Alderman Tom Tunney's office emailed the following statement regarding the Broadway Youth Center today:
The Broadway Youth Center Special Use Permit Request
The Broadway Youth Center, an affiliate of Howard Brown Health Center, offers a safe space for LGBTQA youth experiencing homelessness to access meals, clothing, counseling, educational and vocational services as well as basic health services. They have been operating inside the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ since June, and they recently learned that a special use permit is required for them to operate as a community center. This special use is required for the community center component and accessory uses in all zoning districts. The community center is the primary use and their medical component is considered an accessory use.
The Broadway Youth Center must go before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to apply for a special use permit. The ZBA is a five member board that reviews land use issues that relate to the Chicago Zoning Ordinance, including proposed variations from the zoning code, special uses that require review to determine compatibility with adjacent properties, and appeals of decisions made by the Zoning Administrator. The board will take testimony from the applicant, the Alderman, and the public at this hearing, which is taken into account in their decision.
I have heard from many residents regarding either their support or opposition to the Broadway Youth Center being granted this special use permit. I have read every letter and appreciate your comments. It is imperative that you testify at the hearing or write to the Zoning Board of Appeals to have your voice heard. Please send your correspondence to the following address:
Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals
121 N LaSalle St #905
Chicago, IL 60602
The ZBA meets the third Friday of every month. This matter is not yet on the agenda, but I will update you once it is.