Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Formally served by JCJ Development

Today - Tom Okon was formally served by Circuit court of Cook County for Libel and Slander. The complaint was filed by JCJ Development and Jim Jaeger.

After speaking to our attorney, responding to this complaint could cost us personally thousands of dollars in attorney fees.

Friday, June 15, 2007

New Proposed Modifications by JCJ Development to the 1820-1842 Irving Park Project

Below is the new proposed project specifications per JCJ Development as of 6/12/07:


PARKING SPACES: 93 parking spaces

STORIES: 5 stories (this includes the penthouse)

HEIGHT: 53 feet at Building and 65 feet at Penthouse

ZONING Zoning Change Requested: from B3-2 to B3-3
Minimum Zoning change requested

We sincerely appreciate all of JCJ Developments hard work and dedication to this project. We will be meeting with JCJ Development in late June to discuss this project further.

Welcome the Rappel Family to the Neighborhood

Last night, Thurday 6/14 at a community meeting held at the Alderman's office the Rappel family successfully received approval to build their home on the lot located at 1801 W Cuyler.

Please everyone "Welcome the Rappel Family" to the neighborhood.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The work continues....

We (The North Center Neighbors - Irving Park Branch) continue communications with JCJ Development related to more proposed changes. We appreciate everyone's time and efforts.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The "Other" North Center Neighbors

Julie Hobert - President of the "Other" North Center Neighbors Group:

My name is Julie Hobert. I live on Bradley Place just south of Grace and west of Damen. Three years ago, I and some of my neighbors wanted to start a neighborhood organization that would advocate for "responsible development"-diverse housing stock, green space, and money for schools and parks. We wanted to promote the idea that an incredible neighborhood like ours could be diverse, and that the neighbors could have a voice in local development. It took us awhile, but we decided to file as a political action committee (PAC) because we were not raising money, just raising awareness and organizing. We also realized we wanted to bring this vision beyond our own area in order to reach out to other neighborhood blocks and groups with the understanding that the more we organized the more our voices would be heard. In October, we had a rally for "Responsible Development " which was well attended and continued the buzz. We then have had several development issues in the Bell School District which have further galvanized our neighbors and expanded our reach.

Besides petitions, we basically are an email tree among neighbors. If someone hears about a zoning issue, they email me and I let the group know. If there is a development issue, again, they email me, and I pass it on to the neighbors. We have successfully had petition drives this way, shared information about community meetings, and supported neighbors concerns about development. It doesn't replace face to face relationships, but it is an efficient way to organize quickly.

It was through neighbors on our email list that I heard about the development in your neighborhood. I realize that it might be confusing because we both have the same name of North Center Neighbors and I wanted to clear up what our organization is. We've been working with your neighbors because we believe that there is strength in numbers and in information sharing. We've been informing neighbors who care about development in the 47th ward about the Irving Park development and the actions you've taken as a neighborhood. We also will continue to let our neighbors know the outcome. I believe that the Alderman does want to do what he feels the community wants, but we just have to make sure the neighbors voices are adequately heard. My neighbors have had similar experience and I believe that we can all learn from each others experiences. There is a lot of room for development, and it will be a process that happens again and again.

The North Center Neighbors information you have been getting in your mailbox and through the petition, emails, and blogs are from some very caring neighbors who have put a lot of time into organizing your blocks against the rezoning of the Irving Park development. The similarities (besides the name of course) between our organizations are that we believe that the neighborhood should have a voice in issues of development and zoning, we organize block captains, we use petitions, and we care about our neighborhood. The differences are that we have already started as an organization that's filed as a (PAC), we're trying to be more ward wide, and our agenda includes "responsible development" .

We are asking you to formally join our North Center Neighbors email list by emailing me at with the message of "add me to your list." I will not email you unless you have asked to be put on the list. I also urge you to tell other people and friends in the 47th ward about it so they can be put on the list. It makes an impact when we care about an issue, and the alderman receives hundreds of emails and phone calls about it. It makes a difference when we can share our experiences. It makes a difference when we can support our neighbors.

You will still be getting emails from North Center Neighbors/Irving Park Branch about this development, and if you sign up, from me as well. We were trying to come up with a name and all realized it’s hard to switch mid project-(Irving Park Neighbors?) but I hope you will look beyond the name to realize that we are creating an even stronger North Center Neighbors for all of us.

If you have any questions, please feel fee to email me at

Friday, June 1, 2007

Proposed Modifications by JCJ Development

Below are the modifications as proposed by JCJ Development-Jim Jaeger for the property at 1820-1842 Irving Park Road.

Project as Originally proposed
Height of building: 79 feet
Total parking spots: 199
Total retail parking (included in total above): 17
Total residential parking: 182
Square footage of retail: 8500
Rear set-back from property line: 2 feet
Rear set back in alley at floors 2-6: 2 feet
Garage entrances in alleyway: 2
Garage entrance and exit in front: 1
Height of loading area: 19 feet tall
Height of retail space: 19 feet tall
Width of Rear Loading area: 54 feet wide
Width of Rear Loading door: 27 feet wide

Project after Modifications
Height of building 78 feet
Total parking spots: 161
Total retail parking: (included in total above) 27
Total residential parking: 134
Square footage of retail: 8500
Rear set back from property line in alley 2 feet
Rear set back from alley at floors 2-6: 15 feet
Garage entrances in alleyway: 1
Garage entrance and exit in front: 1
Height of loading area: 18 feet tall
Height of retail space 18 feet tall
Width of Rear Loading area: 54 feet wide
Width of Rear Loading door: 27 feet wide

The representatives of North Center Neighbors - Irving Park Branch have met with JCJ Development and Jonathan Splitt Architects on three seperate occasions. We appreciate all of their hard work and time, BUT what we continue to hear from the people in the neighborhood,is that they are still greatly concerned about the HEIGHT AND DENSITY (number of residential units)of this proposed project.

We have asked JCJ Development and Jonathan Splitt Architects to make substantial changes in the height, reduce the number of residential units and to add significant community benefits, to this proposed development.

If they are willing to do this then we will continue further meetings.

Be prepared for a community voting meeting in Early June

All Community Vote meetings are held on either a Tuesday or Thursday night - watch your mail for official communication from Alderman Schulter's office.

According to the Alderman's office - currently they mail out notification of a Community Vote meeting 1 week prior to the meeting. It appears these notifications are only mailed to property owners and NOT residents of those properties. BUT residents and property owners have a vote.

We will send out communication as soon as we hear about a Community Vote meeting.