A recently appointed member to the Chicago Plan Commission who was a vocal proponent of affordable housing has resigned from the board and will be replaced, according to an ordinance the Mayor introduced at yesterday’s full City Council meeting.
Juan Linares, the Executive Director of LUCHA, an organization on the city’s Northwest Side that focuses on affordable housing, resigned from the mayor-appointed land use board after serving for less than a year. He was appointed in July 2015, and spent the brief stint taking every opportunity to hold developers accountable for affordable housing requirements, often expressing disappointment when developers chose to pay the in-lieu cash fee instead of providing on-site affordable units.
When representatives from the CMK development team went before the body in November to present their proposed 2,699-unit residential tower in the 25th Ward, he asked the developers to explain why so many developers opted out of the on-site requirement.
In February, when the massive Lathrop Homes redevelopment plan went before the body, he took Related Midwest’s Jacques Sandberg to task, asking him to explain why they opted out of replacing all of the public housing units within the mixed-use development.
And in January he voted against Vequity’s seven-story, 44-unit residential building planned for a busy intersection in Wicker Park because none of the units would be affordable.
Contacted for comment on his decision to step down, Linares declined to speak on the record. Pending Council approval, Linares would be replaced with Lucino Sotelo, a Chief Marketing Officer at BMO Harris Bank, according to his LinkedIn. Sotelo will finish the remainder of Linares’ term, which is set to expire on January 25, 2019.