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Rezoning Meeting Thursday To Discuss Protecting Andersonville Homes From Demolition

1436 Berwyn

East Andersonville residents are concerned that their neighborhood could change drastically if more homes are demolished to make way for developments. In order to explore what can be done to protect the properties and to also gauge the feelings of area residents, the East Andersonville Residents Council (EARC) and the 48th Ward Office will be holding a meeting to explore the possibility of rezoning the neighborhood.

East Andersonville (bordered by Foster, Bryn Mawr, Clark and Glenwood) is currently facing a big dilemma. While other neighborhoods surrounding the area are zoned RS-3, they are still zoned RT-4 which makes their homes vulnerable to developers and possible demolition.

There are much tighter restrictions on demolition of single-family homes and two-flats in an RS-3 zone. It prevents developers from purchasing these homes in order to erect larger multi-story condominium complexes.

Particularly vulnerable are homes in RT-4 zones with extra-wide 50 foot lots like the property at 1436 W. Berwyn. That classic graystone home was the center of a local firestorm last summer after it was slated for demolition to make way for a profitable six-flat building by an area developer. With the community banding together, the development was put on hold and the building eventually sold to a family with plans of renovating the home.

Kathy Klink-Flores who owns the property next door to 1436 W. Berwyn, helped spearhead the effort which saved the home from demolition. Since, she has worked with EARC to explore rezoning and how it would effect the East Andersonville neighborhood.

“I am hoping to help preserve the character of the buildings in Andersonville as they are now,” said Klink-Flores. “Last year’s events encouraged me that if the community stands together, they can create change for the good of that community. I feel that rezoning is connected to landmarking and historic preservation. This will allow another layer of protection to preserve the character of the neighborhood.”

According to a flyer circulated about the event, changing East Andersonville to RS-3 may help preserve the charm and character of the neighborhood while preventing inappropriate developments. Other benefits would be maintaining architectural footprints, protecting existing setbacks/green space and ensuring neighbors general quality of life.

The meeting will allow residents to discuss the rezoning of East Andersonville and other efforts to preserve the character of area.  It will be held this Thursday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Swedish American Museum (5211 N. Clark).


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