I'd like to know when it was decided that downtown Evanston should be comprised of tall buildings crowded together. The consultants' definition of words like "density" was reminiscent of something from George Orwell.
According to them, "density" only applies to residential areas, and tall buildings crowded together is merely a feature of a "downtown" area.
One of these people also compared what we are trying to plan for Evanston with what they helped plan for Austin Texas. Austin has a land area of 271 sq.miles whereas Evanston's area is 7.7 sq. miles. Austin's population is over six HUNDRED THOUSAND people. Evanston's is allegedly 73,000, although it's hard to believe that this figure has remained unchanged throughout our recent building boom.
WHO has decided that our downtown needs a "focal point"? ...that it's important to look towards the downtown and see a cluster of tall buildings? (I believe that that's already a reality.) It was interesting that in all their slides of streetscapes they showed sidewalk cafes and shorter buildings with character. No glass skyscrapers were pictured. WHY is there no concern for the dark canyons that tall buldings form when crowded together? What happened to the enviromental impact studies that used to be done before embarking on radical building agendas?
Have any of these planners read Jane Jacobs?
These consultants care nothing for the city of Evanston. They don't live here. This is just another job to them. One of them even claimed that there was a house on the corner of Church and Oak St.as if to underscore how undeveloped our downtown area is. (There is no house on the corner of Church and Oak St.)
Has anyone considered a moratorium on building in downtown Evanston? Are the mistakes of the past ever studied with the intention of not repeating them?
I'm not certain that all the people who are opposed to the building of a tower at 708 Church are really opposed to a tall building as much as being opposed to the destruction of a major part of our downtown....where there are no plans to accommodate the many offices in that area and there are only plans to add more expensive condos to an already glutted market, and replace the small retail shops with national chains.