Here’s a recap of our live coverage of Monday evening’s Evanston City Council Administration and Public Works Committee meeting.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
A packet with information on the agenda items is available online.
Among the items on the agenda for this meeting are a proposal to add a new option to the civic center feasibility study that would add a new police-fire headquarters to the existing civic center building and one that would impose a $350 annual fee on pickup-truck owners who wanted to park overnight on city streets.
Meeting called to order at 6:09 p.m.
Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) is chairing the meeting. Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) is present in person and Ald. Devon Reid (8th) is on the phone. He arrives in person later.
No speakers for public comment.
Items A1 through A6 approved on the consent agenda.
Items for consideration
A7 – Poplar Avenue improvements from Colfax to Livingston streets
Proposal is to accept funding from the state. Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th), whose word includes the street, says some of her constituents have concerns about certain aspects of the plan.
City Engineer Lara Biggs says the issues involve striping on the street, which should be easy to modify without a change order.
A8 – Truck route addition on Howard Street and Custer Avenue
Reid proposes rejection of the item because it didn’t go through the Referrals Committee. Says policy changes should go through that process.
Nieuwsma says he wants to leave all options on the table rather than vote this down.
Burns says he agrees with Reid.
Motion to reject the ordinance approved 2-1.
A9 – Commercial vehicle permit pilot program
Nieuwsma suggests issue should come back to committee at its next meeting.
Lukasz Tatara, acting parking division manager, says after discussion with council members, thinks should change to make permits for passenger cars with commercial markings and for vehicle with an FP license and commercial markings, a permit would be free.
Tatara says City of Chicago is very strict about barring pickup trucks from parking on the street, most surrounding suburbs have similar rules, but may not enforce them as aggressively.
Reid and Burns claim the current Evanston code doesn’t treat pickup trucks as a commercial vehicles.
Reid proposes changing the definition of a commercial vehicle to exclude a commuter van or recreation vehicles. His proposal appears to exclude pickups with B-plates from the commercial vehicle definition.
If they had no commercial markings they would not require a permit. If they had commercial markings they would require a permit.
Nieuwsma asks about the $350 permit price tag. Reid says he favors it. Reid says someone with “weird signage” needs to pay the fee.
Tatara says Reid’s proposal would increase the number of vehicles that could park on the street.
Burns says residents have complained to him — what’s the difference between a pickup and a large SUV, like a Suburban.
Without a compelling reason for different treatment, he’s opposed to treating them differently.
Deputy City Attorney Michele Ozuruigbo says a commercial vehicle in the city code now is defined it the same way as in the Illinois vehicle code.
She says a pickup not operated “for a commercial purpose” wouldn’t meet the state definition.
Nieuwsma says so committee’s direction to staff is that an unmarked pickup truck would not require a permit.
Committee agrees to reduce the fee for a pickup with commercial markings from $350 previously proposed to $200.
Nieuwsma suggests limiting permits to 20 per ward. Reid wants 150 citywide. Burns agrees with Nieuwsma on that.
Burns moves to table the item until the June 27 meeting and to be redrafted by staff at that time. Approved 3-0.
Meeting adjourned at 5:56 p.m.
Planning and Development Committee meeting to begin at 6 p.m.