The City Council’s Zoning Committee will take up internationally-known architect Helmut Jahn’s proposed 832-foot residential tower for 1000 S. Michigan Ave. and a controversial project from LG Development that calls for a nine-story plus penthouse condo building on a surface parking lot across from Mary Bartelme Park on the city’s Near West Side, among roughly 60 other zoning applications.

Jahn’s 506-unit residential building, which will be a mix of condos and rentals, received unanimous approval from the Plan Commission last week. Seventy percent (358 units) would be made condos while the remaining 148 units, to be located at the bottom half of the building, would be sold as rentals.

All units planned will be sold at market rate. The developers, a joint venture of JK Equities and Time Equities, took advantage of the old 2007 affordable housing requirements, opting to use the Affordable Housing Bonus, which lets them pay an in-lieu fee of $828,502.40. Only one person signed up to testify against the project when it came before the Plan Commission.

Meanwhile, LG Development’s plan for 111 South Peoria Street is likely to get some neighborhood pushback, as more than a dozen residents signed up to testify against it at the Plan Commission meeting in March. That group was especially organized, with handouts, zoning maps, and presentation boards supplementing their testimony. Attorney Ron Cope and city planner Les Pollack were among them. The project, which has gone through five revisions, received unanimous approval from the Plan Commission.

Ald. Burke’s Apps, Plan Commission Appointments

Ald. Ed Burke (14) wants to lift the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city’s downtown area, and add a type of transparent plastic to the list of materials that can be used to board up vacant or foreclosed homes.

Ald. Burke’s two ordinances are the only non-zoning change, aldermanic-backed measures before the Zoning Committee today.

The medical marijuana ordinance would amend the city’s zoning code to make it possible for dispensary operators to apply for a special use permit to open a medical marijuana shop on any street zoned “Downtown Core”, or “DC.” To obtain a special use permit, the operator would still need to apply for the permit with the Zoning Board of Appeals, the land-use body in charge of granting all special use permits.

Burke’s other measure would change the city’s Municipal Code to allow “the use of polycarbonate clear boarding to secure vacant residential buildings.” This type of transparent plastic is advertised as a way to board up homes as not to attract vandals or squatters, because the material makes it indiscernible that the home is closed off.

Under the city’s zoning code, the mortgage holder of any residential building that has become vacant and is not already registered with the city is required to secure the building’s doors and windows. The zoning code requires that “commercial-quality metal security panels” or plywood be used. Burke’s ordinance adds polycarbonate clear boarding to that list.

The Committee is also expected to take up the re-appointment of Leslie F. Bond, Jr.and Linda Searl to the Plan Commission. Bond, the founder and CEO of Attucks Asset Management, was first appointed to the land-use board by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2012. Searl, the president and principal at Searl Lamaster Howe Architects, P.C., was first appointed to the land-use board in 1997 by Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Noticeably missing from the list of appointments is the replacement for Juan Linares, who resigned from the seat after spending less than a year on the commission. At the last monthly City Council meeting on April 13, Mayor Emanuel introduced an ordinance replacing Linares with Lucino Sotelo, a Chief Marketing Officer at BMO Harris Bank.

Aldermanic Applications

  • 2438-40 W. 47th Street (15th Ward) – Ald. Raymond Lopez filed a request to rezone a closed-off vacant piece of property currently being used as a private parking lot. It’s located next door to two restaurants, and various other commercial properties are also situated on the street. But Ald. Lopez wants to downzone it from a commercial property (B3-2) to a residential, detached house district (RS3).

  • 3116 W. 111th Street (19th Ward) – In his latest zoning request–he had 5 at the last zoning meeting held earlier this month–Ald. Matt O’Shea (19) has filed yet another application to rezone a section of 111th Street. The latest request makes a modest change: from a B1-1 to a B1-1.5. The difference of the “0.5” impacts density, such as the minimum floor area ratio and the minimum lot area per unit allowed. At the April 5th meeting, Ald. O’Shea received some pushback from his colleagues on the committee concerning his applications to downzone various commercial strips (mostly on 111st Street) to the lowest density allowable for this type of commercial use. At that meeting, an aide for Ald. O’Shea testified that the alderman filed the applications to “keep consistent our business district,” and that most of the ward’s commercial streets already conform to that zoning designation.

  • 2701-07 W. Division St. (26th Ward) – Ald. Roberto Maldonado is seeking approval to up-zone this commercial and residential building located a block away from Humboldt Park. He’s asking for a B3-3 designation, up from a B1-1. The difference is the type of retail allowed; B1-1 allows for small-scale shops, B3-3 allows for a very broad range of retail and commercial businesses.

  • 2119-37 W. Erie St. (26th Ward) – Another application from Ald. Maldonado that would make a modest change to a residential street. He’s asking for a change from a RS3 to an RS2. The change in number affects the amount of density allowed.

  • Clark Street from Diversey (2800 N) to Wellington (3000 N) (44th Ward) – Ald. Tom Tunney wants to designate this busy stretch of sidewalks as a “Pedestrian Retail Street.” By classifying these streets as such, Tunney is making sure that they remain pedestrian-oriented shopping corridors. Under the city’s zoning code, a pedestrian retail street is characterized as one that has a high concentration of existing stores and restaurants, few vacant, and most of which have windows and stores facing the street.

  • 5140-90 N. Northwest Hwy (45th Ward) – Ald. John Arena filed an application to rezone this triangle lot occupied by a Walgreens building. The property is designated as a manufacturing district (M1-1). Arena wants to designate it as a business commercial district (B1-1). The lot is sandwiched between the 16th District police station and the Orion Industries and Surface Solution Group manufacturing building.

Private Applications on the Regular Agenda (Highlights)

  • 1317-1335 N. Western Ave (1st Ward) – Gibbons Construction filed an application to rezone this property to facilitate construction of a new five-story, 60-foot, 39 dwelling unit building. No commercial space is planned. Other amenities would include 32 parking spaces.

  • 4352 W. Flournoy St. (24th Ward) – Manal Musa filed an application to rezone a vacant piece of property at this location to build a one-story, 2,400-square-foot commercial strip mall building.

  • 1708-12 W. Cermak Road (25th Ward) – Ashcer, LLC, owned by Tatiana Nowak, filed an application to rezone this property to construct a four-story, 46-foot tall building with 24 residential units and 24 parking spaces. Located on the northern border of the city’s lower west side neighborhood, the property is a block away from Benito Juarez Community Academy.

  • 863 N. Orleans St. (27th Ward) – Three applicants filed a joint application to rezone this property to build a six-story office and retail building near the Chicago Brown Line CTA Station at Chicago Avenue, making this project a so-called “Transit Oriented Development.” According to the application, the bottom floor would include 3,700-square-feet of retail. Floors two-through-six would have 11,700-square-feet of office space. The three applicants are:
    BlitzLake 3D (David Blitz), TJ Tully LLC (Thomas Tully) Eric Rothner.