News Journal, October 24, 1971

News Journal

October 24, 1971

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Issue date: Sunday, October 24, 1971

Pages available: 14 - Used by the World's Finest Libraries and Institutions
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Publication name: News Journal

Location: Chicago, Illinois

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Years available: 1923 - 1977

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News Journal (Newspaper) - October 24, 1971, Chicago, Illinois 'I r By JOYCE MARCO Should central Oak Park be the site of high-density apartment Yes at least said Bert E. Oak Park insurance and witnesses supporting his petition. said a substantial number of Oak Park home and officials. Anderson petitioned the Zoning Com- mission Tuesday night for a zoning change on his lot and an adjacent lot and 241 from D to G over 45 feet minimum 450 square feet land per His plans call for a 7- story apartment building with 38 one- bedroom and 25 efficiency apartments on the 165 by 196 foot parcel. The structure would be with precast concrete masonry outer and elevators and stairwells at each end. It would resemble the high-rises built in north Forest Park. Anderson's petition was supported by the proposed Charles Duax of Forest the Richard Hastings of Oak and a real estate appraiser. They emphasized ttie com- pliance of the building and site plan with Oak Park's building code. They defended G zoning as essential to make it economically feasible to construct a worth of i They emphasized that the structure would not be a burden on Oak Park's schools because efficiency and one- bedroom units are rented primarily to young single people and childless or the older couples whose children are grown. Hiey explained the absence of larger apartments was based on the apartment rental market. Duax said the vacancy rate in apartment buildings is almost entirely in two-bedroom and larger apartments. Duax backed up his testimony on economics and effects of building with his experience in con- structing 560 apartments in 17 buildings in Forest Park and Maywood during the last four and as manager of 2ft apart- ments. In most cases Duax has an interest in the properties he he said he has been hired to build this which will be the sole property of An- The real estate appraiser emphasized the lack of negative effects on traffic on Home and Pleasant the provision of a 95-foot side yard which would be in case a proposed 20-story tower were built on Pleasant for senior citizens. In his the new structure would look nicer than the 70-year-and-older buildings now on the and the and best of the property ns faces fo would be G zoning. When asked to define and best he quoted the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers' essentially that use which provides maximum financial return from a piece of without unduly depreciating the value of adjacent pieces of land. The architect explained that an F-amed structure cannot in fact be constructed to contain the maximum allowable number of because the building would be only four stories would cover too much of the and so with its required parking stalls would not leave the required 25 per. cent of the lot for green space. Anderson and two neighbors who ported his position placed major reliance on the argument that old houses are a drug on the sale value is so low that owners cannot afford to maintain and improve them as they will not their money They predicted that central Oak Park will become a slum if new construction is not on terms that are economically attractive in the present seems to mean high-rise apartment buildings. Opposition to the petition came from the Citizens for Progressive a member of the League of Women and the Park Board. One of the neighbors who testified in in effect opposed the spot zoning by saying the entire block should be zoned or none. Carolyn Montgomery 15 years we have been trying to get a com- prehensive plan for Oak and we are within eyesight of one. I oppose any spot zoning in the face of the proposed com- prehensive John speaking for the Citizens for Progressive opposed the petition because of the effect on Mills the intrinsic undesirability of spot the absence of other G-zoned areas south of Lake for Oak Park the domino-effect they and the undesirable conversion of older buildings to tiny apartments with open space con- verted to tenant parking stalls. Neighbors presented a petition opposing the spot-zoning of two and asking that if any rezoning be the entire block on both sides be zoned F than 45 feet building 700 square feet of land per They contradicted the evaluation by the builder and architect that the existing 9-inch water main and 24- inch sewer would be saying water pressure is not now adequate for second-floor and the in- tersection often floods after moderately heavy rain. Neighbors said they feared their houses would become wants to buy next to a One neighbor proposed that families not desiring to maintain their sell them to the Park District to expand Mills park and to provide much-needed playground space. Warren president of the Park testified that the Park Board op- poses the rezoning because it would add population to an area that is already the densest in Oak Park per square mile and and because the proposed structure would have an un- desirable ecological effect on Mills a quiet green park. they anticipate that in a few the park would be ringed by high-rise structures. For this the Park Board unanimously adopted an ordinance Oct. 11 to expand the park by purchasing 237 and 241 Home Ave. The power of eminent domain will be if to accomplish Stevens said. The hearing was adjourned to Nov. when Anderson and his attorney will be given the opportunity to rebut and asked to present further proof that the proposed G zoning is desirable for the block. The planning commission will be asked for comments before that date. ew inches ahead By NANCY SELK Despite vociferous protests of the people who would be the Oak Park Housing Authority has inched ahead with plans to build a 20-story senior citizens housing project on block-long Pleasant pi. The authority requisitioned funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Ur- ban Development for acquisition of land and authorized architects to begin drawing models. Action was taken in dosed session last following stormy arguments with residents of the block in question. Low cost housing for the elderly would replace the four single family homes presently on the acre of according to the authority. Authority is taking homes from senior citizens to build housing for the says Mrs. James 1029 Pleasant pi. have lived in my home for 21 years with my aunt and uncle and my seven children. My next door 79 years has lived in her home for 40 years. Theother families have lived there 20-30 money. We're of like mind to turn down all offers and'fight the authority in The authority counters that they have not yet made their offer. If they do make an offer to buy the and if it is Donald Housing Authority director says that the authority will condemn the property. the last thing we want to says Cyrus chairman of the Housing Authority. An alternative is to find another site which would meet authority specifications. of initial low proximity to shopping centers and transportation. The site must also be adjacent to open land. Of the 12 sites originally proposed Pleasant is the only at the according to Chapman. The requirement for open land would be met by shutting off the dead-end street between Pleasant and the The Park District agreed in a Sept. 20 contract to allow the authority to landscape a little less than an acre of the adjacent according to William H. Park Dist. director. they agreed not to build in the area for 40 years. A HUD loan of million for site purchase and construction was ap- proved but not forthcoming in fiscal year 1970-71 when funding ran according to Chapman. shortage was a result of the President's and Congress' attempts to slow the economy and wait for a more opportune moment for a housing says Chapman. Fiscal year 71-72 finds the funds available but a reorganization of from centralized to decentralized has slowed the he adds. soon as HUD funds come through we will make a Chapman says. Board approves new Ugh ting b id The Oak Park village board was given evidence of its high credit rating Monday night when village manager Lee Ellis presented the board of trustees with four bids on a bond issue to pay for the new street lighting system in the village. Four major Chicago and New York banks and investment houses submitted bids at interest rates ranging from 4.418 to 4.468. The board expressed that it was pleased with the rates because when the referendum was passed in August it was estimated that the interest rate would run about 5.5 per cent. The board approved accepting a con- tract with a syndicate headed by the First National Bank of Chicago at a 4.41842 per cent net interest rate. Arthur C. village corporation counsel was directed by the board to draw up an ordinance for borrowing the money and issuing the bonds. It is expected that million of the bonds will be paid for through part of Oak Park's share of the ttate-collected motor fuel tax OA K PA RK RIVER FOREST Vol. 2 Home delivery 40c per month October Newsstand copy 15c No. 25 w -1 i SflttaSre-r. K is I f.J 9 i .f X- r i'i'-' VfV -A _ Addition nears completion L M q I t Construction on the new addition to Hawthorne 416 S. is well-underway and is expected to be completed on or about Dec. 1. The first floor will house one 8-classroom pod and the second one 4-cIassroom pod and one 8-classroom pod. Each classroom is structured to hold 25 children. Besides classroom space the building will house a PTA five staff preparation rooms and a storage room. The basic bid on the structure is Workmen rushing to meet the deadline are Robert Al Jim Hoffman and Gunther Mikolajcyzk. by Sam nnovative programs discussed Another scaled-down version of the Stankus Construction Company's proposed twin-tower high rise slated for erection at Lowell and Forest was presented to the village's special zoning commission .during an .session vHiursday night. John architect for the presented new plans which cut the number of stories to 33. Original plans called for two 54-story structures. Since the plan's inception the structure has been cut to 39 stories and later to 37. a major concern of the com- mission and has been cut from 270 units per acre to 238.13 dwelling units per acre. In his Macsai stressed that the ultimate density should be 240 units per acre. He said they could go to fewer but that speaking from an architect's viewpoint there should be no less than 240. He noted that on the previous con- dominium there were 12 units per floor with square feet. There are now 10 units per floor utilizing square feet. he results in a reduction of square feet. The rental apartments had been slated for 16 units per floor but have now been cut to 14. The square footage was and is now making a reduction of square feet. There will be 24 units per floor with 792 apartments. He explained that he had broken the buildings into two slender halves. The new development indicates balconies for each apartment. Stressing the advantages and good points of the proposed high-rise Macsai continued his presentation by noting that the two high-rise buildings could act as a marker for the village which would draw le from surrounding areas. Oak t Park River Forest board By JOYCE MARCO Progress reports of innovative programs at Oak Park-River Forest High school were 'discussed at Thursday's meeting of the board of education. The Experimental approved last May for a maximum of 150 was described by Gail the faculty member heading the program. During the summer session 30 students enrolled for credit in the to plan the Ex- perimental School At present 147 students are enrolled. There are 63 group study four faculty members devote full time and four part time to the school Students may choose whether to be graded or credit- no credit. Many choose conventional grades they don't believe in because most colleges polled said the grade point average was essential or highly desirable for students seeking admission. Some board members questioned whether freshmen should have been ad- mitted to 'the Experimental School freshmen are in because they might not be mature enough for the amount of flexibility and individual work A on the Data center was briefly discussed. This will be the major topic of an adjourned meeting of the board Oct. 27. This 23 students are participating in a Auxiliary Personnel in Oak Park's elementary schools. The volunteers supervise demonstrate art assist in history and Spanish help teachers with bulletin boards and etc. All those involved with the program have reported satisfaction with it. The State of Illinois is considering funding the project under its program for gifted students. The program is not costing the schools anything because all time devoted to it is on a volunteer basis. A proposal by the Student Council and the Trapeze that smoking be permitted on the was discussed at some length. Russell Fuog of the school ad- ministration proposed that if smoking is to be permitted on the there should be well strictly enforced penalties for any student caught smoking w any other area of the school property. Action was deferred to a latav meeting because the members present agreed that a policy change of this sort should involve the entire board. A proposal to coordinate data processing activities by government units has been put forth by the Oak Park Village Board. The Oak Park elementary schools have been faced with this problem and'are considering using facilities in a local bank. The West Suburban high school con- sortium is developing a coordinated data processing system for school with assistance from a federal agency. The various possibilities for centralized data processing will be pursued by the school administration. Dr. Anderson and Hall expressed the opinion that centralized data processing is an administrative convenience which cannot be justified on the basis of improved educational but must be shown to save money. A number of routine financial personnel new course and a bid for building alterations were approved. As of the board of education had million in all funds. Total operating Sept. 6 through Oct 21. were The rental he besides having a human character also has a character which makes it recognizable. Because it would be the first high rise in the he it has to have character. The he has 40 per cent open space. The developer pays a high price for he said. square foot of the plaza will cost him as much as the most costly section of the he added. Still showing his Macsai pointed out that as well as is another source of attraction for people. He explained that the new plan includes a raised platform with water where people can sit. gives serenity to the he stressed. In response to a question by com- missioner Howard Macsai pointed out that there were now five levels of below ground and the other four above ground. Other factors that were noted were that square feet would be devoted to commercial space and square feet to office space. All according to the new would enter from North blvd. did do away with auto access from he added. Commissioner John Cook said he felt it was good that Macsai was taking the Oak Park Center mall into consideration with his sketches. better off if the whole thing works Cook said. Macsai explained that of the 14 rental units per four would be two and eight 1-bedroom. The condominium portion he said would have 10 units per 3-bedroom apart- two 1-bedroom apartments and six 2-bedroom apartments. Commission chairman James McClure Jr. said he was by what we have seen. We want it to be an outstanding example. It has precendent value. They have a unique site. They have a unique development. We're getting close to something we can He requested that the Stankus group bring evidence to the next hearing showing that the 2-bedroom apartments could be rented. McClure noted that he had heard previous testimony that 2-bedroom apartments were a glut on the market. The next meeting on the which will be open for public will be held Nov. at p.m. in the Little Theater of Oak Park-River Forest High 201 N. Scoville. CAP conducts i village poll on high-rises The co-chairmen of Oak Park's Citizens Action Program have announced their organization is conducting a poll in the village to obtain the feelings of residents about high-density apartment buildings and the 1-2 zoning amendment that allows buildings of unlimited height. According to co-chairmen Nick Bridge and Rita CAP will visit single family homes and apartments chosen at random in all sections of the village. CAP will announce its results at an open meeting Oct. at p.m. at the First Presbyterian 931 Lake. Volunteers who wish to work on the ooli should call Mrs. Psyk at 383-6486. i It V ;