Sunday, March 2, 2008

This Really Encourages 'Foot Traffic'

The weather today was perfect for a Sunday stroll. The snow is melting, spring is just around the corner, and the sidewalks are covered in trash, furniture and dumpsters. Dumpsters still parked in handicapped spaces, mind you. Why are the owners of 927 W. Wilson permitted to do this? Give 311 a ring and let them know that this blatant use of our sidewalks as junkyards will not be tolerated.


  1. Helen's idea is to discourage foot traffic in order to keep the area like a slum so that the rents remain cheap. I disagree with this approach to keeping down rents, but I think that's her real motive. Otherwise, why else would she put up with it?

  2. That is one disgusting sight.

    I encourage everyone who feels this way to click on the 311 link to the right and scroll down to "fly dumping," which is described as "This service request is used to report garbage or construction debris that has been illegally dumped on the public way or on a vacant lot."

    Answer "yes" to questions 2 & 3.

    If enough of us complain, maybe an inspector will address the many illegal (blocking a handicapped spot) and unsanitary (see photo) practices going on at that address.

  3. Does anyone know if the Wilson Yard TIF money is being used on this building? I remember reading it here a while back but wasn't sure if it had been confirmed.

  4. Yes, Wilson Yard TIF money is definitely being used to rehab this building.

  5. Besides the Wilson Yard debacle, can someone list the other things in Uptown that are being financed with the Wilson Yard TIF?

  6. truman square neighbor,
    I just submitted the complaint. Let's hope they come out!

  7. I don't believe that TIF money is being used to renovate that building.

    Some TIF money is being used to renovate some other buildings including on Clifton I believe.

    I remember a post about it last year.

  8. You should see the loading dock in the back of the building. It is just as bad. It can be viewed from the alley entrance on the East end of the block.

    Last week there was one small overflowing dumpster and at least 40-50 large black garbage bags of refuse strewn on the ground around it.

    It's rat heaven in back!

    Where the heck is our 46th Ward Streets and San Ward Superintendant, Don Nowatny? Sure he's chosen by the alderman but he's a Street and Sanitation Department employee. When does he get held accountable for blowing by this mess every day for 6 months? He has a citation book. Why isn't he using it?

  9. To heck with 311. Go ahead an call it in and be sure to ask the 311 operator for the tracking number. You can always call 311 back anytime to ask what is happening with your complaint by providing that number.

    But then, it's also time to followup with the big guns.

    The Dumpster Taskforce is part of Streets and San and our Ward Superintendant who ignores this mess also works for Streets and San.

    Send your dumpster complaints and photos directly to the the Chicago Streets and Sanitation Commissioner stating that this problem has gone on for over 6 months with no abatement. Ask him to explain why.

    Contact info below:

    Mr. Mike Bacardi
    Streets and Sanitation Commissioner
    Phone: 312-744-4611,

    Email to his attention to his Personal Assistant Sandra Smith

    Mailing Address:
    121 North LaSalle Street
    Room 700
    Chicago, IL 60602

  10. For those who wanted to know more about these properties here are excerpts of articles from my vaults...

    In December (2006), the City Council approved an ordinance to issue up to $10 million in housing revenue bonds, $1.1 million in CDBG funds and $557,273 in TIF financing for the rehabilitation of 77 units of affordable rental housing in the Uptown community.

    Community Housing Partners XI LP plans to rehab the Uptown Preservation Apartments, three buildings located at 900 W. Windsor, 927 W. Wilson and 4431 N. Clifton avenues in the 46th Ward, to help preserve their long-term affordability.

    The properties were developed with Low Income Housing Tax Credits by the Chicago Equity Fund (CEF) in 1987. CEF is currently liquidating its assets, and 927 W. Wilson is currently in foreclosure. The other two buildings are at risk of foreclosure.

    DOH and the Illinois Housing Development Authority both have loans on the property. The proposed project will pay off the existing debt, and new loans will be issued by both DOH and IHDA for the same amounts as the old loans

    Currently, the Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund subsidizes 33 units in the development for households with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income ($22,600 for a family of four).

    In addition, Residents for Effective Shelter Transition (REST), an organization that provides rental subsidy funds to formally homeless households using Shelter Plus Care funds, will continue to subsidize approximately 20 households at the Wilson and Windsor buildings. REST will also continue to provide case management services including referrals for substance abuse prevention, mental health counseling, and medical care for physical illnesses.

  11. Where the heck is our 46th Ward Streets and San Ward Superintendant, Don Nowatny?

    He may be back by now, I'm not sure of the timeing, but Don had surgery and has been off work recuperating.

  12. So you need him to be in the office for the army of staffers to do thier jobs. Do they just take 8 hours lunches until he is back. Sorrry to hear about the surgery, but my lord the city does not stop for that.

  13. The dumpster problem has been going on for 6 months. Has Don been off for 6 months? I doubt it.

    I also doubt it because each day around noon I see his shiny new taxpayer-provided pickup truck parked for over an hour in the 15 minute parking zone in front of 4750 N. Sheridan even though he has a parking permit to park in the lot across the street.

    Lazy ass is what he is. Matter of fact, I took pictures of him parking in the 15-minute zone just a week ago for those who need proof.

  14. I called in the tracking number on the 311 request I put in two weeks ago on the 927 West Wilson Dumpster. Per the 311 records, the city inspector was out and issued a single citation to the dumpster company. No citation was issued to the property owners or contractors who make the mess.

    However, undeterred, the dumpster company picked up the overloaded dumpster today at noon and delivered a new one into the handicapped zone. The several rain-soaked couches and other debris outside the dumpster remain on the sidewalk.

  15. Dear anonymous 4:43 or shall I just say Smart Ass Don? I can't post my photos in the Blog comments area but I hope this deters your parking in the permit zone. You know I am watching.

  16. Well Don must have a twin brother. He had some major surgery two weeks ago and I was told he won't be back to work for many months.

  17. Well dearie, a check on the digital photo properties says the photo was taken at 10:39 on Feb 14, 2008 so I guess that was 2 weeks plus 4 days ago.

  18. I'm not one to defend Don so much. He has his faults. But he also had major surgery on his spine. Was Don clearly shown in the photo or just his truck?

  19. You know, it is rather odd that some buildings get ticketed while others are ignored. I don't think it's coincidence that condos get targeted more than apartments and social services.

    It might be interesting to start a survey of us and see what's going on. We got cited by the city because an inspector couldn't get on our property. He had rung doorbells during the day but no one was home to let him in. No construction was going on in our building so I have to think something is odd here.

  20. I don't stalk Don for a living. I just notice his inconsideration when I'm at that building. The main "Don" point in this post is that he is our 46th Ward Streets and Sanitation Superintendant.

    The Ward Superintendant is THE RESPONSIBLE CITY WORKER who is supposed to make sure that streets and san city services are delivered to this ward.



  21. If poor old Don Nowatny has such a painful back you would think he would be much more sympathetic to the handicapped persons who cannot use the handicapped parking zone occupied by the 927 W. Wilson dumpster.

    Same goes for the handicapped persons who must use the 15 minute unloading zone at 4750 N. Sheridan, the highrise that houses both Don Nowatny's Ward Service Office and most of the social service agency offices in the 46th Ward.

  22. Contact information to make overflowing dumpster complaints to the Manager of the Uptown Preservation Apartments is shown below.

    Tina Ware, UPA Assistant Manager Phone & Fax: 773-728-3357
    927 West Wilson Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois 60640

    "Uptown Preservation Apartments" is the collective name of the 3 sets of apartments being renovated with Wilson Yard TIF money.
    927 West Wilson
    900-902 W Windsor & 4534-40 N Hazel (The Surfside Bldg)
    4431-41 N. Clifton

    I called her and she said she said the blue dumpster belonged to the contractors and the green dumpsters belonged to UPA. She said she had talked to the contractors about getting things picked up but was unaware that the dumpster hauler had not taken away the couches and stuff lying on the sidewalks yesterday.

    I suggested that the dumpster truck drivers won't load stuff into the large dumpster. They only load and unload the dumpsters to or from the truck. She got a little testy but did say she will look into things.

  23. Certain people/organizations get special treatment and I have heard that the ward superintendent takes marching orders from their alderman.

    Shame on Helen for the preferential treatment.
    And shame on Don for perpetuating this unethical practice.

    I believe this situation observed here is just the tip of the iceberg. It's rampant in this ward and probably a few others. Lorraine, hope you're reading this.

  24. Checked out the back loading dock. The black garbage bags and dumpsters do not belong to 927 W. Wilson. They belong to Ezra, another non-profit in the long stretch of non-profit owned buildings along that 900 W. block of Wilson Avenue.

  25. UPDATE: I was at Pollo Loco this afternoon and saw workers taking that old nasty mattress and another couch that was on the sidewalk (not the one in the picture, another couch) off the sidewalk and putting it into the big dumpster that's parked in the handicapped spot.

  26. Is it too much to ask for clean sidewalks and cheap rents? Can the two co-exist?

    Has anyone else noticed the living room set up in front of 4501 N. Malden for the past week? I wonder if the unfortunate folks got evicted.

  27. Ok, I'll bite. Have you considered calling 311 about this? The stuff has been out there for almost a week and no one has called?

    I appreciate bringing it to our attention but it would be much more effective if you actually logged in a call.

  28. Yes it was called into 311 weeks ago. Check out the anonymous post up above on March 3, 6:14 p.m.

    The inspector was out but he only cited the dumpster company. That was not much of a deterant to the building owner or the contractors. It also wasn't muchj of a deterant to the dumpster company as the problem continued for two more weeks after the 311call.

  29. Re: The Eviction Furniture on Malden

    I guess now that we've shut down the wrought iron fence market on Broadway and Wilson there is less incentive for the locals to rush to evictions, grab everything as fast as they can, and haul it Broadway where they cab hang it on a fence and sell it as fast as they can to make a few extra bucks. I always thought that was a pretty despicable practice because people were grabbing it up as the evicted persons were trying to load it into taxis or friends cars.

    In an eviction, the Cook County Sheriffs show up with an eviction court order after a hearing and many statutory notices to the resident. They haul a representative sample of the apartment contents out to the street. The building or condo owner must clean up the rest after a day or so.

    You know who (Ward Superintendant Don Nowatny) should issue a citation to the building owner for not cleaning up the junk dumped in the parkway in front of its property. Under a city ordinance, the city owns the 8 foot wide area between the street and the sidewalk but the adjoining property owner must maintain it.

    We need to start a version of the "Where's Waldo?" children's game and call it "Where's Donnie?" for every time our Ward Superintendant is missing in action.

  30. Thanks. I will quit complaining and call 311.

  31. I like on the 311 web version that they ask for city and state.

  32. I notice when there was a lot of fear that Don would be a favorite candidate for Alderman people started a complaint campaign. This includes one person who appears to be stalking him. Now we have 11 people running for Alderman and no one knows who to complain about.

    At some point in spite of ourselves we may need to find what it is we agree on. Probably this is an idea that would help to whole country and not just Uptown