McKinley Park Development Council members push forward neighborhood development plans on Wednesday, February 21, at the McKinley Park field house.

Neighborhood Development Planning Advances at Council Meeting

Published February 22, 2018

The McKinley Park Development Council, a young non-profit founded to enable neighborhood economic, social and cultural development, moved forward with building the group and defining programs at its meeting on Wednesday, February 21, at the McKinley Park field house. Breakout sessions of committees focusing on neighborhood business development, events and beautification began creating roles and priorities for the group's activities.

The nearly 30 meeting attendees represented a broad swath of the neighborhood's residents, business owners and leaders. As stated by President John Belcik, the council continues its work to develop a comprehensive neighborhood development plan with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), and a launch and rollout for this will occur in the early spring.

Following the meeting's breakout sessions, committee leads summarized their progress and planning. Initial priorities for the business committee included defining its role, developing a business memberships program and conducting discovery on the needs of local businesses and the most effective ways to support them.

The beautification committee fielded a number of ideas, notably a project to improve neighborhood viaduct underpasses, especially the underpass on Leavitt Street adjacent to the 35th Street El stop. The events committee stated a desire to produce a workshop and a public event in 2018, possibly to include a residents workshop that would address homeowner, landlord and tenant concerns.

Belcik also touched on council memberships, including the plan to hold board of director elections at its meeting on July 18, 2018. A slate of monthly meetings for the council will fall by default on the third Wednesday of the month, Belcik said.

The next council meeting is set for 7 p.m. on March 21, 2108, at Razzmatazz Family Fun Center at 3900 S. Ashland Ave. In addition to a council update and a tour of the Razzmatazz facility, the meeting will include social networking at the venue's bar and restaurant. This will be a great opportunity for neighbors to get to know each other and have a lot of fun, Belcik said.


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