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Evanston City Council meeting

Here's a recap of our live coverage of tonight's Evanston City Council meeting.

A packet with information on tonight's agenda items is available online.

Meeting called to order at 8:58 p.m.

Citizen Comment

Four speakers favor local ordinance restricting assault weapons and providing for concealed carry of guns.

DaJae Coleman Foundation announces plans for a launch rally at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mason Park. More info online.

Jeanne Lindwall says Harley Clarke mansion was purchased for the beach and open space. Says if there's not an appropriate user and the rehab costs are excessive — then perhaps should tear down the mansion to create more public open space.

Special Order of Business

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl says she's concerned about having an assault weapons ban ordinance in place in time.

Grant Farrar, corporation counsel, says the state general assembly passed bill May 31 with numerous regulations regarding firearms. It would provide a 10-day opt in for home rule communities to legislate on assault weapons after the governor signs the bill, before further local regulation would be pre-empted.

Says there's a lot of flux with the legislation now. It's in partial response to a federal appeals court ruling that the state had to enact some kind of concealed carry legislation. Deadline for state to appeal that decision has been extended until July 9.

Says it doesn't appear that Gov. Quinn will be signing the bill soon, so thinks have time to get an ordinance prepared for action in time for the City Council's next meeting.

Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, says favors a prohibition on assault weapons.

Farrar says state legislation does not define assault weapons, but says it appears the Chicago ordinance probably has the best available language.

Holmes moves that law department be directed to draft an ordinance. Tendam seconds. Approved unanimously.

Consent agenda

Items taken off the consent agenda:

  • Ecology center greenhouse (held until next meeting for revisions).
  • Grandmother park amendment (held until next meeting) (Details on these two here.)
  • 1622 Forest Place b&b. (details on this one here.)
  • Commercial indoor recreation zoning ordinance
  • Vacation rentals licensing

Consent agenda approved.

Ecology Center Greenhouse

Being held in committee … perhaps back on agenda for next meeting.

Grandmother Park

Committee agreed to only use Evanston contractors, but want to see three estimates. Hopefully will be resolved in time for next meeting.

Hilton Orrington liquor licenses

Assignment to new owners. Rules suspended and immediate adoption granted.

1622 Forest Place B&B

Introduction of ordinance approving this. Wynne and Fiske vote no. Approved 7-2.

Commercial Indoor Recreation

Wilson notes that "commercial purpose" is defined elsewhere in the zoning ordinance — wants to make sure that definition isn't used in this ordinance.

Rainey asks that "not-for-profit" be removed from permissible ownership categories.

After much debate, concludes that the change Rainey sought had already been made.

Ordinance approved 9-0.

Vacation Rentals

Wilson says wanted provision that people could rent their homes once a year without getting special use approval. Wynne says thinks that's what the council approved last time.

Wilson says ordinance language now also requires approval of the one-time deal by city staff.

Wynne says she agrees about that as well.

Burrus says she's voting against the ordinance — thinks people will find ways around it. Says are trying to fix things that aren't broken.

Language changes proposed by Wilson and Wynne approved 7-2. Holmes and Burrus vote no.

Rainey gets clarification from Farrar that approval would be like that for sidewalk cafes — that would not have to go to ZBA.

Ordinance approved 5-4. Wilson, Holmes, Tendam and Burrus vote no.

Call of the wards

Burrus….9th Ward meeting July 10 at Levy Center at 7 p.m.

Fiske … asks reference to committee prepare ordinance that would require resident's permission for private bus stops … in response to complaint from resident near NU campus.

Council votes to go into executive session … for litigation and personnel issues.

Public meeting adjourned at 10:11 p.m.

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