Tuesday, June 1, 2010
UCRD Launches Petition Drive Opposing Proposed Development
Strong Turnout as Neighbors Express Shock on Montrose/Clarendon Plan
More than 60 residents turned out on short notice last Thursday evening for a meeting to discuss the fate of the Maryville site at Montrose and Clarendon. At the meeting, the Uptown Coalition for Responsible Development presented the developer’s actual plan as filed with the city, as opposed to the “conceptual” drawings and informal opinions presented at the developer-sponsored meetings at Clarendon Park. For instance, the developers showed a watercolor of a light, airy three-floor storefront with bustling street activity reminiscent of a Saturday afternoon on Navy Pier. This is not what is proposed. Their actual filed plan calls for an 85-foot-high eight-story-tall concrete and glass building with walls running right up to the lot line at the sidewalk, with no setback, no green space, and no amenities.
At the meeting, UCRD encouraged neighbors to make their voices heard. The quickest and most effective way to make an impact is to sign the opposition petition and send a letter to the Chicago Plan Commission, which has control over the zoning changes required for the plan to go forward. UCRD has more information and links to its petition and an example letter to the CPC on its web site at http://uptowncoalition.org/.
Several neighbors suggested that because of the inaccurate and incomplete information, there should be a series of new community meetings held, as is routinely done in other neighborhoods. Examples of wards with much more neighborhood-friendly processes include Ravenswood and Wrigleyville, where a series of open meetings were held to discuss the proposals for the Sears store site on Lawrence and on the empty lot site near Wrigley Field (see the UCRD web site, http://uptowncoalition.org/, for details).
Your help is needed. There may be very little time left for resident input before the city votes on the plan.
Please voice your concerns. Write a Letter! Sign the Petition!