WEST LOOP — With embattled Ald. Danny Solis (25th) out of town, community meetings for two proposed developments in the West Loop have been postponed.
Two public meetings for neighbors to review the proposed developments at 19 N. May St. and 37 S. Sangamon St. scheduled for Thursday and Monday will be postponed because Solis won’t be available to attend the meetings. A representative from his office won’t be available to attend the meetings either, said Carla Agostinelli, executive director of the West Loop Community Organization.
A bombshell Sun-Times report Wednesday revealed that Ald. Danny Solis (25th) wore a wire for two years as part of the federal investigation into powerful Ald. Ed Burke (14th), who has been charged with attempted extortion. He reportedly arranged to be on a college visit with his son this week as the news broke.
Solis is expected to resign immediately, according to the report.
Last week, the West Loop Community Organization called for Solis, who chairs the city’s Committee on Zoning, to pull the two developments from committee’s agenda until neighbors had a chance to weigh in on the projects. The developers hadn’t yet presented the projects to the community at public meetings, the group said in a letter addressed to Solis.
The Committee on Zoning was set to review the aforementioned developments on Jan. 17, according to a timestamped agenda recorded by the City Clerk on Jan. 14.
Community meetings for the developments were scheduled to take place on Jan. 24 and Jan. 28 — after that key zoning meeting. In a letter addressed to Solis, the West Loop group called for the alderman to postpone the slated review of the two proposed developments until developers presented the projects to community members during public meetings.
Agostinelli told Block Club Chicago she flagged the agenda item and alerted the alderman’s office and the zoning attorney “to make certain there is transparency in the process.”
“We believe that it is inappropriate to have the proposed developments …presented to the Zoning Committee before the affected community has had an opportunity to present their feedback,” the West Loop letter read.
Solis told Block Club Chicago Friday the projects had been deferred from the Zoning Committee agenda and that the next 25th Ward alderman — instead of him — would weigh the impact on the two projects.
In an email Sunday, Nicole Wellhausen, an aide to Solis, said the alderman’s office always had plans to defer the projects from council consideration.
“Items are automatically scheduled when they are introduced to us from City Council, that’s the only reason it was on the agenda to begin with,” Wellhausen said in the email.
Developers of the 19 N. May St. project are seeking to more than double the height of a previously approved residential building.
Under proposed zoning changes, Sulo Development wants to build an 18-story, 240-foot building at 19-27 N. May St. near McDonald’s corporate headquarters.
It was previously approved as a nine story as part of a planned development approved in 2017.
At 37 S. Sangamon, developers aim to construct a 24-story building that would include 193 residential units and 156 parking spaces, according to the developer’s zoning application.
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