The Evanston Plan Commission voted Wednesday night to reject plans for Darrow Corners, a 27-unit subsidized rental apartment building on the northwest corner of Church Street and Darrow Avenue.

The commission vote came after neighbors objected that the project would increase vacancies for existing rental housing, that it lacked retail space called for in a recently adopted neighborhood plan, that it had insufficient parking and that it would concentrate low-income residents in a neighborhood that already is one of the poorest in Evanston.

The Housing Opportunity Development Corp. proposal calls for converting the planned four-story building to condominiums after 15 years and giving tenants assistance in purchasing their units. The site now consists of a vacant lot that once housed a gas station plus two century-old homes.

Five Plan Commission members voted against the proposal and two abstained. The plan now goes to the City Council which can approve or reject the project.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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