Mar 13

UVNA February 2013 Meeting Notes

Thursday February 21st, 2013– 6:30pm, St. Helen School Cafeteria

Officers and UVNA Board Members in attendance:

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


Presentation from Commander Melissa Staples of the 12th District

Commander Staples introduced herself to us, and ran through her background with the CPD – 22 years on the job,  and previously served as commander in the North Side’s 17th District.  She is a resident of the old 13th district and is familiar with our area.  She talked about the work the 12th has been doing to combat gang violence,  as well as some recent successes, talked about the tactical teams that have been doing the great work they were doing in the old 13th, and mentioned new teams and/or initiatives underway to deal with specific crime issues in the new 12th district.

  • While the 12th district is one of the geographically largest it also has more officers than any other district in the city.
  • Community awareness is always an important part of fighting crime and she stressed the importance of calling something in if  it doesn’t feel right. “If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not”.
  • She  talked about gang graffiti and the importance of getting gang graffiti removed ASAP.
  • Call in any gang graffiti that you see and send a photo along with the address where the graffiti is spotted to the 12th district   –CAPS012District@chicagopolice.org


Presentation from Energy Impact Illinois

Vito Greco from Energy Impact Illinois gave a an update on the program they have running to help homeowners reduce energy bills. They help homeowners connect with rebates and certified professionals to conduct energy efficient improvements.  Homeowners can receive up to $1750 in instant rebates for cost-effective and permanent energy efficient improvements like air sealing and insulation.

  • This program runs through May 2013  (may be extended to September)
  • This program is available for single-family homes and buildings with 2-4 units.
  • Buildings with 5 or more units can take part in a similar Energy Savers Program.


Representatives from Alderman Fioretti’s office were also at the meeting to introduce themselves and the 2nd ward. We will be working with the Alderman’s office to find a date when he can meet with the UVNA.

Nov 12

UVNA November 2012 Meeting Notes

Thursday November 15th, 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


Energy Impact Illinois Presentation

We had a presentation by Leslie Proudfoot about the limited-time rebate available to homeowners of up to $1750. The rebate is for the most cost effective and permanent energy efficiency improvements: air sealing and insulating.  You are eligible for the program if you have service from Peoples or North Shore Gas, or a Nicor Gas or ComEd customer, and are an owner of a single-family home or 2-4 unit building.  Along with the rebates, there are low-interest loans available as well.  Call 1-855-9-IMPACT or check out www.EnergyImpactIllinois.org for more information.

Update:  West Town SSA 

The West Town SSA reconstitution and expansion process from SSA #29 to SSA #57 with new boundaries was stopped due to vocal opposition by residents to the effect that the Aldermen pulled their support. According to a recent West Town Chamber of Commerce newsletter  “the City of Chicago Department of Law feared a lawsuit due to this vocal minority and the Department of Economic Development felt “uncomfortable,” which led to the Aldermen pulling their support. ”  What does this mean for the future of the SSA? This means West Town only has  SSA#29 for 2 more years before it expires. If the they want to reconstitute the West Town SSA, they will have to go through the reconstitution/expansion process again next year or in 2014.

The West Town Chamber Of Commerce is hosting a Community Leaders Summit on 11/29 and UVNA will be sending two officers to the meeting to help improve communications across community and business organizations in the West Town area.

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

The officers and board had a meeting right before this meeting, with Preservation Chicago about the proposed development at St. John’ Lutheran Church.  According to recent information received from the developers,  the foundation of the school building is in worse shape than they initially expected, based on surveys recently completed by their engineers.  Because of the expense they estimate it would cost to resolved the problems, the developers now want to tear down the school and build four townhomes instead of converting the school into condos as was originally proposed.  We would like more information about the status of the land-marking of the property (in review),  as well as more information about the change in overall design and will reach out to Preservation Chicago and the developers for more information to share with our membership.

UPDATE:  One day after the UVNA meeting the UVNA President Paul Matwyshyn was notified that the developers have backed out of the project altogether.

Innjoy – Request for Late Hour License

Ukrainian Village neighbors living around Innjoy (2051 W. Division) have received letters notifying them of Innjoy’s request for a Late Hour License.

Businesses wishing to remain open beyond the legal closing time of 2:00 a.m. may obtain a Late Hour Liquor License. This license is required for the additional privilege to remain open and permit the sale of alcoholic liquor until 4:00 a.m., Monday-Saturday, and until 5:00 a.m. on Sunday. Businesses holding a Tavern, Packaged Goods, or Consumption on Premises-Incidental Activity license are permitted to apply for a late hour license

Requirements: Site Plan, Floor Plan, Late Hour Petition and related documents
Inspections Required: Local Liquor Control Commission
Fees: $6,000.00+$40.00 one time publication fee
Renewal: 2 Year

According to the City of Chicago if there are more than 50 registered voters residing within 500 ft of  the premises, the tavern must obtain and file a petition, signed by a majority of the legal voters registered within the 500 feet,  giving consent to the business to file the Late Hour License request. And then the application must be filed within 60 days of the date the petition was signed by the first legal voter.  Registered voters within 500 ft may also submit a petition in opposition to the license request.

If you are a registered voter within 500 feet of Innjoy, please be sure you read your certified letter and let the Alderman know your views on this situation.  The UVNA will be submitting our own letter to the Alderman in opposition to the Late Hour License Request.

CAPS Update 

There is no official date yet set as to when the 13th an 12th districts will move into their new building – could be as early as December 10th though,  CAPS will continue in some form, with a new name, as yet to be announced, and beats are being redrawn, as they consolidate the total # of beats between 12 and 13th districts. Beat #1312 which encompasses all of Ukrainian Village will be redrawn with a western boundary of  Campbell Street, and an Eastern boundary of Wood Street. Northern and southern boundaries will remain unchanged.

December UVNA Meeting

Our December meeting will be a holiday social meeting – feel free to invite your friends and neighbors from around Ukrainian Village and West Town.  We will announce the location shortly as soon as it is confirmed.

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.

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!

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”.