McKinley Park Lands Neighborhood Plan Via New Development Council

Published October 18, 2017
Benet Haller outlines Chicago's zoning history on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, at the Citizens Guide to Zoning event presented by the McKinley Park Development Council at Bethany Baptist Church.

McKinley Park Neighborhood Plan Cover2The McKinley Park Neighborhood Plan is now online! Click here to read the plan.The McKinley Park neighborhood can look forward to receiving a comprehensive development plan thanks to the McKinley Park Development Council's successful application to participate in the Local Technical Assistance program of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).

The Council, a neighborhood non-profit newly formed in 2017, held its first workshop on Monday, October 17, 2017, where the CMAP program status was confirmed and attendees learned about local zoning practices via a presentation from Chicago property expert Benet Haller.

 
Maxwell Street Market - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. first and third Sundays

 
Maxwell Street Market - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. first and third Sundays

The Monday evening workshop, held at Bethany Baptist Church, was the Council's first public event. It focused on the history and practice of zoning in Chicago and included an overview of the neighborhood's current zoning patterns. Haller spoke of the process of zoning changes, as well as provided background on zoning terminology and Chicago-specific practices such as "one building, one lot."

In addition to producing and hosting the event, the Council offered support materials, including a McKinley Park-specific handout listing the neighborhood's zoning districts and providing more info and links to resources: Click here to download this document.

The Local Technical Assistance award from CMAP is the second source of formal organizational support for the Council. The first was startup funding received as a result of a successful grant request through the 2017 On the Table program of the Chicago Community Trust. Several founding Council members participated in producing the winning video that provides some information on the Council and its ideas for the neighborhood:

The Council's work with the pending CMAP program promises to deliver professional services, assistance and expertise from CMAP toward building a comprehensive neighborhood development plan. According to the CMAP announcement, this will "promote transit-oriented development, job creation, enhanced walkability, ongoing affordability and services and amenities to the neighborhood." Primary focuses include reinvigorating the Central Manufacturing District, reviving the 35th Street retail corridor, leveraging the neighborhood's significant transit resources and engaging with the community to create common ground and best practices for future development.

The Council's application for a neighborhood plan was supported by a wide variety of organizations, including the offices of 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas, 2nd District State Rep Theresa Mah and Cook County Commissioner Jesús "Chuy" García; the Aquinas Literacy Center; the Center for Neighborhood Technology; the Architecture Studio at the Illinois Institute of Technology; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; McGuire Igleski & Associates, Inc.; the 12th Ward Independent Political Organization; the McKinley Park Community Garden; the McKinley Park Advisory Council; and the Hoyne Park Advisory Council.

As a new organization, the McKinley Park Development Council is working through its own development, including soliciting ideas and new participant signups via an online McKinley Park Community Interest Survey. Its new website at mckinleyparkdevelopmentcouncil.org includes additional information and outlines its mission "... to collectively foster economic, cultural and social development through the connection of residents, institutions and enterprises for the benefit of the McKinley Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois."

The group has also launched a Facebook page where community members can stay informed. As member Kara Breems announced at Monday's workshop, more Council events and info will be forthcoming; community members should keep an eye out for announcements and sign up via the online survey to stay connected.


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