The Evanston City Council’s Planning and Development Committee tonight approved a proposed settlement of a three-year legal dispute over the zoning of property on the southeast corner of Chicago Avenue and Main Street.


A view of the proposed building looking southeast.

The agreement would see a nine-story mixed-use building 99-feet tall built on the site. It would have ground-floor retail, two levels of parking and six floors of condominium apartments.

The city had sought to rezone the property from B3 to C1a, which would have reduced the maximum height allowed from 125 to 67 feet. But the then-owner of the property successfully argued in court that he was entitled to the original zoning because he had spent millions of dollars demolishing a building on the site and removing tenants from another building in reliance on being able to redevelop te propert under that zoning.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, whose 3rd ward includes the development site, said there wasn’t a lot of controversy over the project at a community meeting held earlier this month.

Community Development Director James Wolinski said there was “a good spirit of cooperation” with the developers and that they had given in-depth consideration to recommendations made by the city’s staff.

The full City Council is expected to approve the agreement at its Dec. 11 meeting.

The aldermen also:

  • Voted to introduce at the full council an amendment to the recently passed affordable housing ordinance. Currently developers can opt out of providing on-site affordable housing completely by paying a $40,000 fee for every 10 units in their projects. Under the amendment the in-lieu fee could only be used for 70 percent of the affordable units, and the other 30 percent would have to be built on site. The committee is to get a report from real estate consultant Valerie Kretchmer on the likely cost of the new provision at its next meeting.
  • Postponed action on approving a shopping center development at 2424 Oakton St. after learning that the developer of the site is not the legal owner of the property. Aldermen said they wanted to make sure the owner was a party to any commitments made by the developer. The aldermen also hope to get revised plans for handling storm water on the site before their next meeting.
  • Agreed to hold a hearing on an appeal by the developer of the proposed Central Place Residences of the Preservation Commission’s denial of a certificate of appropriateness for demolition of the landmark building at 1722 Central St., once the Plan Commission finishes its review of the project. The next Plan Commission hearing on the proposal is Wednesday.

Related story

Residents eye new Main-Chicago condos – Nov. 11, 2006

Plan board OKs shops on Oakton – Oct. 12, 2006

Planners hit looks of Central Place condos – Nov. 10, 2006

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *