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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 Devleopment Committee meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items is available online.

Meeting called to order at 7:04 p.m.

P1 – Emergency solutions grant recommendation

…to Connections for the Homeless and YWCA Evanston/North Shore

Tina Paden says Connections hasn’t paid money owed to her.

Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, says concerned about problem Paden is running into. Says she’s unwilling to brush by it.

Moves to hold the proposal. Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, seconds. So it’s held until the next meeting. 

P2 – Office uses in R5 and R6 residential districts

Plan Commisison has recommended denial.

Harris Miller urges rejection. Calls it another effort to resurrect the library parking lot project.

Carl Klein also objects. Joan Safford says it’s spot zoning for the library lot. Janet Steidel joins in the objections.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1sst Ward, says she brought the idea forward.

Says a number of people are interested in office development downtown. She wants to increase city revenue so don’t have to nickel and dime residents. Also wants to bring new office workers downtown to shop and dine to support downtown businesses.

Says office development generates more tax revenue and property value. Says feels very strongly in favor of appropriate evelopment downtown. Says the library lot proposal was appropriate.

 Says the amendment would apply to several properties — all right next to “D,” downtown zoning.

Says there are four to six developers interested in bringing office uses downtown and have no place to put them.

Says downtown residential use is compatible with office uses.

Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, says the affected areas are on the periphery of downtown and have solid residential structures already in place. Not clear to her that they are suitable for office buildings. Says should have office buildings in core of downtown. Says if want to expand downtown should do it in a more comprehensive way. Doesn’t agree with rationale for the amendment and will vote no.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, says she agrees with Revelle. Says agrees with Plan Commisson vote to recommend denial.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says 70 percent of the block that the library lot is on is tax exempt. Says it would be a great location for an office building.

Should beg some developer to come back and build an office building there.

Fiske says these properties are already in the downtown.

Motion fails 4-2. Fiske and Rainey on the losing side.

P3 – Craft alcohol production facility amendment

Approved.

P4 – Major adjustment to planned development at 100-132 Chicago Ave.

Substitutes two apartment units for office space on 2nd floor of the development.

For introduction and action.

Approved.

Meeting adjourned at 7:39 p.m.

City Council to start at 7:45 p.m.

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