Board set to discuss Norwood Circle plan
by BRIAN NADIG
The 41st Ward Zoning Advisory Committee is scheduled to discuss a proposal to build a two-story home in the Norwood Park Circle at its meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 7.
Plans call for the demolition of a one-story frame garage on the 6,870-square-foot parcel at 6854 W. Thorndale Ave. and for construction of a 2,363-square-foot house with three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Olympia Park fieldhouse, 6566 N. Avondale Ave.
The site is in the Norwood Park Special Character Overlay District, which was created to preserve the single-family home atmosphere and oversized lots in the area. Under the RS-1 zoning of the site, the minimum lot size is normally 6,250 square feet, but the overlay district increases the minimum to 7,500 square feet.
The developer for the project is seeking a variation from the Zoning Board of Appeals to allow the construction. A variation can be sought if the existing lot is not less than 90 percent of the required minimum area.
However, a resident recently informed Alderman Anthony Napolitano’s office about a 1978 ruling in which the Illinois Appellate Court said that a house could not be built on the site because it had been improperly subdivided from two nonconforming lots on East Circle Avenue. The Thorndale property is behind the lots at 5901 and 5909 N. East Circle Ave., and those lots do not conform with side-yard requirements.
Under the zoning code, properties generally cannot be subdivided if it would create a nonconforming condition or increase an existing one. In some instances, properties can be rezoned to reduce yard and density requirements, allowing the subdivision.
Napolitano’s chief of staff Chris Vittorio said that he is seeking clarification from the city Bureau of Zoning and Land Use on whether the project would be feasible under the zoning code. He said that the developer is planning to purchase the foreclosed property from a bank.
Meanwhile, the committee tentatively plans to meet in early October to discuss a proposed four-story building with 44 residential units and a 156-space parking garage at 6655 N. Oliphant Ave. The developer is seeking to have a parking study conducted for the project, Vittorio said.