Zoning panel to hear request for bank
by BRIAN NADIG
A proposal to build a bank with a drive-through facility in Edison Park is moving forward after years of delay, while a plan to construct a two-story house in the Norwood Park Circle appears to be in jeopardy.
The 12,921-square-foot parcel at 7292 W. Devon Ave. was rezoned in 2011 to the bank to be built and two buildings on the site were later demolished, but construction of the bank never started.
41st Ward Alderman Anthony Napolitano’s chief of staff Chris Vittorio said that Signature Bank officials recently expressed a renewed interest in the project and that the bank has filed an application to obtain a special use permit for the drive-through lanes. Vittorio said that the permit that was issued several years ago is no longer valid.
In 2011 plans called for a two-story bank at the northeast corner of Devon and Avondale avenues, but a pending construction permit states that the bank would be one story tall. The Signature facility at 6400 N. Northwest Hwy. will close after the Devon branch is built.
The bank would have two drive-through lanes and one drive-up automated teller machine.
The Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled to hear the request for a special use during the 2 p.m. session of its meeting on Friday, Sept. 16, in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St.
The board also is scheduled to hear requests for special uses for the establishment of a mosque at 4846 N. Elston Ave. and a hair salon at 5562 W. Farragut Ave.
Meanwhile, the Sept. 7 meeting of the 41st Ward Zoning Advisory Committee was canceled because the city Bureau of Zoning and Land use has determined that a proposal to build a house at 6854 W. Thorndale Ave. is not feasible. The project’s for the project sought a lot-size variation to allow construction of the home.
A bureau official said in June that the home could be built if the Zoning Board of Appeals approved the variation, but the bureau changed its opinion on the request this month, Vittorio said. The change came after the bureau was notified of a 1978 court ruling in which a previous owner of the Thorndale lot was denied a construction permit because the lot had not been created properly.
The Thorndale lot was subdivided from lots at 5901 and 5909 N. East Circle Ave. that do not conform with side-yard requirements. However, under the zoning code properties generally cannot be subdivided if there is an existing nonconforming condition.
It appears doubtful that any home could be built on the property, and its best use may be as an extension of the back yards of the homes on East Circle, Vittorio said. There is a small garage on the Thorndale lot, which measures 6,870 square feet.
The developer for the project was planning to buy the foreclosed property from a bank.
The property is zoned RS-1, which is the most restrictive zoning classification for residential uses. The site is subject to additional restrictions because it is in the Norwood Park Special Character Overlay District, which was created to preserve the oversized lots and single-family home atmosphere of the area.
The advisory committee is tentatively scheduled to meet on Thursday, Oct. 6, to discuss a proposed building with 44 residential units and a 156-space parking garage at 6655 N. Oliphant Ave. in Downtown Edison Park.