A top Northwestern University official has denied reports circulating among local residents that the university is seeking to have its land along the west side of Sheridan Road rezoned.
The university’s senior vice-president for business and finance, Eugene Sunshine, said in an e-mail message this morning that the university “has no intention at the present time to seek zoning changes in the T1 and T2 areas.”
The T1 and T2 transitional zoning areas run along the west side of Sheridan from Emerson Street to Milburn Street. They separate the university-owned property from privately-owned residential parcels further west.
The Northwestern Neighbors citizens group claimed over the weekend that Alderman Edmund Moran, 6th Ward, and City Manager Julia Carroll had met with university officials to discuss rezoning the Sheridan Road property U1 as part of a deal in which the university would sell to the city a parking lot in Research Park, now the site of the Farmers Market, as a new location for the Civic Center.
Rezoning the property U1 would let the university construct classroom and dormitory buildings on the land. The current zoning permits college offices and single-family and two-family housing.
Mr. Sunshine said university and city officials “have many conversations about matters impacting their multiple interests” and he confirmed that some discussions within the past six months have related to the university’s land in Research Park.
But he said none of the conversations about zoning and land use “have gone beyond exchanges of concepts and ideas.”