At the meeting today of the City Council's zoning committee, 32nd Ward residents witnessed the unthinkable -- a proposed zoning change failed to pass.
On April 18, just one day after challenger Scott Waguespack eked out a win over incumbent Alderman Ted Matlak, a prominent zoning lawyer sent letters to Bucktown residents letting them know of a zoning-change proposal that would allow a developer to build an eight-story, 51-unit mixed-use condo complex with 248 parking spaces on the 1600 block of North Milwaukee.
The zoning lawyer, Frederick Agustin, is a partner in the law firm of James Banks, nephew of 36th Ward alderman William Banks, chair of the zoning committee.
Residents were enraged, charging that Matlak was trying to rush through one last zoning change before Waguespack took office. Waguespack said if the proposal passed out of committee over his objection he might rally aldermen to oppose it on the council floor.
But at today's meeting Alderman Banks -- as opposed to his nephew -- announced that the matter was being deferred at Matlak's request. "They made Ted fall on the sword," one preservationist quipped.
Waguespack says he'll hold public hearings on the proposal before deciding whether to support it.