Minutes – January 5, 2016

January 5, 2016 ELVN Minutes

In attendance:

Jim Spencer
Michael Zink
Patrick Nagle
Beth Murphy
Aileen Tien
Marty Wallace
Chester Kropidlowski
Tom Rothschild
Mark Lundgren
Jean O’Neill


Patrick Carlson
Bruce Handler
Terie Kata

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.


Jim thanked Murphy’s Bleachers for a great holiday party.  He notes that the ELVN 501(c)(3) status is progressing well.  The handling attorney has been communicating with him about mission statement alterations, especially in its erroneous reference to influencing elected officials’ decisions.  Jim clarifies that ELVN does not influence decisions, but rather that it makes recommendations to elected officials, typically about zoning issues.


Michael asked if everyone received the November meeting minutes.  Tom moved to approve the November meeting minutes.  Marty seconded the motion, which passed by acclamation.

44th Ward

Julie Levar with Ald. Tunney’s office was present to provide the report.  Sugada (spelling?) has moved out of state.  Dan Minoli (spelling?) has been in training for several months as the replacement.

Julie stated that the shared cost program is in place again.  It is cheaper than a private contractor.  The due date to submit requests is January 12 (for work such as cracked sidewalks).

The tenants who hosted the party resulting in a major shootout on Racine are moving out.  There were about 3-4 people living there.

The Chicago Urban League will be hosting another meeting for input on a new Police Superintendent.

No more bags will be permitted in recycling.  The recycling will not be picked up if it includes any bags.

Julie gave a few winter reminders to shovel sidewalks (which can result in fines up to $500 for residences and up to $1,000 for businesses).  Call 311 to get someone ticketed if the sidewalk is not shoveled.

Ald. Tunney is doing the Christmas tree recycling program on January 9.  Jim asks if he needs volunteers because Ald. Tunney typically does it by himself.  Julie said that so far there is no need for volunteers.

The next CAPS meeting for Districts 19, 24, and 25 will be at this station on February 3.

A TBOX survey will be coming out in the next few weeks regarding the December event.

Chester says that ELVN wants to provide input in the annual menu program of projects to undertake (such as street resurfacing).  Julie emphasizes that it results in a prioritized list.

Jim says that he received an e-mail from the TBOX organizer asking if ELVN would accept a $300.00 donation. Jim wanted to find out if anyone objected to accepting this donation, as Southport Neighbors rejected such an offer.  The Board communicated unanimous support for accepting the donation.


Heather Way Kitzes is back.  This is only her second day back after maternity leave.

Construction is ongoing.  The Cubs will be in ground for the hotel in early March, so McDonald’s and the Cubs store will be razed in the coming months.  The hotel should be ready by the All-Star break in 2018 and will be 6-7 stories.

There will be another Plaza meeting tomorrow.  The office building will not be finished next year so there will probably be no Plaza use next year.  Security details for next year will be discussed at tomorrow’s Plaza meeting as well.

Chester reminds Heather of the annual Wrigley Field meeting which should be coming in late January or early February.  He wants to highlight the existing ordinance that has some provisions being ignored by the City, and concerns about traffic control during games.  Chester notes that we need to revisit some antiquated restrictions in the ordinance.

Heather says that the Green Lot permits are good through Opening Day, even though they indicate a 2015 expiration date.  In response to an inquiry by Jim, Heather says that about 150-175 park in the Green Lot daily, so it is nearly full every day.

Heather mentions that the remote lot was very successful this year.

Marty asks why many buses are allowed to be left running during games.  Heather says by law and by the posted signs no idling should be allowed, and that sometimes the police ticket those buses.

Tom mentions that the CTA turnaround next to the 7-11 store often has multiple CTA buses idling for long periods as well.


Ald. Cappleman was present to provide the report.

In 2016 there will be the most development in the ward in decades.  TOD’s spurred much development throughout the city and the 46th Ward will now be developing more TOD’s.

Chester asked Ald. Cappleman to do an overview of the proposed menu of projects and how ELVN can have input going forward.  Ald. Cappleman says that each ward gets $1.32 million to spend on projects.  Formerly he had residents vote on projects, but found that there was low involvement and many people were left out as a result.  He goes through every area proposed to look at it and uses the information he learns to put together a plan.

There were a few prior glitches, such as the Pine Grove speed bumps being far too high for example, so he requested CDOT to lower them.   They were placed there due to residents complaining about speeding cars, but certainly residents did not foresee the improper speed bumps that were placed.

Another such project may be re-striping part of Lake Shore Drive and on Addison.

Clarendon and Broadway will have a development with good retail, so CDOT suggested making Clarendon travel one way north.  The City will be replacing a water main on Broadway in 2016, so Broadway will be very torn up.

On Irving Park from Sheridan to Lake Shore Drive the City forgot to repaint light poles despite the 46th Ward paying for it in their project selection from the menu.

There has been an increase in shootings in Uptown so 5 more camera pods will be placed in high crime activity areas.

The Alderman encouraged people to sign up for the newsletter on his web page.

Jim asks if there is a deadline for input on the menu.  Ald. Cappleman says that the City Council is now putting a plan together, and we will be asked to have a list done by June 30, but ELVN will try to get one done by March or April.

Jim asks about the 3900 Broadway gas station property.  Ald. Cappleman says that he has been given many proposals and that all fell through.  The latest would require an upzone about the height of the proposed development.  In response to a question from Aileen, the Alderman says that one prior Penny Pritzker proposed 10-story development was turned away by Department of Planning and Development due to its excessive height.  The general guideline used by the Department is that any development cannot exceed the height of the Chateau Hotel.  Some developers argue that they need a certain height in order to make any project profitable.

Chester asks about a blue bag update.  The Alderman states that rebates will end for larger buildings.  Chester stressed the importance that aldermen blast information about blue bag changes.

Ald. Cappleman says that he is pushing to have people only pay for garbage they use, as opposed to forcing everyone to pay a regressive one-size-fits-all sum.  Tom says that a few multi-unit buildings nearby have told him that they are grandfathered from the upcoming changes.  Ald. Cappleman says that he will look into it but that it is possible that they are correct.

Patrick asks if Gill Park will be finished soon.  The Alderman and several board members state that the project is still waiting for funding.

New Business

Vicky Smith from the Charbella Hair Salon spoke.  Charbella was at the Chateau site and Vicky has had businesses in the neighborhood since 1983.  She has had to move several times in recent years due to re-developments in the buildings in which her business was located, and now wants to do business in the Windy City Gyros mall.  She recently applied to renew her license and was denied by the Department of Zoning because of Terrell’s barber shop nearby.  She asked ELVN to support having a license granted under zoning.  Ald. Cappleman says that the City ordinance provides that personal care businesses cannot be built within certain feet away from each other.  However, Vicky’s business is weaving, braiding, and haircuts, which is about the only overlap with the nearby barber shop.  Ald. Cappleman’s office has not spoken to the barber shop but has had no complaints about her business ever.  Mark asks what business was there before her requested occupancy.  Vicky states that it was a laundromat with 1450 square feet.

Dave Gassman spoke about the 927-929 Irving Park lot.  He is asking for a zoning change.  It is currently B-2-2 and he wants it re-zoned to B-2-3.  He wants to build rentals with 14 parking spots as required by the TOD, because it is within 1,320 feet of the el.  The height would be up to 59 feet and the overall lot is 8500 square feet, but with the TOD and B-2-3 designations it would become 30,000 square feet.  There would be 28 units and he would try to keep it at 5 stories.  The first floor would have no commercial space.  Some of the parking would be below ground, with half facing the front and half facing the back.  Next door residents present at the meeting ask about the lot line.  David responds that the lot line will be set back 8 feet from Irving Park.  He also says that, if approved for zoning, it will cost less than $10 million to develop, so the proposal would only have to go before ELVN for approval.  It would be a 70×122 lot with a rear yard setback of 21 feet.

Jim sent out the tentative 2016 ELVN meeting schedule.  He has made the formal request for these dates from the Police Station, which are all the first Tuesday of every month.  They have all been approved by the station.  Invariably some meetings are relocated, so continue to watch your e-mails for location changes.

Jim also says that the administrators at Greeley were very appreciative of our donation at the holiday party.  The school will purchase band instruments with the money and would like to perform for ELVN perhaps at the March meeting at which elections will occur.

Closed Session:

Board seat nominations need to be made at the February meeting.  The election in March will be for members whose terms are expiring.  There will be 13 total board members, as we need an odd number.

A vote was taken on Vicky’s request and the board supported the request unanimously.

For the Gassman request, a number of board members commented that the proposed development would be a vast improvement of the current property at that location.  A vote was taken on David’s zoning request and the board supported the request unanimously.

The meeting adjourned at 8:22 p.m.