JEFFERSON PARK — A new Jefferson Park community group determined to revitalize the neighborhood's business district will hold its second meeting Tuesday at Replica Chicago.
Jefferson Park Forward formed during the fall after a hotly contested election for the board of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association. The group was co-founded by Ryan Richter, who unsuccessfully ran for president of the neighborhood association.
The meeting, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Replica Chicago, 4425 N. Milwaukee Ave., will focus on establishing working committees to tackle some of the issues the group identified at its first meeting, including economic development, and livability.
After the hour-long meeting, the group plans to hold a social event at the Windsor Tavern, 4530 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The neighborhood association's elections turned into a proxy war between supporters and opponents of Ald. John Arena (45th), who favors dense residential housing developments near transit hubs and business districts to create economic vitality.
Since Arena's election to the City Council, the debate over whether Jefferson Park should remain a suburban-like haven or allow denser developments near transit hubs and business districts has roiled the area.
For the last several years, the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association has been a thorn in Arena's side, opposing proposals to turn a long-empty concrete company storage lot into a five-story, 48-unit apartment complex that is in limbo as well as Arena's successful effort to ban strip malls for fear that it would reduce the number of parking spaces.
Arena attended the first meeting of Jefferson Park Forward in November.
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