BUCKTOWN— Neighbors of a Citgo gas station on the northeast corner of North and Hermitage avenues that's been for sale since January voted 18-14 against a developer's request to rezone the land so it could build a four-story apartment building.
The paper ballots were counted at the close of a public meeting Saturday hosted by the Bucktown Community Organization, which held the gathering to solicit additional input on Sedgwick Properties' request to change the land's zoning from a commercial C1-2 classification to a B3-3 restricted residential designation.
"When 3-flats are being torn down on interior streets to make single family homes, you lose rental units and it causes a lack of housing," said Philip Edison, chair of the Bucktown Community Organization's 9-member planning and zoning committee, which supports the rezoning.
Renderings shared by Sedgwick Properties' architect Mark McKinney Saturday were a down-scaled version of an initial proposal for a five-story, 44-unit apartment building that Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) rejected back in August.
The revised proposal contained 30 rental units and 1:1 ratio of parking spaces to units.
"Fast casual dining and boutique" tenants would be tapped to fill 8,000 sq. ft of first-floor retail storefront space, according to Jay Feeley, director of Sedgwick Properties.
Joanne Gross lives on the 1600 block of North Wood and was concerned about a potential shortage of on-street parking.
"While it's a good point that we are losing so many multi-unit buildings, how is parking going to be handled? If it's added to their rent, people are going to try to opt out of that and find street parking. We already have three condo units on our block that have no parking," Gross said.
Gross questioned why the developers could not purchase the property 'as-is' in its current zoning which allows for a maximum of 17 units above storefront level.
Described on realty site Trulia.com as 'one of the last blocks of premier development land in the area,' the 18,000 square-floot corner development site is listed for sale at $2,495,000.
Feeley told DNAinfo that his firm's decision on whether to purchase the parcel in a deal expected to close at the end of this month is contingent upon receiving Ald. Scott Waguespack's (32nd) support of the zoning change from C1-2 to B3-3.
Edison plans to email the results of the vote to Waguespack. The final decision rests with the alderman and the city's zoning committee, which meets monthly.