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City would tag resale shops for scrutiny

The City Council tonight is scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would make it harder for large resale shops to open in Evanston.

The ordinance would make resale shops larger than 5,000 square feet a special use — giving the council discretion to deny the right to open such a store or impose special conditions on its operation.

The City Council tonight is scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would make it harder for large resale shops to open in Evanston.

The ordinance would make resale shops larger than 5,000 square feet a special use — giving the council discretion to deny the right to open such a store or impose special conditions on its operation.

The proposal is an outgrowth of concerns by some Plan Commission members about the operation of such stores.

Commissioner Johanna Nyden said one store, near a transit station, had people dropping off donations at night. Others would search through and scatter the donations during the night — creating an adverse impact on the lot’s appearance.

Commissioner Charles Staley said the restrictions would also give the city some control over whether such stores opened in areas that the city might have targeted as sites for more upscale sorts of development.

The ordinance would apply to all the zoning districts where retail establishments, including resale shops, are now allowed.

The ordinance defines resale shops as businesses that sell donated merchandise to consumers. The definition specifically excludes consignment stores or businesses selling cars, antiques or artwork from the new regulation.

It was not clear from minutes of the Plan Commission’s debate on the ordinance last week why resale shops smaller than 5,000 square feet were not thought to pose the same problems as the larger ones.

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