Committee hears zoning bids


A proposal to subdivide a residential lot, the construction two six-flats and a planned art studio are among the zoning proposals in the Old Irving Park area which the City Council Committee on Zoning was scheduled to hear at its Oct. 28 meeting.

Plans call for a new single-family home to be constructed at 4050 N. Lowell Ave., where a house was demolished in 2013. However the width of the 50-foot-wide lot would be reduced to 35 feet, with the remaining 15 feet being used for as a side yard for an existing house at 4056 N. Lowell Ave.

Both properties are owned by the same person. The proposal requires the property at 4050 N. Lowell to be rezoned from RS-2 to the less restrictive RS-3.

RS-2 requires that the minimum lot frontage on the site be 50 feet, which is the predominant lot frontage of same-zoned parcels on that side of the block. However, the proposed 35-foot-wide lot would be in keeping with the other side of the block and would be allowed under the proposed RS-3, Alderman John Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh said.

The proposal had called for a two-car garage underneath the house, but a rear detached garage that would be accessible from a driveway is now planned, Brugh said. Plans call for the property to be downzoned back to RS-2 after constructions permits are issued for the project.

Two six-unit residential buildings would be constructed at 4041-49 N. Pulaski Road, where three houses were demolished in 2011. The proposal required the 112.5-foot-wide parcel to be rezoned from B3-2 to B2-3, which allows ground-floor residential use in a business district.

Artist Nick Cave, who is known for his sculpture-like costumes, is planning to open a work and sales space on the ground floor and two residential units on the second floor at 3616-22 N. Milwaukee Ave., which also has some frontage on Addison Street. The project requires the property to be rezoned from M1-1, which is intended for manufacturing use, to C1-2, which is intended for neighborhood commercial districts.

Arena and the Old Irving Park Association support Cave’s plan. Cave has said that he wants to work on art initiatives with Schurz High School, 3601 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Another proposal calls for the site of an apartment building at 3821-23 N. Monticello Ave. to be rezoned from RS-2, which is intended for single-family homes, to RM-5 to allow the basement to be converted to an apartment. The building is considered a legally nonconforming nine-flat.

In 2013 a building code violation citation was issued for converting the basement into an apartment without a construction permit. The basement has had a nonconforming apartment for several decades, and at a community meeting several months ago, residents did not object to rezoning the property so that the basement apartment would be brought into compliance, Brugh said.

The agenda for the meeting also contains a proposal by Arena to create a "pedestrian street" zoning designation for the Jefferson Park commercial district, Milwaukee and Lawrence avenues. The designation would restrict parking to behind buildings for new construction and in some instances would reduce parking requirements.