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Recap: Evanston City Council

Here's a recap of our live coverage of this evening's Evanston City Council meeting at which aldermen will discuss permitting tiny homes and get an update on the city's racial

Here’s a recap of our live coverage of this evening’s Evanston City Council meeting.

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

A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items is available online.

A plan to permit tiny homes in Evanston is on the agenda along with an update on the city’s racial equity efforts.

Meeting called to order at 6:08 p.m.

Mayor praises snow removal team at the city. Says have done a terrific job .. given the 18 inches of snow.

Issues proclamation regarding half million COVID-19 deaths in U.S.A. March 1 to be COVID-19 Memorial Day nationally.

Mary O’Connell, local organizer of the observance, explains the plans for the event. Will be in atriums at St. Francis and Evanston Hospital. #FloralHeartProject Instagram hashtag.

Hagerty announces death of Kate Mahoney, former executive director of Peer Services.

Says will be having COVID vaccination sessions on Wednesday and Thursday this week for persons 71 and older. Says biggest issue is shortage of supply.

City Manager Erika Storlie thanks residents and staff for the cooperative effort handling the snow storms.

City Clerk Devon Reid notes primary election day tomorrow … races for mayor, clerk, and 4th and 8th Ward aldermen will be on the ballot.

Says just under 2,000 people have participated in early voting. Based on past elections early voting amounts to about 25% to 30% of total.

More voter info at county clerk’s office.

Public Comment

Starts at 6:37 p.m. Ends at 6:59 p.m.

SP1 – 2404 Ridge — appeal of Preservation Commission denial of certificate of economic hardship
Rainey moves to accept the appeal. Fleming seconds.
Community Development Director Johanna Nyden says project has a 20 year history. Says owner has rented the property over the years. Only recently was the barn allowed to be rented as an accessory dwelling unit.

Cade Sterling, planner in Community Development Department, says owner is claiming a financial burden, but economic hardship requires complete removal of value of property.

Rainey says there doesn’t seem to be any interest in discussing this, though it seems like a very interesting issue.

Motion fails 0-9. (Decision is to NOT accept the appeal. So Preservation Commission ruling stands.

SP2 – Racial Equity Update
(To accept and place on file.)
Deputy City Manager Kimberly Richardson reviews a presentation (which is not yet available on the city website).
Says racial equity is not race exclusive, but centering race improves outcomes for all.

Mayor says announcement of Northwestern’s racial equity fund projects will be coming next week.

Wynne says training city staff is a big job but it needs to be done. Also need to involve members of boards and commissions. Need funding and political will to carry it out.

Fleming suggests rephrasing goal — says centering race does help everybody else.

Rue Simmons thanks Richardson and the commission for their work.

Vote to accept the report and place it on file is unanimous.

SP3 – Climate Action and Resilience Plan implementation update

Kumar Jensen, sustainability and resilience officer, makes presentation (which also is not yet available on he city’s website).

Suggests focusing on building decarbonization — it reduces ongoing costs and generates local economic activity and jobs — and account for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions in the city.

Says Evanston has third highest risk for flooding of prosperities in Illinois communities — 28% of housing units at risk.

Also calls for developing a comprehensive implementation strategy.

Report is accepted and placed on file.

Consent agenda

Off consent …. A10 (removed by staff, to be brought back in two weeks)
(And P4 is just for introduction tonight, but remains on the consent agenda.)

Consent agenda approved 9-0.

Call of the wards

Fiske… 7p Tuesday, March 2, ward meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 8:24 p.m.

Next Council meeting in two weeks on March 8.

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