The developers of a planned mixed-use high-rise rental project at 1571 Maple Ave. told Evanston's Plan Commission Wednesday night that their design minimizes the impact on a neighboring tower, compared to what's permitted under the city's zoning code.
A rendering prepared by the developers and shown above indicates the maximum height and bulk permitted under the zoning code for the site's D3 zoning district — 85 feet of dwelling units plus a 40 foot tall parking garage at the base.
Instead, working with city staff, the developers have come up with a design that is a few feet taller but that has substantial setbacks which reduce the extent to which views are impaired from 1570 Elmwood Ave., the adjacent building to the south.
The proposed design for 1571 Maple. Both views look west from Davis Street and Elmwood Avenue.
The key to making the proposed design work is to move most of the parking required for the project off site — to the city-owned Maple Avenue garage about two blocks away.
City staff is recommending approval of the design, and the several site development allowances it calls for. And the city would stand to gain more than $100,000 a year for the next 40 years by leasing the parking spaces at the now-underutilized garage to the developer.
But several residents of the neighboring condo tower objected to the project.
Sally Henderson said the new building "would hurt people in my building a great deal."
She said she was worried that it would diminish the amount of light for north-facing units in the building, known as One Evanston or the Winthrop Club, and create a lack of privacy — with residents of the new building able to looking into windows of the existing one.
And, with the expectation that the smaller units in the new rental building would draw younger tenants, Henderson said she feared there would be much more noise, more moving in and out and "if you have young people you'll have social issues."
She also said she was worried that the value of her condo unit would drop 25 or 30 percent as a result of the new building — disrupting her carefully crafted plan for financing her retirement.
"It's hideous and unfair," Henderson added.
In addition to the residents of the adjacent building, Doreen Hagerty, who lives in the Presbyterian Homes property a block away at 1020 Grove St., submitted petitions she said were signed by most residents of that building and the nearby King Home objecting to the new development.
As called for under its rules, the Plan Commission, at the request of the opponents, continued the hearing on the project until its Dec. 17 meeting.
The commission will ultimately make a recommendation to the City Council about whether to approve the project.