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Network 2424 - Meeting & Minutes

Bernard GarboPerson was signed in when posted
02:38 PM ET (US)
Next CAPS meeting!

March 27 (Thursday) -- CAPS Beat 2424
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Pottawattomie Park, (NE corner Winchester & Rogers)

CAPS meetings are 4th Thursday of the month (not the last Thursday).

Your attendance is important. Attendance sheets are submitted to headquarters; they do matter when it comes to allocating police resources.
Bernard GarboPerson was signed in when posted
02:35 PM ET (US)
CAPS -- Feb. 28, 2008 meeting

Attendees were informed that the beat police priority has been changed to "armed and strong arm robberies." The change is city wide, not just for our beat. What this means for our beat is not totally clear. Police will keep us posted at CAPS meetings. There were 3 arrests for strong arm robbery in January, out of a total of 4 reported incidents. Additionally, there was one attempted robbery. In February there were no reported incidents or arrests, according to CLEAR Path, CPD's crime reporting website.

Residents asked for increased ticketing of cars without licenses and those parked for longer than 7 days in one stop. This is a significant problem in the 7500 block of Wolcott.

Residents and police also had a lengthy conversation about out-of-control teens and teen parties. Police reviewed the limitations of their authority and urged neighbors to continue to work to address this problem from all angles, including bad landlords.
Bernard GarboPerson was signed in when posted
01:20 PM ET (US)
Upcoming February meeting:

Feb. 28 -- CAPS (beat 2424)
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Pottawattomie Park, (NE corner Winchester & Rogers)
Bernard GarboPerson was signed in when posted
02:28 AM ET (US)
Summary of Hands Across Howard meeting minutes:

Review of existing resources for businesses

Alderman Moore presented an overview on developing an SSA, namely the city must initiate action, but buildings can opt-out – though opting out is difficult.

Regarding his bad buildings task force, Moore noted that the tools used to get bad residential buildings to come in line can’t be used for commercial. He suggestions neighbors meet with him and work to get Memorandums of Understanding and create a Hall of Shame, a website postings of bad buildings.

Tasty Sub owner, according to Moore, has not filed for zoning permits needed for the proposed building. The developer may be waiting to purchase the empty grocery store next door.

Regarding the facade improvements in the 1900 block of Howard (Chicago side), Moore noted they were done entirely by property owner.

The Howard TIF in Chicago is set to expire shortly. Schools will get money if the TIF attracts children. TIF also offers acquisition authority: government can acquire private property for private use.

Alderman Rainey informed attendees that on the Howard side one problem is speculative owners refusing to sell buildings, basically they're "land-banking."

Regarding the Evanston TIF, she noted that selling to not-for-profits takes buildings off the tax rolls and defeats the purpose of a TIF; special-use permit are needed to keep Howard businesses for-profit.

Rainey noted that a survey of Howard St. was done in the past, and it was noted that the best use was residential mixed-use development.

A Devcorp representative provided an overview of the SSA (Special Service Area) #19, which is different than a TIF. This is a specially designated body with a nominal tax levy for owners along the Chicago side of Howard St. from Ridge to Greenview. Activities include snow shoveling, street cleaning, maintenance of planters and marketing/promotional events including banners and website promotion. It is overseen by a commission of property owners.

Devcorp also provides a Facade Rebate program that offers a rebate of 50% of improvements up to a certain amount.

Additionally, DevCorp works on business attraction and retention, market analysis, and residental surveys of the area, helping property owners determine what kinds of businesses will do well. It also recruits businesses both formally and informally.

A representative of the City of Evanston, Planning department described the new Howard St. TIF (Tax Increment Financing). It will capture the increase in taxes over a base (beginning) year transfering those excess funds into a fund to promote development. TIFs have been used to upgrade water/sewer system in the 400 block of Howard (Evanston).

Evanston also has a rebate program in Evanston. 50% of improvements of up to $10,000 and up to 4 buildings can be improved by 1 owner ($40,000 max.).
Business owner(s) will need to hire an architect before requesting a meeting with a city staffer. CDBG business district improvement fund are available if there is a formal business district or organization exists. Funds are assist with planters, awnings, etc. Morris Robinson in City Planning oversees this program. He also maintains a list of vacant business properties and can offer new businesses information on where to best position themselves.

Evanston and Chicago have worked together before on Howard St. projects, including the planters.

After this background, attendees were asked to brainstorm strategies to improve the Howard St. business district

It was suggested that neighbors work with the business district to organize both sides of Howard St. into a formal business organization. In doing, it is important to note that some businesses may not participate, and some are not viable and should not be supported.

Attendees expressed the opinion that the area is in need of businesses that reflect the neighborhood. Currently, a majority of the businesses along Howard target low-income consumers. To improve current conditions, Howard St. businesses need to represent the diversity of the neighborhood, which includes a growing group of middle-class consumers.

It was suggested that neighbors should organize property owners as well as business, along Howard to encourage owners to rent to viable businesses.

Attendees also expressed the need to create a summary of resources available to businesses and property owners on Howard Street.

Also, the next Hands Across Howard meeting should be include property owners. Alderman Moore volunteered to send letters to ask property owners to attend the meeting.

The following Action Plan was developed at the meeting
* Property Owners Meeting -- draft an invitation letter and coordinate with city government and service groups on both sides of Howard St.

* Resource Bank -- collect information about resources available to business owners

* Meet and Greet -- walk Howard St, and introduce the Hands across Howard project to business owners and also offer them resource information.
Harvey KahlerPerson was signed in when posted
02:32 PM ET (US)
Ward 49 Newsletter
Community Meeting on Proposed Wolcott Development

Dear Neighbor,

I am writing to invite you to attend a meeting to review a proposal for the construction of a three-story, 23-unit condominium development at 7525 N. Wolcott. The site is currently occupied by Amber Automotive, an automobile repair business.

The meeting will take place on Monday, February 11th, 7:00 p.m., at Jordan Community School, 7414 N. Wolcott.

Dan Schwegel, who owns both the property and the auto repair business, will present the proposal. He will be joined by his architect, Roula Alakiotou, and his attorney, William Hennessey.

The lot is 16,145 square feet in size and is zoned C1-2. Mr. Schwegel proposes to close his auto repair business and re-adapt the existing building to a residential use. The current zoning would permit the construction of 16 dwelling units. The owner is requesting a zoning change to RM4.5, which would allow him to construct 23 dwelling units.

I have attached copies of the rendering, the floor plans, and the south and west elevations:

icon 7525_N._Wolcott_Proposed_Rendering.pdf (1451 KB)

icon 7525_N._Wolcott_Proposed_Floor_Plan.pdf (204 KB)

icon 7525_N._Wolcott_Proposed_South_and_West_Elevations (168 KB)

I am interested in hearing your views on the proposed development before I decide whether or not to support the zoning change. If you are unable to attend the meeting, please share your thoughts by replying to this e-mail or calling my office at 773-338-5796.


Joe Moore
Bernard GarboPerson was signed in when posted
10:45 PM ET (US)
CAPS -- Jan. 24, 2008, 7pm

On this cold winter night, attendance was very low, but a number of key issues were raised.

Attendees were first reminded of the Hands Across Howard meeting on Feb. 9, at 2 pm at the Evanston Police Outpost, across the street from the Popeye's Chicken on Howard.

The police then updated attendees on crime stats. Officer provided information on a November homocide on Ridge that was part of a domestic dispute. Several other cases were either resolved or suspended (in particular a battery was suspended because the complaining party a Mexican citizen opted to not press charges when he decided to return to Mexico).

In December there were 2 arrests for narcotic and 46 contact cards written (a contact card is taking when an individual is stopped but no arrest is made, they go into a police database allowing officers to see the number of times the individual has been stopped and why).

Police advised that a teen that had been assaulting neighbors this summer, while riding around the area on his bike, was arrested last week.

(For other December incidents in the beat, see 2424's main board.)

Neighbors reported problems with a bar called Gallagher where they say that drug dealing and prostitution is taking place, they believe with the consent of bar management. The bar is 1770 W Greenleaf. It is owned by Ignacio and Leticia Estrada. They are licensed as a late hour tavern and place of amusement license. The licenses were renewed on 11/16/2007 and expire 10/15/2008. Neighbors asked for helping contesting their license. The 24th CAPS office is aware of the issue and is working with the alderman's office to get written feedback from neighbors.

Another bar, in the area, Stripes (?) is reported to also be of problem according to patrol officers.

Drug dealing and suspicious activity have been observed in the 7300 block of Winchester. Police made note of the address and will be investigating.

Rave parties (primarily teen parties) have been reported on the 7500 block of Winchester and 2000 block of Birchwood. Police ask that if neighbors see groups of teens gathering, they call police BEFORE the party gets started.

Evanston neighbors at the meeting thanked Chicago residents for attending the recent hearing of Jose Clark who was arrested for a number of burglaries in Evanston, and possibly Chicago. This is part of our Hands Across Howard initiative.

The next CAPS meeting will be Feb. 28.

Your attendance is crucial to our efforts to identify problems. Please add to this calendar!
Edited 01-24-2008 10:50 PM
Bernard GarboPerson was signed in when posted
06:56 PM ET (US)
January meetings

Jan. 3 -- Area update on Burglaries
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: 633 Howard, Evanston
(directly across from 1900 block of Howard in Chicago)

Jan. 16 -- Birchwood-Hoyne owners' initiative
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: TBD

Jan. 24 -- CAPS (beat 2424)
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Pottawattomie Park, (NE corner Winchester & Rogers)

Jan. 26 -- Brummel Park Neighbors (Evanston)
Time: 2 pm
Where: 633 Howard, Evanston
Edited 01-21-2008 03:14 AM
Bernard GarboPerson was signed in when posted
01:41 AM ET (US)
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