ZBA okays special use for package liquor store





by BRIAN NADIG

The Zoning Board of Appeals at its Sept. 16 meeting approved a special use permit that will allow a second business in Downtown Norwood Park to sell packaged liquor.

Norwood Park Wine and Spirits will open at 6056 N. Northwest Hwy., in the Plaza 6060 shopping center. Last year Ada’s Market and Deli, 6165 N. Northwest Hwy., became the first retail store in the area to sell packaged liquor after a ban on the sale of alcohol was lifted in a portion of the commercial strip in 2006.

The zoning board approved the special use after considering the effect that the store would have on nearby properties. The city zoning code requires special use permits for businesses such as taverns and liquor stores under certain zoning classifications.

The city Department of Buildings issued a construction permit for the liquor store on Sept. 26. The store will operate in the northern half of the shopping center, as the southern half is located on a "dry" precinct where liquor sales are prohibited.

Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st) has said that he will seek a plan of operation which will require the store to close by 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends. Those conditions will become a condition of the store’s liquor license.

The store’s operator also owns Community Food and Liquor, 5530 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The zoning board also approved a special use for the construction of a one-story bank with a drive-through facility at 7292 W. Devon Ave., where two commercial buildings were demolished for the project. Signature Bank plans to close its facility at 6400 N. Northwest Hwy. after the branch on Devon opens.

The bank will be at the northeast corner of Devon and Avondale avenues. At one time plans called for a two-story bank on the 12,921-square-foot parcel.

The board also approved a special use allowing a beauty salon to open in a storefront at 5562 W. Farragut Ave. that formerly was occupied by the Studio 23 Salon.

About 90 people reportedly attended a community meeting that Alderman Gilbert Villegas (36th) held on a proposal to build a retail-residential project at the northeast corner of Belmont and Narragansett avenues, where the Peter Pan restaurant and other businesses were once located.

Many of the residents left the meeting early after it was explained that the apartments would not be part of an affordable housing project, according to Villegas’ director of policy Justin Heath. Monthly rents for the 52 apartments would range from $1,500 to $2,000.

Villegas earlier rejected an affordable housing project for a vacant parcel at 3655 N. Central Ave. after objections were expressed at a community meeting. The units would have been marketed for families with a household income of about $45,000.

The buildings on the 32,000-square-foot site at 6338-60 W. Belmont Ave. have been vacant for years, and several residents who live near the site expressed support for the project, Heath said. He said that residential permit parking may be implemented on some side streets to address concerns that the building could increase parking congestion.

Plans call for a five-story building to be constructed at the intersection and a four-story building to be built on a parcel to the east. Villegas has not said whether he plans to support rezoning the site for the project.

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