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Old Posted Dec 2, 2020, 11:30 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
you know where I'll be
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,221
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
While that's true, it does introduce a new layer of bureaucracy onto a community that for 50 years mostly hasn't bothered to pull any permits for a lot of the work done there.

I think there's a generational split that makes this a really muddled message from "the community." "No landmark district" is coming from the old couples who bought those two-flats for $5000 back in 1974 and now wouldn't mind selling to a hipster developer for enough money to buy 200 hectares in Michoacán, or enough to comfortably retire near the grandkids in Dallas. They certainly don't want to apply for permits and get architectural drawings to replace the gutters or back porch.

Then there's the young radicals, nursing complaints about student loans and lack of middle-class jobs and worried that gentrification will not only force them out of affordable housing but seriously change the character of Pilsen.

Neither group really understand what's legal under Illinois law and what's possible given Chicago politics. And the way public discussions have had to happen during a pandemic, and in two languages, with people who sometimes want to be invisible to the legal system, has made it no easier. Add in a firebrand greenhorn alderman and a clueless planning commissioner washing his hands of the whole affair and you get the holy mess we saw yesterday, which accomplished absolutely nothing toward saving any aspect of Pilsen.

Definitely needed to meet the community where they are in terms of understanding and addressing their situation, concerns, fears, motivations, etc.....which is why I was very curious as to what the actual on-the-ground community outreach/education/discussion really looked like for this 'effort' to pass the landmark district. I'm sure the pandemic made all of that much more challenging - perhaps particularly in a still heavily immigrant based neighborhood. Perhaps this particular version of the district would have been doomed at any rate do to the specific mix of dynamics here.....but that did the Planning Department actually do to try to get it passed? I haven't been following his work closely thus far, but perhaps a.....clue in your "clueless planning commissioner"? Just bad leadership here/lack of direction on this initiative? I mean, it's definitely as much of a political and communication project as anything else, and perhaps those skills/effort/competence just wasn't there??
It's simple, really - try not to design or build trash.
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