Here’s a recap of our live coverage of tonight’s meeting of the Evanston City Council Planning and Development Committee.
The meeting called to order at 7:15 p.m. Minutes approved.
Renaming the portion of Mulford Street west of Dodge Avenue in James Park “Lionel & Irma Carter Drive.”
Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says the Carters contributed a lot to the Levy Center and left a bequest for the center. Says it doesn’t create any problems with renaming, because there are no addresses on the street.
Rainey says there will be a big celebration at the Levy Center Saturday at 1 p.m. in honor of its 10th anniversary .. .and everyone’s invited.
Name change approved.
HOME program amendment. Approved.
1600 Foster subdivision. (Related to the sale of the property approved at the A&PW meeting earlier this evening.)
Resident Betty Ester says a neighbor is concerned about shaking of house near the site on Dewey as demolition work is done on the property.
Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, says she hasn’t heard any complaints from residents. Says staff member reported receiving one call.
Planning Director Dennis Marino says demolition work is now complete. Started review of the complaint today.
Brinshore staff member says plan to reach out to the neighbor tomorrow, and that some site work is still continuing at the property.
555 Howard Street convenience store extended hours. Rainey says this property was her worst nightmare. Was staying open all night. Since shut down and reduced hours have had an enormous behavior change and have become active members of the Howard Street Business Association.
Supports extending hours as proposed from 6, instead of 7 a.m. for opening and from 8 pm. instead of 7 p.m. for closing.
Approved unanimously and Rainey also moves that at council rules be suspended to adopt the ordinance immediately this evening.
Trader Joe’s special use permit… 1211 Chicago Ave.
Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, says there’s been a lot of collaboration among the developer and the residents. Says the change is very positive for the community and that the issues raised by the neighbors have been well addressed — issues of sound attenuation, light pollution, and scheduling deliveries at specific times. Says will have good sized landscaping as well.
Good solution for having fairly intense commercial use adjacent to residential, she says. Calls it a very positive process.
Approved for introduction.
Bed and Breakfast discussion
Frank Cicero, of 222 Lake St., says B&B should be primary residence of owner operator and permit owner to only have one. Says LLCs should be prohibited from owning B&Bs.
David Reynolds, 204 Davis St., objects to having a commercial use inserted in an R1 residential area. Worried that will diminish the value of homes nearby.
Alderman Rainey notes that staff has found B&B ordinances in several other communities. Says it seems the big issue in those communities is parking. Says that they don’t seem to worried, like some residents here, about distance separation for B&Bs.
Alderman Wynne says two critical issues for her are the ownership question and the issue of special uses creating controversies.
Says she’s OK with a “Mom & Pop” bed and breakfast. Says concerned about having too much density. People who bought in residential zones don’t want businesses on their street.
Rainey asks staff how many applications there’ve been for B&Bs. Is told there’s been just one. Says this reminds here of the chickens and bees debates.
Told have 11 chicken coops and 2 bee hives. Says have not had any problems.
Rainey says there are R1 zones in every ward — but it seems only people living along the lakefront are concerned about it.
Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, says she supports a distance requirement.
Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, says B&Bs have been in the zoning ordinance for the past 20 years, but haven’t had requests for them. Says they just haven’t been profitable as a Mom & Pop operation.
Says now getting requests from commercial operators. Says will have more investors coming to Evanston and seeking to run guest hotels in single family neighborhoods.
Asks that staff look at better definition of ownership — eliminating LLC option — and considering a distance requirement.
Rainey says this is something we just defeated at our last meeting. Says can ask staff to give an opinion on anything, but this isn’t the time to bring the same ordinance up again.
Fiske says the owner of the one B&B now owns four properties on the block.
Rainey says the B&B issue has become an obsession with certain members of the community and certain aldermen and nobody has demonstrated that it’s actually an issue.
Committee makes the referral to the law department on a 3-2 vote with Rainey and Wilson voting no.
Meeting adjourned at 7:51 p.m.
City Council meeting to begin at 8 p.m.