Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Beacon Rezoning Hearing Thursday (Tomorrow)

Update: The hearing is at 10am, in the City Hall Council Chambers, 2nd floor, 121 N LaSalle. Please attend if you can!

On Thursday, June 4th, there will be a zoning hearing regarding 4627 N. Beacon changing from an RS-3 to an RT-4, against community wishes.

"1. As a community in Sheridan Park, we have engaged in a long and determined process to establish a consensus of opinion that reflects the fair, sensible majority of homeowners and renters in our area.

2. While initiated by local residents, we have worked closely with both local aldermen (Ald. Shiller and Ald. Schulter) to implement this process.

3. Highpoints of the process have included:
-- Establishment of a Sheridan Park National Historic District in 1985
-- Downzoning of the community to R-3 zoning with broad support in 2000-1
-- Collection of almost 300 signatures on a petition to stop the demolition of 4627 N. Beacon—summer 2005
-- Meeting at Truman College on September 8, 2005, convened by Alderman Shiller, when more than 100 persons voted nearly unanimously to maintain the zoning at R-3 on 4627 N. Beacon and 4722 N. Malden
-- Subsequent collection of 55 signatures from “neighbors living nearest to the property” on 4600 N. Beacon opposing the upzoning from R-3 to R-4 at 4627 N. Beacon—these petitions were submitted to Alderman Shiller on September 26, 2005
-- Institution of the Dover Street Landmark District by the City Council in December 2007 encompassing approximately 80 historic homes on 4500-4700 Dover and the 4700 block of Beacon
-- Recent restatement of the community’s wishes on 4600 N. Beacon through further collection of petitions.

4. The developer in question lives in the community, but chose to violate the stated wishes of the community and tear down the oldest building in Sheridan Park on Christmas Eve, 2005—an orange-coded Queen Anne historic structure. This was a deliberate action by this developer in violation of the community’s wishes, stated and re-stated on petitions and at the community meeting. This is the same developer whom you are proposing today to reward with upzoning to R-4, again in violation of our wishes."


  1. It is just so unfortunate that these things continue to happen in our neighborhood. Look at the amount of effort our Alderman has put into the “show” regarding her responding to the community. She attended a community meeting made statements that she would support the community, they after enough time had passed she attempts to push through what I am sure she told the developer she would always do “when things calmed down.” This has happened so many times I have lost count. I am certain 46th ward staff will be told to not discuss the issue with anyone who calls or stops by, and if pushed will discuss the new support for this plan. Same “overwhelming” amount of people who wanted the Labor Ready site rezoned I suppose.

    If only she could put half the effort into working with the police on the violent crime in the ward. But in the end I guess that does not pay as well judging by the amount of money her campaign fund was given by this developer. Helen I have so little respect for you it is difficult for me to even put it into words in this post. I wish I could do it in person but you refuse to talk about these backroom decisions in public. 46th ward staff since you read this blog regularly, please pass on my disgust!

  2. All I can say is the I agree with you 100% and it could not be written better. Its up to us at election time to show we can make changes of the poor leadership that continues to worsen by Helen Shiller and prove to everyone our voice can and will be heard at the booth...........

  3. It's unfortunate that the 46th Ward is without a Zoning Committee with representatives from the block clubs, businesses, and various organizations. They could first discuss this matter and vote on it before it goes to the City's Zoning Committee. With the absence of such a committee, there's so much room for backroom deals and pay-to-play politics.

    In time, I believe it will become the standard practice in all wards rather than just a few to have such a committee. With the growing anger against incumbents, perhaps sooner rather than later.

  4. Lets start one!

  5. Just curious...was the Sheridan Park Historic District created in 1985 as a reaction to the actions of the Langer family and a few other big-time real estate companies, who were "buying up" whole blocks of buildings and evicting long-time tenants, then converting the buildings into condos that those tenants were unable to buy?

  6. No, it was done to preserve some of the beautiful architecture of the homes and multi-unit buildings. The 1207 Leland houses people in poverty and I know many would be up in arms if that building was torn down.

  7. We got Byrned.

    The property was upzoned.

  8. 2 bits says it goes on the market immediately or he follows through with a planned sale to Chicago House for their 3rd building on that block.