The Council’s Zoning Committee will consider an ordinance from Ald. Emma Mitts(37) that would change the zoning code for adult establishments by standardizing the definitions of prohibited entertainment activities, while allowing some venues to serve alcohol.
The ordinance would amend the city’s zoning code by distinguishing between “live-use” and “non-live” use venues. Non-live places, like bookstores and video shops, would be barred from serving alcohol or having employees or patrons show their private parts. Live-use places, like cabarets and strip clubs, would be allowed to serve alcohol and have dancers show of a specified list of body parts, which are listed in the ordinance.
All items on the regular agenda are aldermanic-backed applications, including four from Ald. Matt O’Shea (19) to downzone sections of 111st and Western Avenue to the same zoning: B1-1 Neighborhood Shopping District, which allows for small-scale retail and services uses, in addition to residential dwelling uses located above the ground floor.
Two aldermen, Zoning Chairman Danny Solis (25) and Carrie Austin (34), filed applications to rezone expired planned developments in their wards. Ald. Austin wants to end a planned development (no. 901) in the Victory Heights/West Pullman area. The PD was created in 2004 for the construction of a 85-home community called Renaissance Estates, although Ald. Austin chose not to vote on the application, because, at the time, she was considering buying one of the homes. JTA Development built the suburban-style homes located near Marshfield Plaza.
Solis’ application would end a business planned development (no. 1245) in Pilsen that was created in 2014 for the Redmoon Theater. The theater officially closed its doors in December of 2015. According to the Chicago Tribune, the operator could no longer afford its $30,000 monthly rent, and went over budget for its Great Chicago Fire Festival.
Other Big Ticket Zoning Items (all of which are listed on the deferred agenda and received Plan Commission Approval in March):
Proposed 38-Story Residential High-Rise for West Loop (42nd Ward) Gray Cardiff, from California-based Gray Cardiff & Co., wants to build a 38-story residential high-rise building with 373 dwelling units, 145 parking spaces (41% of dwelling units), and 77 bike spaces at the site of an old train car storage field located between Union Avenue and Green Street. Cardiff received preliminary approval for the zoning change by the Plan Commission in March. Cardiff plans to take advantage of the city’s affordable housing bonus, which allows for a greater floor-area-ratio by paying into the city’s affordable housing trust fund. It’s a move that’s allowed under the affordable housing requirements ordinance, and what Ald. Walter Burnett (27), a member of the Plan Commission, described as taking advantage of a “loophole” in the zoning code. The building would be located near the K2 Apartments and a newly-opened half-acre dog park, which is currently the biggest in the city, according to DNAinfo. Ald. Brendan Reilly and the Neighbors of the West Loop (NOWL) held a community meeting on this project in November. According to the slideshow presentation he provided to residents, a typical residential floor plan would include 13 units per floor: three studios, seven one-bedroom apartments, and two two-bedroom apartments.
Proposed Hotel Near Fulton Market (27th Ward): Jeffrey Shapack, manager of 200 Green Developer, LLC, filed an application with the city to build an 11-story-story plus penthouse hotel with ground floor retail, restaurant and accessory parking on the corner of Green and Lake Streets. The site Shapack wants to develop at 820-850 W. Lake Street is a block north of the Soho House Hotel that he helped develop in partnership with Chicago-based A.J. Capital Partners. According to the Chicago Architecture Blog, the hotel would include between 167 and 171 guest rooms, a fitness center, and a rooftop pool overlooking the city’s downtown.
Irving Park Six-Corners Development (45th Ward): CSD Six Corners, LLC, an entity with close to twenty stakeholders listed on the economic disclosure statement, filed a planned development application to build a retail center for the site of the former Bank of America building in Irving Park’s Six-Corners. The four-story “vertical retail center,” would have retail stores on the first and second floor, and parking on the third and fourth. The applicants include Bixby Bridge Fund II, LLC, managed by David Colburn, and Blackfriars Corporation, owned by Keith Colburn, Richard Colburn, and Carol Grigor. Collins Family Limited Partnership is also listed as a stakeholder. The center will contain about 196,000-square-feet of retail and 473 parking spaces. At the March Plan Commission meeting, it was mentioned that a Ross Dress for Less and Aldi’s Supermarket are planned for the site.
Sinai Health System, in the 28th Ward, is seeking to amend the boundary of their existing planned development (No. 49) to include two additional city-owned parcels of property (1341 and 1345 S. Fairfield Avenue) the hospital is purchasing. The Mount Sinai Hospital campus is located in North Lawndale on the city’s West Side and is undergoing a $100 million investment: the Sinai Tomorrow Project. The hospital intends to use the satellite property for the health care related uses that were previously approved with the original PD: hospital, day care, government-operated health center, and wireless communications facilities. The amended PD adds new uses, including retail. The property is two blocks from the hospital campus, in a predominantly residential area.
The National Museum of Mexican Art, in the city’s 25th Ward, is seeking to amend an existing planned development (No. 639) to construct a surface parking lot for 50 cars. According to the application the museum filed with the city, in January, the lot will also serve as an outdoor exhibit space. Representatives with the museum told the Plan Commission that they couldn’t afford to build a parking lot when the museum was built, which is why it is being added on at a later date. They also referenced a lack of street parking due to the influx of new residents to the neighborhood.