LakeView Towers Association members protest exclusion from 46th Ward public meeting
Diane Santucci releases this statement in response to being denied her vote as the authorized representative of her association at the 46th Ward Zoning Committee.
Lakeview Towers Board Member Diane Santucci is opposed to a proposed development at 4600 N Marine Drive, which is on the opposite corner of the intersection from her building. Ms. Santucci has ample reason to believe the development will harm the quality of life of her building’s residents:
Diane Santucci is a board member of the Lake View Towers Residents Association who describes themselves on their website with the mission statement and text below:
Lake View Towers Residents Association Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting affordable, healthy and safe housing, initiatives and programs; combating community deterioration; strengthening the surrounding community; and networking with other non-profit organizations and tenant associations in the sponsoring of community wide educational programs and training for low income individuals that will assist them in enhancing the quality of their lives and community.
Lake View Towers is a 500-unit building consisting of two 26-story towers located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. The building has studio, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom apartments and houses a very diverse population of over 25 nationalities. Out of the 500 units, 395 are designated as project-based Section 8 units, while the other 105 are designated for moderate income individuals and families.
Located at the corner of Wilson and Clarendon in the Uptown neighborhood in Chicago, the building is a widely admired diverse mixed-income, nonprofit 500-unit rental building. Diane Santucci releases this statement in response to being denied her vote as the authorized representative of her association at the 46th Ward Zoning Committee. Ms. Santucci is opposed to a proposed development at 4600 N Marine Drive, which is on the opposite corner of the intersection from her building. Ms. Santucci has ample reason to believe the development will harm the quality of life of her building’s residents:
An Open Letter to the Chicago Planning Commission, Chicago Department of Planning, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Zoning Chair Tunney, and Alderman Cappleman:
My name is Diane Santucci. I am on the board of the Lakeview Towers Association. The Association is the owner of Lakeview Towers, a diverse mixed income affordable housing success story that is owned by its own resident association.
For 46th Ward Zoning and Development Committee Meeting on June 10, 2021, I attempted to inform the Alderman that I would be the proxy representative for my building, but for some reason I was not seated as the representative. The Alderman’s standard practice is to allow other organizations to send proxy representatives, but the Alderman did not permit our building the same courtesy even though our regular representative was unable to attend or communicate for personal reasons.
The local committee voted against the development on June 10th. At another meeting a week later, however, the Alderman continued to deny the validity of our NO vote, yet accepted a reversal of North Halsted Business Alliance’s vote.
As you can see in this video, Alderman Cappleman publicly promised to take the development off the City Council Zoning Committee Agenda if it were to be voted down in the local committee:
Click this link or use the widget below to view hearing:
The Alderman normally has strict rules against organizations voting remotely, even though the length of the meetings is a burden on working people who try to participate. The only exception seems to be when some organization, such as North Halsted Business Alliance, feels enough pressure to switch its vote after the meeting to meet the Alderman’s desired outcome.
Why is our vote so important? The 4600 Marine Drive development is a threat to our diverse neighborhood’s quality of life, to our healthcare, and to future jobs and educational opportunities. The planned building would be an inappropriate unaffordable eyesore that will raise rents, diminish the value of neighboring properties, and create horrible traffic that conflicts with Weiss Hospital’s ER entrance. Furthermore, the current proposal is out of conformity with the uses allowed in this subarea of Planned Development 37. The allowed medical, health, and research uses, all within walking distance of Uplift High School, Truman College, and the new Wilson Avenue Red Line Station, would mean much-needed high-quality jobs and educational opportunities, also for people outside of our community. But there has been no community discussion or consensus building effort about turning this land into expensive rental apartments.
Our community has trusted in and relied on Weiss Hospital for healthcare, education, and work for many decades. Generous donors originally assembled the land for the non-profit hospital, which had a strong mission to serve those who are underserved. In the short time Pipeline Health has owned Weiss Hospital, which the company promises to keep open, the company closed another community hospital that it promised to keep open. Weiss Hospital’s neighbors are understandably very concerned that this important job, educational, and healthcare site is being sold off and that our voices are being shut out.
We demand that the planning commission and zoning committee pull it off their agendas. We are angry and will not be silenced. This letter is just the first step.