The Salvation Army’s plan to purchase the Gordon Food Service Store on Oakton Street for use as a resale shop will get a second airing before Evanston’s Design and Project Review Committee Tuesday.

After the plans came under fire at the first meeting Jan. 25 from city staff concerned about littering, Salvation Army officials have come up with a proposal to respond that issue.

In a memo to the city, the group’s officials say they will have the Donation Center staffed seven days per week — from an hour before opening to an hour after closing on the six days the center is open, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays, when it’s closed.

They also say they’ll have signs and cameras and motion-activated security lights to discourage dumping.

And they’ll consider blocking access to the Donation Center area after hours — perhaps by placing a gate across the only driveway into the center.

The driveway into the Gordon Food Service parking lot. (Google Maps image)

The memo says that with such deterrents, “dumping after hours will be virtually non-existent.”

During the Jan. 25 meeting, Community Development Director Johanna Nyden said the Army’s previous resale shop on Chicago Avenue at Kedzie Street “was a disaster.”

People would come at night and drop stuff off. Other people would come by and pick through the goods, and “you’d see stuff strewn as far away as the Main Street train station” two blocks away, Nyden said.

After DAPR makes its recommendation, the special use request for the resale store will also face review by the Land Use Commission and a final vote on approval by the City Council.

The planned Evanston store is intended to replace the army’s current resale shop on Oakton Street in Skokie.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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