeal of a city staff denial of a variable message sign at the Citgo gas station on Green Bay Road is one of the items on tonight’s agenda along with changes to off street parking requirements on campus and a special use permit for a brew pub on Ashland Avenue.

Meeting called to order at 7:45 p.m.

P 1 – Appeal of decision denying variance for Citgo Station sign

Aldemran Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, moves to deny the appeal. Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, seconds.

Station owner, Syed Saqib, says has invested substantial funds to upgrade the business. Says its difficult to have any signage on the building because the canopy extends so close to the building.

Says the existing sigh that display gas prices has existed for years and is in an variable electronic sign format.

Says McDonalds and the Marathon station both on Howard Street are also using similar signs.

Simmons says would like to have such signs banned citywide. Says doesn’t like the billboards and other signage along that stretch of Green Bay. Says new sign would be ableto have scrolling sign.

Owner says would eliminate scrolling.

Simmons says a new owner could change that. Says excited that he’s investing in the community, but can’t support this sign.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says he would support hearing the appeal, but not confident would get support from the committee.

Committee votes 5-1 against accepting the appeal.

P 2 – Contract with Metropolitan Tenants Organization and Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing for landlord-tenant services.

Sarah Flax, housing and grants administrator for the city says this is a replacement for services previously provided by Open Communities.

Says the city has had landlord tenant services provided by a contractor since 2012. City had previouslly provided by city staff before layoffs.

Says MTO and the Lawyers’s Committe has been providing similar services in the City of Chicago and some south suburbs for years.

Says goal is to reduce evictions and unfair situations for tenants — but also provide support for landlords. Provides landlords and tenants with education about their rights and responsiblities.

Approved unanimously.

P 3 – Schedule of minimum off street parkig requirements amendment

Approved

P 4 – Brew Pubs as special use in MXE district

Approved.

P 5 – Special use for Double Clutch Brewing Comany at 2119-2125 Ashland Ave.

Simmons says business owners presented at community meetings. Have years of experience successfully operating restaurants in other communities. Says will provide an event space like no other in the ward — she supports the proposal. But doesn’t like the proposed signage. Is advised that that requires a separate permit.

Approved.

P 6 – Special use for Backlot Coffee at 2004 Central St.

Approved.

P 7 – Special use for Daycare Center at 2200 Main St.

Approved.

P 8 – Special use for type 2 restaurant, Kilwins Chocolates at 1724 Sherman Ave.

Approved.

P 9 – Special use for concrete wall for ComEd at 514 Custer Ave.

Approved.

Meeting adjourned at 8:21 p.m.

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