1. Introduction. The WOTN regular meeting convened at 5:30pm at Eva’s Café at 1447 North Sedgwick. The agenda is attached. Those attending signed a roster and made brief introductions.
  2. Approval of  Meeting Minutes – Minutes of the February 7, 2018 WOTN meeting were distributed, reviewed and approved. The  meeting included a town hall discussion with Alderman Walter Burnett and CPD Commander Paul Bauer…..
  3. Marketing and Outreach – Sanjeev Misra is now working on Parks committee so Melinda Kramer will join this committee and is looking for other residents to join her.  Looking for suggestions for ways to build WOTN members and meet with other associations.
    • Melinda met with the Lincoln Park Community Services organization. They are building at the site of the former Culina Blu on Sedgwick. They offer housing and full range of services to their clients in order to enable homeless individuals to successfully stabilize and re-enter the workforce. They have a very strong relationship with Lincoln Park residents in their current location on Fullerton and want to develop an equally strong relationship with Old Town residents. They have a strong volunteer corps and are interested in how they can help in our community and suggested a Beautification project. Melinda will be coordinating a follow up meeting for anyone wishing to learn more. Their website is http://www.lpcsonline.org
    • Would like to have WOTN members join the May 5, Run to Remember for Commander Bauer. You can run or walk and there’s also a donation option for those who want to show support but can’t attend. Details online at https://www.classy.org/team/157258
    • The town hall meetings with Aldermen were well attended. We discussed frequency for Town Halls and others that you would like to invite as speakers. Suggestions included an annual joint Town Hall with both Alderman to discuss topics that affect residents from both Wards as well as nearby businesses, charitable organizations and developers.
  4. Parks and Greenspace – Sanjeev Misra and Kristen Boike have been working to schedule a community meeting to discuss the future park at Larrabee and Mohawk St. 
    • Earth Day – April 21st is Earth Day and there are some cleanups scheduled for around the city. If WOTN members would like to perform a cleanup in their area, the 2nd Ward can provide tools, trash bags, etc.
  5. Development Committee – Paul Gaudette provided the following update on the work of the Development Committee:
    • 633 W. North Avenue – The developer has been quiet to this point but wants to have a meeting with the 2nd Ward next Tuesday (4/17). The big issues on the table continue to be height, density, traffic, etc. The 2nd Ward will keep us up to date.
    • 742-758 W. North Avenue Development – On Thursday, February 22, 2018, a Community Meeting was held at the Yondorf Building at 758 West North Avenue to discuss the proposed development at 742-758 West North Avenue. The Development Team, 2nd Ward, community residents, and WOTN attended. Approximately 40 people attended. Prior to the community meeting, WOTN met with the Development Team on January 30, 2018 for an intake meeting. The major concerns expressed by the community and WOTN were the challenges with the proposed 742-758 W. North Ave. development regarding traffic and parking due to the increased density this location will bring and the limitations of the development site. Modifications to the building façade were also recommended. WOTN summarized these concerns to Alderman Brian Hopkins to continue to work towards minimizing the effects of each of these items in the proposed development. The developer has made some modifications since our last meeting and has met with Department of Planning (DPD) and CDOT for an intake meeting. DPD and CDOT planners are reviewing and will send a report to the 2nd Ward. Once they have received, there will be a meeting with WOTN to discuss.
    • Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) – Members of WOTN and several other local community organizations have become concerned about the increase in density and reduction in parking that is created by TODs. Jim McLaughlin has volunteered to review the impact, discuss with the 2nd, and with other organizations.
    • Collaboration with other local organizations – WOTN is discussing collaborating with other organizations in the review of proposed developments.
  6. Crime and Safety – Kim and Tom McBride are leading these efforts. Tom gave an update on some of the local police activities such as the patrol car stationed on Hudson. He said the 18th is well informed and aware of the issues and drug dealing in the neighborhood. It’s critical that people call or text reports on these issues to enable the desired staffing levels and resources. It’s also good to speak with the police in the patrol cars and let them know what you are seeing. Tom is planning a meeting with the new Commander to find out more about their plans and whether a substation nearby is an option.
    • Near North High School – The street and other areas between the closed Near North High School and playing field has broken lighting, failed sidewalks and paving and other poor conditions due to lack of maintenance. The 27th Ward office has been notified of issues with repair requests. Residents are also urged to contact Alderman Burnett’s office to ask for these things to be addressed.
    • North and Cleveland Intersection – A letter was sent to Alderman Hopkins office at end of year to request improved crossing safety. The Alderman put in a formal request to CDOT to assess and improve safety. The Alderman said that improvement is also being tied into negotiations with the 633 North Ave development so we will learn more after their meeting next Tuesday.
    • New Tow Zone signage has been added to the corner of Larrabee St. and North Ave based on WOTN request to Alderman Hopkins office. This will improve safety at that intersection with better visibility and turning space.
    • Reminder that it is critical to report any crime and safety issues to the 18th district in order for them to see the issues and recognize the needs of the community. Neighbors can direct all issues to Sgt. Vanek at 312-742-5780. There is also anonymous crime tip text reporting via CRIMES service. Type 274637 in To: then CPD <space> info and send.

New Business –

  • Lindsay Anderson reported that George Manierre elementary school needs community support. It has improved from probation status to Level 1 school status. There will be Local School Council elections on April 18 from 6 am – 7 pm. Lindsay is running for the LSC and residents can go to the school and vote for LSC candidates. (Bring two forms of ID.)


Meeting Schedule:

WOTN regular meeting, 6:00-7:00pm

Tuesday, June 10, 2018

Eva’s Café, 1447 N. Sedgwick, Chicago

Please spread the word and invite your neighbors to join us.

Stay informed. Get involved. It’s our neighborhood.