To accommodate the development of 7652 Madison Street and similar future projects, the Forest Park Village Council April 23 amended the village zoning code to eliminate the lot area restriction for mixed-use developments.

“The comprehensive plan calls for periodic review of our zoning code,” explained Steve Glinke, director of public health and safety.

He said village officials encountered the restriction, which dates back to the creation of the Downtown Business District zoning code in 2006, when the Michigan Avenue Real Estate Group requested a zoning variation to construct a four-story mixed use building at 7652 Madison with 100 percent lot coverage. The existing zoning code had limited lot coverage to 80 percent. Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox, manages the Northbrook-based Madison Avenue Real Estate Group with his longtime business partner Robert Judelson.

Glinke noted that Madison Commons, a mixed use building located at 7243 Madison and built in 2005, had 100 percent lot coverage. 

“There does not seem to be a compelling or rational explanation for lot coverage limitations based on any particular use,” Glinke said when making his recommendation to the village council. He said the most obvious explanation may have been storm water management but noted Madison Commons and buildings at 7228 Madison and 7410 Madison all have 100 percent coverage between their buildings and parking lots.

“Staff sees no adverse effect to the long-term improvement and development of downtown business district properties” in making the change, Glinke said in his recommendation. “Specifically staff sees no relationship between mixed use development and all other uses in the downtown business district which otherwise are not hindered by this requirement.”

He said the decision to recommend the change was made “after careful consideration.”

After approving the amendment, the village council April 23 approved the site plan and zoning variations allowing Madison Avenue Real Estate Group to construct a four-story building with 2,933 square feet of ground floor commercial space and three floors of 36 residential units at 7652 Madison, on the lots between Dunkin Donuts and Mugsy’s. The location was previously home to two Irish-themed taverns, Brian Boru’s and Molly Malone’s.

Both votes were 4-0. Commissioner Rachell Entler was absent.

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