Monday, January 13, 2014

CORRECTION: Youth Center Good Neighbor Agreement Falls Through

Earlier this morning, CWB posted an opinion piece in which we stated that we were impressed with the progress that had been made by the Broadway Youth Center in its efforts to seek neighbors' support for its operations to be located on a residential street.

Key to our support was our belief that BYC had agreed to a Good Neighbor Agreement that had been distributed by Southeast Lake View Neighbors.

According to SELVN, no Good Neighbor Agreement has been reached:
The draft we submitted to BYC, which you linked on your blog, was not accepted by BYC and the SELVN Board decided against submitting another round of comments at that point. 
There will be a vote tonight on whether the SELVN Membership approves or rejects the BYC application to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a Special Use Permit.
CWB is deeply disappointed in this development and we apologize for the error.

SELVN votes on its recommendation to the alderman at tonight's 7 p.m. meeting, inside Second Unitarian Church, 656 W. Barry.

UPDATE 2:40PM: From the comments below...
This is the response from Erin Duffy of Tunney's office just received via email:
Thanks for your comments. The Broadway Youth Center has not rejected the Good Neighbor Agreement. They have made revisions to the agreement, which has been submitted to the SELVN board, and BYC will be distributing copies of this agreement tonight for the community to review and vote on. Alderman Tunney is waiting for SELVN’s advisory vote tonight before he takes a position. It is important for him to hear from the community and what their recommendation will be before arriving at a decision.

22 comments:

  1. Surprise, surprise, surprise....I guess they really don't want to be good neighbors. The Draft was pretty decent...one wonders just what they didn't like. This should be fun tonight.

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  2. There isn't much fun about this, if you ask us.

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  3. When will people ever learn that rules or laws without CONSEQUENCES for breaking them are meaningless?

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    1. And, sadly, that is the very message that BYC, COH, etc continue to send their "young" charges as well...through word and deed. They don't require them to follow rules either so why should Howard Brown? Kids grow up like their "parents", typically. What a shameful example they set.

      Goodbye, Alderman Tunney if you approve BYC at the Zoning Board of Appeals. You have one last chance to redeem yourself with this!

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  4. I am really disappointed, if not overly surprised. Representatives from the BYC and Howard Brown have spoken loudly and at length about how persecuted they are by the residents of the neighborhood and all they are trying to do is provide much needed services to homeless and housing-insecure "youth." No one has ever said they don't provide valuable and needed services - what has come into question is their sense of responsibility for the recipients of their services and their accountability. They SAY they want to be and ARE good neighbors, but yet when asked to commit to something in writing that they WILL be a good neighbor or there will be consequences, that agreement is rejected. It was sent to the members of SELVN and reviewed by many people in the community, both members of SELVN and not, and speaking just from my personal point of view, it seemed quite reasonable. I would be very interested in just what parts of the agreement BYC felt were disagreeable.

    And although I am pretty confident that regardless of the outcome of the SELVN vote tonight, Alderman Tunney will support the BYC Special-Use permit to the Zoning Board, I will still utilize my SELVN vote tonight and attend the Zoning Board hearing as well.

    As for the comment about "This should be fun tonight" above, I suspect it was said in much the same way I'm saying it, with a heavy sigh and shaking my head. You are quite right, CWB, there isn't anything fun about this situation at all.

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    1. Yup Sarah.. i did not putt up my /Sarcasm headers. It isnt fun - and it hasn't been. But were at the end of this journey now to see where the chips will fall. It has been a learning experience to be sure!

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  5. Even with acceptance of the agreement there is no way to enforce it, which of course was already stated, but that point needs to be made very clear. No law or code will be in place to enforce any terms and conditions not being followed through on. I go in front of the ZBA a lot and as I'm sure some of you know the alderman has 100% power although typically will not go against his community groups, typically being the key word. It is surprising that that the BYC did not accept those terms as they could have easily accepted them, appeased the neighborhood, received the zoning that they want and then not follow through on any of the conditions. Do we really believe that any acceptance of the terms and conditions set forth will be followed through on for more than a very short period? Not to mention the installation of cameras for a financially strapped organization. Remember they operate on an anonymous basis for their clients, cameras would deter some of their potential clients.

    It is surprising that the BYC did not accept those terms as they could have easily just done it to settle everyone down and then not follow through once they had a new home, or current home, and continue with business as usual of being very defensive about their actions and what they tolerate as crimes. So it is somewhat arrogant on their part and/or short sided.

    They do not have the greatest track record of being a "good neighbor" in most regards. Do we really believe that because they have a new person in charge that suddenly things will change? I think we would all like to believe that and hope that is the case, but we certainly don't want to be at this point again in a year again if the status quo remains, at which point nothing can be done about any of this.

    If they can't even accept terms, albeit very reasonable with no guaranteed enforcement, to appease the neighborhood in which they operate when asking for a zoning variance then there is a greater issue with the overall structure of the BYC, not just the head person. Just my two cents. Thanks for all that you do CB.

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  6. You residents just need to shut up and pay your taxes. /s

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    1. That does seem to be the attitude of Ald. Tunney, Mayor Emanuel, BYC, COH, The Crib and Howard Brown, in general, doesn't it? They can keep dreaming if they think we hard-working taxpayers are going to just roll over and give up on our neighborhood.
      They've picked the fight and I, for one, am fighting back. I know I'm not alone, and have CWB and the rest of you good folk to thank for it. Do not give up!! It's what they want.

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  7. Since the problems at BYC are not confined the the SELVN area, I encourage EVERYONE to write to Tunney and say that you REJECT THE BYC ZONING PERMIT. Please do this. Tunney needs to hear from everyone. This affects all of us.

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  8. BYC rejected it because they had no reason to feel the need to be restricted. Let's face it, Tunney has been in their corner from the start. DFSS is on board. Frankly, none of them care what the neighbors or members of the community think or want.

    Next immediate step before the meeting tonight. Constituents of Tunney's 44th Ward need to email his office and tell the alderman that he needs to issue an immediate statement recommending the zoning board reject BYC's special use request. Tunney championed the good neighbor agreement con as a way to ram this down the neighbors' throats. Email him right now and tell him that in good faith, and for his VOTING constituents, advise against BYC's zoning request.

    Erin.Duffy@cityofchicago.org
    Erin L. Duffy
    Director of Community Outreach
    Alderman Tom Tunney
    773.525.6034
    http://www.44thward.org

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    1. Done. Emailed!

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    2. Emailed him and Erin.

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    3. done, also.

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  9. For those of us who will not be able to attend the meeting tonight, could someone please ask the following question on behalf of CWB readers and Lake View neighbors:

    "John Pfeiffer of the city's DFSS said that "If someone commits a survival crime, no, I don’t think they should bar them from shelter" (referring to organizations such as BYC, CoH, and The Crib). Does the BYC administration believe that survival crimes are justifiable?"

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  10. This is the response from Erin Duffy of Tunney's office just received via email:

    Thanks for your comments. The Broadway Youth Center has not rejected the Good Neighbor Agreement. They have made revisions to the agreement, which has been submitted to the SELVN board, and BYC will be distributing copies of this agreement tonight for the community to review and vote on. Alderman Tunney is waiting for SELVN’s advisory vote tonight before he takes a position. It is important for him to hear from the community and what their recommendation will be before arriving at a decision.


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    1. Confirming this. Rec'd the similar response.

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  11. The President of SELVN:

    "The draft we submitted to BYC, which you linked on your blog, was not accepted by BYC and the SELVN Board decided against submitting another round of comments at that point."

    Erin Duffy:

    "The Broadway Youth Center has not rejected the Good Neighbor Agreement. They have made revisions to the agreement, which has been submitted to the SELVN board, and BYC will be distributing copies of this agreement tonight for the community to review and vote on."


    So the members of SELVN are expected to get this revised (by BYC) document tonight and then immediately vote? I smell a rat...something smells fishy...oh you know what I mean: this stinks. I think the President of SELVN should not allow BYC to distribute any "revised" documents at tonight's meeting.

    Now you can tell by the tone of Ms Duffy's email just whose side the alderman is taking in this issue.

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    1. I believe all they are voting is the special permit tonight. Hell, they might not even allow a vote for the GNA (I would hope NOT!)

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  12. SELVN should reject this last minute stunt: it is not on the agenda, has not been circulated to the community for comments, etc. Ram it through: just like the parking meter deal.

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    1. Knowing Jan (The Prez of SELVN), I have a feeling she isnt going to allow anything being voted on by the public without prior review from the community - I could be wrong, but I doubt she would allow this.

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