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Though held in the Planning and Development Committee for further discussion at later meetings, the zoning amendments that would implement the West Evanston Plan would benefit the West Evanston community and the City as a whole. The plan, in the works for about six years, allows development within the character of the City’s west side, historically the center of Evanston’s African-American community. Single-family residences are excluded from the plan, so no residents will be “zoned out” of their homes, and the zoning essentially grandfathers in existing businesses and allows them limited expansion.

We understand there are concerns about development in this area: added height and density, traffic congestion, more multifamily residences, and gentrification of an area that for the most part has resisted development (and vice versa). However, we think those concerns would be even more serious and severe without the plan in place. It offers a footprint for orderly development, growth and preservation. The aldermen of both affected wards appear to support it. We look forward to debate, finishing touches and ultimate Council approval.