Condominium development vote planned


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. Valet services for area restaurants park currently about 70 cars on the site during the evening.

The garage, which would be 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. Some of those spaces would be leased to valet services at night.

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

When asked for a show of hands at the committee’s November meeting, all but a few of the 70 residents there voted against the project. The committee makes recommendations on zoning issues to Alderman Anthony Napolitano, who has said he would not support the plan if it lacks the support of residents.

Residents have expressed concern that at 48 feet the building would be too tall with the predominantly single-family home nature of the neighborhood to the south, and that the condominiums could attract families, adding to the crowded 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 expressed support for the project. Emerson said that the size of the building is appropriate when compared to commercial and multi-family buildings on Olmsted Avenue to the north.

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 how to spend $1 million of discretionary funds for the ward. The funds must be used for infrastructure improvements, and recommendations for capital projects will be accepted at the meeting.

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