Tell City to Halt Illegal Construction in West End Open Space District

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Dear Fellow Evanstonians,

We are your neighbors in the West End. We are predominantly African American, property owners, and exceptionally engaged civically in volunteering on City boards and commissions. We take great pride in our multicultural community and in our City.

The Open Space in each of our neighborhoods is finite, and the City is attempting to steal ours. It has rushed through approval to construct a noncompliant utility station in our Open Space District to sell water the other communities so it can pay off its debts and legal settlements. This is a protected district by law, with its permitted uses restricted to gardens, parks, preserves and recreational purposes. 

This is wrong. This is illegal. This is theft.

The City is required by law to notify adjacent residents by certified mail and to hold a public zoning hearing prior to its approval of noncompliant structures. It did neither. The City is required by law to accept a zoning appeal by aggrieved adjacent neighbors. It denied ours.

This space was budgeted and leased for the restoration and preservation of green space. On February 12, just 5 weeks after the approval of the revitalized parkland, Evanston City Council abruptly reversed course and voted to introduce and grant “a Municipal Use Exception for the location of a Public Utility at 2525 Church Street in the OS Open Space District, where Public Utilities are neither a permitted or special use.” The claimed Municipal Use Exemption requires the City own and operate the facility. The City will not own the station. It also requires exempted structures be necessary for the provision of desired City services. Water services will be provided exclusively for residents in surrounding communities.

WE ARE ASKING YOU to tell City Council and the Zoning Administrator that ALL of its citizens are entitled to the same consideration, dignity and rights to due process. To tell City Council that Evanston WILL NOT undermine the civil rights of historically underserved residents.

Please don’t let City Council turn our Public Park into a Utility Park.


Your West End Neighbors


Evanston 5th Ward residents say they were ‘blindsided’ by water pumping station plans Daily Northwestern

Violations Mounting in City’s Handling of West End Pumping Station Evanston Leads

City Blocks Appeal Challenging Water Pumping Station Evanston Roundtable

Evanston to tear down shuttered building, expand Beck Park Chicago Tribune 

West End Pump Station Timeline Evanston Leads