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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Neighbors Write Letter to the Plan Commission

A group of Lincoln Park neighbors have drafted a letter to the Plan Commission stating their strong opposition to the developer's plan for Lincoln Park Hospital. The letter is presented here below:

May 24, 2010

Chicago Plan Commission
Planning and Policy Division
Zoning and Land Use Planning
121 N. LaSalle St. #703
Chicago, IL 60602

Attn: Ms. Linda Searl, Chairman

Dear City of Chicago Planning Department,

We understand that the owners of the former Lincoln Park Hospital site will be meeting or have met with your department to seek approval of a plan for development that has already been roundly rejected by both the community and our alderman, Vi Daley. They are proceeding with their application to the City of Chicago in spite of the following:

• A dozen or so meetings between the developers and neighbors (and our Alderman) where the opposition has been overwhelming--especially from the most affected neighbors and those neighbors in the Mid-North Historic District.

• A petition signed by over 500 neighbors (form of petition attached)

• A strong letter of opposition by the Mid-North Association (attached)

• A January 12 community meeting attended by 300 community members, and overwhelming in opposition to the plan, even with some modifications. Representatives of the Planning Commission present at the meeting heard the objections very clearly to the developer’s proposal.

• Our alderman’s letter to neighbors (attached) and statements at the January 12 meeting voicing support for the neighbors’ position--including three previous legal agreements that restricted development at the site.

We believe the attached letter from the Mid-North Association neatly describes the community’s objections to the plan.

The site is surrounded on three sides by the Mid-North Historic District and a park. It is a residential oasis and Landmark area characterized by three and four story buildings, walkable streets and of course, historic facades. The size of the Lincoln Park Hospital is out of place in the community, and several lawsuits were necessary to restrict its development.

In short:

• The site is completely inappropriate for retail development, and abundant property exists in Lincoln Park to accommodate the proposed stores, even if desirable

• The proposed development is much too dense for the neighborhood, putting 330 units in an area that would support, for example, 42 single family homes or 84 townhouses

• The proposed development would increase traffic and congestion in an already crowded area. The developer’s claimed assertions about traffic at the hospital are inaccurate; the hospital has not been in full operation for 25 years.

• The proposed development robs the neighborhood of open space promised under prior community agreements and is not consistent with the residential zoning of the surrounding neighborhood.

Finally, the developers have also proven themselves to be bad neighbors. Since the community rejected their original proposal, they have fenced off a service driveway long used by the community and City of Chicago garbage and emergency vehicles. They have fenced off a lot dedicated as open space by a prior community agreement, and have closed the garage that they claim would be open for public parking rental even as part of their current proposal.

We request the opportunity to meet with you to discuss our concerns and express our vehement opposition to the developer’s plans.

Thank you for your support.


Very truly yours,


See attached list of neighbors


Cc: Heather Gleason
Sara Sheehan
Alderman Vi Daley
Hon. Richard M. Daley

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