Evanston’s Land Use Commission is scheduled to review plans to replace the Unity Church building on Central Street with a Kensington School daycare center Wednesday night.

The plans for the daycare center are essentially unchanged from ones approved by the Design and Project Review Committee in April — except that the proposed building now has a more traditional-looking exterior design.

An aerial view of the design as reviewed by DAPR in April.

The planned 22,416 square foot building at 3434 Central St. would have 34 on-site parking spaces and accommodate about 165 students and 23 staff members.

It’s planned to operate from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

A daycare center is a special uses in the site’s R2 district and will ultimately require approval by the City Council to be built.

The plan to move the parking lot from the west side of the existing church building to the east side of the new structure has been recommended by city staff as the best option for handling traffic flow and minimizing impact on nearby homes.

It creates a full in-and-out access drive onto Gross Point Road plus a right-turn-only exit onto Central Street.

An easement across the current parking lot provides access to the First Williamsburg Co-op development south of the site. That easement is proposed to be reconfigured under the new site design to use the planned Gross Point Road driveway.

The school is seeking several site development allowances for the parking lot configuration and other site layout issues.

A staff memo to the commission says the proposed development meets all standards for special use approval and notes that it will return the land to the property tax rolls.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. How will cars leaving from the parking lot on to 4 lane Gross Pt Rd access northbound and then east bound Central St, where cars turning off Central on to Gross Pt Rd or directly south on Gross Pt Rd are already moving quickly to access Old Orchard Rd and Edens Expressway.? That corner and the short block north of Central and Gross Pt intersects Crawford. It is already difficult to walk north on GPRd to get to Lovelace Park and to the Little Island Cafe. The right turn from GPRd to Central east bound has a short walk signal but cars eager to turn right are often not aware of a pedestrian. The current traffic arrangement to get to the Unity Church parking on a quieter section west of Gross Pt on Central is far safer and relieves congestion. That current parking lot has not presented problems for residents and works well for the First Williamsburg townhouses’ garages south of the church. Hopefully the Design and Project Review Commission will visit the site, especially during rush hours to better understand the problem of moving the parking to the east side with exits directly to Gross Point.

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