May 7th Community meeting hosted by Alderman Hopkins & OTMRA regarding Fern Hill proposed Development


Alderman Hopkins and the Old Town Merchants & Residents Association held a community meeting at the Latin School Auditorium on May 7th. CLICK HERE for a recording of that meeting.


As many of you are aware, Fern Hill is proposing a “Planned Development” on the northside of North Avenue between North Park and Clark Street. The Planned Development would permanently change the zoning of three sub-parcels of land: the Piper’s Alley parcel, the Walgreens and parking lot parcel and the Moody Church and gas stations parcel. A tower is proposed for 1600 N LaSalle.


Fern Hill recently filed their planned development application. This filing enables there to be further review by city departments. Our understanding is that it triggers a timeline for a City Plan Commission hearing within 72 days of the filing. The Piper’s Alley parcel is currently zoned for commercial use only and the density of the structure on the land is limited to “F.A.R. 2.3”, which basically limits the building height to its existing height. Under the Planned Development, the Piper’s Alley parcel would be zoned for mixed commercial and residential use.


The newly submitted plan shows “0” residential units. The Planned Development Application submitted to the City can be found HERE.


CDOT did not attend the meeting and results of a traffic study have not been released. Alderman Hopkins assured attendees that he would not be taking a position before this study is released and there is an additional community meeting.


OTMRA is focusing on disseminating information, considering pros and cons, and has not taken a position at this point.


Other local organizations weighing in on the proposed development include:


The OTMRA current focus is on asking questions and getting answers. We take the prospect of a development of this size very seriously and want what is best for the community long-term.