Sep 12

UVNA September 2012 Meeting Notes

Thursday September 20th, 2012 – 6:30pm, St. Helen School Cafeteria

Officers and UVNA Board Members in attendance:

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

Ann’s Bakery, 2158 W. Chicago Avenue –  Packaged Goods License

In June 2012, the bakery suffered extensive damage due to a fire in one of the apartments above the 3 buildings that housed the bakery.  The owner of the bakery is currently remodeling the store, with plans to expand by about 500 – 600  square feet of floor space to a total around 3800 square feet.  As part of the expansion, the owner would like to apply for a  Packaged Goods License.

  • Owner of Ann’s Bakery for 22 years – Wolodymyr Siryj
  • Attorney& son-in-law, presenting at the meeting: Ross Saciuk
  • Business hours for the bakery will remain the same as when previously opened:

Monday – Friday: 7am – 9pm
Saturdays: 7am – 8pm
Sundays: 7am – 7pm

  • The bakery is not interested in selling any malt liquor or fortified alcoholic beverages
  • The bakery does not intend to sell single bottles of beer or small bottles of hard liquor, though the license does allow this
  • They expect to have 1 cooler dedicated to beer and wine, with hard liquor possibly behind the counter
  • No open containers are allowed on the premises per the license restrictions
  • Not sure if their license would be transferable (need to follow-up on that)
  • They intend to keep the bakery the same as a family bakery , part of the neighborhood, alcohol sales will not be a primary focus of the bakery, but an additional offering to customers, along with a hot tables, a deli area, the bakery counters, and some cafe tables.

As part of the process of applying for this license, each legal registered voter within 250 feet of a proposed liquor license establishment is notified when an application is filed, and the bakery will be sending out letters to these neighbors, as well as posting a notice on their premises.

The bakery owners stated that they will happy to answer any further questions we may have about their application, and will follow all the steps required by the City of Chicago, and will keep the UVNA apprised of their plans as well.  We will create a page on the UVNA website for tracking any information about this license application process.

(we will post any updates regarding this application request to one page on the UVNA website for reference)

St John’s Lutheran Church,  913 – 925 N. Hoyne Avenue, – Adaptive Re-Use proposal & Request for a Zoning Change

The St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church and School Buildings were built in 1906 by a congregation of German immigrants, and possess a strong historic and architectural connection to the early development of Ukrainian Village.  It was excluded from the original Ukrainian Village Landmark District in 2002, as well as the extensions in 2004 and 2006, but was recommended for a third extension this past June by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. The church went up for sale by auction this summer, and a development group, the Hoyne Development Partners won the auction. They have not yet closed on the property.

Tim Desmond was in attendance at the meeting representing Hoyne Development Partners.  Desmond is also President of Central Station Development Corporation , and has worked on many previous adaptive re-use projects like this one.  Kenneth De Muth, from the architectural firm pappageorgehaymes partners was also in attendance to discuss the very preliminary plans and ideas for the project.

  • They have not yet closed on the property – will need the zoning change to do so
  • If landmark status is granted, the buildings cannot be torn down, and the developers state they are not interested in tearing down the property.
  • Are requesting a zoning change from RT4 to RM5 to allow for 2 floors to exist in the church, and the additional interior square footage an additional floor would bring
  • They will leave the entire Hoyne Street (West) facade of the Church intact, i.e. the stained glass windows will remain. The arches above the windows in the school that have been filled in will be restored to clear glass.
  • Stained glass in the windows on the courtyard side of the building will be removed  to allow more natureal light into the units in the chuch, and they will try to re-purpose/reuse the stained glass where possible.
  • Walton street window openings on wall to remain, stained glass to be mostly removed, will examine keeping mullion spacing and transom glass above.
  • New floor in church will honor existing windows from the outside.
  • Potential for balconies or terraces in the courtyard area, the Walton street side, or the south side of the school.
  • Will maintain as much architectural detail in the interior of the church as possible
  • Will be walk-ups, no elevators.
  • 16-18 units total between the two buildings but that number is not final
  • The unit layout is still very preliminary as they are still very early in their feasibility  study of building reuse.
  • One option for parking that has been proposed at this time is to use the basement,below the two buildings, with the entrance ramp between them, entering via the alley
  • No increase to the exterior footprint of the buildings
  • Envision 4 units per each floor (2) in the church, 4-5 units per floor in the school
  • 800 – 1500 sq ft units, probably 2 large units.
  • Parking for 8-9 cars for each building
  • Church roofline will stay the same, could add skylights on the south side of the roof,  same with the school.


  • They want to submit their zoning application to the alderman’s office, and have 60 days to finalize it once it has been submitted.
  • Goal is to close by the end of the year.
  • May also try to qualify for a property tax free on both buildings
  • Developers are working with Landmarks on meeting their requirements

(we will post any updates regarding the possible development at the church  to one page on the UVNA website for reference)

West Town SSA Expansion

( To read more about what the SSA is and what they do, check out their website)

The boundaries of West Town SSA are:

Chicago Avenue from Halsted Street to California Avenue
Damen Avenue from Chicago Avenue to Grand Avenue 
Milwaukee Avenue from Racine Street to Erie Street
Ogden Avenue from Fry Street to the Kennedy Expressway

  • The new boundaries that they have proposed to expand the reach of the SSA are:
    – Western Avenue, along the west side of street from Hadden to Cortez and along the east side of street from Hadden to Chicago 
    – Damen Avenue, from the south side of Augusta to north side of Huron
    – Ashland Avenue from the south side of Division to the south side of Grand
    – Grand Avenue from the east side of Ashland to the east side of Damen 
    – Milwaukee Avenue, from 1142 N Milwaukee to north side of Erie 
    – Ogden Avenue, from 1030 N Ogden to the Kennedy Expressway 
    – Chicago Avenue from the west side of Halsted to the east side of Western   
  • The next regular SSA meeting is Thursday, October 4th,  at noon,  at the West Town Chicago Chamber of Commerce, located at 1819 W. Chicago Ave.
  • There is also scheduled a  West Town SSA Informational Workshop  Tuesday, October 9th 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
    @ WTCCC 1819 W. Chicago Ave, to learn more about the Special Service Area, the SSA programs, staff, annual budget and the reconstitution and expansion process.
  • The City Council Finance Committee must still hold a Public Hearing before taking a vote on the new boundaries of the SSA and sending it back to City Council for passage. The date of the Public Hearing at City Hall has been set for Friday, October 12th at 10am.  According to the SSA, all SSA taxpayers will be sent in the mail a written notice of the Public Hearing so they may attend.  Once the SSA Ordinance is passed, DHED will enter into a contract with WTCCC, and the new West Town SSA will be implemented beginning January 2013.

CAPS Update

Regarding the recent armed robberies on Damen & Thomas and Damen & Augusta, the CPD collected a lot of evidence and believe they have some good leads regarding these crimes.   Alderman Waugespack attended the block party on Thomas Street which took place a few days later, and reviewed community safety tips and procedures, and they also discussed the possibility of adding speed bumps to their street.

May 12

First Annual Architectural Walk of Historic Neighborhood Churches!

On Saturday, June 16, 2012, the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association (UVNA) will host  a tour of five majestic Eastern European spiritual and architectural temples of worship without ever having to leave the city boundaries.  The UVNA offers for your viewing and educational delight five architectural gems:  three cathedrals and two officially land-marked structures.

Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral

Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral

Saint Volodymyr the Great Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral

Saint Helen Catholic Church

Saints Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church

  For more information, see the attached press release,  or contact info@uvna.org.


Mar 12

We Had a Great UVNA March Social!

Last week, instead of our usual monthly membership meeting, we held a social event at the J & M Tap.  We try to host these every other month or so as a way to help us all get to know each other a little better.  We had a fabulous turnout this month and even had some folks from the CGNA (Chicago-Grand Neighbors Association) join us as well!  Most of the time was spent socializing and talking about events current and past in our neighborhood.  We did spent a few minutes talking a little business though.

  • Blue Bin Recycling – the city will be dropping off bins at the front of our buildings this week – you will need to move them next to your trash in the alley.
  • Red Apple Liquor License Permit Request – Interested residents were at the meeting with flyers and information about the permit request and why many residents are against granting the liquor license request.  Letters from the public are due by 3/19.  Contact Suzanne (312-371-7168) for a more information or a sample letter.
  • Permit Request for Facade Restoration on Thomas Street –  The owners have drawn up plans for the city as well as the Chicago Landmarks Commission, as the building resides within the Ukrainian Village historic district.  They brought along the plans so the members of the UVNA could review and hopefully approve their proposal.
  • Update on the UVNA Historic Church Walk – We’re on for a church walk in June! We’ll post a date for meeting of volunteers soon – we’ll need help with flyers or help on the day of the event – let us know if you are interested!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by Thursday night!  We hope to see you next month at our regular time and place at St. Helen School on Augusta.   Make sure you keep up with current Ukrainian Village events here on our website,  our facebook page, or sign up for our newsletter!

Mar 12

UVNA March Social at the J & M Tap

This month’s UVNA meeting will be a social event – a chance to meet and greet your neighbors over a pint or two.  We’ll meet at our usual date and time (3rd Thursday of the month, 6:30pm)  but at the J &M Tap – 957  N. Leavitt Blvd.  That’s right at the corner of Leavitt and Augusta.  We’re inviting friends from the surrounding neighborhood associations and neighborhood watch groups to stop by as well!  We hope to see you on the 15th!


(correction – earlier version listed the address as 957 W. Augusta).

Jan 12

UVNA Meeting Notes – Thursday, Jan 19th 2012

The big topic Thursday night was the new ward map for the city and Ukrainian Village’s new location in the reconfigured 2nd ward.  Paul Sajovec from Alderman Waguespack’s office was on hand at the meeting to talk about the remap process, and what happens next for our neighborhood.  WBEZ put up a nice interactive map of the entire city  – click here to see it.  Click on any ward area on the map and the name of the Alderman along with population statistics will pop up.  Here is a summary of the questions we posed to Paul and the answers we received.

  • When does the new map go into effect? – The City Council has to vote on a date to ‘flip the switch’ so to speak, to put the new ward boundaries into effective in terms of services. Politically however,  we would not have a new alderman until 2015 – the next election.  All the aldermen have promised to serve both new and constituents  during the switchover in terms of helping to find solutions to problems or concerns.
  • What are the chances that the map could be radically redrawn again? – Not high.  There may well be one or more lawsuits filed to challenge the map and the population deviations that now exist between some North Side and South Side wards, but any changes would most likely be to slightly redraw some of the ward boundaries as opposed to an overhaul of the entire map.  This article from Friday’s Chicago Sun-Times nicely summarizes the logistics behind the current map as well as the legal challenges that could be made against it.
  • What can citizens do to complain about or support the new ward map? –  Keep apprised of any additional hearings that are announced to discuss the map.  While it’s true that this new map was not one that any of us saw or commented on, the vocal opposition by the voters in the 43rd ward (Lincoln Park) to breaking up their neighborhood into 5 wards probably helped to keep their ward mostly intact in the new map.

While the new ward map was the hot topic at our meeting, we did discuss other topics as well:

  • Stoplight at Chicago & Hoyne – Alderman Waguespack does not want to let the ward remap process slow any other initiatives down like this one, though the intersection will fall into the 2nd and 1st wards not the 32nd. The stoplight is on a list of to-do’s for CDOT but the 32nd ward has offered some of their menu funds to help pay for it and perhaps move it up on the list. The 1st ward has not committed any funds to this process.  We will probably need to meet with the new alderman to check in on this issue.
  • Recycling Blue Bins – Based on this interactive map provided by the city – it looks as though we’ve been left out in the cold again when it comes to recycling.  The 32nd ward was not sure of the details at the time of the meeting, but at the time of writing up these notes, it looks as though Ukrainian Village will not be part of the Recycling trial that the city will be running.
  • Pedestrian Zone Designation – On January 9th Alderman Moreno held a hearing about extending the pedestrian zone on Chicago Avenue from Wood west to Damen (link to Urban Times article).  The UVNA has raised the question of extending the pedestrian zone on Chicago Avenue from Damen to Western as well.  “A pedestrian zone encourages businesses that service local residents,… concerned with pedestrian safety and comfort, they are intended to promote a vital economic area.” (Steven Valenziano, Dir. of Ordinance Admin., Dept. of Housing and Economic Development). Other examples of nearby pedestrian zones are Division St. from Marshfield Ave. to Leavitt St., Milwaukee Ave. between Division St. and North Ave. and Milwaukee Ave. from North Ave. to Damen Ave. Chicago’s zoning code for Pedestrian Streets is 17-3-050 .  We will need to follow up with the Alderman’s office to determine if it would be feasible, and next steps.
  • Streetlights out blockwide –  During December and January entire blocks our neighborhood have had their streetlights out for 7 days or more.  Like other city departments, the Bureau of Electricity is short on resources and has a backlog of requests.  If your entire block of lights are out,  please call 311 AND notify the Alderman’s office as well in order to get the problem rectified quickly.
  • Snow shoveling – Please let the Alderman’s office know — as well as call 311 – of any business that has not shoveled their sidewalks
  • Snow plows –  The city has a new ‘snow portal‘ . You can find the snow plow tracker, a link to the snow corps, as well as a couple of winter apps – one which will help you find you car if it’s been towed!  The snow plow tracker may become even more useful as it appears that the city has changed the plow priorities due to budget cuts.  Side streets may not get plowed for up to 24 hours after a snowfall, so keep that in mind.
  • CHURCH WALK! – We are planning to host an architectural walking tour of 3-5 of our neighborhood churches this spring/summer -possibly in June and we are looking for a few volunteers.  If you think your church would be interested,  and/or if you would be interested in being a docent or helping to coordinate the event, please let us know. Send an email to secretary@uvna.org with the subject line “Church Walk”.