Special use for pawn, jewelry shop shought


A proposed pawn and jewelry shop near Long and Diversey avenues and the expansion of a tavern in Downtown Edison Park are among the items on the agenda for the Dec. 20 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

About 35 residents attended a Dec. 10 community meeting on a request for a special use that would allow a pawnshop to operate in a building at 5401 W. Diversey Ave. that currently houses a convenience store. Alderman Ariel Reboyras (30th) held the meeting at Northwest Community Church, 5318 W. Diversey Ave.

Several residents said at the meeting that the area already has enough pawn shops and that Diversey has a more residential nature than Belmont Avenue, which has pawn shops in the 5300 and 5600 blocks, according to Belmont-Central Chamber of Commerce executive director Reid Mackin. Residents also noted that several churches and offices for community groups are on Diversey, Mackin said.

The store’s owner reported that about 25 percent of the business would be pawn shop-related, Mackin said. Reboyras told residents that the owner has a similar business elsewhere in the ward and that it has not caused any problems, according to Mackin.

Mackin said that the owner agreed at the meeting to have no outside signs promoting the pawnshop operation. He said that plans call for the convenience store to close if the jewelry and pawn store opens.

A special use for a pawnshop also is being sought for a building at 3201 N. Cicero Ave.

Meanwhile, the Firewater Saloon, 6689-95 N. Oliphant Ave., is seeking a special use to allow it to expand its operations, including opening a kitchen to provide food service. The tavern also is seeking a public place of amusement license to allow live country music and line dancing.

Lisa Ryan, the chief of staff for Alderman Mary O’Connor (41st) said that the alderman’s office has not received any objections to the request.

Also in the 41st Ward, special uses are being requested to allow a fitness center at 6323-27 N. Avondale Ave. to expand from 7,000 square feet to 14,000 square feet and a community center to open at the Kosciuszko School of Polish Language, 5341 N. Harlem Ave.

The board’s agenda also features two special use requests to allow ground-floor residential units in proposed six-unit buildings at 3209 and 3215 N. Elston Ave.

The special use requests for properties on Avondale, Cicero, Elston and Harlem are scheduled to be heard during the 9 a.m. session of the zoning board’s meeting on Friday, while the other requests are listed on the agenda for the 2 p.m. session. The meeting will be heard in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St.