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Final vote on west side rezoning

Aldermen gave unanimous final approval Monday to the proposed rezoning of the Mayfair Corridor — land along a former rail right-of-way on Evanston’s west side.

The new zoning is designed to encourage a transition from largely obsolete industrial uses to a residential neighborhood composed mostly of townhomes, while also preserving the opportunity for existing businesses to be maintained and even expand within some limits.

The vote came after city planner Susan Guderley read through a five-page memo responding to last-minute concerns raised by neighborhood resident Betty Sue Ester about the zoning provisions.

Guderley said so-called "iconic buildings" which would have slightly taller height limits than others, would be permitted only for churches, institutional and cultural uses, only on corner lots and only after going through a special use approval process.

She defended the plan’s inclusion of provisions for small, accessory dwelling units, sometimes called coach houses, in portions of the new district. She said they would provide for more affordable dwelling units and provide a way for some homeowners to lower their housing costs by renting out the extra unit on their lot.

The aldermen adopted an amendment that would limit expansion of industrial uses so they could only be done "in a manner which minimizes adverse impacts on adjacent properties."

A master plan for the area — which runs roughly from Simpson Street and Green Bay Road to Greenwood Street west of Dodge Avenue — was adopted 20 months ago. The rezoning to implement the plan was given preliminary approval earlier this month. The changes affect about 100 land parcels.

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