Here’s a recap of our live coverage of tonight’s Evanston City Council Planning and Development Committee meeting.

Meeting called to order at 7:34 p.m.

Minutes approved with minor change.

Details on agenda items available online.

Note that several items have been removed from tonight’s agenda and postponed until the next committee meeting on March 18.

Landmarks ordinance case — city to join amicus curiae brief defending Chicago’s landmark ordinance in legal case.

Planning Division head Dennis Marino says Evanston’s ordinance shares some similarities with Chicago’s and could be endangered if the Chicago ordinance were to be overturned.

Boxing studio at 739 Main St. Two residents object to noise from another fitness business in the neighborhood. Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says Zoning Board of Appeals imposed rules barring amplified noise from the new business, says that satisfied much of his concern.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says she has big reservations about the proposal because of the noise issue, but because Alderman Wilson is comfortable with the proposal, she will support it.


Legal non-conforming residential use amendments. Marino says ordinance now doesn’t have any provision for expansion of non-conforming uses in one-to-four unit buildings.

Says zoning changed after these structures were built. Cites four instances. Says amended rules would still providing provision for hearings.

Says have a lot of instances in the city where have two-flats in what’s now a single-family zoned neighborhood.

Michael Lowe, 1143 Forest, says has lived in Evanston since 1981. Says the two-flats are very important to make Evanston affordable for normal working people — teachers, police, whatever.

Says he owns a building at 2018 Lake St. has a back bedroom that’s only five-feet wide — wants to expand it, but under current zoning can’t do that.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says doesn’t want to leave the decision up to the zoning administrator. Says perhaps should use a “major variation” process instead.

Rainey says she shares Wilson’s concern. Says owners should be able to apply for the change, but the decision shouldn’t be up to the zoning administrator.

Fiske says she agrees with Rainey and Wilson.

Griffin says will work with Law Department to rewrite the ordinance so the requests would end up going to the Zoning Board of Appeals for decision. Revised ordinance will come back to committee on April 1.

NU tennis court sign redesign. Approved.

Meeting adjourned at 8:08 p.m..

City Council to start at 8:15 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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