UVNA Meeting Notes August 2013

Thursday August 15th, 2013 – 6:30pm – St. Helen School Cafeteria

Officers and UVNA Board Members in attendance:

  • President: Paul Matwyshyn
  • Vice President: Patrick Danaher
  • Treasurer: Harriet Siller
  • Secretary: Samantha Arnold
  • Board Members: George Matwyshyn


Update on the Redevelopment of 913-925 N. Hoyne St (St John’s Lutheran Church)

Based on the questions and discussions with the developers and the Alderman in our June meeting,  we sent a letter to the Alderman’s office summarizing all the concerns raised at the meeting, including those concerns submitted via an online form on our website. This information was for use by the Alderman in his next meeting with the developers.  The developers followed-up with a a letter to the Alderman earlier this month to address the concerns that were raised, and then met with the Alderman as well.  The Alderman’s office asked UVNA to review the further information provided by the developers and to follow up with the developers and/or Alderman’s office with any additional concerns.  Following is the information provided by the developer in response to the concerns that have been raised by the community.


There were concerns raised that while the developer and architect have experience in residential and commercial properties, it seems that their historic renovation experience is limited.  In response, the developer provided this additional information about the team that will be working on the project:

  • Developer is Mokin Development LLC, a branch of Regency Development Group,  which has developed residential complexes in Moscow Russia, and Chicago.
  • The design team is lead by Orest Baranyk, an architect with over 40 years experience – though the landmarked buildings that he has rehabbed have been residential and smaller in size than this project. Therefore he will employ a ‘prominent preservation expert’ Hasbrouck Peterson Zimoch Sirirattumrong (HPZS) “as a consultant in matters relating to conservation and restoration.”
  • The structural engineer Harry Marshall, also has over 40 years experience in designing rehab projects as well as new buildings.

Plans & Preservation

Much discussion has surrounded the exterior and interior changes that will be made to the church. The developer has stated that:

  • “Minimal changes will be made to the exterior.”
  • Windows (except those on the Hoyne Street elevation) will be replaced, though they will replaced with windows that replicate the style of the original windows, based on Landmark approval.
  • The enclosed bridge between the church and school will be removed
  • “The ramp from Hoyne St. to the underground garage would be below grade with a wrought iron railing (similar to the existing) above grade.”
  • “The interior structural work will be phased in a manner that will reinforce the existing exterior walls before any demolition begins”.
  • “With the preservation architect’s assistance we will endeavor to recycle/restore stained glass windows and any other historic elements.”
  • “Detailed plans of all the above items have been presented for Landmark Commission approval.”

UVNA will be following up with the developers to review the plans provided to Landmark  as we have still only been provided with limited exterior plans.  We will also follow up with the developers about the  recycling/restoration of the stained glass windows and any other historic elements as that work gets underway. 

Property Maintenance & Safety

Questions were asked about the maintenance and security of the property, now through construction, as well as going forward. According to the developer:

  • “The property will be maintained and secured by Lamarco Security, Inc.”
  • “There has been no vandalism since property was purchased by Mokin, LLC”
  • “Additional exterior lighting for sidewalk illumination can be added.”
  • “The basement parking garage will be fully enclosed…and the Hoyne ramp will be gated.”


The developer desires a zoning change from RT-4 to RM-5 to allow them to create 19 units in the development instead of 17. The developer has suggested that  “After the project completion this parcel should be down-zoned to RT-4”.

UVNA would like to work with the Aldernman’s office and the developer on assurances that the down-zoning will take place. 

Curb Cut/Driveway on Hoyne

The developer would like to make a curb-cut on Hoyne Street to allow for the driveway/entrance ramp to the parking garage as the alley entrance would not allow for a wide-enough turning radius. According to the developer:

  • “The curb cut from Hoyne would be 16 feet wide, which is a loss of one car at street parking.”
  • “The Chicago Department of Transportation(CDOT) has reviewed our proposal and concurred that the Hoyne access is safe and maneuverable, while the alley is not. “
  • “The driveway would consist of a concrete ramp descending into the basement level, the walls of the ramp would be flush with the grade and landscaping at each side, topped by a wrought iron railing matching the existing metal fences. “
  • “At the property line there would be a electronically operated w.i. gate. “

The UVNA membership does not oppose the curb-cut on Hoyne

Financial Concerns

Both the UVNA and the Alderman raised concerns that the property being properly insured as well as that there is  proper financing in place for the condo association once the units are built and sales begin. The developer has stated:

  • “The property is insured for liability and will have a builder’s risk policy.”
  • “The construction loan has been approved and secured by Community Bank of Oak Park”
  • The developer has experience from previous projects in setting up condo associations and proper financing of similar projects
    • Sierra Lofts (824 W. Superior) 40 residential + 14 commercial units
    • Opera Club Condos (Oak Park) 36 residential + 3 commercial units
    • Madison Square Townhomes (Oak Park) 46 townhomes

The UVNA would like to follow-up on the details of the insurance policy with the developer and/or Alderman, as well as get more details on how the condo association will be initially financed.

Next steps:  UVNA officers to meet with the Alderman

Update on Beer Run Chicago

At the July meeting we had a presentation from Tony Wojewocki about his package liquor license request  for his liquor delivery business that he will be opening on Chicago Avenue.   We would like to establish a ‘plan of operation’ with Tony as a way to state the expectation of  the amount of  ‘walk-up’ sales that he can transact.  The 2nd ward office has referred us to the 1st ward office and the EVA as they have some experience structuring similar “plans of operation”  in their neighborhood. We  will follow up with those groups.

Street Flooding in Heavy Rains

Even though the water mains were replaced along Oakley last summer, there have been complaints that the drains back up horribly during storms.  Besides trying to keep the grates clean of debris, there were questions raised as to if there are restrictors  on these mains  (unsure)- which limit the volume of water that can pass through –  and if so, can they be removed?

We will try to follow up with the Alderman’s office

Billboard at 2134 W. Haddon

Concerns were raised about the size of the newly posted project sign at this property as it is very large.  We will follow up with the Alderman’s office concerning this issue.

Notes from recent CAPS meeting for 1212

  • Bike thefts have been a big problem in our area this summer
    • 15 out of 27 thefts in the last two months were bikes
    • Bring your bike inside whenever possible
    • Lock your bike when on outside porches or in garages
    • Use high-quality locks (U-locks or chain locks) do not rely on cable locks
  • If you discover your building/apartment has been robbed call 911 and do not go inside – if you do, the CPD will not send an evidence technician as they will consider the crime scene to have been tampered with.
  • If you don’t have your street address posted on your alley-facing garage, you are actually required by law to have them posted. You can pick up reflective numbers from your CAPS representatives at the 12th district for free.

Next meeting is Thursday , September 19th, 6:30pm, St. Helen School

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