Alderman Arena has worked tirelessly to revitalize the ward’s shopping districts, especially in downtown Jefferson Park and at Six Corners. A once popular shopping destination in Chicago, Six Corners was only second to the Loop in its heyday. Prior to becoming Alderman, John and others were a part of grassroots efforts to reinstate economic vitality in the area after witnessing it dwindle over decades. Since taking office, he has worked closely with the Six Corners Association to encourage economic development in the area. Those efforts have brought in dozens of businesses.
Alderman Arena has also made it a priority to encourage economic growth and development in Jefferson Park. The Jefferson Park Transit Center provides a unique opportunity to improve the business district and fill long-term vacant storefronts with thriving businesses. The approval of three new transit-oriented-developments, alongside the improvements slated to the transit center, and an in-process master plan, will act as catalysts to the Alderman’s long-term vision for the neighborhood.
Zoning and Development Guidelines for the 45th Ward
Alderman Arena is pleased that you are considering an investment in the 45th Ward and believes these guidelines will make the process understandable and efficient for all parties involved.
To promote new investment that increases our City’s vitality and tax base, protects current residents and businesses, is compatible with existing land uses, fosters harmony and balance in our neighborhoods, celebrates our architectural heritage, and abides by the City of Chicago Zoning Ordinance, my administration will:
• Encourage development that conforms to the existing zoning map. In 2004, the new City of Chicago Zoning Ordinance became law after extensive debate and community involvement. In support of which, my office will consider zoning changes only rarely and under extreme circumstances. Zoning changes, should they be needed, will be made consistent with the principles articulated in these guidelines. When alternatives exist to effect a desired change, this office will require the alternative with the least adverse impact.
• Please note that at the beginning of his term, Alderman Arena asked the Department of Zoning to perform an audit of the 45th Ward, to determine parcels that may not currently fit with the existing map or the potential for further economic development. A proposal brought forth before the completion of the audit may not conform to the existing code, but may be in line with the pending results. So long as the proposal does not appear to have a deleterious impact to the surrounding neighborhood, the Alderman may choose to review it.
• Require strict compliance with public notice regulations. This office expects compliance with the public notice requirements for all zoning applications, including map amendments, administrative adjustments, special uses, variations and “as of right” new construction. We will establish, in conjunction with residents, business owners and local community groups, an open, unbiased and predictable process concerning new construction and renovation. This office expects effective, transparent, and fair notice to all affected parties.
• Encourage complementary and compatible development. This office will encourage new development that seeks to reflect the character and context of the adjacent and other buildings in the surrounding area, comparable in quality, scale, density and building materials. Split-face block, cinder block and Dryvit on exterior surfaces, and patio pits are specifically discouraged.
• Respect our architectural heritage. This office will encourage the preservation, renovation and adaptive re-use of the existing building stock. Similarly, it will discourage the demolition of historically significant buildings and structurally sound housing. It also will facilitate the creation or extension of residential landmark districts if such districts meet the criteria set forth by the City of Chicago.
• Protect property. This office will require strict enforcement of the City of Chicago Excavation Ordinance, including its provisions regarding notice to adjacent property owners. Proposers are encouraged to enroll projects in to the Green Permits Program.