DPD Commissioner David Reifman, Zoning Chair Dally Solis (25), Finance Chair Ed Burke at joint committee meeting on North Branch.

After nearly four hours of grilling Department of Planning and Development Commissioner David Reifman, a joint meeting of the City Council’s Finance and Zoning Committees advanced an ordinance that would set the stage for mixed-use development along the North Branch of the Chicago River by repealing portions of the strict Planned Manufacturing District (PMD) designation that prohibited anything but industrial uses for the last 30 years.

DPD Web Page: North Branch Framework Plan and Design Guidelines

Only one alderman, Scott Waguespack (32) requested to be recorded as voting no. Though Ald. Michele Smith (43) has been a vocal critic of the plan, she isn’t a member of either committee, an issue she previously faced with the Airbnb ordinance. Another Alderman, George Cardenas (12), threatened to use a parliamentary procedure to block a vote on the ordinance, which could have delayed the rezone of North Branch for more than a month, since City Council typically does not meet in August.  

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