When discussing economic development during my campaign, I committed to two things:
- Supporting economic development based on best practices
- Developing a zoning and development committee made up of diverse representatives and experts in the community to guide me with making decisions about developments in the 46th Ward.
Throughout this community process, I purposefully remained neutral to ensure committee representatives heard from the community, the developer, and the City in as much of a respectful manner as possible. Tonight, I am proud to say that the process we have created has been a success. Due to many of the thoughtful concerns regarding this proposal, including the amount of TIF funds requested and the density and size of the development, I have concluded that I cannot support this development at this time. Twenty-seven members out of thirty that participated in the meeting voted no to this project. Out of the twenty-seven that voted no, 14 had specific conditions and changes that if were met, would reconsider. The committee seriously reviewed the pros and cons of this proposal and are willing to forgo this development proposal at this time. We will communicate the must-have changes of the 14 committee members to Sedgwick to see if they are willing to make these changes and we will get back to the committee with their response in the coming weeks.
I want to express how excited I am about the future of the 46th Ward. We are in an amazing and unique position to welcome and assist good development which will in turn create jobs for our community and provide needed tax revenue. We have so much to offer from our workforce to our location on the lake with access to biking, express buses, the Red Line and the new Entertainment District. I truly believe that we must continue to support the recommendations laid out in the 46th Ward Master Plan and we will succeed with moving our community forward.
I want to say thank you to the 46th Ward constituents who trusted me and our staff with this process. We worked hard to make sure you were informed of every detail possible and in return you continued to trust us to do the job we set out to do. I also want to say thanks to the committee members of the Zoning and Development Committee. They made this outcome successful as we work to refine our process. We will continue to improve on this process and see positive changes in our ward.
We have an amazing future ahead of us!