Citizens group hope to unite residents in fight against large residential developments in Jefferson Park
Chicago citizens group Residents Against Upzoning recently rallied residents of the 45th Ward and its surrounding communities to join them at City Hall and protest plans to build large residential developments in Jefferson Park.
Alderman John Arena (D-45th Ward) is pushing for several large developments that would increase the density of the ward. The group says the changes don't fit the character of the neighborhood. Jefferson Park has mostly single family homes, and the proposed developments include apartment buildings of up to 16 stories.
According to a press conference hosted by Northwest Side Unite, another citizens group against the plans, more than 5,500 residents have voiced their opposition to the developments, but Arena is still seeking to update the area’s zoning laws.
Recent City Hall meetings covered zoning laws for two proposed developments. The first involves a 16-story building that would be at the corner of Lipps Avenue and Ainslie Street. The second development would be at 5150 N. Northwest Highway and consists of a proposed five-story storage facility and potentially a seven- to 12-story residential building.
At the Northwest Site Unite press conference, Alderman Anthony Napolitano (R-41st Ward), who represents a neighboring area, joined the community group in voicing his opposition to the plan. He said the increased density would overburden the area’s schools and police force, in addition to changing the atmosphere of a community that has consisted of single-family homes for generations.
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