Some of the most heated debate over the past year surrounded the proposed sale of the Harley Clarke mansion, located on public, lakefront property at 2603 Sheridan Rd.
Facing mounting opposition from the public, Evanston aldermen ultimately voted not to sell the mansion to Jennifer Pritzker, who had planned to turn it into a boutique hotel.
For many of the sale’s most vocal opponents, however, the question remained: how could they prevent the city from doing something similar in the future?
Members of the group NoParkSale.org will host a meeting this Wednesday to discuss the pros and cons of a lakefront protection ordinance, according to the Central Street Neighbors group.
Speakers include Ramona Mehrer, Jeannie Lindwall and Cameron Davis. The meeting takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, in room 2404 of the Evanston Civic Center, 2100 Ridge.
Evanston already has a lakefront master plan, completed in 2008, which is designed to guide future projects along the lake.
According to the plan, the city’s overall vision for the lakefront is summed up this way: “The Evanston lakefront will carry forward as a unique and sustainable environment that supports the highest and best use of the public lake frontage and respects the delicate balance of its natural ecosystems and user interest.”
The plan document notes that Evanston’s lakefront is unique among north shore suburbs, given that most of the shoreline is open to the public—as it is in Chicago.
Historically, Chicago’s lakefront has been entirely open to the public, and the city enacted a lakefront protection ordinance in 1973, which created a special lakefront protection district. Under that ordinance, developers interested in building along the lake must complete a special application with the city of Chicago.