If a pair of aldermen get their way, you won’t see any real estate development along the 606 in 2020.
Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th) and Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) have proposed a 14-month freeze for the 606 on zoning changes, demolition and construction permits in an effort to prevent the displacement of longtime lower-income residents of the area.
They are hoping to have the ordinance approved at Tuesday’s meeting and passed by the City Council at a Jan. 15 meeting.
Over the past year, the two aldermen have repeatedly said they want to stop gentrification in their districts. Last year, Maldonado authorized legislation to downzone about a dozen properties near the trail. Additionally, last year Ramirez-Rosa was evicted from his office by Mark Fishman who some consider the face of gentrification due to his practice of sharply raising rents on tenants on rehabbed buildings.
If passed, the freeze would be in effect from Feb. 1 until March 31, 2021 and cover the area between Western Avenue and Kostner Avenue, including about a half-mile north of the trail to Palmer Street and a half-mile south to Hirsch Street.
Since The 606 opened in 2015, home prices and rents have been raised pushing out lower-income residents.
“What I hope will happen in a year is to have clear guidelines in the 606 designated area so we can slow down and hopefully stop gentrification,” said Maldonado. [Chicago Tribune] — Jacqueline Flynn