Friday, March 8, 2019

Ald. Cappleman Votes No, But City Council's Zoning Committee Says Yes To Lincoln Yards

Ald. Cappleman has been all over the news lately -- not about the 46th Ward, but about a community that doesn't even exist yet.

As new chair of the City Council's powerful Zoning Committee, he's been active in shaping the plan for Lincoln Yards, the massive 55-acre development proposed for the North Side. (It's located near the river, at approximately Armitage and Clybourn, untilizing mostly abandoned industrial land.)

First, he requested, and got, developer Sterling Bay to agree to double the number of on-site affordable housing units, from the required number, 300, to 600.

Then, yesterday the Zoning Committee was set to vote on final approval of the plan. Both mayoral run-off candidates, Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle, had asked Ald. Cappleman to delay the vote until after the mayoral election. Citing those requests, as well as new tweaks to the plan made just two days earlier regarding building height and density, Ald. Cappleman moved to delay the vote.

But other members of the committee, led by Ald. Walter Burnett (27th), voted to override Ald. Cappleman's attempt to defer the vote.

In the end, the Zoning Committee approved the plan for Lincoln Yards despite Ald. Cappleman's "no" vote.  Ald. Cappleman was joined by Alds. George Cardenas (12th Ward), Deb Mell (33rd Ward), and Ameya Pawar (47th Ward).

The "yes" votes, which carried the day, were cast by Alds. Michelle Harris (8th); Raymond Lopez (15th), David Moore (17th); Matt O’Shea (19th); Howard Brookins (21st); Walter Burnett (27th); Carrie Austin (34th); Margaret Laurino (39th), and Brendan Reilly (42nd).

Of course, this being silly season, a/k/a election time, there were statements criticizing Cappleman after the meeting, made by people who wanted him to do exactly what he'd just done: demand more on-site affordable housing, and request a delayed vote.

The next hurdle for Lincoln Yards will come on Monday in front the 35-member Finance Committee, where TIF approval will be sought. The only Uptown connection there is the presence of Ald. Osterman on the committee.

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1 comment:

  1. It's interesting.

    The same people who oppose the new police academy oppose Lincoln Yards with the addition of nearby Lincoln Park/Bucktown NIMBYS.

    Cappleman supports the police academy because to paraphrase him "good policing costs money and bad policing cost more money AND lives." Therefore he's Rahm's lackey.

    He was the devil for supporting better policing.

    Then he opposed pushing through the Lincoln Yards TIF so quickly and managed to force some major concessions from Mayor Rahm "I only have weeks left to have a legacy" Emanuel and he's the devil involved in kabuki theater.

    Then he's still Rahm's lackey.

    Now it's clear to me that Cappleman wanted the TIF delayed and it isn't inconsistent with his prior comments on that project. He was one of the relatively few aldermen to push for and support having the city inspector general have investigative authority over the council. Ed "Hey Bitches I can be indicted and still be reelected" Burke was always on the opposite of that argument as are most of the aldermen who will vote Lincoln Yards thru the council in the next few weeks.

    It's also clear that it was in his best short term political interests that it not be rammed thru the Zoning meeting. He gets criticized for it going thru and he gets criticized with suggestions that it was all a game.

    I'm not surprised he tried to delay the vote and I'm REALLY REALLY not surprised Rahm found a way to get around Cappleman's chairmanship to force it thru.

    Hell I expected that Burnett would have gotten down on all fours behind Capp and Hopkins would have pushed Cappleman over and then 10 burly firemen would have rushed Cappleman to the ER while someone else took over the meeting to get it pushed thru.

    I also expected a scenario where a special full council meeting might be called to remove Cappleman from the chairmanship, but Rahm's legal beagles and I do mean BEAGLES found another way.

    No way Rahm is going to let Lincoln Yards be delayed. His ego is too invested in "legacy" at the moment. His cunning paid off this time, but with the McDonald shooting coverup cost him at least one more term as mayor.

    Cappleman is in strong enough shape that he's still the likely winner of the runoff in 25 days, but Rahm's cunning makes it much more likely Michelle Smith and Deb Mell lose their runoffs.

    I wouldn't want to be Smith. Ain't no NIMBY worse than a Lincoln Park NIMBY. Rabies, entitlement, lawyers and money aren't a great combo.