A far North Side official is at odds with a community group seeking a rezoning in an effort to curb multifamily development that it believes is threatening a neighborhood’s supply of historic homes.
The group, known as the South of Foster Zoning Committee, wants to restrict residential development along a 16-block stretch of Andersonville to only single-family homes or two-flats. But the request has been denied by Ald. Matt Martin of the 47th Ward, who says he shares neighbors’ concerns about teardowns, but worries a rezoning wouldn’t necessarily aid historic preservation and could hurt affordability, Block Club reported.
If the rezoning were to move forward, about 29 percent of existing buildings in the stretch of Andersonville south of Foster Avenue would become “non-conforming” due to their size under the proposed zoning designation, according to the city’s Department of Planning and Development.
Regardless, neighbors who support the rezoning are upset with Martin’s call. A member of the South of Foster Zoning Committee, Dan Nelson, told Block Club that it goes against a campaign promise to support the group’s rezoning request.
In a letter to constituents, Martin said he will “continue to explore aggressively other tools to preserve and expand affordable housing,” including legalizing accessory dwelling units in basements or coach houses, helping homeowners seek protections for their historically significant homes and increasing demolition fees to further disincentive teardowns.
The South of Foster Zoning Committee, which formed two years ago, still plans to continue to push for the rezoning.
[Block Club] — Brianna Kelly