Plans to turn a landmark home in the Lakeshore Historic District into a bed and breakfast ran into opposition when it was reviewed by Evanston city staffers Wednesday.

City Planner Dennis Marino said at the Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee meeting that he was concerned about the amount of parking provided on the property located at 300 Church St. at the corner of Sheridan Road.

There are only about three parking spaces on the site now, in a large garage and carriage house off an alley, but Marino said as many as seven cars might be on the property at certain times.

“I’m concerned about the ability of the surrounding neighborhood to absorb that amount of parking,” Marino said. “The last time I was there, the Church Street free parking was totally packed, and when I looked at Judson the free parking was also packed.”

The building is less than a quarter mile from the city’s Church Street parking garage.

The architect for the home’s owner, Paul Janicki, said the house would have five bedrooms available for guests.

“The first floor will remain virtually unchanged, but we are adding a dumbwaiter. We have created a wheelchair friendly ramp on Church Street.” Janicki said.

The committee deferred action on the proposal to await a more detailed parking plan.

The project has also been noticed for a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on Aug. 2.

In other action, the committee voted to approve building permit plans submitted by Gordon Food Service to construct a store at 2424 Oakton St.

Top: 300 Church St.

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  1. 7 cars? Pft. How about 300+ by the new theater on Davis?

    Awesome to see that "as many as 7" cars is a problem but that a new 520 seat theater at Oak and Davis planned directly adjacent to residential zone didn't seem to raise any eyebrows re parking.

    "I'm concerned about the ability of the surrounding neighborhood to absorb that amount of parking…"  INDEED.

    And yes I understand there are garages several blocks from this theater, but what are you going to do as theater-goer, search them out and pay for parking or just turn the corner directly and park for free?

    1. parking, again?

       300+ cars is a ridiculous exaggeration of what a 500 seat venue would draw, unless of course the majority of people drove themselves and only themselves to the venue, which I guess is probably exactly what is going to happen. 

      I'm sure no downtown or local residents would ever walk there, and without doubt nobody would ever ride a bike there, I never see any bikes downtown, or take the Cta or Metra train lines, or a bus, or even share a ride. Just the idea that maybe two couples would share a ride is ridiculous, I mean, who does that?  I'm sure absolutely nobody would park in the garage because everybody knows nobody will ever walk a block and a half to park their car.  I mean seriously, you never see anybody walking anywhere in downtown Evanston, ever.  You'd have to be crazy to do that. 

      And I guess you can't residential permit the immediate neighborhood, that is if it is not already residential only permitted after 5:00 or 6:00 p.m.

      Golly gee, why stop at 300+ cars, in reality it's probably more like 400+  cars, heck, with staff and band members and all the screaming groupies and hanger on's, it's probably 500+ cars.  Oh my, look at the sky!  

      1. Historic Home turning into a B&B

        The present owners of that home have always owned 4 cars (four children grew up there and still have cars there) and they have NEVER PARKED IN THE GARAGES.  If you drive down Church Street after 5pm which is when guests would need parking the only cars on Church Street are the owners of 300 Church period.

        What a great opportunity for Evanston to have a renovation of a beautiful Historic home and you are worried about one car….please!!!


  2. Wouldn’t that be only 4 cars?

    If the property can accommodate three cars, aren't we only talking about four cars looking for street parking? Just like the strange aversion to the bike corrals, we are seeing this fealty to cars which in this case could derail a successful , low-impact, business that will preserve a historic building. You wonder if anyone in Evanston has ever visited most cities in Europe where they have culturally and economically vibrant development by taming the car, rather than developing FOR the car, which is what is happening here.

  3. Lakefront B&B plan held up over parking

    Parking, parking, parking.  This always seems to be the issue.  This proposed B&B has 5 bedrooms, so the most number of vehicles would be 5.  The B&B has a 3 car garage.  That leaves 2 vehicles that would have to find street parking.  That block of Church has many, many available parking places.  This is NOT a true problem, and should not block this venture.  This is a fabricated problem created by folks who just don't ever want to see any sort of change.   What could be viewed as a real problem is The Homestead, a mere 2 blocks away, with 90 rooms and NO parking.  

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