Zoning board to hear request for liquor store at 5636 N. Milwaukee Ave.
by BRIAN NADIG
Residents plan to present 50 letters opposing a proposed liquor store at 5636 N. Milwaukee Ave. to the Zoning Board of Appeals at its meeting on Friday, July 18.
The letter states that the 1,687-square-foot store would be “incompatible with the character of the surrounding area in terms of operating characteristics, such as hours of operation (closing at 1 a.m.) and increased traffic and noise on a residential street.”
A portion of the building is located along the 5600 block of North Marmora Avenue, and some residents have expressed concern that customers would park on Marmora or use Marmora as a shortcut to get to the store’s parking lot entrance on Milwaukee. The letter also states that there are three other packaged liquor establishments a short distance away and that a liquor license is pending for a convenience store at 5530 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Gladstone Park resident Joe DiCiaula said that the family-type establishment, such as a coffee shop, would be more appropriate for the location given its proximity to homes. “Do we really need another liquor store on Milwaukee?” he said.
Resident John Garrido, who helped write the letter who lives a few blocks from the site, said that all of the residents who signed the letter live within four blocks of the site. Garrido, who lost the 45th Ward aldermanic runoff race by 30 votes in 2011 to Alderman John Arena, has announced his candidacy to run again in 2015.
Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh said that the alderman’s office has not received a copy of the letter. Brugh has said that the establishment would be a “high-end” liquor store and that the owner has had no licensing issues at his other stores in the city.
Brugh said that Arena supports the request for a special use, which is required under the site’s B3-1 zoning for packaged liquor stores. Without the special use, a liquor license cannot be issued.
The zoning board is scheduled to hear the request during the afternoon session of its meeting, which will be held in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St. The session starts at 2 p.m.