Zoning process changes matter

Over last weekend, CSNA learned of a potentially significant change to Evanston law lurking in an obscure agenda item of the Rules Committee. A legal department memo proposed concepts ranging from bypassing the Planning and Development Committee altogether for certain zoning decisions (such as granting special uses and variations, or approving large projects called planned developments), to preventing the City Council from reviewing the Land Use Commission decisions at all, requiring anyone dissatisfied to go to court. CSNA, after polling its Board, urged hitting the pause button on this. My individual remarks prepared for the Committee are as follows.

My comments to Rules Committee Mon. July 17, 2023 regarding zoning approval process memo

"Mayor Biss, Chair Nieuwsma,  Council Members, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on Agenda Item D1 regarding the process for Land Use Commission recommendations. I’m Jim Hughes, 2518 Hartzell St.

“Reimagine Ryan Field” Project Next on Tap

As you probably know, Northwestern University (NU) has begun what will likely be over a year of planning, conceptual design, and design development for the rebuilding of Ryan Field.  The stadium was built in the 1920s, and is showing its age.  Don’t worry, the stadium isn’t falling down and the construction is at least a year away from starting.  We are so early in the process that there is no information available regarding capacity, design, renderings, footprint, construction, or schedule.  The stadium will not be a dome, which is a major disappointment for some. (Read more.)

Why Daniel Biss's Convo with CSNA Is Cool

A brief rant on "town hall meetings" and why the meeting Tuesday, June 29 is unusual and worth attending.

The phrase "town meeting" conjures up images of the public at an old-fashioned public meeting, giving their elected officials a piece of their mind. Norman Rockwell's famous 1943 painting "Freedom of Speech" (right) depicts such a "town meeting" in Vermont.

In an ever-more-digitized and depersonalized era, with growing disconnect between government and the governed, my observation is that many -- not all, but many -- citizens are hungry for opportunities to be heard.

Are YOU Voting Today???

The polls close in just five hours. You probably won’t vote. But you should.

The April 6, 2021 election in the City of Evanston and its school districts is the most important in a long time. With a new mayor incoming and the recent replacement of a decade-long City Manager, there’s the chance for some fresh air in Evanston. Altho mayor is settled, 8 of the City’s 9 wards have contests, and there’s a pivotal race for elementary school district 65. So why do I say “you won’t vote”?


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