Residents oppose plans for Milwaukee Ave. liquor store
by BRIAN NADIG
Residents plan to present a letter signed by 50 people 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 on 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 entrance of the store’s parking lot on Milwaukee. The letter also states that there are three packaged liquor stores in the area and that a liquor license is pending for a convenience store at 5530 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Gladstone Park resident Joe DiCiaula said that an establishment such as a coffee shop would be more appropriate for the location because of its proximity to homes.
Resident John Garrido, who helped write the letter who lives near 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 B3-1 zoning of the site for a packaged liquor store.
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.
Gladstone Park residents plan to hold a meeting to discuss the topic at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, at Saint Tarcissus School, 6040 W. Ardmore Ave. The residents also plan to discuss proposals for bike lanes on Milwaukee Avenue and jet noise from O’Hare Airport.