Homes planned for side yard in Norwood Park historic district


Construction is being planned for the first of three single-family homes that could be built on an 18,500-square-foot side yard at the southwest corner of Avondale and Nickerson avenues in the Norwood Park Historical District.

The side yard has been owned for 90 years by members of a family who also own an adjoining two-flat at 6208 N. Avondale Ave. Plans call for the trees on the side yard to be preserved.

The grandson of a couple who once lived in the two-flat is seeking to build a house on the south end of the side yard for the family of a relative. Plans for the side yard were presented at the Feb. 4 meeting of the 41st Ward Zoning Advisory Board, which consists of local architects and representatives of community groups.

The two-story frame house would measure about 3,300 square feet and would feature a front porch, a rear deck and a two-car detached garage which would be accessible from a side alley. The house would be built on a lot that measures 54 feet in the front, 50 feet in the rear, 136 feet on the south and 115 feet on the north.

Construction plans for the other two homes have not been made, according to a representative of the project.

Advisory board member Liz DeChant said that she prefers that one the remaining two houses should face Nickerson Avenue and the other should face Avondale in order to "keep the rhythm of the street (Avondale) right up to the corner." She said that the house on Avondale would require a driveway on Nickerson to access a garage but that side drives are "not out of the ordinary for the neighborhood."

Some board members said that any driveway on Nickerson should be as far away as possible from the Avondale-Nickerson intersection because of the high volume of traffic generated on those streets by the Norwood Park Metra station, 6088 N. Northwest Hwy. Several board members also expressed concern that issues involving utility easements would have to be addressed as part of subdividing the parcel into three lots.

A zoning change is not required for the project, but project officials agreed to present the plans to the advisory board at the request of Alderman Mary O’Connor. The board makes recommendations to O’Connor on zoning issues in the ward.

The property is zoned RS-2, which is intended for single-family homes, and it also is regulated by the Norwood Park Special Character Overlay District, which places additional restrictions on the size of buildings constructed in the historical district.

The board’s next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, at the Olympia Park fieldhouse, 6566 N. Avondale Ave. The agenda for the meeting featues a proposed four-flat at 6686 N. Olympia Ave., for which some board members have criticised the exterior design.