West Old Town Neighbors

Neighborhood Association for Residents in West Old Town

Meeting minutes of April 10, 2018 — April 18, 2018

Meeting minutes of April 10, 2018


  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.

Community Presentation 2/22 – Yondorf Hall – 758 W. North Ave. – development plan — February 14, 2018

Community Presentation 2/22 – Yondorf Hall – 758 W. North Ave. – development plan

WHEN: Thursday, February 22, 2018 from 6:00 to 7:00 PM
WHERE: Yondorf Hall – 758 W. North Ave.

From Alderman Hopkins office:

Join me at a presentation co-hosted by Steppenwolf Theatre Company (STC), the West Old Town Neighbors (WOTN) and my office for Yondorf Hall located at 758 W. North Avenue. As you may be aware, STC solicited proposals from qualified developers to acquire and redevelop the adjoining site and its adjacent parking lot.

The applicant is proposing a new mixed-use, residential development with ground floor
commercial space that would require a zoning change from a B3-2 to a B3-5.
Per my direction, representatives from the selected development team will present their
plan to redevelop the site. My office will attend this meeting to monitor the discussion
and record your feedback.

I work hard to provide an open and transparent community review of development
proposals within the ward. Please join me to engage in a direct dialogue with the
development team to gain a better understanding of the proposal and to receive
answers to your questions.

In the meantime, if I can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact my
office at 312-643-2299, or via email at Ward02@cityofchicago.org.


Brian Hopkins
Alderman, 2nd Ward

Town Hall meeting with Ald. Burnett – Feb. 7 @ 6:30 pm – Meeting Minutes update — January 30, 2018

Town Hall meeting with Ald. Burnett – Feb. 7 @ 6:30 pm – Meeting Minutes update

West Old Town Neighbors – Meeting Minutes

Town Hall with Alderman Burnett Jr.

6:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 7, 2018 , Art on Sedgwick, 1408 North Sedgwick, Chicago, Illinois

Introduction. The WOTN Town Hall meeting convened at 6:30pm at Art on Sedgwick. Approximately 40 people attended the meeting on a cold February evening. Melinda Kramer thanked Charlie Branda for providing the meeting venue and introduced Alderman Burnett with a brief overview of his experience and cited the numerous committees he participates in within the City organizations.

Town Hall Discussion –

Alderman Burnett told attendees about his background and history in the Cabrini and Old Town neighborhood. He explained his position regarding mixed income communities – he believes that mixed income versus all low or all high income housing is important to the community. He explained that the CHA has its own leadership and ownership in all of the mandated replacement housing and that he works hard to keep these efforts mixed income.

Alderman Burnett spoke about the Near North High School park area (1500 N Larrabee) and that he is working to make that a park space for the community and wants feedback to support that position. He explained that the city is in favor of that space as a park but there are still some obstacles with HUD and CHA to get the space designated as a park space for the community. There will be upcoming meetings on this.

Alderman Burnett invited and introduced Commander Paul Bauer from the 18th Police Precinct to discuss crime and safety. Commander Bauer introduced himself and provided his background. He acknowledged the crime increases and spoke about the challenges the police have today. He cited a few key issues – criminals are being quickly released from jails and repeating their crimes, demand for drugs is high so dealers are active, police resources are constrained. On a positive note, he highlighted that there are new police academy graduates in the pipeline and it is important that residents call 911 to report all crime or illegal activity so they have the data to support resource allocations. The Commander acknowledged that more cameras help somewhat but that the crime/drug dealers typically just move to another location.

Attendees raised many questions about crime, safety, trash on streets, housing development and the park timeline. The Alderman and Commander responded to these questions and the meeting ran an extra hour to discuss those topics in more detail. Some of the responses are noted here:

  • The Alderman will provide additional trash cans in the neighborhood. He requested that residents contact Ms. Diamond Segretti (Superintendent of Streets and Sanitation 312-909-3041) to request service locations.
  • The Alderman instructed those who want to provide input to the mixed income development plans to contact the CHA for meeting dates and discussion.
  • The Alderman does not have a timeframe for the park development due to legal processes that are underway.
  • The Commander reminded everyone that calling 911 to report issues is critical to enabling appropriate response and resources.


The next regular West Old Town Neighbors meeting is April 10, 2018 at 6 pm at Eva’s Café.

01/11/18: Community Meeting for a Planned Development Proposal at 633 W. North Ave. (Father & Son Plaza) — December 22, 2017

01/11/18: Community Meeting for a Planned Development Proposal at 633 W. North Ave. (Father & Son Plaza)

Thursday, January 11, 2018
Latin School of Chicago
59 W. North Ave.
Wrigley Auditorium
7:00 – 8:00 PM

Please join 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins for a formal presentation of a revised
proposed development for Father and Son Plaza, located at 633 W. North Ave. No RSVP is

White Oak Realty Partners is proposing a new mixed-use, residential development with
ground floor commercial space that would require a zoning change from a B3-2 to a B3-5.

In December 2016, a public meeting was held to review the first proposal for the site,
followed by presentations to local community groups. Alderman Hopkins ultimately
rejected the proposal, citing concerns about height, density and traffic.

Recently, a revised proposal was submitted to the Alderman’s office and to community
groups for review. Alderman Hopkins seeks your input on the amended concept.

If you are unable to attend, there will be a digital presentation and feedback survey
published the day after the meeting on the 2nd Ward website and via newsletter.

Please contact the 2nd Ward Office at Ward02@cityofchicago.org with any questions or
comments in the interim, and we hope to see you there!

West Old Town Neighbors bi-monthly meeting 12/12/17 — October 12, 2017
Community Meeting held 10/23 with Ald. Hopkins (meeting minutes) — October 8, 2017