Evanston aldermen tonight will review plans to renovate the Ryan Field parking lot that reportedly have been substantially reworked in discussions with neighbors over the past few days.

With an online petition campaign against the school’s plans to reconfigure and repave the lot and install new lights drawing, at last count, 375 signatures, neighbors claim to have won agreement on several revisions to the project in meetings with university officials over the past several days.

An email message distributed Sunday by the Central Street Neighbors Association says those changes include reducing the height of light poles and reducing the brightness of the lights.

Also reportedly part of the deal is adding a five- or six-foot tall ornamental fence along the alley that separates the lot from homes to the west and planting high-growing arborvitae along the alley.

And it’s claimed that the university has agreed to pave the alley, which, if true, would relieve the neighbors of the burden imposed on other residents of the city who get their alleys paved of paying half the cost of the paving.

A special use permit for the parking lot project, which has received a positive recommendation from city staff and the Zoning Board of Appeals, is on the agenda for the City Council’s Planning and Development Committee meeting, which is scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m.

The reported last-minute revisions to the project are not reflected in the meeting packet released on Friday.

Related story

NU seeks to expand parking at Ryan Field (2/2/16)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. What NU said before and alderman confirmed last year

    Several years ago NU said they woulld make accessible by pedestrians and bikes the west parking-lot and the alley of one of the side streets—Jenks, Livingston or Chancelor. That would be a big boon to those going to/from NU events or wanting to bike through the area without dealing with street or walks on Central.  Currently the alley and parking lot have a ridge and/or other barriers.

    I hope this improvement is in the plans. 

    1. Pedestrian walkway

      Yes … a pedestrian walkway connecting Livingston Street west of the alley across what's now parking area to the stadium entrance is included in the plans.

      — Bill

      1. Walkway seems off again ?

        Today's notice about the parking lot seems to say even the current [poor] access will be done away with.
        "Eliminating a pedestrian access to the west side of the lot from Livingston Street".

        1. Yup…

          … while there apparently was some dissent about that among the neighbors, it seems the majority wanted to make football fans coming from the west have to walk to Central or Isabella to get to the stadium. It was claimed that doing that would reduce problems, including peeing in the alley on game days.

          So, although the plans in the packet for Monday's meeting included the alley access, the aldermen were told at their meeting that the plans have been changed to eliminate it.

          — Bill

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