7 - Eleven Concerns

Jeff Smith has asked for a summary of the meeting with neighbors and Alderman Moran regarding the 7-Eleven, held on May 6, 2008.

Neighbors had the following concerns:

  • 24 hour operation
  • possiblity of 7-Eleven obtaining a liquor license
  • enforcement of Evanston anti-idling law
    and noise abatement laws
  • management of kids hanging out in vicinity
  • 7-Eleven consideration of the residential nature of the neighborhood

Alderman Moran distributed copies of a letter hand delivered to the 7-Eleven that stated:

Convenience Stores are not a permitted use in this district. Convenience Stores can operate in the B1a district only by obtaining a Special Use permit, approved by the City Council. In addition, Retail Food Establishments are only permitted to operate between the hours of 6am and midnight. Operation outside of these hours also requires a Special Use permit.

Pursuant to the procedures of Section 6-3-10-4, this letter shall serve as notice that you are in violation of the Evanston Zoning Ordinance. Please be advised that you must
1. cease all operations between the hours of midnight and 6am immediately.
2. apply to the Zoning Office for a Substitution of Non-Complying Use in order to continue operating, and
3. take immediate actions to secure a Special Use permit for the long-term operation of a convenience store.

Alderman Moran assured us that he will follow-up to make sure that the above is adhered to. He also stated that it would be very unlikely that the 7-Eleven would be able to obtain a liquor license. He said that he would work with the Evanston Police department to help facilitate enforcement of idling, loitering, noise abatement and curfew laws that apply.

New curfew laws have been put into effect in Evanston:
Weekdays: 10PM
Weekends: 11PM

Our concerns at this time are:

  • that the 7-Eleven will apply for 24 hour operation when they apply for the Special Use permit for operation.
  • that the 7-Eleven work with the neighborhood and help with loitering, noise, light, garbage and truck traffic problems.

The 7-Eleven has failed to cease operations at midnight as of this posting.


Betsy Waller reports that 7-11 corporate HQ is resisting limitations on hours of operation, and that the City is requiring new ownership to resubmit an application for special use. Betsy asks, tho, what the process for that is.

The short answer is that a "special use" begins by an application to the Zoning Administrator. It then has to work its way through Site Plan and Appearance Review, the Plan Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the City Council The City Code Book viewer online will walk you through this process; click the previous link, then either do a "search" for "6-3-5-7" or scroll down to Title 6 (Zoning), then open that folder and navigate down to section 6-3-5.

For a quick look just at the special use review process, click here.