Tuesday, January 17, 2023

4642 N Magnolia Passes City Zoning Committee Unanimously

4642 N. Magnolia Plans 

The plans for 4642 N. Magnolia passed through the Chicago Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards this afternoon. 

According to reporters present at the hearing, someone objected at the hearing and offered a number of concerns about the property, including the preservation of trees, chimneys included in the design, density, parking, and rights of access to the property by the next door owner. 

The committee rejected the concerns and approved the plans, which will put 6 new housing units on a lot that has been vacant since 2014.


  1. I don't know why there are no comments here. There are comments on the Facebook page.

    I was the one who spoke against this upzone Tuesday. I only talked about the fact that the plans have been changed since the neighbors were surveyed, and that the chimneys that were added are in violation of the building code. The other points were raised previously by Magnolia-Malden Neighbors and were brushed off by the developer and the alderman.

    1. At the Zoning meeting when you questioned the chimneys that were added to the development, you were told that this minor change was still in keeping with the Type 1 zoning application. It is incorrect to state there was any violation of a building code within the presented plans.

      You also stated at the Zoning meeting that only 1 of the 5 requests from the block club was followed. In fact, 4 of the 5 requests were followed. Those requests were:
      1) The community wanted the size and color of the brick to be in keeping with the historical integrity of the surrounding neighborhood, and wanted to make the decision on what brick should be used. I agreed that the brick should be in keeping with the historical integrity of the area and had the City's Dept. of Planning & Development, who are the experts, make the final decision about the brick selection to ensure the most accurate type of brick was selected.

      2) The community wanted the current iron fence on the front of the property to remain. The developer stated that they would make every effort to save the existing fence, and if that was not possible, they would install a new iron fence.

      3) There was a concern about the placement of the dumpster in the back of the development. The developer amended their plans to then allow for the dumpster to be placed in an open parking area to address this concern.

      4) There were concerns that the trees in the parkway remain. The developer responded that they would take every reasonable effort to protect the trees in the parkway.

      5) The neighbors next door wanted a commitment that they not be denied reasonable access to the developer's property should their contractors need access to the property. Because I had never heard of such a request in my 11+ years on the City's Zoning Committee, I checked with the Dept. of Planning and Development and was told this type of request is extremely rare, and did not appear indicated. In addition, the developer's attorney stated formal and enforceable property rights are not ordinarily granted to neighbors; more typically, access to adjacent properties for such work is arranged between then-current owners on a case-by-case basis.
      Accordingly, the Developer respectfully denies this request and suggest that the owners of adjacent property arrange access as needed with those owning and/or residing at the subject property at that time.

    2. It mystifies me why you think that the developers have agreed to items 2, 4, and 5. On 2 and 4 they have "stated" that they will make "every reasonable effort." That is not a commitment. On 5 they have denied -- they use the word "denied" our request. As for 1, the brick, you went to some contact in DPD, whose name you will not disclose, and got them to say they would not oppose the brick color. Until lately you never mentioned brick size. The oversize brick that you have accepted will make the new building look cheap and crude, especially in contrast with the Rembrandt apartments next door.

      I don't agree with your decision to approve this new development, but reasonable people can differ. However, when they deny something, and you say they "follow" it, that is peculiar. One wonders why you are so eager to support the developers and disagree with the neighbors.

  2. Ald. Cappleman,

    Whether the chimneys would or would not be in violation of the Type 1 zoning was not our complaint. We believe they are in violation of section 2113.9 of the International Building Code, which is incorporated as section 14B-21-2113 of the Chicago code. It reads, in part, "Chimneys shall extend not less than 2 feet higher than any part of the building within 10 feet." The chimneys presented in the plans were flush with the building parapet, not 2 feet higher than it.

    Can you explain why this is not a violation of the code? It appears to be forbidden by the plain language. There are discussions of this section online, and it seems straightforward to me. It also seems plainly unsafe, as tenants of the building might leave furniture near the chimneys.

    Please remember that, as my father said at the meeting, we own a 118-year-old wooden house that will be less than 7 feet from the proposed chimneys. We have seen multiple house fires on the block in the time we have lived here, including the house next door to us. You are dismissing our complaints, but I think it is appropriate for us to be concerned about fire safety in the proposed building!