May meeting, Election of Officers and Directors

Our next meeting is Tuesday, May 14

Athenaeum Theatre
2936 N.S outhport
6:30PM, Member Socializing
7:00PM, Meeting Begins


  • State Rep Ann Williams to report on Springfield issues
    Our State Rep. Ann Williams has been busy down in Springfield with the new Governor and all. So she wanted to let us know what is going on before SLN breaks for the Summer. She will be sending her Chief of Staff Emily Melbye to update us on the legislation.
  • Chicago Cubs neighborhood relations
    The Cubs have finally moved above .500, so Heather Way-Kitzes, Manager of Cubs Neighborhood Relations feels it safe to come out to discuss what’s happening at Wrigley Field and Gallagher Way this year and to describe some of the charity activities that the Cubs are involved with in the immediate neighborhood.
  • Congressman Quigley’s office on senior, social security, and medicare issues
    Elli Song, who handles senior, social security and medicare issues for the Congressman’s office will give a brief talk and be able to meet with SLN
  • Discussion re: Extension of Farm Bar sidewalk cafe hours
    Current hours: Mon – Fri from 5 pm – 9 pm and Sat & Sun from 11 am – 9 pm
    New hours: Mon – Fri from 11 am – 10 pm and Sat & Sun from 10 am – 10 pm
  • Victor Giustino, neighborhood historian
    Victor gave an interesting bullet-point performance at last year’s May meeting, so we have asked him back for 15 minutes of obscure Lakeview, Chicago and Illinois historical facts. Victor is still a frequent contributor on various Chicago talk radio programs.
  • Election of Officers and Directors
    Here is the slate to be voted on for the 2019-2020 Term:
    President: Bob Blitstein (new)
    1st Vice President: Sam Samatas
    2nd Vice President: Fionn McManigal
    Recording Secretary: Bill Haderlein
    Treasurer: Ann Sychowski
    Corresponding Secretary: Steve Stern
    Directors: – David Duggan, Bob Taugner, Susan Radzinowicz, Harvey Levin, Caty Norman-Burke, Ed Siverstein
    New directors – still working on at press time
    Candidates for all positions can be nominated from the floor.

Read more in the May newsletter.


April Meeting: AMA. Important take-away from the March meeting.

April Meeting

Our next meeting is Tue April 9 and we are doing something different. Instead of a meeting we are having a ”membership drive” and an “open house”. From 7pm to 8pm we are gathering to socialize in Athenaeum Lobby café/bar. Board members will be present to answer questions. Pizza and some dessert will be served and the owner of Fertile Gardens will be on hand to talk about and answer questions on spring planting, gardening and maintenance. We urge all to bring a friend[s] to join SLN and both will get a free drink. [the $10 is get you issue voting rights and entrance to two seasonal parties with free food and drink]. There will also be a free raffle for a special designed live plant planter suitable for a porch, deck or yard. If all of that is not enough, Jeff Delong will take all who want to go on a quick tour on the back room workings of the theater.

The meeting starts at 7PM at the Athenaeum. Doors open at 6:45PM.

March info: TOD

From the March meeting:  Paul Sajovec, Chief of Staff for Alderman Waguespack, highlighted the implications of zoning changes for much taller and higher density the newly adopted “Transit Oriented Development” ordinance. Effectively, all lots within 1/4 mile of Ashland Ave. are now in a TOD, regardless of their distance from an El stop. Read more in the April Newsletter.

Membership Drive

NEW MEMBERS joining at the April Meeting and/or SLN MEMBERS who bring in a NEW MEMBER will get a FREE DRINK. There will be pizza from The Art of Pizza for all in attendance.

Who’s running this show?

For those that would like to be more involved, we are looking for some new recruits to join our board. If you have any kind of skill set including accounting, legal, publicity, web management, writing, real estate, political science, zoning, contracting/construction, etc., we could use a little help to insure the future viability of the organization. Usually the time commitment is one extra meeting a month. You would also be welcomed if you would like to be an occasional contributor to the newsletter with restaurant/business reviews, police/crime blogs, real estate transactions.  Contact to throw your hat into the ring. Read more in the April Newsletter.


Posted in SLN

March 12 Meeting & March Newsletter

March comes in like a very cold lion…. It should be in the 30’s by the 12th.



6:30pm – Member socializing
7:00pm – Meeting begins

  • Newly-elected Cook County Commissioner Bridget Degnen
    In keeping with SLN’s commitment to have on-going, interactive meaningful relationships with our elected officials, the Board has invited our new County Commissioner Bridget Degnen to introduce herself to the membership and give her insight to the upcoming year. It is possible that after the mayoral election, there will be a different President on the Cook County Board.
  • State Rep Ann Williams – legislative update
    Unfortunately, Rep. Williams has had to cancel due to meetings scheduled in Springfield.
    Our State Rep. Ann Williams is scheduled to appear and discuss newly passed and pending legislation under recently inaugurated Governor J.B. Pritzker. Had to look it up but the Governor’s legal name is Jay Robert.
  • Ashland Ave. Development Changes relating to the TOD Expansion Ordinance
    32nd Ward’s Chief of Staff Paul Sajovec will provide information relating to the expansion of the TOD Ordinance that was recently passed by Chicago City Council and how it may affect future development along Ashland Ave. and the nearby neighboring streets. This is a major change to the existing TOD.
  • SLN By-Laws Voting Issue – 60 day waiting period
    In recent general elections, citizens can register and vote on the day of election at their Polling Place. However, SLN still withholds the right to vote on an SLN issue until a newly joined person is a member for 60 days. Article III-Membership, 3rd paragraph. This by-law was put into effect in March 1993. At time, all votes were done by a hand vote. It was hard to control who was actually a member on voting issues. It was not unusual that a Developer would bring their entourage or friends to a meeting and have them participate in the hand vote. At that time, it was felt the that 60-day waiting period would help prevent inaccurate votes. In recent years, SLN has adopted a private paper ballot. All members are checked in before receiving a ballot. Those non-members within the flyering area (generally one block) of a zoning issue are required to prove their residence before receiving a ballot. The result of this change is that a non- member, non-neighborhood person cannot vote. So, the SLN Board has agreed to have a brief discussion on this voting restriction and determine if there should be an announcement and vote to change the By-law at the April or May meeting. FYI – A By-law may be amended by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3).

In the Newsletter

At the February meeting

  • Candidate Dropins included Garry McCarthy, Jerry Joyce, Lori Lightfoot, Bob Fioretti, and Paul Vallas
  • A special use permit for the St. Alphonsus convent, approved by a vote of 47 – 16.
  • BelRay Apartment expansion, approved by avote of 25 – 7

Detailed explanations are in the newsletter.  Click on the word ‘newsletter‘ to read it.

February Meeting: Two Zoning Issues and Candidates (Feb 12)

The meeting:

February 12, 2019
Athenaeum Theatre
2936 N. Southport

6:30PM – Socializing
7:00PM – Meeting Begins


  • Special Use Permit – St. Alphonsus 
    A “Special Use Permit” is needed to transform the St. Al’s convent, formally Debra’s Place shelter for abused women, into temporary housing for undocumented migrant female children. The Trump administration/DHS working with Maryville Academy and St Al’s is seeking safe and secure housing for these kids while they await their judicial hearings and/or the identification and location of relatives. More information is in the newsletter but some very specific information has not been forthcoming to date due to privacy issues and should be part of their presentation with Q & A.
  • Bel Ray Apartments (Belmont & Racine)
    The second zoning issue is a complex zoning change for the Bel Ray Apartments at the corner of Racine and Belmont. The Bel Ray is a “multi-family affordable efficiency apartment building” for low income and homeless or disabled individuals. With the departure of Murphy’s Hotdog, their 20 space lightly used parking lot is now available for development. A building addition consisting of 45 additional studio apts for a total of 106 apts WITHOUT parking has been is proposed. The current zoning is an old legacy M1-2, which SLN would like to eliminate. The proposed needed zoning is a high density B2-5 which SLN has never endorsed.Also, the project requires “special Transit Oriented Destination (TOD)” consideration/approval to get around the 1 for 1 parking requirement. The Neighborhood Development Review Committee [NDRC] has reviewed this proposal and has suggested that the project be reworked with fewer units and at least 6 staff parking spaces to avoid neighborhood intrusion. A couple of years ago the converted church just to the south initially requested -3 zoning with 8 units with just 2 parking spaces. The zoning was downsized to -2 with 6 units and 6 parking spaces. A year ago the developer of the property next door, Murphy’s Hotdog also asked for -3zoning. They were also reduced to -2 zoning to 6 units w /6 parking spaces. There are also a few more requested -3 zoning for 8 units w/8 parking spaces. underlying complicated issues but the main point is that the NDRC would like to see a proposal with continued consistency in zoning density, less units and with some parking.
  • Mayoral Candidate drop-ins
    We’re expecting several candidates to drop in, make a (very) short presentation, and answer a few questions.  Currently Paul Vallas and Lori Lightfoot are confirmed.

There’s additional information in the newsletter, so please check it out prior to the meeting.

More in the newsletter…

  • Results of the traffic survey
  • News about an expansion of the Transit Oriented District (TOD) ordinance
  • CAPS/Community Policing news