City’s First Public Art Plan Advances and Shapes the Future of Public Art in Chicago

Source:  Alderman Reilly Reports 11/3/17
Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) recently released the City’s first Public Art Plan. The plan lays out recommendations that will help shape the future of public art in Chicago and shift how the city talks about and supports public art. The full Public Art Plan can now be downloaded here or viewed online at
In order to guide a new vision for public art in Chicago, the Chicago Public Art Plan outlines a series of recommendations that are aligned to achieve the following overarching goals:
  1. Update Chicago’s Percent for Art Program
  2. Establish clear and transparent governmental practices
  3. Expand resources to support the creation of public art throughout the city
  4. Advance programs that support artists, neighborhoods and the public good
  5. Strengthen the City’s collection management systems
  6. Support the work that artists and organizations do to create public art
  7. Build awareness of and engagement with Chicago’s public art
The field of public art is continually evolving and expanding to include expansive, interdisciplinary and embedded artwork. The Chicago Public Art Plan acknowledges this and establishes that the process of commissioning public art must welcome creativity in all of its forms and offer broad opportunities for participation. The new plan is a means to advocate for a diverse public art ecosystem and to nurture art that has the potential to surprise, inspire, challenge and bring people together through shared experiences.
To read the full press release click here. To view the Chicago Public Art Plan and learn more about the Year of Public Art, visit .

RNRA Green Streets Initiative – Vote now for your favorite property!

Vote for your Favorite Green Properties

2017 RNRA Green Streets Ballot

Deadline: November 10

Don’t miss the opportunity to cast your vote! Our “Green Streets Initiative” encourages the creation and improvement of public space by acknowledging the owners and managers of properties throughout River North for outstanding achievement in landscape beautification.

We collected nominations of outstanding residential, commercial and non-profit properties from the community and selected 3 finalists in each category.  Please vote for your favorites by no later than November 10.

The winners will be recognized at our annual meeting on November 14, to which all River North Residents are invited.

Women in Law Enforcement Orientation – Saturday November 4, 2017

Presented by the Chicago Association of Women in Law Enforcement.  This orientation is recommended for candidates who have already submitted applications for potential hire by the City of Chicago.  Space is limited – RSVP soon!

Larrabee/Erie Dog Park Temporarily Closed for Power Wash on Monday 10-30 from 9:00 am. to Noon

RNRA Family Halloween Festival this Saturday 10-28 in Ward Park from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Neighborhood Notice: Parking Restrictions on Thursday 10-26

Source:  Brian Hopkins 2nd Ward Alderman
Open 4 Business Productions will be filming for NBC’s “Chicago Fire” in the neighborhood on Thursday, October 26th. In order to park necessary vehicles and equipment for filming, streets will be posted with NO PARKING/TOW ZONE signs at the following times:

Thursday, October 26th from 3am to 8pm

  • East side of LaSalle between Chicago and Chestnut
  • West side of LaSalle between Chicago to 826 N LaSalle
  • Both sides of Chicago between LaSalle and Clark
  • Both sides of Clark between Delaware and Superior
  • Both sides of Chestnut between Clark and LaSalle
  • East side of Clark between Chicago and Superior

Intermittent Traffic Control will take place from 9:30am to 10:30am on LaSalle between Superior and Chestnut, and from 9:30am to 10:30am on Chicago between Wells and Clark.

The crews will be working with the Chicago Film Office and the Chicago Police Department to ensure a safe and positive filming experience.

If you have any additional question please email, or call the 2nd Ward Service Office at (312) 643-2299.

Alderman Reilly Wins City Council Approval of River North Tavern License Moratorium

Source:  Alderman Reilly Reports 10/13/17

This week, Alderman Reilly secured City Council approval for a series of ordinances that create a “Tavern License Moratorium” across the vast majority of the River North neighborhood.  The Moratorium only applies to tavern licenses (bars and nightclubs) but does not prohibit the issuance of “incidental licenses” required to open new restaurants.

Alderman Reilly sponsored the ordinances after discussions with the Chicago Police Department and local neighborhood leaders regarding a significant increase in quality-of-life complaints related to a number of liquor establishments operating as taverns or nightclubs in River North.

The Tavern License Moratorium was carefully crafted by placing each moratorium on only two blocks of frontage at a time.  As such, there are dozens of these two-block moratorium zones that, together, blanket River North.  The Alderman took this approach because, if a moratorium is lifted in the future, it cannot be re-imposed for one full calendar year.

Using the two-block moratorium approach, the Alderman could lift the moratorium on two blocks to accommodate a potential new proposal, without lifting the moratorium for the entire neighborhood.

Many people assume aldermen determine who does, or does not, get liquor licenses.  This is not the case.  In fact, it is the City’s Liquor Commissioner who makes those decisions.  Aldermen and police commanders have the ability to object to new liquor licenses, but ultimately the Commissioner determines whether or not to issue them.

In most cases, prospective liquor applicants take the time to visit with the local police commander and alderman to review their proposal and discuss potential issues or concerns regarding their operations.  That said, there is a growing trend of applicants circumventing the Police Commander and Alderman and simply filing applications with the city.

By creating this Tavern License Moratorium in River North, those interested in opening a new tavern or nightclub in the neighborhood can no longer circumvent the Police Commander and Alderman’s Office.

Alderman Reilly is a strong supporter of the Hospitality Industry in downtown Chicago, but believes this initiative is a helpful and necessary safeguard for residents in River North.  The Moratorium ensures greater transparency  and allows the Police Department and Alderman to thoroughly review tavern proposals before an application can be filed.

Community Meeting Notice – Planned Development Proposal – One Chicago Square

Source:  Brian Hopkins 2nd Ward Alderman

New Near West Loop Development at 315 South Jefferson

Source:  Alderman Reilly Report 10/17/17

New Near West Loop Development at 315 South Jefferson

JAB Real Estate is developing a new as-of-right residential project, The Gladys Apartments, located at 315 S. Jefferson Street.  This 10-story building will consist of 69 dwelling units with approximately 1,200 square feet of ground floor retail fronting Jefferson Street.  The building will be about 115 feet tall, constructed with a glass façade and metal panel rainscreen system.

Please note this development conforms to the underlying DX-7, Downtown Mixed-Use District, which would permit up to 94 residential dwelling units, however only 69 are proposed.
The applicant is requesting relief from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) in order to reduce the minimum off-street parking requirement to 5 spaces in light of this development being a Transit Oriented Development in very close proximity to local and regional public transit. The developer has also agreed to waive any rights to residential parking permit (RPP) zone #738.
Further relief is being requested to reduce the rear yard setback from 30 feet to 15 feet (a rear yard setback is required at the first floor of residential units; in this case, the second floor).  Many of the area buildings are built to the lot line.  The developer is also seeking to waive the requirement of a loading berth for the building. This building is designed such that the ground floor is set back 15 feet from the property line, creating room for loading and unloading.  The developer will also schedule move-ins so as to minimize conflicts.
For more information on this project, please click here to download the project packet, which includes site and floor plans.
This project is being built using existing zoning rights and only requires a Special Use that is approved by the independent Zoning Board of Appeals.  As such, this project does not require action by the Alderman’s Office, the City Council Committee on Zoning or the full City Council.
The Special Use for 315 S. Jefferson will be heard at the next ZBA meeting to be held Friday, October 20 in City Council Chambers. To view the meeting agenda, visit the ZBwebsite.

Neighborhood Notice: Dearborn Street Infrastructure Improvements

Source:  Alderman Brian Hopkins –  2nd Ward

Please be aware of an upcoming resurfacing project on Dearborn Street between Chicago Avenue and the Chicago River Bridge.

Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin this week (week of 10-16-17)  and will include ADA sidewalk improvements, curb and gutter removal and replacement, milling, paving, and striping. This work is part of the Chicago Department of Transportation’s Arterial Street Resurfacing Central Area Project.

During construction, temporary “No Parking” signs will be periodically installed as required. These temporary signs will restrict parking during working hours, while adhering to rush hour restrictions, for the completion of the work.  All work on this corridor is scheduled to be completed by December 31st.

If you have any additional question please email, or call the 2nd Ward Service Office at (312) 643-2299.