Scaled-down plans for an affordable housing development on Church Street are scheduled for a final vote by the Evanston City Council Monday.

The Housing Opportunities Development Corporation project at 1811-1815 Church St. had originally been proposed to be five-stories tall and include 44 dwelling units.

It a last-minute move before the Council voted on introduction of the plans on March 13, Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) proposed slicing the top floor off the building and reducing the unit count to 33 apartments.

The change responds in part to complaints from some neighbors about the size of the development — but most of the opponents say they don’t want it built at all.

They argue that no more affordable housing should be built in the relatively low-income 5th Ward until more is built in more affluent areas of the city. (See Evanston Now’s map of affordable rental developments in the city.)

The smaller unit count in the new building plan eliminates the need to provide costly underground parking.

Another rendering of the new design — showing actual retail space only on the east side of the ground floor.

But to fit all the required parking onto the ground floor the new plans reduce the included ground floor retail space by about two-thirds.

That will leave the bulk of the ground floor façade with a frosted glass faux storefront appearance.

Alders voted 6-2 in favor of the project on the initial vote, with Clare Kelly (1st) and Tom Suffredin (6th) voting no and Devon Reid (8th) absent.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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