Here’s a recap of our live coverage of tonight’s Evanston City Council and Town Board meeting.

Mayor announces ground rules for citizen comment. One speaker.

Town budget ordinance approved 6-2. Trustees Rainey and Burrus vote no.

Township meeting adjourned.

7:51 p.m. – City Council meeting called to order.

Mayor says redundant comments on Kendall matter will be ruled out of order at this or any future council meeting. Says that ruling complies wtih U.S. Supreme Court rulings and state law.

7:53 p.m. — City manager notes successful completion of Greenleaf CTA bridge installation.

Heath Director announce upcoming health summit June 27 at the Levy Center.

City manager notes that all four Evanston farmers markets are now open.

And Starlight concert series starts this week.

7:58 p.m. – Citizen Comment

Padma Rao repeats her critique of the Kendall trees situation.

Mayor turns off her mike.

Rao keeps talking.

Three aldermen leave the podium.

After several minutes, Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, moves for a five-minute recess. Most of the rest of aldermen leave the podium.

8:12: p.m. — Meeting resumes.

BK Rao starts talking about Kendall trees. Mayor rules her out of order. She keeps talking.

Claims she was attacked by Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward. Rainey says she was just walking to the bathroom. 

8:16 p.m. — Consent agenda

Tonight’s agenda items can be found online here.

Off consent agenda:

A6 – Authorizing the acquisition of 1801-05 Church.

A7 – Amending city budget to increase spending by $8.7 million.

A12 – Designation of the proposed Chicago-Main Tax Increment Financing District.

A18,A19,A20 – Dempster-Dodge tax increment finance district.

P2 – Amending city code provisions regarding bed and breakfast establishments.

P3 – Amending portions of the zoning ordinance related to home occupations.

O3 – Technology Innovation Center 2012 funding request.

Consent agenda approved.

A6 – Authorizing the acquisition of 1801-05 Church.

Burrus objects says city shouldn’t be spending money on a property with such serious environmental issues.

Approved 7-1.

A7 – Amending city budget to increase spending by $8.7 million.

Burrus notes that increase changed in committee to $8.4 million. Approved 8-0.

A12 – Designation of the proposed Chicago-Main Tax Increment Financing District.

Alderman Wynne says she requested that the item be removed from the agenda. Says merchants and other stakeholders would like to change the map boundaries. Says staff has concluded that best solution is to start over to come up with new boundaries.

Aldermen vote, as requested, to remove it from the agenda.

A18,A19,A20 – Dempster-Dodge tax increment finance district.

Burrus says she doesn’t believe this plan is appropriate and says believes it may not meet the state requirements.

Tendam says he now has concerns about the proposal as well. Concerned about having only one owner and one parcel in the TIF.

Holmes suggests tabling the proposal until issues can be clarified. Says she’s concerned about the parking restrictions imposed by Dominicks. Says need activity there that would draw families and want assurance from Dominicks that they won’t block such development.

Mayor says she’d rather go into that meeting knowing we have a TIF.

Braithwaite says regardless of whether Dominicks agrees, still have to move forward with that area. Says having a TIF in place would give city more leverage to deal with those issues.

Based on consultant’s report, he says, it does meet state requirements. Says has full support of other tax entities affected.

City TIF consultant, Bob Rychlicki of Kane McKenna, says proposal does meet state standards.

Burrus says she doesn’t believe it does. … especially for a single-owner parcel already redeveloped.

Rychlicki says there there are about two dozen TIFs that his firm has worked on that are either one or two parcel sites with a single owner.

Economic Development Manager Nancy Radzevich says the list of similar projects was provided in the packet on p. 329.

Burrus says those weren’t already developed sites.

Rychlicki offers a handful of examples in Arlington Heights and other communities.

Burrus says she still doesn’t believe those projects are equivalent to the one being considered here.

Burrus says she’s concerned about city having to borrow money to fund the improvements.

Rychlicki says hasn’t been asked about bonding. Have been looking at pay-as-you-go proposals so far. Says on other projects Evanston has issued bonds in the past, and they have been repaid. Have not had the bonding idea come up yet for this project.

Wilson says this plan isn’t a plan — doesn’t say what it’s going to look like at the end. Says doesn’t have a sense of what the upfront financial commitment will be. Says he wants to see a pretty good idea of what the city is going to spend on what. Says doesn’t look concrete. Can’t support it without a specific plan.

Braihwaite asks about west side plan, is told development of it was started in 2002 and finally approved in 2007.

Braithwaite says council will still need to separately vote to approve any spending for the TIF.

Wynne says Howard-Ridge TIF approved in 2004 didn’t have a specific plan either. Didn’t describe the building at 415 Howard that ended up being a major project in the TIF. Says city negotiated very carefully about that. Says TIFs are frameworks that can be used for development Says they aren’t approved willy-nilly.

Says the research park TIF, approved in 1984, ended up being radically changed to get the movie theater that’s been a huge part of its success.

Says she’s supporting the new TIF.

Rainey says this is exactly the kind of project that will benefit from the TIF. Says the list of similar projects is loaded with older shopping centers or old KMart  stores — says this is not unusual at all.

Says that but-for the TIFs wouldn’t have the 415 Howard building, the theater development, the Sherman Plaza development and others.

Says but for the TIF, the shopping center is going to continue to decline. Says Dominicks needs to be beaten into submission on the issue. Domnicks has a sales tax rebate agreement — but hasn’t met the sales threshold to get the rebates.

Says it would be an absolute crime if the TIF isn’t approved.

Fiske says she has absolute faith that the TIF will work at Dempster and Dodge and is convinced it will wilt and die if the TIF isn’t approved.

Burrus objects to committing almost $1 million a year for 23 years to this one development.

Says she’s seen Dominicks market share is declining. Concerned about creating dependency on them.

Holmes says she’s strongly supports the TIF but would like to see everybody on the same page and have a large majority on the council behind it. Says would rather wait.

Mayor says she’d rather have the TIF approved before talk to Dominicks.

Rainey says, speaking of bowling alleys, you could roll a bowling ball through the parking lot and not hit anything.

Burrus moves to table. Wilson seconds. Rainey suggests makingit a four-week delay. City manager asks for a moment to confer with staff.

9:15 p.m.

Mayor calls vote on motion to table … which carries 5-3. Braithwaite, Fiske and Wynne vote on the losing side. 

P1 – Special use permit for Type II restaurant — Blues — at 1806 Church.

Given immediate effect on 7-0 vote.

P2 – Amending city code provisions regarding bed and breakfast establishments.

Amendments in committee to increase separation requirement from 500 to 750 feet … to have as many parking spaces as bedrooms … and not allowing two-flat buildings as B&Bs.

Rainey says she’s opposed to increasing the distance requirement.

Burrus suggest 250 … but says she can accept 500. Says doesn’t understand the concerns about that.

Wynne moves that the issue be held for the next meeting. She gets a second. So the matter is held.

P3 – Amending portions of the zoning ordinance related to home occupations

Rainey says she’s got some great landscapers in her ward, doesn’t want to see them barred.

Says doesn’t think should be able to be an “occupation” at a home unless there’s somebody living there.

Says should apply some standards — so that if not a problem in the neighbohrood — they could still be permitted. Think it’s totally unfair to say to somebody–we know you have a good business, your neibhors love you– but you’re on the list so we can’t allow that.

Moves to hold the ordinance. Doesn’t get a second.

Ordinance passes 7-1.

O3 – Technology Innovation Center 2012 funding request.

Tendam introduces.

Burrus objects to giving money to TIC. Says an incubator is a great idea, but hasn’t seen a return on the city’s investment. Says isn’t graduating businesses into other locations in Evanston.

Rainey says back in the day the city and NU supported the TIC. Says doesn’t think there are other organizatrions where the city is the only funder. Asks what’s been done to communicate with the university to get funding from NU? Says it’s a typical source for a university to fund. Other schools all fund technology incubators.

Mayor says she’s raised the issue with NU twice and will raise it again.

Rainey says thinks this is the last time she’ll be voting to fund this until gets additional funding sources.

Chuck Happ of the TIC says city and university had both provided funding until about 2004 — total of $75K between the two. But then for four years he supported it on its own. Says there are other funders of the TIC now.

Approved 7-1 Burrus votes no.

9:37 p.m. — Call of the Wards

Wynne … new viaduct looks dramatic. Thanks to people who’ve been so patient during the process. Says she’s looking forward to the next two. Says Metra viadcuts are next front of attack for renewal.

Wilson … it’s bike to work week.

Tendam … thanks to utilities staff for repairs to series of water main breaks last week on Central Street. Notes the main will be replaced later this summer.

Rainey … great meeting about Howard-Hartrey TIF infrastructure improvements. Says bakery at 607 Howard will open on Friday. Cleaners next door is already open. Wine bar operators moved in today. Construction in the bar is about to start.

Burrus … schools out…motorists be careful.

Fiske … saw bicyclists downtown shopping at red lights. Impressed. Asks P&D to consider replacing fountain at fountain square as part of Evanston 150. Says it would improve downtown and be consistent with economic development goals.

Braithwaite … June 14 2nd ward meeting, 1500 McDaniel.

Council votes to go into executive session.

End of public meeting. 9:46 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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