After over a year of public debate, the Plan Commission approved rezoning a slice of land running through Evanston’s west side Wednesday.
The vote came despite heckling from a small group of neighborhood residents who claimed their voices had not been heard in the planning process, even though some of them have attended and spoken at hearings from the beginning.
The zoning proposals are designed to implement a master plan for the area adopted by the City Council in May 2007 after a previous round of public hearings.
They now go to the City Council’s Planning and Development Committee for further review before final adoption by the full City Council.
"This is embarrassing," Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, said, speaking to neighbors outside the meeting room after the vote. "There was no sell-out here. The community came up with this plan," she said.
Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste, 2nd Ward, told the neighbors that a flier distributed by opponents before the meeting saying the plan would zone residents out of Evanston was totally false.
The rezoning affects industrial and commercial land along the former Mayfair rail right of way that runs diagonally from Simpson Street and Green Bay Road to Greenwood Street just west of Dodge Avenue.
It would rezone most of that land to permit townhomes and apartment buildings while permitting some remaining commercial uses in the area to remain and to some extent expand their operations.
West Side Planning (City website)
West side plan coverage (Evanston Now)