Northwestern University Zoning Variance Request Divides Residents

on Oct28
by | Comments Off on Northwestern University Zoning Variance Request Divides Residents |

2019-10-28 22:33:42

Evanston residents were divided at a meeting on Monday night over Northwestern University’s proposal to hold entertainment and commercial events at arenas near residential neighborhoods.

Evanston’s City Council Planning and Development Committee voted 4-3 on Monday evening to send the proposal to the full city council for a vote. 

Northwestern University would be able to hold for-profit concerts and professional sporting events at athletic venues if a zoning variance was approved.

Although some residents supported the university’s plans, many told NBC 5 the variance would change the dynamic of the neighborhood they love.

According to a city spokesperson, the variance would apply to all venues in the U2 zoning area, which encompasses the entire Northwestern University athletic complex. However, university officials said they were only seeking to hold special events at Welsh-Ryan arena, specifically seven events per year.

Each event would have a maximum attendance of 7,000 people, officials said. As of Monday evening, the university wasn’t seeking to hold events at Ryan field, which holds approximately 45,000 people.

However, residents worried that the variance would set the precedent for that change in the future.

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