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Evanstonians who had gathered for the City Plan Commission meeting the evening of Aug. 28 to further discuss Northwestern University’s proposal to hold additional events at their Welsh Ryan facility were told they would have to return for the next meeting, which is scheduled for Sept. 11.
Five of the nine commissioners were in attendance, enough for a quorum for the meeting. But one of those five commissioners, John Hewko, is new to the commission and would have been unable to vote a recommendation for or against the NU proposal. As such, there was not enough of a quorum present for the issue to be heard.
Several dozen community members had gathered to discuss the matter. Most left, though the meeting proceeded with other agenda items as scheduled.
“We are not happy,” one audience member said to the commissioners as she departed.
NU is asking the City for a zoning ordinance amendment allowing the University to increase the allowed duration of events scheduled at the facility, as well as allow for-profit athletic events, among other facets. A number of residents have opposed the proposal, mainly citing traffic and parking concerns.