Not so fast: Lightfoot pushes back on move to halt development by 606

The proposed ordinance, scuttled for now, would have imposed a 14-month moratorium on construction and redevelopment along the popular trail

Chicago /
Jan.January 08, 2020 05:00 PM
Lori Lightfoot, Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th) and Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) with The 606 trail (Credit: Wikipedia and Getty Images)

Lori Lightfoot, Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th) and Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) with The 606 trail (Credit: Wikipedia and Getty Images)

Concerned about gentrification along the 606 trail, two aldermen in December proposed a 14-month moratorium on all residential construction along that route.

But Mayor Lori Lightfoot has expressed concern about its legality, which has scuttled the ordinance for now.

In a statement to the Chicago Tribune, Lightfoot said the aldermen’s measure “would unilaterally ban zoning changes in areas near the 606, as well as halt any building permits in the area.”

Aldermen Roberto Maldonado and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, who co-sponsored the measure, were hoping to have it approved at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Last year, Maldonado proposed downzoning about a dozen properties near the 606.

Home prices have spiked in areas surrounding the trail, which led Maldonado and other aldermen to propose a grant program. It would help homeowners renovate their homes, to resist pressure from potential buyers and developers.
George Haldes, a real estate broker and landlord who lives along the 606, supports Lightfoot’s decision. “To have a moratorium on this large an area of the city, for nothing more than a political agenda, it’s bad for the city and bad for the tax base,” he said, according to the Tribune.

An even longer rails-to-trails project called El Paseo is being planned in the city’s Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods, and city leaders, and city leaders have approved several policies aimed at preserving affordable housing in the area. [Tribune]Jacqueline Flynn


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