DUNNING — Officials rejected a plan to replace the former workshop and store of a world-renowned canoe builder and conservationist with a drive-thru Dunkin Donuts, a city spokesman said Monday.
The city's Zoning Board of Appeals voted 3-1 late Friday to reject the application for a special use permit to allow the drive-thru, said spokesman Peter Strazzabosco.
Opponents said the drive-thru would "decimate" the value of homes in a residential area along the Portage Park and Dunning border.
The Portage Park Neighborhood Association opposed the project, which members said would snarl traffic and threaten the safety of drivers and pedestrians.
A representative of the association could not immediately be reached for comment.
The new Dunkin Donuts would have replaced the store across the street in the Dunning Square strip mall. Owner Vishal Shah said it would have been a good neighbor.
Nicholas Ftikas, the attorney representing Shah, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Bob Denneen, Sposato's chief of staff, said the alderman supported the project because it would put a vacant property back to use. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
The board often, but not always, follows the recommendation of the alderman for projects in his or her ward.
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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