ZBA to hear bids for NW Side projects


A proposal to add a drive-through facility to a bank in Sauganash and a plan to open a frozen custard restaurant in Portage Park are among recent applications filed with the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Pan American Bank, 6232 N. Pulaski Road, is seeking a special use permit to allow a construction of a one-lane drive-through facility for the bank, which is on the first floor of an office building. The bank does not have a drive-through.

The proposal is on the agenda for the board’s meeting on Friday, Jan. 20, but the item will be deferred so that Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th) can have more time to discuss the project with residents, Laurino’s spokesman Manuel Galvan said. The board’s meeting will start at 9 a.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St.

Also on the agenda for the meeting is a request for a drive-through facility for a Culver’s restaurant which is planned for the former site of a tire center at 4939-45 W. Irving Park Road. The proposal is part of a larger project which includes the opening of a Retro Fitness, a Binny’s Beverage Depot and an Elly’s Pancake House on the block.

The Culver’s would be just outside a "pedestrian street" designation which covers much of the Six Corners commercial district. The zoning designation, which prohibits new drive-through facilities, requires new construction to be pedestrian friendly and to have an urban feel.

Also on the agenda is a request to establish an off-site parking lot at 4722 W. Pensacola Ave. which would serve a proposed vehicle repair shop at 4739 W. Montrose Ave. Gearhead Workspace is intended to be a repair shop that would lease space to individuals to work on their cars.

However, project officials have indicated that they would drop their plans, Alderman John Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh said. The 10,000-square-foot warehouse was once occupied by Air-Mite Devices.

Plans now call for Gearhead to open in a garage in the North Center neighborhood as early as March. "The space is a currently operational shop, so obtaining a license will be much easier," the company said in a statement.

Also on the agenda is a request for a variation that would reduce the west setback requirement from 2.56 feet to 0.7 feet to accommodate a second-floor addition to a house at 5020 W. Berenice Ave. Neighbors have not expressed concern to the alderman’s office about the project, which includes changes to the attic, according to Brugh.

In another zoning matter, an application has been filed to rezone the site of an apartment building at 4941-45 N. Keystone Ave. from RS-3 to the less restrictive RT-3.5. The zoning change is being sought to allow a third apartment in the building, Galvan said.

In 2015 the city Department of Building issued citations and called for the basement unit to be removed and for the two-story building to be restored to a two-flat. Notices of the proposed zoning change have been sent to area property owners, and the alderman’s office has not received any objections, Galvan said.