Here’s a recap of our live coverage of Monday night’s meeting of the Evanston City Council Planning and Development Committee.
The meeting was originally scheduled to start at 6 p.m. But because the Administration and Public Works Committee meeting ran long, P&D is now scheduled to start at 6:40 p.m.
A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items is available online.
Meeting called to order at 6:45 p.m. Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) chairs.
Tina Paden says black people were pushed out of her neighborhood.
Carlis Sutton says his neighbors are no longer here.
Items for consideration
P1 – Plat of resubdivision for 1214 Maple
P2 – 1026 Davis special use for Beacon Academy
School looking to expand to provide an art room and art gallery in 4,200 square feet in the building — two classrooms and some lobby space. Students and staff would walk back and forth from the main campus in the Rotary Building on Sherman Avenue.
Issue has arisen about city ban on liquor sales near a school — since Evanston Liquors, across the street, sells cigarettes.
Motion is to table until the next meeting (to work out the cigarette issue).
Motion to table is approved.
D1 – Anti-displacement/gentrification efforts
Burns says working group’s goal is to renegotiating affordability for units with expiring affordability provisions, changes to zoning code to make housing more affordable, also looking at accessory dwelling units. Says expects a formal presentation at a future committee meeting.
No action tonight.
D2 – Moratorium on private tree removal
Wendy Pollack, of Environmental Board, says we all benefit from the urban forest and we all share responsibility for it.
Says Cambridge, Massachusetts has a very fresh approach — says it includes accommodations for some of the issues staff has raised in its comments.
Says should be a stronger tree ordinance than the city has now.
Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) says we’re 90% of the way to having a long term tree preservation ordinance in place. Says rather than have a moratorium now, should devote the energy to “get the ball over the goal line” for the long term ordinance — come back to council later this year with an ordinance that could have the support of a majority of the council members.
Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th) agrees with Nieuwsma. Says will require additional staff resources — and need to include funds in the next year’s budget for that.
Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd) agrees with Nieuwsma and Revelle. Asks about staffing issues.
Edgar Cano, acting public works director, says forestry workforce is down by 25%. Says it’s a hard job market in which to fill vacancies. Says city is paying comparably to other municipalities.
Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) suggests the Environmental Board should act like the Preservation Commission and have to grant variances to permit tree removals.
Ald. Devon Reid (8th) says he’d be willing to support a moratorium — but also fine with just working on the final ordinance before the end of the year.
Nieuwsma says could come back with a proposal in October.
Community Development Director Johanna Nyden says this will add time to permit reviews — even if additional staff is hired.
No action tonight.
Meeting adjourned at 7:18 p.m.
City Council meeting to start at 7:25 p.m.