Public Hearing December 13
If you’re able, please attend the Zoning Hearing on Tuesday,
December 13, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall in order to preserve the “pedestrian street” designation of Milwaukee Avenue between Kedzie and Sawyer Avenues.
The official meeting agenda of the December 13 meeting of the Zoning Committee has not yet been posted, but the specifics of the proposed zoning change to remove the “pedestrian street” designation of a part of Milwaukee Avenue are posted on page 9 of the matters referred to the Committee on Zoning on November 2, 2011.
Milwaukee Avenue’s “pedestrian street” designation runs from Kedzie Avenue north to Central Park Avenue, but the area in question is Milwaukee Avenue between Kedzie Avenue on the south and Sawyer Avenue on the north as shown on the zoning map below.
The reason for the existing “pedestrian street” designation in the Zoning Ordinance is:
…to preserve and enhance the character of streets…that are widely recognized as Chicago’s best examples of pedestrian-oriented shopping districts. The regulations are intended to promote transit, economic vitality and pedestrian safety and comfort.
Do you prefer the look and feel of a Milwaukee Avenue like this (below) with the “pedestrian street” designation?
or like this (below), and
this (below) that would be permitted without the “pedestrian street” designation?
Curb Cut, Driveway and Visible Parking Non-Conforming
to “Pedestrian Street” Standards on Milwaukee Avenue
The two last photos are of current conditions on the stretch of Milwaukee Avenue in question, but they are not a direction to aspire to. They are legally non-conforming to the “pedestrian street” requirements because their conditions existed before the Zoning Ordinance was changed in 2004 to include “pedestrian streets” as part of the city’s nearly four-year long, thoughtful and fairly comprehensive overhaul of the Zoning Ordinance for the first time since 1957.
The designation prevents blank windowless walls, buildings set back more than five feet from the sidewalk, curb cuts, driveways and drive-throughs, parking in front of buildings, strip centers, and banks crowding together.
The designation encourages pedestrian-scaled entrances on the street, outdoor display of produce and plants, transparent windows for pedestrians to look into, outdoor eating areas, and limited and hidden parking.
Removing the designation would not only encourage car-centric development, but require some future development to provide parking that is not currently provided (or needed due to the proximity of the Emmett Street parking lot).
I don’t know why the alderman has proposed to make Milwaukee Avenue more car-centric. I don’t know why he chose not to meet with the community about this proposed change. I do know that your views can be heard though at the Public Hearing December 13 before the Zoning Committee, a committee on which he sits.