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Neighbors sue over Lincoln Park rezoning

Updated: June 26, 2011 12:38AM

A neighborhood group Tuesday sued the city of Chicago and a developer over plans to build on the site of the vacant Lincoln Park Hospital.

The suit by the Mid-North Association charges that the city violated its own rules to change the zoning on the property and approve the developer’s plans. For the three-acre site on both sides of Webster just east of Lincoln, Sandz Development Co. wants to put in a grocery, medical offices and housing.

The City Council on May 4 approved the project by affixing to the property a zoning classification called a planned development. The Mid-North group said planned developments must conform to a neighborhood’s character and that this one does not.

The group’s lawyer, former 43rd Ward alderman Martin Oberman, said the city evaded that requirement with a two-step zoning vote that simultaneously changed the site from residential to commercial zoning, then changed it again to a planned development.

The current alderman, Michele Smith, has moved to change the zoning yet again to thwart the development. Smith took office after the council’s action.

The city’s Law Department and an attorney for Sandz said they had yet to see the suit.

David Roeder

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