Friday, July 24, 2015

GETTING IT TWISTED: Faced With New Zoning Issue, Alderman Re-Writes History

Tunney
Some folks over in the Southport area are none-too-pleased with a recently announced plan to open a transitional living center for people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction in their neighborhood.

The residential portion of the plan by Rosecrance Health Network requires a special use permit because the location at Waveland and Ashland is not currently zoned for such purposes. Now, Alderman Tom Tunney is floating the idea of creating a Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA) to help smooth things over.

In mentioning the GNA at a community meeting about Rosecrance on Monday:
Tunney pointed to the Broadway Youth Center's 2013 move as an example of neighbors getting a commitment from an organization to follow their plan of operation or risk losing their permit.
"We've done [a GNA] before. It's been almost two years, maybe more, and [South East Lake View Neighbors] don't feel there has been an uptick in crime," from the center, Tunney said. Like Rosecrance, the Broadway Youth Center faced severe opposition, but "those fears have been basically not sustained," Tunney said.
We don’t have any position on the Rosecrance matter, but we do have a great deal of experience with the history and development of a Good Neighbor Agreement by Tunney for the Broadway Youth Center (BYC) in our neighborhood.

For the alderman to now say that the neighbor’s “fears have been basically not sustained” is baloney. The neighbor’s concerns were very well established and it’s only because neighbors took a stand that BYC changed the way it operates—to the benefit of the neighborhood and the youth center.

It seems that the alderman is failing to recall some details about the Broadway Youth Center’s operation and the GNA process, which unfolded less than two years ago. Let us assist with those recollections:

(1) After moving its operation from its long-standing location at Broadway and Belmont, BYC needed a special use permit to work out of a church on a residential street near Wellington and Broadway.

(2) During the community discussion phase, neighbors learned of disconcerting issues in which Chicago police officers reported that BYC staff “refused to co-ooperate with police”  when known offenders were believed to be hiding in their facility. One police report called BYC actions an “obstruction to justice”

We published those police reports for public review.

(3) Review of hate crime reports filed with the Chicago police in our area between 2007 and 2014 found that more hate crimes were reported at BYC’s Broadway/Belmont address than at any other location in the 19th district.

(4) Among the people who called the former BYC location home are now-convicted robbers, burglars, and one attempted murderer.

(5) Faced with community concern, the head of BYC sent an email to supporters in which she painted neighbors as “racist, homophobic, transphobic, classist, ableist, and ageist.” She was replaced as director shortly thereafter.

(6) Eventually, South East Lake View Neighbors (SELVN) chose not to support the proposed Good Neighbor Agreement because it determined that GNAs are not enforceable.

With Tunney’s backing before the city zoning review board, BYC won a one-year license with renewal contingent upon its adherence to a Good Neighbor Agreement that it signed with Tunney.

BYC became a better operation because of its neighbors’ concerns. The relationship with police improved. When issues arose, BYC even put certain programs on temporary hold.

While not perfect, things got a lot better at BYC after their operations were put in the spotlight. When its license came up for renewal this year, SELVN voted unanimously to support the renewal.
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27 comments:

  1. What..Lincoln Park has no need for all these clinincs? Why is lakeview becomming infested with every known clinic to man?

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    1. Because Tunney gets paid under the table. Next question?

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    2. My thoughts exactly.

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    3. Try improving your house or building in any way out of the norm and you will be denied permits, and have to go through the ringer. Yet clinics are welcome by the alderman in our neighborhood? ENOUGH. WE HAVE TOO MANY.

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  2. Sorry, but put all of these places in neighborhoods in need of any kind of development, not stable (guess we are stable) residential neighborhoods.

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    1. These places are run in stable hoods on purpose. Staff don't want to be jacked on their way to work, have the place being held-up all the time and owners can ask for reduced rent/tax breaks/handouts, etc.
      These places fail in the hood die to the robberies of the staff and center daily. Clients all prefer a better hunting ground with a perfect reason to be in a good hood.

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    2. Wasn't Lakeview #1 in robberies for a long time?

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  3. If you ask cpd off the record they will tell you these types of places are causing all the problems in Lakeview.

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    1. I met with former Commander Voulgaris several years ago, and I asked him point blank, "What is the source of the problem in this neighborhood. He told me without hesitation...those types of places. He said they attract criminals and provide them with a network to function out of. Of course, he could never say that in public.

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    2. I know someone who stayed at a Rosecrance facility in 2006, and I can assure you "these types of places" don't even exist in Lakeview as they run upwards of $5k per week.

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  4. All of the problems in the neighborhood are brought on by the COH, The Crib, and the BYC. Now he wants to add on more, who's side is he on? It's almost like the government is trying to break the system on purpose. Plenty of empty building on the south and west sides for this.

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  5. This blows my mind, how this alderpuss can continue to basically do NOTHING, and then when he actually does SOMETHING, it's something idiotic like supporting another GNA for a purpose that will bring only more crime into the area. Oh wait, I forgot, "Crime is down." Must be true because he said it himself.

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  6. I wonder how much Tunney pockets is the GNA is allowed to open?

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  7. I'd happily trade that place for the Crib, Center on Halsted and other hand out operations - truth of the matter is, someone that's paying 2500/mo or 700 bucks a day for rehab is the person that's will knock you out at 4am to get to your iphone 6. Seems more of a NIMBY issue, rather than an organization that's a magnet for hood rats.

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  8. This is the New Democrat strategy, you might not vote for him next time, but they will. Why, because he gives them free stuff.

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  9. Sounds much like what Helen Shiller did when she was the alderman for the Uptown neighborhood. Look how that turned out.

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    1. Yikes, good analogy.

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  10. Do you want to know why this clown Tunney keeps getting reelected even though the neighborhood is turning into a disaster? It's the recently graduated, Iowa born, transient, college frat boy & girl residents. All they want to do is get drunk & laid! They hear it's the place to be. Move in for a year or two. No investment in the neighborhood or concern for it's longevity.

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  11. S.E. Uptown in the makings. There's gotta be some very lucrative incentives involved.

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  12. Another drug "rehab" center goes up in Chicago, likely run by someone in government's brother-in-law.

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  13. I used to live by a house like that . it was horrible . in roscoe village every police officer and fireman knew the address 1955 west Melrose.. the police were there at least 3 to 5 times a week. the fire dept . at least once a week. the violence . the domestic crap. the trashing of the neighborhood. the noise. the parties. the theft of property (grills, bikes etc) the car break ins... a couple of car thefts.. im sure this building had nothing to do with a peaceful street that I lived on for 7 years... hmmmm........... tunney stinks. crime will go up. I caught a guy from this house looking in car windows one morning, then he tried to break one. I yelled at him and he ran off.. im sure that this wont happen in lakeview... beware people. this building will be a cancer to the neighborhood

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  14. It's like he is working against the community! Looks like it's time to get my concealed carry permit. The criminals in Lakeview are a direct result of things like this. Thank you for reporting this CWB.. I'll be writing a letter, even for the little good that does.

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  15. And then Southeast Lakeview Neighbors (SELVN) votes UNANIMOUSLY to renew the Broadway Youth Center license. This after putting up a huge fight to stop its new location. Who cares if the BYC changed their operations? They're still a magnet for problems, even allowing their "clients" to use them as a home address.
    SELVN, I was at your meetings and supported you in your opposition to the BYC, and now you do this? F.U. SELVN.

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  16. Tunney could care less about neighborhood safety. This criminal behavior in our neighborhood has been going on for YEARS AND YEARS. Tunney only cares about bars and money for his restaurant

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  18. Rosecrance has never run a facility in any city setting and they have a terrible record with the their current facilities. Further, there are too many issues with the location and facility they choose, to make it work. Here are some facts you should know.
    1. In the last 12 months both a Primary Psychiatrist and a Primary Substance Abuse Councilor have been caught trading drugs for sex with patients. Yes, this seems crazy, but it is true.
    a. Psychiatrist: http://www.wrex.com/story/27953490/2015/01/27/rockford-psychiatrist-suspended-after-allegations-of-sexual-misconduct
    b. Councilor: http://www.rrstar.com/article/20150710/NEWS/150719900
    2. Rosecrance’s CEO makes over $510,000 a year and the top 7 people get paid ~20% of what the total companies revenue. This doesn’t leave much for anyone else. The rest of the employees at their 20 facilities get paid 45%of the total revenue. http://pdfs.citizenaudit.org/2014_12_EO/36-3874007_990_201406.pdf
    3. Chris Yadron, the proposed facility director has public pictures posted on the internet of him drinking a fith of vodka. What a great role model: https://socialcam.com/users/cz3QF92B/following & https://dapl6b1x544am.cloudfront.net/cz3QF92B_large_1.jpeg
    4. Rosecrance staff will be at the facility only 40% of the time. A rent a cop will be at the facility 60% of the time. Rosecrance’s CEO says this is because they don’t have the money to keep staff at the facility 24x7. Note, if he and his top people didn’t get paid so much they would have the money.
    5. Chris Yadron the facility director lives in Lemont, over 1 hour drive from the facility. If there is an issue during his off hours, he won’t be able to handle it in person.
    6. Rosecrance’s CEO Phil Eaton stated that the 18-26 year olds living in the facility will be going to school, college and getting jobs. Further, according to Rosecrance’s CEO the people will only be staying for ~1.5 months on average. No one is going to hire someone for 1.5 months and this isn’t enough time to get into school. So what are the people in this facility going to do in their free time…
    7. The facility has no real common area . The other Rosecrance facilities are on 40-100 acres of land. Therefore, the residents will be forced to hang out on the streets. See floorplan in this article: http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150716/lakeview/proposed-addiction-recovery-center-blasted-for-bait-and-switch-tactics
    a. There is a liquor store across the street, a 5am bar next store and all of the Wrigleyville bars within a 10 minute walk. This will all be VERY tempting for a 18-26 year old trying to keep it together. Especially unsupervised with so much free time.
    b. There are a number of kids parks and elementary schools within a 5 minute walk of the school.
    8. The CEO of Rosecrance stated that a large number of the residents will smoke. They will not be allowed to smoke in the building. Therefore, they’ll have to smoke on the street in front of the building or on a rooftop deck, which will right next to a their neighbor’s condo decks (where a lot of kids play). Rosecrance’s CEO stated that at their other facilities residents typically like to smoke in groups and that these groups usually consist of 5-7 people at a time.
    9. According to Rosecrance’s CEO only 1/3 of the people in the facility will be from Chicago. 1/3 of the people will be from out of state.
    10. Rosecrance doesn’t plan to pay property taxes. Therefore, since 2/3rd of the residents will be from outside of Chicago, the residents of Chicago will be footing the bill
    a. If they do actually send someone to school.
    b. If they need any increased police presence or outside emergency medical services
    11. Also, worth noting that studies show a facility like this typically reduces property values in the surrounding neighborhood by 7-18% .

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  19. One new interesting point - Nobel Olson and the Olson family are highly involved in Rosecrance. They also donated to Tunney's campaign on 2/26/15. This is going to be interesting.... hope someone can do some more digging.

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