North Branch Ordinance Goes to  City Council
Dear Neighbor, 

As expected, the Chicago Metropolitan Plan Commission formally repealed the Planned Manufacturing District (PMD) in the North Branch Industrial Corridor that borders our Ward on Thursday, July 20, 2017. 43rd Ward residents continued to firmly express their staunch opposition to the massive rezoning of 750 acres of land. The agenda item was presented to the public as a straightforward removal of the PMD and reversion of zoning designation to a prior status. Instead, residents are left with an ordinance that "fails to provide a comprehensive and sustainable plan for the North Branch Corridor," as said by Reatha Kay, President of RANCH Triangle.

I was proud to speak on behalf of my community against this decision that will impact the lives of everyone who lives, works, shops, eats, or seeks entertainment east of the Chicago River, from Fullerton to as far as Chicago Avenue. Over 300,000 citizens that reside in neighborhoods along the Industrial Corridor are affected by the present lack of recreational space and transportation gridlock. Citizens deserve answers to questions regarding how this redevelopment will directly impact them. These citizens also deserve to know the amount of land that is allotted to the public and the rationale behind density "bonus fees" that appear far below the going rate on comparable commercial land in immediately adjacent areas such as Lincoln Park and Wicker Park.

The standard rezoning process is intended to provide certainty by following transparent guidelines and regulations. Typically, the rezoning process on a standard 25x125 city lot receives stricter, more uniform scrutiny than what is currently being applied to this major development on invaluable riverfront land.

Residents who attended one of the six simultaneous public meetings held on July 11, 2017 by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) observed government representatives that either refused to take their questions or were flat unprepared to share basic information regarding the PMD repeal. Additionally, there was no discussion about the alternative uses of this district.

Planners of a world-class city such as Chicago can and must do better by our citizens. We deserve more than a developer-driven, haphazard approach to public land and I believe we can get it. See my full remarks here.

A recent news article titled, Is the North Branch Industrial Corridor a Done Deal? What's the Rush? provides a succinct and comprehensive overview of the issues involved in this ordinance. 

The next decisions on the ordinance creating the density bonuses and rezoning for the North Branch Industrial Corridor will be made on Monday, July 24, 2017 at the City Council Joint Zoning Committee meeting at City Hall at 9:00 AM. Please join us to stand for much needed recreational space, thoughtful development planning and transparent government. 
2017 Senior Sewer Rebate Applications Due Monday

As a reminder, completed  Senior Sewer Rebate applications and all necessary paperwork should be submitted to the 43rd Ward Office no later than  Monday, July 24, 2017.

Eligibility Requirements:
  • You must be 65 years of age, or older, as of January 1 for the year you are applying. 
  • You must be the sole owner, or owner in joint tenancy.
  • You must occupy the property as your principal place of residence. 
  • You must own a townhouse, condominium unit, or cooperative apartment.
If you are eligible to apply for the Senior Sewer Rebate and have not yet submitted your paperwork, which includes proof of age, your recent water bill, and your recent property tax bill, please click  here for additional information.

Once your application is received by my office, it will be introduced at the next City Council meeting and forwarded to the Committee on Finance for final review and processing. 

Please stop in to the 43rd Ward Office, located at  2523 North Halsted Street Chicago, IL or email your completed application to 

Sheffield Music Festival and Garden Walk
The 49th Annual  Sheffield Music Festival and Garden Walk takes place this weekend on  Saturday, July 22, 2017 and Sunday, July 23, 2017

Self-guided tours of more than 80 gardens, guided architectural tours, live entertainment, and activities for children at the Kids' Corner are all part of this great neighborhood tradition.

Proceeds benefit neighborhood schools and parks, thanks and congratulations to the Sheffield Neighborhood Association .

New Photography Exhibit at the Lincoln Park Branch Library

The Lincoln Park Branch Library will be hosting a reception this  Saturday, July 22, 2017 for the Legacy of Our Ancestors photography exhibit that will be on display through the end of August.  

Click here for more details on the exhibit. 
 Community Hiring Event - LPHS Renovations

The Public Building Commission of Chicago is  seeking candidates to work on the Lincoln Park High School renovations.

If you are interested in applying for a position, please attend an upcoming hiring session on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 from 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM at Next Door Chicago, 659 W. Diversey Pkwy. 

For more information, please call PBC at 312-744-3090.
Host a Foreign Exchange Student 

AFS is looking for Chicago families to host foreign exchange high school students for the 2017/2018 academic year. Read the press release here

The Department of Streets and Sanitation is seeking improve our current recycling program.

"Oops" tags will be used to identify a specific contaminant that should not be placed in your recycling cart, such as clothing, wood, food, plastic bags, etc. If you get an "Oops" on your bin, just leave that type of item out next time you recycle.

Recycling is easy - here is a simple guide.

Click here for more information. Click here for a comprehensive list.


See you in the neighborhood,

Michele Signature

Michele Smith
Alderman, 43rd Ward 

43rd Ward Office Hours: M 9 AM - 7 PM, T-F 9 AM - 6 PM 
 2523 N Halsted | 773-348-9500||