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After Intense Local Debate, East Andersonville Rezoning Gets Alderman’s Full Support

1436 Bewyn

The fight to save a local Greystone at 1436 West Berwyn has led neighbors in East Andersonville to band together in order to down-zone the neighborhood and avoid future demolition of area homes. Now the measure has received Alderman Harry Osterman’s full support which ensures rezoning success.

for many, that historic greystone on Berwyn has become a symbol of East Andersonville’s fight to prevent future developments in area. After a meeting held August 23 at Pierce School, the Alderman was swayed to the side for RS-3 rezoning support after a vote of 98-26 in favor of the measure. The Alderman also mentioned that supportive letters from The East Andersonville Residents’ Council and the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce as well as 225 petition signatures helped make his decision.

“For several months residents in East Andersonville have been considering a proposal to rezone from RT-4 to RS-3, the area from Foster to Gregory, the alley east of Clark Street to both sides of Glenwood, Bryn Mawr to Foster,” said Alderman Osterman in a emailed letter. ” The support for this rezoning is grounded in many neighbors’ desire and commitment to preserve and protect the unique character of East Andersonville and its housing stock, half of which are two flats and single family homes. Given the broad base of support from neighbors in East Andersonville, I will be supporting the rezoning and introducing an ordinance to change the zoning from RT-4 to RS-3 at the September 20th Chicago City Council meeting. As Alderman and someone who has represented East Andersonville for many years, I agree with those in support of this rezoning and believe it is in the best interest of the community. ”

Residents who supported the down-zoning said that the large developments not only increase population density in the neighborhood, but they also dwarf surrounding buildings, eliminate green space and diminish the community charm. However, those who opposed the rezoning wanted the population in the area to grow in order to allow for new residents and increase community vitality. They also feel rezoning would drive up home prices, increase rents and provide less options for their properties.

“I respect the views of all the neighbors and property owners who shared valuable feedback, questions, and concerns regarding this issue,” the Alderman added. “Throughout this process and the efforts to save 1436 West Berwyn, other options were reviewed including the creation of a historic district, an overlay district, and renovation zoning. From conversations with zoning experts at the City, it became apparent that these options are not available or practical as a tool to preserve the housing stock in East Andersonville. The RS-3 will give the community control over future development in this area and help prevent the future demolition of single family homes and two flats. This zoning change will make the zoning in East Andersonville consistent with much of the residential area west of Broadway.”

In a nod to those who were against the change, the Alderman stated he will be working with the City of Chicago to add a variance to the new RS-3 zoning change. That variance will allow property owners the ability to add a housing unit to the basement or on top of an existing housing structure. He said this will give them more options as well as add additional housing units to the area.

 


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