Yard variations required for Long-Argyle project


Additional zoning relief is required before construction permits can be issued for a planned 48-unit apartment complex at 5338-52 W. Argyle St.

The former industrial parcel was rezoned last December to RM-5 to accommodate the construction of a four-story project with indoor parking on the ground floor.

The site, which has been vacant for about 10 years, was once used as storage lot for a cement-mixing business. Plans also call for a neighboring two-flat to be demolished as part of the project.

The Zoning Board of Appeals could hear a series of yard variation requests for the property this fall. The proposal calls for a front yard of 10 feet, a rear yard of 7.25 feet (driveway for the garage), an east side-yard of 10 feet and zero feet of rear yard open space, including landscaping elements. The garage would be accessed from a rear alley.

Initially plans called for permits for the project to be submitted as one building with an enclosed hallway connecting two four-story structures, but the city decided that it qualified as two separate buildings, creating the need for additional yard variations, according to project attorneys Thomas Pikarski and John Pikarski Jr.

At a community meeting on the project, residents living near the property tended to oppose the proposal, while supporters said that higher density was needed in Jefferson Park to help support local businesses.

Immediately to the east, west and north of the approximately 28,000-square-foot parcel is RS-3 zoning, which is intended primarily for single-family homes and two-flats. To the south is the Kennedy Expressway and the Jefferson Park Metra Station, 4963 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Property owner Edward Paliatka initially planned to build single-family homes on the parcel when he acquired the property in the mid-2000s.

In addition, Full Circle Communities in 2014 expressed interest in building an affordable housing development on the site, but the company was unable to negotiate a deal to buy the property, according to a Feb. 9, 2015, e-mail released by the city in response to a Freedom of Information request.

Full Circle is planning to build a mixed-income housing development with 100 apartments at 5150 N. Northwest Hwy.