Special use for new liquor store okayed


by BRIAN NADIG

The Zoning Board of Appeals at its Sept. 19 meeting approved a special use that will allow a liquor store to open at 5636 N. Milwaukee Ave. despite objections from area residents.

A letter opposing the project which 43 residents had signed was presented to the board at its July 18 meeting. The owner of the proposed 4th Octave liquor store was not at that meeting, and the board continued the matter until September because members wanted to hear from the owner how he would address the concerns of residents.

A group of residents are planning to work with the owner on a "plan of operation" that would limit operating hours and prohibit the sale of single-serve containers of beer. Alderman John Arena (45th), who supports the opening of the store, requires the operators of new liquor stores in the ward to agree to a plan of operation with restrictions that become a condition of the store’s license.

"(The) liquor store owner is now aware of the concerns expressed and seems willing to address issues ahead of time and wants to be a good neighbor," the group Friends of Gladstone Park posted last week on its Facebook page. Many of the residents who attended the group’s August meeting said that they oppose the project because there are too many liquor stores in the neighborhood.

A portion of the 1,600-square-foot building where the store will be located runs along Marmora Avenue, a side street. The driveway to the store’s parking lot is on Milwaukee Avenue.

Obtaining the special use allows the owner to apply for a liquor license.

Also in the area, the Marino Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealership, which has been storing vehicles for several months at the former Gateway Chevrolet dealership at 5371-73 N. Milwaukee Ave., recently acquired a building at 5351 N. Milwaukee Ave. that previously housed an accountant’s office. Marino’s showroom is at 5133 W. Irving Park Road.

Marino reportedly also is seeking to acquire the Little Al’s motorcycle shop building at 5353 N. Milwaukee Ave. The motorcycle shop has been operating in the 101-year-old building since 1976.

Immediate plans call for the continued storage of cars at the Gateway site, according to a Marino representative. A zoning change would be required for storing cars on the accounting and motorcycle sites, which are located immediately to the south of the former Gateway showroom property.

Also in the 45th Ward, details of a proposal to build a four-story building with 39 apartments and about 10,600 square feet of storefront space at 5201-21 W. Lawrence Ave. were presented at a recent board meeting of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association. The association will hold a general meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, at the Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, 5320 W. Giddings St.

The plans were submitted to the city several months ago, and it is not known if they have been revised. The site includes several vacant lots, some of which the city owns.

The proposal calls for 41 parking spaces, with additional parking on a vacant lot at 4759 N. Laramie Ave. Laramie, which is one way northbound, would be converted to a two-way street from Lawrence to the first alley to the south under the proposal.


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