Wicker Park Committee elects new board and joins other community voices against Lincoln-Cortland TIF approval


Standing: Ed Tamminga, Kyle Sneed, Leah Root, Kristin DeGroff, George Menninger, David Walcoff and Teddy Varndell. Jason Ticus is knelling

A new Board roster was elected Wednesday night at the Wicker Park Committee (WPC) meeting in Wicker Park Field House, 1425 N. Damen. And, a Lincoln Yards Plan discussion ended with agreed opposition to the Lincoln-Cortland TIF being approved at this time. 

The new WPC Board includes:

President, David Walcoff; Vice President, Kyle Sneed; Secretary, Kristin De Groff; Treasurer, George Menninger; Cultural Affairs/Community Liason, Jason Ticus; Communications, Leah Root; Co-Membership Chairs, Grant Drutchas and Teddy Varndell; and Preservation and Development Committee Chair, Ed Tamminga. 

A discussion about the Lincoln Yards Plan included expressions of happiness over 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins withdrawal of his support of the stadium and entertainment venues as stated in his statements: 

"I have informed planning officials at Sterling Bay, the developer of the proposed Lincoln Yards project, that I am not in support of a major sports and entertainment arena within either of their two planned development districts now under consideration. I have further requested that the identified site of proposed stadium (Sub Area C of the Lincoln Yards South PD) be repurposed as open and recreational park space.  

In addition, I have informed Sterling Bay that I will not support the proposed "Entertainment District" within the Planned Development that was intended to be co-owned by LiveNation and comprised of multiple venues with seating capacities ranging from 3,000 to 6,000. The Entertainment District will be eliminated from a revised plan and replaced by restaurants, theaters, and smaller venues that will be scattered throughout the site. LiveNation will have no ownership interest in any of these venues.  

The above changes will be incorporated into a newly revised Master Site Plan, that will be submitted to the community for review and comment, and will include sufficient technical detail and exhibits on urban design principals (height, massing, floor area ratio), access and circulation routes. It will include a statement of design standards and guidelines that will shape the character of the structures, and details regarding the specific programming of the recreational space (e.g., baseball field, soccer pitch, running track). 

Based on the uncertainty of what the project is to be, those present at the meeting said that they do not want the Lincoln-Cortland TIF approved at this time. Many of the same points expressed have been stated by multiple groups on both sides of the Chicago River. 

A Joint Review Board meeting regarding TIFs in City Hall, 10th Floor, Fri., Jan. 11, at 10 a.m., could impact the Lincoln Yard Plan.


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