DUNNING — A plan to replace the former workshop and store of a world-renowned canoe builder and conservationist with a drive-thru Dunkin Donuts is up for a vote July 15.
The Portage Park Neighborhood Association and nearby residents plan to urge the city's Zoning Board of Appeals to reject plans to create a new shopping center on the Portage Park-Dunning border anchored by a Dunkin Donuts with a drive-thru lane.
To move forward, the project's drive-thru needs a special use permit.
The board often, but not always, follows the recommendation of the alderman for projects in his or her ward. It will consider the matter at 9 a.m. July 15 in Room 200 of City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St.
The Dunkin Donuts in the Dunning Square development plans to move from across Narragansett to the new strip mall, Sposato said.
Patricia Conroy, a leader of the neighborhood association, said its members believe the development would "adversely impact quality-of-life issues not just for those who live [nearby] but for all who have to travel on Irving Park Road and Narragansett Avenue."
The planned development will snarl traffic in the area as cars vie to turn left onto Narragansett from both the new shops and the Dunning Square shopping center, Conroy said.
The canoe shop has been vacant since 2012, when Frese — a world-renowned canoe builder and conservationist — died. The stretch of Narragansett in front of the shop was named in his honor in 2013 under a measure sponsored by former Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th.)
The workshop was likely the last working blacksmith shop in Chicago, records show.
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