The Evanston Zoning Board of Appeals has approved plans for National Louis University to set up a dormitory for disabled students at 1620 Central St.

At a meeting Tuesday night the ZBA voted 4-0 in favor of the special use request by the school to establish the dorm and classrooms in the former office building.

The proposal drew sharp opposition from some immediate neighbors, but the opponents were not able to rally other Central Street activists to their cause, and a provision permitting a dormitory as a special use was inserted into the rezoning plan for Central Street adopted last winter.

The proposal for housing the university’s Professional Assistant Center for Education, or PACE program, now goes to the City Council for a final decision.

College officials say the program attracts young people with multiple learning disabilities from across the North Shore and occasionally from out of state.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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