Here’s our live coverage of tonight’s Evanston City Council Planning and Development Committee meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m.

A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items can be found online.

Only two items on the agenda tonight.

One is a $30,000 grant to Open Communities to continue the Evanston Landlord Tenant Program next year. Open Communities is the new name of the group formerly known as the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs.

The other agenda item is an amendemnt to the zoning ordinance to create banquet halls as a special use in several business and commercial districts.

Meeting called to order at 7:19 p.m.

Minutes approved.

Open Communities grant

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, questions the use of money from the affordable housing fund for the program. Says she’s fine with the program itself.

Community and Economic Development Director Steve Griffin says the program gets about one call a day. Rainey says that seems much lower than in the past. Perhaps the housing market has improved, she says.

Planning Director Dennis Marino says the affordable housing fund has been used for similar purposes in the past.

Committee approves the grant funding unanimously.

Special use for banquet halls.

Rainey says she’s opposed to having banquet halls in industrial districts. Refers to lawsuit involving the city’s refusal to rezone an industrial property for a school.

Suggests such a use would not generate as much tax revenue as industrial uses.

Griffin says committee could eliminate industrial districts from the proposed ordinance.

Says the banquet hall proposal that led to the zoning ordinance is proposed for an MUE district.

Rainey proposes eliminating the industrial districts. Ordinance with that amendment is approved.

Meeting adjourned.

City Council meeting to start about 7:35 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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