Alderman wants to downzone properties near the 606 to halt development frenzy

Alderman Roberto Maldonado authored legislation that would restrict development near a portion of the 606 to single-family homes

TRD CHICAGO /
Jul.July 17, 2019 04:00 PM
Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th) and the 606 trail (Credit: Facebook, David Wilson via Flickr)

Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th) and the 606 trail (Credit: Facebook, David Wilson via Flickr)

A Northwest Side alderman is seeking to preserve affordable housing around the 606 trail by downzoning nearby properties, but at least one developer is vocally opposed to the plan.

Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th) authored legislation that would downzone about a dozen properties near the trail in the rapidly gentrifying Logan Square and Humboldt Park neighborhoods, according to Crain’s. The move would restrict residential development to single-family homes.

The proposal didn’t sit well with real estate investor Chethan Shetty, who has tangled with Maldonado over a proposed development in the area the alderman seeks to downzone.

Shetty last year bought a property at 1300 North Maplewood Avenue, blocks from the 606. He sought the alderman’s approval in redeveloping the property, but he walked away when Maldonado demanded the plans include affordable units, according to Crain’s.

Now Shetty has filed a formal objection to Maldonado’s zoning change, a move that raises the threshold for approval by the City Council.

Maldonado said the downzoning is an effort to rein in development near the popular trail, which has attracted developers seeking to raze single-family homes in favor of denser developments.

The 606, built on abandoned train tracks, helped cause property values in Logan Square and Humboldt to skyrocket. In an effort to prevent further gentrification of the traditionally Hispanic area, the city even considered paying longtime residents not to sell their homes.

[Crain’s] — Joe Ward


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