Allow Robert Crayton to Open and Operate Rubies.
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Mr. Robert Crayton went through all the required steps in order to attain approval for a Special Use Application. He was approved by two staff and community committees, he presented his vision at a neighborhood ward meeting, he held an open house for community neighbors, and he gained support from within the community. However, along the way the process kept changing. On February 12, 2018, Rubies was presented for a second time to the Planning & Development Committee. This committee is made up of seven out of nine Aldermen. It wasn't until this meeting, one step before final approval, that Mr. Crayton was informed his application for Special Use would be denied due to his criminal background. The chair of the committee told Mr. Crayton that he had not earned the right to start a business. When the final denial letter was received, the reason for denial stated in the letter, was due to the past history of the property location (1723 Simpson) dating back seven plus year. The City of Evanston further stated they would not approve Rubies or any business to operate out of this vacant property. Is this a process all potential business owners go through? Does this happen in all Evanston neighborhoods? Are applicants denied based on their background? Or, is this simply an example of discrimination and systemic racism? We believe, Mr. Crayton should be given the chance to start a business that will positively impact the community. We are asking that the denial be retracted, and that the Special Use Application be approved in order to open up Rubies at 1723 Simpson.
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