41st Ward panel could vote this week on Edison Park proposal


The 41st Ward Zoning Advisory Committee at its meeting today, Jan. 4, is expected to vote on a controversial plan to build a 30-unit condominium complex with a parking garage near the Edison Park Metra Station.

The four-story building would be constructed on a 36,000-square-foot parcel at 6649-55 N. Oliphant Ave., where a car wash recently closed. Currently valet services for area restaurants park about 70 cars on the site during the evening.

The proposed garage, which would be located on the first two floors of the building, would include a tandem parking space for each condominium and 95 spaces for paid commuter parking during the day. At night some of those spaces would be leased to valet services.

The proposal has attracted large crowds to the Olympia Park fieldhouse, 6566 N. Avondale Ave., forcing the meetings to be relocated from a side room to the gymnasium. The Jan. 4 meeting will start at 6:30 p.m.

When asked for a showing of hands at the November meeting, all but a few of the 70 residents there voted against the project. Committee decisions serve as a recommendation to Alderman Anthony Napolitano, who has said he would not support the plan if it lacks community support.

Residents have expressed concern that the building’s 48-foot-height would be too tall given the predominantly single-family home nature of the neighborhood to the south and that the condominiums could attract families, adding to the overcrowded conditions at area schools.

Due to the proximity of a railroad crossing, left turns from Oliphant Avenue to the site would not be permitted. A second driveway would be located on Avondale Avenue.

Board chairman Mike Emerson has voiced support for the project. He said that the size of the building is appropriate when compared to commercial and multi-family buildings to the north on Olmsted Avenue.

Also in the ward, Napolitano will hold a meeting on participatory budgeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9, in the library at Taft High School, 6530 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.

Later this winter Napolitano will hold a community vote on to spend $1 million of discretionary funds for the ward. Those funds must be used for infrastructure improvements, and recommendations for capital projects will be taken at the meeting.

Similar votes have been taken in the 36th and 45th wards.