Downtown plan adoption seen next month

Evanston aldermen Monday moved toward possible final adoption of the downtown plan next month despite a plea from an aldermanic candidate to delay a vote until after April’s city election.

The request came from Judy Fiske, who’s making her second run for alderman of Evanston’s 1st Ward.

While she urged delay on the downtown plan, in hopes new faces on the council will reverse the decision this month to approve a 385-foot height limit for the Fountain Square block, Fiske also urged aldermen to reject the pending planned development proposal for the block.

She said rejecting the 708 Church St. tower plan would permit a revival of existing commercial uses on the block.

The aldermen have tabled consideration of the tower project until after the downtown plan is adopted.

Aldermen Monday gave tentative approval to relatively non-controversial aspects of the plan including provisions for public art and wayfinding signage.

They agreed to disagree about whether the Civic Center should eventually be moved downtown, providing language that calls for consideration of a city hall downtown as well as in other neighborhoods. They also appeared to agree that at this point the city doesn’t have enough money to build a new Civic Center anywhere.

City staff and consultants agreed to have a revised draft of the plan ready for final discussion in time for the Planning and Development Committee’s next meeting on Feb. 9 and to also make it a special order of business for the full City Council meeting that night.

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