Monday, June 25, 2007

Zoning Meeting Change for 1470 W. Carmen

If you are wanting to attend the rezoning meeting concerning the 1470 W. Carmen property, the meeting time has been changed. It is now scheduled for Thursday July 12, at 10am in the City Council chambers downtown.

1 comment:

  1. An Updater wrote in:
    On Monday, July 9th, residents representing the 5101 N. Clark co-op board met with the designated owner/managers of the proposed “Carmen-Clark” SRO (now known as Carmen Manor, 1470 W. Carmen Avenue), Mary Laura Jones and Ken Otto. The 5101 Clark Street building is directly west of Carmen Manor and the small, hour-long meeting in an apartment was polite but inconsequential. In addition to me, and three members of the co-op board, the owner of Il Fiasco (the restaurant which is located in the co-op building and will open July 13th) also attended.

    The meeting was held at the request of co-op residents concerned about security and crime. The information sheets passed out, along with Lorraine Swanson’s June 20th News-Star piece, contained more or less the same information given at the Community meeting held at the United Methodist Home on June 12th. I say more or less, because each time we are told about this project small changes take place in the facts presented. At the Community Meeting we were told the Raphael program participants (those with HIV and mental health/substance abuse problems) would have a curfew of 11:00 PM. At this most recent meeting we were told the curfew would be 10:00 PM. But, whatever the curfew time might be, the question of what would happen should a person violate their curfew went unanswered.

    The co-op board felt that dialogue was important, but everyone in the room agreed that the building project as currently configured was unwelcome. Mary Laura Jones offered to give us a tour of her current building as a window into what the new SRO might be like. At least one person in the group was eager to tour the 4750 N. Sheridan Road building.

    I mentioned that a man identifying himself as “the contractor” and another who said he was an architect working on the new SRO told me there were 45 rooms in Carmen Manor. Mary Laura Jones was quite insistent that there are currently 65 rooms.

    No new assurances, guarantees or information about safety, or screening of residents was offered other than the vague statements given at the June Community Meeting.

    The Heartland Alliance is providing funds for purchase of Carmen Manor, and Mary and Ken will be the owners. Heartland, after providing funds, will then lease space for their Raphael Program (two Floors) from Mary Laura Jones and Ken Otto. The lease will expire in 10 years, at which time, said Mary Laura Jones, the owners would be free to sell the building at market price or “Heartland can buy us out.” She also said as owners they would owe Heartland “a ton of money.” It was unclear how one could sell to a party to whom one owes money, but I assume this has something to do with the arcane deal-making of Chicago politics. In any case, according to Mary Laura Jones, if Heartland were to take over the building, they would be free to use the entire space for Raphael or other programs. For those of us who plan to remain in this neighborhood for the long haul, that raises disturbing questions.

    The hand-out at the tiny meeting included contact info for Heartland Housing, Inc.: Andrew Greer, Executive Director. 312.660.1381

    I suggest residents with concerns contact Mr. Geer, fax a letter to the City Council Zoning Committee at 312.744.6572 and Alderman Shiller’s office at 773.878.4920.

    ALSO, THE HEARING ON CARMEN MANOR RE-ZONING HAS BEEN CONFIRMED FOR THURSDAY, JULY 12TH, 2nd Floor Council Chamber. The hearings start at 10:00 AM, but we have no way of knowing exactly what time this application (#16234) will be heard.