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Alderman revives fight over old Lincoln Park hospital site

Updated: June 22, 2011 6:51PM

Following through on campaign promises, the new alderman of the North Side’s 43rd Ward on Wednesday moved to undercut a redevelopment of the old Lincoln Park Hospital.

At the first meeting of the new City Council, Ald. Michele Smith proposed a zoning change for the property at Lincoln and Webster. The change would restrict the property to residential use and prevent the site’s developer from putting a controversial grocery on the site.

But the matter could be headed for the courts. The developer’s attorney said the zoning change wouldn’t stop construction of the grocery because the city already has issued a building permit for it.

“It doesn’t apply to us. We have a vested right in the property. We’re moving forward,” said Ted Novak, attorney for Sandz Development Co.

Work has started at a former hospital parking garage at the southeast corner of Lincoln and Webster. City officials granted the permit earlier this month but before Smith took office.

The former garage would be converted into a 20,000-square-foot Fresh Market. Parts of the hospital would be turned into 152 residences and a medical office building.

“We are going to take all appropriate action to bring this development into compliance with zoning laws,” Smith said. The council’s zoning committee could hear her proposal June 9. “I tried to work this out before taking office and the developer would not negotiate,” Smith said.

Her predecessor, Vi Daley, got the City Council to ratify it May 4 at her final meeting.

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