Wilmette’s Village Board voted 7-0 Tuesday night to adopt a resolution opposing outdoor concerts at Northwestern University’s Ryan Field.

Village Board President Senta Plunkett said she plans to present the resolution at a Evanston Land Use Commission hearing on the stadium project now scheduled for Aug. 23.

Board President Senta Plunkett called for the vote at the board meeting Tuesday night.

Most of the more than a dozen residents who spoke at the board meeting opposed the plan to hold up to 10 concerts at the stadium.

They complained about traffic and noise — and seemed especially concerned that the planned concert stage would be at the south end of the stadium — with speakers projecting sound to the north, toward their homes in Wilmette.

Charles Hutchinson.

But a few speakers favored the project.

Charles Hutchinson, president of the Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce said the concerts would bring more business to Wilmette.

He said the village should be open to the project — just as it has been open in recent years to building large, multi-family apartment buildings downtown and to the redevelopment of the Edens Plaza and Plaza Del Lago shopping centers.

Since all of the stadium site is located in Evanston, Wilmette has no jurisdiction over its zoning, but one opponent, attorney Steve Harper, suggested the village might ultimately have to file suit against the project.

“No one except a litigator likes litigation,” Harper said, “But sometimes its the only way,” he suggested, to get a satisfactory resolution.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Wilmette has no jurisdiction over the plan. Who cares what a non binding NIMBY resolution has to say?

    1. Wilmette may not have jurisdiction over approval, but they have every right to sue for impact to property values as well as violations of state noise ordinances. They could hold up the whole project in court for years. In publically available emails from Wilmette to Evanston, Wilmette has made suggestions on how to support a stadium development while protecting the quality of life of both Evanston and Wilmette residents that are paid for heavily in property taxes, unlike NU. Good on Wilmette for standing up to NU’s bully tactics and Evanston’s lack of spine to negotiate a proper Community Benefits Agreement to ensure Evanston residents benefit as much as possible and the “promises” that NU makes are actually solidified and legally binding.

  2. That’s exactly right, but Wilmette can sue. The discovery process would bring out what a terrible job NU has done in drawing up their plan (if you could call it that) with respect to traffic, noise and environmental impact.

    With luck, this boondoggle will never make it out of the Evanston Land Use Commission anyway.

    1. What do you mean by that comment Kelly? Are you referring to the racial makeup of the people at the meeting in Wilmette? Can you tell us more?

  3. Unfortunately for NU the location of the arena is not ideal. It is surrounded by housing and near a hospital. The business it would bring does not out-weigh the inconvenient fact that it would be so disruptive to the surrounding community that it would be intolerable to the entire community. These venues and performances are extremely LOUD and there is no argument good enough to counter this fact. Don’t approve it.

    1. Where are you Mayor Biss? Still weighing the calculus of the votes you will lose further north versus the monies that will fill your election coffers if you vote for the zoning change? Time to show us where you stand.

  4. “It’s Hard to Be a Hero”

    My opinion of the W’s just took a dip…

    These crowds will be so much less than you worry about

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