EVA Monday: Holiday treats

Complimentary pizza from Roots and baked goods from West Town Bakery will be served at Monday's East Village Association meeting, in the game room at Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott. The meeting starts at 7pm.

The agenda includes development updates on the Fifield Cos. apartment site at 1850 W. Chicago Ave., the former AAA Distributing site; the Smithfield apartments at 1815 W. Division St., the former Miller Lumber location, and the Forbidden Root brewery at 1750 W. Chicago Ave.

EVA's aldermanic meet-and-greet series continues with 2nd Ward candidates Cornell Wilson and Brian Hopkins. You're also welcome to submit your questions for our candidate debates, set for Jan. 29 in the 1st Ward and Feb. 15 in the 2nd Ward, at Wells High School.

Where is East Village crime?

East Village marked 417 violent crimes and 1,186 property crimes in the less than two years since 2013, according to an EVA analysis of Chicago Police statistics. Half took place on a sidewalk, street or alley; fewer than a quarter in an apartment or residence.

Two out of five violent crimes were reported on the four main streets: 18% on Ashland Avenue, 12% each on Milwaukee and Chicago avenues, and 10% on Division Street. Violent crimes include homicide, criminal sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault or battery.

Property crimes (burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson) hit closer to home. Among 1,186 property crimes, 39% were in a home or apartment building, garage or yard. Streets and sidewalk accounted for 38%; 11% were on CTA trains, buses, platforms or bus stops.

Through Nov. 17, fewer crimes have been reported this year than at this time last year. Violent crime's down 11% in this tally; property crimes are 10% and lower lifestyle crimes (including criminal damage to property, narcotics and prostitution) were cut 3%.

Zoom in on the map to see crime near you, and click for case details. If you cannot see the map, click here. Maps use Chicago Police location markers; actual addresses aren't disclosed, and the markers are meant to be approximate.

East Village crime animation

If you cannot see the map, click here.

How to address a problem business

Trash pickups before 7am were discussed in a meeting of business owners and neighbors.

Getting action on a problem business in Chicago takes a track record: calls to 9-1-1 and 3-1-1.

Alley noise complaints led to a meeting this month with residents and business in the 2000 block of West Division Street. Ald. Proco Joe Moreno facilitated agreements to stop overnight trash dumping or pickups before 7am, to keep containers locked and close to buildings, and to clean the alley.

Police and inspectors check out complaints and can fine a businesses for violations. The owner also can be called in to City Hall for a "remediation conference” with the alderman, police and a city attorney. The meetings try to resolve problems and show how they put a business license is at risk.

Actions for neighbors are outlined in a flier from Chicago's Business Affairs & Consumer Protection department:

  • Call 9-1-1 to report illegal activity and nuisance behaviors: noise, fighting, drinking and loitering, public urination and defecation, drug sales, gambling, prostitution, and intimidating passers-by.
  • Urge neighbors to call 9-1-1. The number of calls logged in the city database tell police and regulators what's happening at a specific location.
  • Call 3-1-1 to report nuisance conditions and bad business practices: This includes outdated food,overcharges, unstamped cigarettes, sale of single cigarettes, sale of tobacco products to minors, sale of drug paraphernalia, unsanitary handling of food, insect or rodent infestation, overflowing dumpsters, trash and debris. Make sure to ask for the “SR #” so you can track what happens to your complaint. A database collects information from each call, which gives city regulators a better picture of what is happening at that business.
  • Document the nuisance issues: Take pictures of the nuisance conditions all around the business: trash & litter outside, windows covered with signage, loitering, etc. Make sure to note the time and date the photo was taken. This documentation can be used to bolster community reports of illegal and nuisance activity at that location.
  • Work with your alderman: Contact your alderman’s office to report and discuss the problem business. Make sure the alderman is aware of any illegal activities and nuisance issues surrounding the business in his/her ward. An alderman may contact the business or the police to discuss issues at that location.
  • Attend CAPS meetings in your community: Contact the district commander to inform them of the issues occurring on or near the premise. Many of these issues are addressed at CAPS meetings.
  • Request a community meeting with the City: Organize with neighbors to request the City’s Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection begin the public nuisance process regarding the business.
  • Letters from 5 residents or the alderman sent to the BACP commissioner or the Local Liquor Commissioner will initiate a BACP investigation of the business, to determine how the issues complained of will be best addressed.
  • Attend all community meetings and court hearings you receive notice for to make your voice heard. Be specific about conditions that affect you, your family, and your community’s safety and well-being.

Blue Line remodel, medical marijuana plans take shape

A "traditional" subway canopy can double the CTA's cost.

East Village Association board minutes for Nov. 10, 2014, submitted by Catherine Garypie

Aldermanic debate

Dates are Jan. 29 (1st Ward), Feb, 15 (2nd Ward). Andy Shaw of Better Government Association will host, Wells High auditorium is rented, other associations are on board. Shaw may have format ideas. Wells students can submit questions.

December meeting/holiday party

Neal McKnight will check venues for Monday evening Dec. 8.

Aldermanic speakers at upcoming meetings

Dec. 1: Wilson, Shaw, Hopkins; Jan. 5: Moreno, Pattison; Feb. 2: Pfingsten, Buenrostro.

Polish Triangle

An online survey drew 1,200 responses; the majority want a traditional entrance design for the Blue Line station at Division, keeping the fountain and placing canopies over the subway. The traditional design costs $600,000, twice the price of the "modern" choice. McKnight will propose that we get specifications for the canopy foundation to get art on top of the canopy.

Studio Gang has been invited to get involved. EVA board members will attend the next meeting with the CTA. The next meeting is with local businesses. A number of entities are involved, and it's unclear how much influence EVA will have in the process.

Red alert: EVA drafts demolition delay proposal

Preservation Chicago's Erica Ruggiero briefs EVA members at Happy Village.

East Village Association minutes for Nov. 3, 2014, submitted by Catherine Garypie

HISTORIC PRESERVATION: Erica Ruggiero, Preservation Chicago advocacy director

Chicago's demolition delay ordinance relies on properties identified in the 1995 Chicago Historic Resources Survey. The survey's original purpose wasn't to support the ordinance, yet that's how the city identifies properties to preserve. Buildings are identified by color:

  • RED properties possess some architectural feature or historical association that made them potentially significant in the city, state or nation. About 300 properties are categorized as Red.
  • ORANGE properties possess some architectural feature or historical association that made them potentially significant in the community. About 9,600 properties are categorized as Orange.
  • GREEN, YELLOW-GREEN, and YELLOW properties are generally considered either too altered or lacking individual significance to be included in the survey's database.
  • BLUE properties are constructed after 1940 and were generally not included in the database.

The problem is that many non-Red properties in the survey, as well as historically significant properties that did not make it onto the survey, are not being fully evaluated and are being lost.

Significantly, the Illinois Historic Structures Survey, an inventory of places of purely architectural interest completed in the early 1970s, included many Chicago buildings not included in the Chicago survey. For example, 1,100 properties in West Town were identified by the state, but not the city. Those properties are essentially unprotected.

Preservation Chicago has been working with the East Village Association and several other groups to craft a proposal to address gaps in current law causing loss of historic structures in Chicago. This is an effort to address historic preservation issues in the entire city, not just in East Village.