14 units proposed for lot at Northwest Hwy and Carmen Ave near Jefferson Park Metra Station
by BRIAN NADIG
A 14-unit residential development is being proposed for a longtime vacant parcel at Northwest Highway and Carmen Avenue in Jefferson Park, where in 2020 a 36-unit apartment building had been proposed for the 11,749-square-foot parcel.
The property is located across from the Jefferson Park Metra Station parking lot at 5020 N. Northwest Hwy. and the parking garage for the 16th (Jefferson Park) District Police Station at 5151 N. Milwaukee Ave. The property was rezoned to RM-4.5 in 2007 for a 14-unit development that was never built.
On-site parking would not be required due to the site’s proximity to a transit center, but the current proposal calls for 14 parking spaces. Residents have voiced parking and traffic concerns about the earlier proposals for the property.
A yard variation is required in order to fit all of the planned parking spaces for the proposed three-story apartment building, and the Zoning Board of Appeals could hold a hearing on the request in the next couple of months. A construction permit for the site also is pending.
The proposal was discussed at the Feb. 15 meeting of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association.
Association president Colleen Murphy said that while the proposal is denser than what the association wants, the association is not objecting given that other proposals for the site have been significantly larger in scope. The site’s RM4.5 zoning allows up to 17 units on the property.
“It’s really out of character with the neighborhood, (but) at this point it’s 14 units, and we have to be grateful for it,” Murphy said. There are several smaller multi-family buildings on the block.
Murphy said that the association hopes construction can start this spring before a denser proposal can come along and that “exempt” permits for zoned parking on nearby streets should not be issued for occupants or guests of the proposed building due to the existing parking congestion in the area.
Murphy said that Alderman James Gardiner (45th) has discussed the proposal with the association and that he is making “the best” of the situation given that he “inherited” it from a previous administration. Gardiner has said that he did not support the site’s rezoning in 2020 for 36 units due to the community’s objections.
“This development serves as yet another example of the positive work we are doing with residents in Jefferson Park and the broader community. Our relationship with community groups is ever growing, and we encourage feedback on proposals to make well informed decisions that impact our lives,” Gardiner said on Thursday.
Also in the area, construction continues on nine single-family homes at 5338-56 W. Argyle St., whose previous occupants included a cement company and a dairy.