Evanston’s City Council is scheduled to take final action tonight on a request for a special use permit to open a bed and breakfast at 1622 Forest Place on the city’s lakefront.

The proposal was introduced on a 7-2 vote a month ago, but a final vote was delayed at the council’s last meeting at the request of Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, who was unable to attend that session.

No votes tonight are expected from Wynne and Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward.

Voting in favor of the new B&B plan at its introduction, and previously voting to approve the city’s first legal B&B two doors away at 300 Church Street, were the seven other members of the council.

A neighborhood group opposed to the B&B projects, the Southeast Evanston Association, has urged its members to turn out for tonight’s meeting in a last-ditch effort to block the project.

When the council last debated the issue, opponents were greatly outnumbered by speakers favoring the project.

Both planned bed and breakfast sites are controlled by billionaire Col. James N. Pritzker who has proposed multi-million dollar plans to renovate the buildings, which he acquired for a total of just over $5 million.

The plan for 1622 Forest has been approved by the city’s Preservation Commission. But the Zoning Board of Appeals recommended against it on a 4-2 vote.

Related stories

Council backs B&B as supporters jam chamber

ZBA votes against second bed and breakfast

Pritzker seeks another Evanston B&B

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Ald. Tendam needs to recuse himself

    Alderman Tendam needs to recuse himself from voting on the Forest Place B and B tonight and any vote involving Tawani Enterprises.

    Why? Tawani Enterprises applied for zoning relief in February 2013 for a B and B on Forest Place. Then, on April 17th, almost a week after the elections, a $1000.00 check from Tawani Enterprises was cashed by Ald. Tendam. Tonight, July 8th, the City Council votes on said application of the B and B on Forest.

    By having Ald. Tendam recuse himself from voting on any matter related to Tawani Enterprises, any appearance of impropriety is therefore erased and potential conflict gone with it. 


    1. By that logic…

      Following the logic of the comment calling for Alderman Tendam to recuse himself, one could also argue that B&B opponent Alderman Fiske should also recuse herself from voting on the issue — because, for example, she has received campaign contributions from David Reynolds, who has spoken repeatedly against approving B&B's and who — as owner of the Homestead Hotel — also has a financial interest in limiting competition from such establishments.

      But, as was reported last month, the city's ethics code imposes no requirement on aldermen to recuse themselves based on campaign contributions legally received and reported.

      So we can presumably expect both of them to vote on the B&B issue tonight.

      — Bill

  2. There is a difference

    The big difference here is that Tendam took money from a developer with an application for zoning relief pending before the city. 

    1. Difference?

      The difference, then, is that, by your logic, people favoring something new are barred from contributing to aldermen, but people who are opposed to something new are free to give them money.

      Sorry, but your logic is not embodied in the city's ethics rules.

      — Bill

      1. …Perhaps a review and

        …Perhaps a review and overhaul of the ethics rules is needed. Afterall, this is not Chicago, right?

        1. This is not Chicago

          ".Perhaps a review and overhaul of the ethics rules is needed"

          So what do you propose?  That it is OK for people who favor preservation of the status quo to make contributions , but not for people who seek to change the laws?

          Bill's original point was that if you think that it is wrong for Tendam to accept contributions from Pritzker, you should also think it is wrong for Fiske to accept contributions from a rival inn owner.

          It would be fine to outlaw BOTH of these contributions, or to require both Tendam AND Fiske to recuse themselves…but you seem to want the law to only apply to people who disagree with you.

          And this is not Chicago….but small town politics are often more corrupt and dishonest than big city politics, because small town politicians face less public scrutiny.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *