NU Extension For Zoning Change-Mon. 6/14 Channel 16

In  2019, the last council made a decision which favored Northwestern University  Athletics and use of the property  in the U2 district over objections by residents and local business. This requested zoning change did not meet the standards in the zoning ordnance and  comprehensive Plan which were required.   

Northwestern University has requested a change in the  Evanston  Zoning Code so that they are able to generate more money by using their tax free property in the U2 district,  by essentially renting out the stadium to for-profit venues which has been fought agaisnt in court 4-5 times by our city-and the city has always won. Why are we opening this legal door by allowing a pilot?

In  2019,  4 members of the 80th city council realized that  Northwestern had not met the necessary standards dictated by our zoning and comprehensive plan and which are required to be met in order for  a zoning change of use, 5 of the council members voted to give NU the pilot,  in spite of the fact that they did not have all the information from residents in their packets,  and financial information presented as a benefit to the city by the chamber or NU  was either wrong or or not verifiable with th exception that the athletic tax in 2018 was correct. 

Good policy makes for good government and that requires that the council uphold our codes and ordinances and apply them uniformly to every entity. 

The comprehensive plan has an entire chapter on the importance of neighborhood and the contribution they. make to the financial and livability of Evanston.  This zoning change does not support  neighborhoods.  Northwestern has not met met the burden of proof required to change the zoning ordinance. 

The University District U2 is zoned for amateur and university sponsored events only! NU wants commercial use. 

The change to have professional and commercial venues would confer special privileges on Northwestern because they want it.  The city was paid about 1%, on the revenue made on their athletics in 2018 . 

In 2018 NU made $91,000,000  $54,000,000 from the top 10 football agreement- City realized $0   and NU made another $37,000,000 from the other sports. Of the 91,000,000 and Evanston received a total of about $1,400,000  from ticket taxes. The revenue ratio will ber the same if this change is allowed- Evanston receives ticket taxes and the other revenue streams broacasting etc go to NU. 

This change also puts NU in competition with our local business who pay taxes on property as well. Now that NU has a liquor license and a contract with the Levy Organization- the Stadium has become a 1 stop shop.

The council has changed and the 4 council members who voted with the residents and for our governing documents are still on the Council. 

Evanston Residents from all wards objected to the pilot program because it is wrong cahnge policy for a special interest.  Nu is doing just fine financially we don't need to change our zoning and ordinance to help them make more money by selling out the residents who do pay taxes. 

NU does not need special privilege zoning, write your council members, and the Mayor Biss.  Let the know that equal application of the municipal code applies to all entities. Follow the council 5:00 Monday - sign up  to speak if you like