Jefferson Park Station Area Plan discussed at meeting
by BRIAN NADIG
An area master plan and new programming at Rosedale Park were discussed at the May 29 meeting of the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association.
"It does not talk about height and density. That never comes up, (and) it technically does not talk about zoning," association president Joe DiCiaula said of the recently released draft of the Jefferson Park Station Area Plan.
The plan focuses on design, transportation and economic development guidelines for the area surrounding the Jefferson Park CTA Terminal, 4917 N. Milwaukee Ave., but it also includes recommendations for Milwaukee Avenue between Foster Avenue and Bryn Mawr Avenue in the Gladstone Park commercial district. Project consultants have said that it is not unusual for zoning recommendations to be left out of a master plan.
The plan also makes little or no mention of several current development projects, including the planned 16-story mixed-use building at 4849 N. Lipps Ave., the proposed mixed-income housing complex at 5150 N. Northwest Hwy. and a planned retail-residential building at 4900-08 N. Milwaukee Ave. Residents have challenged two of those projects in court, although the Northwest Highway lawsuit was dismissed.
The plan calls for new mixed-use developments to promote the character of the community and for the creation of new public gathering places.
A copy of the master plan draft is available at accessjeffpark.org, and comments can be submitted via the Web site. The Chicago Plan Commission is expected to hold a public hearing on the plan this summer.
DiCiaula said that the master plan is intended to serve as a design footprint for developers and that city planners can use the guidelines when reviewing projects but that the recommendations do not necessarily have to be followed. "There is no guarantee," he said.
For the Gladstone Park business area, the plan recommends that new developments have retail or other active uses on the ground floor, maintain parking in the rear of the building and include "building corners with architectural articulation" when facing intersections.
A proposed four-unit apartment building at the Milwaukee-Foster intersection would not include storefronts, but parking would be in the rear of the site, and plans call for the frame-style facade to resemble the Whistle Stop Inn at 4200 W. Irving Park Road, which has been designated a city landmark.
A recommendation on the reconfiguration of Foster Avenue was left out of the plan due to a lack of consensus on the issue.
The recommendation had called for rerouting a portion of Foster traffic on to Northwest Highway. The plan included the installation of a stoplight at Milwaukee Avenue and the Foster spur to assist the flow of traffic from the spur, which is located along the north end of the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police Station at 5151 N. Milwaukee Ave., to Northwest Highway.
Also at the meeting, new Rosedale Park supervisor Sharon O’Connell introduced herself to association members. She has worked 30 years for the Chicago Park District, including stints as the supervisor of Gladstone and Wildwood parks.
O’Connell said that she has scheduled a variety of special events at the park, 6312 W. Rosedale Ave., in an effort to appeal to all ages. "This is a great community. There are different groups out there, and I just want to get everyone involved," she said.
A "clean up the park" event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 16, and tools and supplies will be provided to volunteers, and outdoor "mom and daughter yoga" classes, which include a free lunch, are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25, O’Connell said.
Also, a grammar school volleyball league will be held in September, and a "winter ball" softball tournament is set for January, O’Connell said.
The park also sponsors several youth programs.