October 6, 2015 ELVN Meeting Minutes
Jim called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
No report/no representative present.
Jim reported that Bennett Lawson had a conflict and could not attend. He learned that the Alderman has hired a replacement for Erin Duffy.
Heather Way Kitzes reported that there is little to update as to construction. The crane will hopefully be gone in a few weeks. If the Cubs beat Pittsburgh tomorrow night, the times of the home playoff games against the Cardinals are yet to be determined but will be at unusual late afternoon times set by Major League Baseball.
October 16 is Heather’s last day on the job before her maternity leave. Mike Lufrano and/or Jennifer Roditis will attend in her place until she returns.
Jim asked for any motions pertaining to the minutes of the September meeting. Patrick moved to approve them, Mark seconded the motion, and it passed by acclamation.
Alderman Cappleman was present to give the report. Notices were sent pertaining to of David Gasman’s development. It added an additional floor for a deck area. The Alderman noted that it is not the same as what was approved previously by ELVN. The Alderman indicated that he has no preference between ELVN taking time to reexamine it again or approving it again with the change. The height increased from 7 to 8 stories. Jim says that we can examine the new plan via email if time is of essence. The Alderman says that he will distribute any additional information he receives to ELVN. It will likely be addressed by David Gasman at the ELVN November meeting. Paul concurred.
The Alderman says that budget talks continue. He is a member of the Paul Douglas Alliance with 13 other Alderman and they meet regularly. He is concerned about property tax ramifications, as they will certainly be passed on to tenants. He is also reviewing proposed taxes on small businesses. He acknowledged that there is budget revenue gap to fill. The Alderman noted a proposed financial transaction tax (i.e. Board of Trade) but also noted that such a tax is illegal currently.
He is negotiating with the Mayor’s office and his yes or no vote on a budget indicates whether he received what he wanted in the budget. He received a commitment for more police in the 19th District because of the merger of the 23rd and 19th Districts in 2012. He needs to receive a timeline of when that will occur. The Alderman indicates that he has been adamant for more police in the 19th District.
Terie reminds and the Alderman concurs that there is a bidding process for police to be transferred. Many police officers want to work in the 19th District. However, there is a seniority preference in bidding so police are generally closer to retirement when they begin their duty in our district. Turnover due to retirement thus is a potential problem.
The Alderman says that there are many complications in the budget process. The Paul Douglass Alliance is looking for departments in the city with high employee absentee rates. These departments may be candidates for closure or consolidation if employees are not necessary for them.
The Alderman noted the Loukas development project on Dakin. Terie mentioned that many received the letter from Loukas’ office about it and says that neighbors are very unhappy. She stated that the design is acceptable but the height is still too great. She also stated that the change in zoning is not a good idea.
Jim asked the Alderman if Loukas needs owning variances for the proposed project. The Alderman confirmed that he does, but that his office negotiates about variances based upon the community’s input. The zoning change requested would amend the property from being a neighborhood shopping district to a commercial district. The Alderman and Jim noted that ELVN approved the first design. The Alderman will ask Tressa if Loukas wants ELVN approval/input of the new design. The Alderman reminded everyone that the process includes input from lots of organizations. The Alderman states that setback, height, and floor area ratio are 3 factors considered in approving variances.
Parking for this development is 50% of the number of units. Terie states that Zone 383 temporary window permits are being sold illegally to non-residents already and that this project will exacerbate the problem. Beth states that residents of Transit Oriented Development (“TOD”) such as this one should not be allowed to get permits. She states that one of the objectives of of TOD’s is to reduce usage of cars in the area. The Alderman says that no annual parking stickers will be sold to TOD residents, but that there is no such restriction on guest passes.
Terie says that increasing the number of rentals with this project will make parking worse. The Alderman reminds that the city allows people to purchase up to 30 temporary passes per month.
Patrick confirmed an April 15, 2014 letter from ELVN approving the original Loukas project on Dakin with a majority vote on the building and zoning change request. The Alderman says that his office has received some complaints about the change from a glass structure and concerns about parking.
The Alderman says that there has been some interest in the 3901 Broadway gas station site. One proposal would keep it as it is currently zoned (as a gas station), which he would fight. Some requests have been to re-zone it to retail.
He states that the Chateau Hotel owner is not in a hurry. Michael asked the Alderman what tenants are expected in the bottom of the complex. The Alderman stated that one wants a restaurant and maybe a convenience store. He stated that units are being rented very quickly, including some being rented sight unseen. Jim says that the liquor store across the street may be interested in going into Chateau.
Terie asks the Alderman about the former Tropico restaurant location and the Ace Hardware block re-zoning in light of the TOD project. Paul reminds that such re-zoning is the very essence of TOD projects, as it is meant to include expansion near train stops and has been shown in other cities to have very positive economic effects. The Alderman says that when the TOD in the Buena Park area occurred, retail was expanded significantly. He also says that he recently spoke to the owner of the former Tropico. He indicated that it took 2 years to get title transferred to him, but that he is looking to do something to it. The building has to be demolished. The Alderman also confirmed that TOD’s may be effectuated with no community input. It is possible that there will be retail at the former Tropico space.
In response to an inquiry by Terie, the Alderman does not know about any proposed development at the Chase building on Irving and Sheridan.
CAPS: Chester says that he will email an article about crime issues. He also mentioned the issue of prohibited trucks being present on Lake Shore Drive to them.
Wrigley Renovations Committee on LVCC
Terie states that the committee received little support from the City, CPD, Ald. Tunney’s office, and the Cubs. She says that things will not improve until construction phases are concluded. She stated that LVCC was not supportive of the committee in terms of noting any problems that would arise. She stated that the noise from the jumbotron still is a problem for nearby blocks as well as for multiple surrounding blocks. She states that our community is not being acknowledged, that the proposed survey was shut down, and that a press release was attacked
She stated that going forward she may hold conference calls instead of meetings of community groups. Chester adds that the Transportation Committee at LVCC will make reports to recommend changes which seem to be effective.
CDDC dealt with the Rosecranz substance abuse center requesting a special use permit at Waveland and Southport and in West Lakeview. The Cubs also gave some ideas at that meeting and will be making more presentations in future.
Paul said that David Gasman called him and wants to meet with ELVN about the 927 West Irving building that he just bought.
Mark volunteered to draft language for a letter about the prohibited trucks on Lake Shore Drive with Chester. Chester says that some areas allow trucks but this stretch is not one of them. Jim notes that signs on Lake Shore Drive about such prohibitions are sparse.
Chester says that he wanted to have a Gill Park meeting by the end of October, but is disappointed that it will not occur. He will continue to follow up.
Oktoberfest: Beth says that there were no outright contributions similar to last year. Chester says that Halsted Flats promised $1,000. Beth says that a preliminary accounting seems to show a net of $16,000-$17,000. More than 400 tickets were sold. Jim notes that Murphy’s is the biggest benefactor by far for this event and thanked Beth for all of the work by her and her staff.
Jim stated that bylaw amendments are necessary. The attorney revised them and they are 17 pages. Much is required by the Secretary of State for licensing and for 501(c)(3) status. He wants a committee to review it. Terie reminds that a quorum is of the Board, not of membership as the old bylaws stated. People will send their comments to the Listserv and the committee will incorporate them.
Jim adjourned the meeting at 8:09 p.m.