Wednesday, February 8, 2023

"Happy Wash" Development To Be Built Without Zoning Change

4555 N. Dover proposal for SE corner of Wilson & Dover (46th Ward Office)

Third time's the charm for the former Happy Wash building at Wilson & Dover?

After two proposals were rejected by Dover Street Neighbors, the developer has chosen to build under the current zoning with only variances and a special use requested. You might recall that the first proposal was rejected by Dover Street Neighbors at 4 stories. A second proposal at 5 stories was also rejected. The developer has now reconfigured the proposal fitting it into the current B3-3 zoning and bypassing the sometimes tedious process of dealing with local block clubs. 

The current proposal from developers Ayman Khalil and Kareem Musawwir calls for a 5 story building with 28 units and 25 parking spaces

Because the first and second proposals that required a zoning change were rejected and now the developer is building "as of right" the city's affordable requirement ordinance will not apply to this development. 

According to "Unknown" (signed as Dover Street Neighbors President Scott Adams) there is already affordable housing on Dover. He commented on the second proposal on the Uptown Update blog.

"Many Dover homeowners also own rental property here and rent at rates far below what developers charge for newly built units. There’s emergency housing on Dover Street, and the “California Buildings”—comprising 96 units on Dover within a stone’s throw of the proposed development—also offer affordable workforce housing. Not every affordable apartment is government mandated, government supervised, or government subsidized."

That's good to know since Mr. Adams' decision to reject the two previous proposals means no additional affordable units will be provided by this new development. 

Snarkiness aside, we are happy to finally see housing replace this parking lot and mostly abandoned building.

Check out the full proposal on Ald. Cappleman's development page.

Current view looking SE at 4555 N. Dover (Google)


  1. "After two proposals were rejected by Dover Street Neighbors...the first proposal was rejected by Dover Street Neighbors at 4 stories. A second proposal at 5 stories was also rejected. The developer has now reconfigured the proposal fitting it into the current B3-3 zoning and bypassing the sometimes tedious process of dealing with local block clubs. "

    For the umpteenth time, this is scapegoating. The alderperson can unilaterally make such decisions, and in fact the 46th Ward had such an alderperson until 2011. Many of us didn't care for that process. I certainly didn't, and as a reader of this blog for longer than that, I'm confident in asserting that you did not either.
    But the current process, inviting input from many parties, that the current alderperson set up - you shouldn't keep attacking it if he abides the outcome.
    I will know leave you to creating your "Stop the Steal" banners, you merry band of election deniers, but when that celtic marauder leads your charge into City Hall, make certain the idiot wears a shirt. No chance he's working his core like that shaman did.

    And I hope that our next alderperson has the good sense to overrule the masses if they are uninformed or misinformed. The current one is finding his courage now in the comment section, but has not always done so when the "neighbors" or the other nimby groups have roused their rabble. That's fine, he's at least abiding by a poor outcome, but the UU method of blaming straw poll outcomes on the masses is disingenuous. I really hope that it ends.

    1. It’s all rather interesting. Before I was in office, people complained they had no say over zoning decisions. When I established my zoning process, we had one group who complained they still had no say, another group who complained that I went overboard with following whatever the community wanted, and another group who thought the process was on target.

      I’ve served 12 years on the City’s Committee on Zoning, Landmarks, and Building Standards and have observed 50 different ways that 50 different alders make zoning decisions. My process has always been on the extreme of doing what residents wanted. Along the way, I learned that it’s okay to change a process if the current one needs tweaking.

      After the Weiss proposal, I realized a change in the zoning process was in order, and now I lean more in the direction of doing what is wise rather than what is popular. It’s always nice when what is wise is also popular, but no one can count on that always happening, and anyways, everyone has their own definition of what is truly wise.

      It continues to concern me, however, about the amount of power any alder has about zoning changes in their perspective wards, but that comes from someone who’s lived in several different cities across the country and I find Chicago’s process very different from any other place that I’ve ever lived. Maybe that’s why I went a bit overboard with obtaining feedback from residents, which some will find amusing for me to say because they still insist people don’t have enough say even though no other alder in the city gives such leeway to residents on zoning decisions.

      Due to my belief that alders have too much unchecked power over zoning, I also seek a lot of direction from the Dept. of Planning and Development, the Dept. of Housing, the local chamber, and also what valid & reliable research states about building more housing within a ward. I’ve come to believe there’s no perfect approach to making a zoning decision, and that when one approach comes close to perfection, it will still need tweaking as circumstances change along the way.

      I have no clue what approach the next alder will take, but I think it’s perfectly fine to try something new and make any necessary changes when it’s appropriate.

    2. I am not a marauder.

      In the past on two zoning decisions I did believe the Capplemaniac should overrule the community groups. Once on turning the house on Cullom into a recovery house for rich alcoholics and the other for rezoning the double lot now owned by the Finans in Sheridan Park.

      Thankfully, Capp chose differently because otherwise Lalonde very well may have won the 2019 election and she would have been a disaster.

      He's tied himself to a process which I don't like, but which overall allowed him to be reelected and has generally benefited the ward.

      Policy without politics is for college professors. Ya gotta win to govern. I'm very glad he won.