Lincoln Yards development passes Zoning Committee

The controversial Lincoln Yards development passed the City Council’s Zoning Committee, overcoming a major hurdle.

The 9-4 approval of the $6 billion mega-development means that the project will now be voted on by the whole of the City Council on March 11.

The four aldermen who voted against it were Deb Mell (33rd), Ameya Pawar (47th), George Cardenas (12th) and James Cappleman (46th). Cappleman is the chair of the Zoning Committee and his calls to delay the vote was quickly overruled, Block Club Chicago reported.

Activists and other aldermen called on Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), in whose ward the development will be built, to slow down the process, but it steamrolled right through the Zoning Committee.

Michelle Smith’s (43rd) Lincoln Park-area ward is adjacent to where the development will be, said in the committee meeting that the project isn’t doing enough for everyday Chicagoans.

“I regret that this vote is taking place today,” Smith said. “The alterations that have been made to this plan are not significant and have not been reviewed by the community. Where is the school? Where is the library? Where is the true public park? Where is the true public benefit?”

Among the last-minute changes that were made to the project’s proposal were an increase in the number of affordable housing units that would be located on site, up to 600 units from 300.

The revised proposal also shortened the tallest building in the development, down to 600 feet high from 800 feet.

If the final proposal passes the City Council on March 11, the development will be officially green-lit.