Here’s a recap of our live coverage of Monday night’s Evanston City Council meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m.

A packet with information on the agenda items is available online.

Meeting called to order at 6:49 p.m. All present.

Public Works Director Edgar Cano announces award city received for Central Street bridge project.

Public Comment

Mayor says more than 45 people have signed up to speak, so everybody get one minute.

First group of speakers favor having a rooster at ETHS.

About 14 speakers favored the animal shelter project and eight opposed it.

The licensing for lodging establishments ordinance drew support from about six people and opposition from one.

Public Comment ends at 7:38 p.m.

Special orders of business

SP1 – Lodging establishments ordinance

Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) says the proposed ordinance has been under development since last May and provides a highly flexible approach to address various types of shared housing.

Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) argues the matter is out of order because it special orders of business aren’t supposed to be items that originated from other committees.

Nicholas Cummings, corporation counsel, said previously the city manager could place an item on the agenda as a special order of business. The amended rule, he says, allows them mayor, or multiple council members, to place an item on the agenda as a special order of business.

Kelly says she still thinks its improper as a special order of business.

Ald. Devon Reid (8th) praises Nieuwsma and staff for developing the ordinance — which he says makes sense.

Ald. Juan Geracaris (9th) says he’s looking forward to voting yes on the proposal.

Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th) says city currently has licensing for a number of types of shared housing facilities. Says the new ordinance will add enforcement teeth and standards — with operating agreements.

Revelle says a memo previously implied that co-housing would be subject to this ordinance. Says those may not need licensing or operating agreements — says the ones she knows about are not like the facilities that would require licensing under this ordinance.

Mayor Biss says the special order process is is what’s contemplated, what the rule says and how things have been done a number of times in the past.

Ordinance approved 8-1. Kelly votes no.

SP2 – Discussion of dog beach ADA access

Consultant Mark Wagstaff from Smith Group, says Option 1 is estimated to cost $500K. Option 2 is estimated to cost $450K.

Burns asks how long will be a beach? Lara Biggs says hard to tell. Lake level is falling now, but may rise again.

Says Smith Group is still working on a long term lakefront preservation project.

Alders get into a deep discussion about the options.

Kelly wants a guarantee of how long the ramps would last.

Reid says he favors Option 2.

Ald. Krissie Harris (2nd) asks about ADA access at beaches generally.

Lara Biggs, city engineer, says the city has been spending to make them fully accessible. Says the mobile mats used to on the people beaches

Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) says he favors Option 1 if Option 2 is going to destroy endangered plants. Wagstaff says Option 2 could probably be redesigned to avoid damaging plants.

Geracaris and Wynne both say that because of the plants they favor Option 1. Reid says he changed his mind and actually favors Option 1.

Kelly and Burns say they’re both interested in a possible temporary option.

SP3 – Animal shelter construction contract

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Reid says he supports the shelter proposal. Doesn’t see reason to delay the project further.

Burns says if people know about somebody who could do it for “half off” they should get the bid and proposals list and encourage that contractor to actually bid.

Geracaris and Nieuwsma both say they favor the proposal. Nieuwsma says achieving environmental goals is a big factor in the cost. He says he’s gotten more emails in favor of this than on any other issue — and if all those supporters would contribute to the project — that would help close the cost gap.

Kelly opposes the cost.

Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd) says she strongly supports the project.

Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th) says she appreciates the value engineering efforts by the staff and supports the project.

Ald. Krissie Harris (2nd) says she received 70 emails before today on the animal shelter issue and only 11 opposed the project — so she’s voting yes.

Approved 8-1.

Consent agenda

Off consent: A3, A7, A9, H1, HS3

(A3 and A9 did not make it out of committee.)

With those items removed, consent agenda is approved 9-0.

A7 – SmithGroup change order for Evanston shoreline repairs

Kelly moves to hold until the next meeting. Burns seconds. So it will be on the March 13 agenda.

H1 – $500K for small landlord assistance program

Approved 9-0.

HS3- Rooster for ETHS

Approved 9-0.

Call of the Wards

Kelly … NU/City Committee meeting Thursday, 6:30 p.m., in Room 2750.

Nieuwsma … 4th Ward Tuesday, 7p.m., March 7, at Robert Crown.

Reid … ward meeting last Thursday of March 6 p.m. — with Maria Haddan 49th Ward — to discuss Howard Street development.

Meeting adjourned at 9:38 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


    1. Why? Should we close the people beaches also, how about the parks, playgrounds? Maybe we should obtain money from Northwestern, so that the city’s budget isn’t so tight.

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