November 3, 2015 ELVN Meeting Minutes
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.
The present Board members introduced themselves to all in attendance.
Alderman Cappleman was present to provide the report.
The budget negotiations are finally over. He wanted more police along with Ald. Tunney, and received a commitment for 25 new police officers out of the 300 who will be leaving desk jobs. The Council on Fiscal Analysis (COFA) conducted an independent analysis of the budget and indicated that ratification of the proposed budget was appropriate. The Aldermen generally relied upon the COFA analysis and understood also that, if the budget were not ratified, then there would still be an obligation to pay into pensions which would result in major police layoffs and biweekly garbage pickup, for instance.
He is still looking at home exemptions to the property tax, because the property tax increase will be very difficult for homeowners.
For the 3800 Broadway project, David Gassman was present. He indicated that the project is proceeding through the City Council and that demolition will start in June 2016. It will be a 7-story building with commercial space on the bottom and 125 apartment units/129 parking spots. Bruce asked about the fate of the commercial businesses there presently. Mr. Gassman says that they will have to move by June 2016 but that he has been talking to each of them about coming back after the project is complete. Some have decided to open elsewhere and only Starbucks has committed to returning when the project is complete.
Bruce asked about 646-48 W. Grace, which he said looked like an abandoned eyesore. Alderman Cappleman said that he would look into it.
Marty asked the Alderman about any proposals for the former Mobil gas station. The Alderman stated that the Department of Planning rejected a proposed 9-story building, as it will not allow any structure taller than the former Chateau Hotel across the street. The Alderman stated that another proposal would have kept the zoning as it currently stands and created a bank drive-through, but that proposal was withdrawn. The Alderman also stated that there may be a buyer interested in purchasing 2 adjacent parcels involving that property, but no such deals have been proposed yet.
Bennett Lawson, Ald. Tunney’s Chief of Staff, was present to give the report. The Alderman has hired a new director of communications. Her name is Julie and she has a media and communication background in the not-for-profit sector.
The Budget was a tough vote for Ald. Tunney. He obtained a multi-million dollar project for Lakeview High School in the budget.
Chester asks when the Wrigley Field annual meeting will take place. Bennett says that it will likely occur near the beginning of the season.
Mike Lufrano was present to give the report. Heather had her baby, a girl named Lily. Heather will be back after the 1st of the year.
Beth stated that the Cubs’ sod giveaway was causing traffic jams on Sheffield Avenue for its 3-day duration. Mike stated that it was a goodwill gesture and that the Cubs will improve its execution next year if there is another such giveaway.
Phase 2 Construction is underway. On Addison, until approximately Opening Day part of the westbound lane will be closed where the sidewalk narrows, so that workers can access that side of Wrigley Field. Waveland Avenue will be closed from Seminary to Sheffield until approximately Opening Day. From Clifton to Clark, there is about 6 weeks of work to do at Clark & Waveland, which will also require the closure of southbound traffic on Clark from Grace to Waveland Avenue for those 6 weeks. During those weeks, residents especially on Clifton are being notified on their doors to use the Green Lot for those 6 weeks. There will be emergency access for fire and police on Waveland Avenue. These traffic disruptions were the best that the Cubs could do after exploring many options. All sidewalks will be open during these times except for the one along the southern part of Wrigley Field.
A resident named Mike asks about the triangle property. Mike Lufrano states that the steel for the office building will be done by the second week of November. Mike L. states that he has seen the area in which the clubhouse will be. The first floor will be retail and restaurants. It will be a 6-story building and the eventually built hotel will have the parking for the employees. The Cubs will break ground on the hotel in mid-2016, but they want to complete the Plaza work first. There will not be much work done on the center field bleachers this offseason.
Chester says that the traffic plan for the playoffs was poorly designed and executed. Chester will provide a detailed report with recommendations shortly. He also notes that some parking restrictions were overboard. Beth says that during the clinching game in the NLDS there were not enough police/workers. Bennett says that Ald. Tunney’s office has received comments about parking excesses as well. Bennett says that some internal parts of the Park on Clark are being redesigned and that those will be completed by the second week of November. He says that underground utility problems caused prior delays. In response to a question from Michael Z., Bennett says that there is no set date for any work to commence on the Park on Clark.
Proposal to Upzone 1023 W Irving Park Rd.
A Developer named Bogdan wishes to build a 5-unit condominium building with 5 parking spaces. The change in zoning is required because the project needs higher ceilings, which are currently only 8.5 feet. He wants to change the zoning to B-2-3 to accomplish this. His attorney Mark Kupiec was present as well. The size of the lot is 33’x143′ currently and it is next door to Byron’s. A B-1-3 zoning requires commercial space, whereas a B-2-3 zoning allows for noncommercial space.
Terie asks why it needs to be rezoned as opposed to requesting an exception. Bogdan responded that there was no better or faster way to do it. it is currently zoned as R-5 and is a 2-flat. It would become a 4-story building with a duplex down and a simplex, so there would be 2 units on the 1st floor. The units will be listed at approximately $650,000.00 and in response to a question from Michael Z. stated that each unit will have approximately 2,000 square feet, although there may be flexibility to that number. They will be 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom units. Ald. Cappleman says that the 46th Ward is unique in having many one-bedroom units, so he welcomes larger units such as these.
Annual Charitable Donations from Oktoberfest Funds
Jim says that we would like them distributed before the Christmas party on December 10. Terie asks for ideas which will be discussed in closed session. In the past the funds have supported 2 elementary schools, House of Good Shepherd, Lakeview Food Pantry, Officer Appreciation Day, the migratory bird sanctuary, the firehouse, the neighborhood sculpture program, Kelly Park, and others. Jim asks the Alderman’s offices if they have ideas. Bruce also mentions the Oracle Theater, which is a not-for-profit run by donations. Ald. Cappleman says that Greeley is raising $35,000 for net fencing.
Sue Enright from Lakeview Food Pantry was present. On December 4 at 7:00 at Murphy’s there will be a toy drive, with a Kelly’s Angels super raffle to sell 200 tickets at $100 each, and the winner to split the winnings with Kelly’s Angels. Bring a can of food to donate to get in the door. There will be a band and homemade pasta, and the donated toys will be distributed to clients of the Pantry. Construction has progressed well, and the Pantry will officially move in to the new location in April 2016.
Chester says that the parks committee is interested in working with us.
Dave Gassman says that he owns the 927 Irving Park building and it will be demolished in a few days. He asks what we want to see there. His instinct is to make it residential. People can contact him with ideas. It will probably be rezoned as a B-2-3 rezone from B-2-2 and will have parking. It can possibly be commercial, but certainly with apartments above, and would probably be 5 stories at 50-60 feet in height.
Chester said that at the last CAPS meeting he mentioned the trucks on Lake Shore Drive. He suggested that we promote CAPS meetings regularly based on increased crime in the area.
A vote was taken and expressed unanimous approval for the requested rezone next to Byron’s, with the caveat that only condominiums exist there as presented at the meeting by the developer.
The charities to be supported with Oktoberfest funds will receive them at the Holiday Party.
The final list of organizations and donation amounts were determined.
ELVN Christmas party will likely be December 10 at 7:00 at Murphy’s.
Jim states that we need a Nominating Committee for elections in the first quarter of 2016. We need 2 people to collect names/run election/publish names. Aileen, Bruce, and Chester will be on the committee.
Bylaws: Typographical change corrections were made.
The meeting adjourned at 8:49 p.m.