Southport Neighbors Association (SNA)
In 2008 SNA held monthly Board meetings and quarterly community meetings. The issues that came before the Association included: CAPS, Cubs’ concert, preservation, development and new businesses. In 2008 SNA raised funds from Summer on Southport to donate to Blaine School, the Lakeview Pantry and Sheil Park Playground Renovation. The Board had planned to host Summer on Southport for the 7th year in July 2009, but the Cubs picked that same weekend to host the Rascal Flatts concert. Because the festival could not be changed to another date and for various other reasons Summer on Southport was cancelled for 2009 but will return in July of 2010. SNA plans to continue the Southport Green Market on Saturdays beginning June 14th, and the work of its many committees including beautification, planning and development, CDDC, Retail support, LVCC and others to improve the quality of life for our residents and businesses.
What Have We Done Lately 2007?
An Annual Report
To anyone who wonders what SNA does, we cover a lot of ground- from sending out email notices to our members about quality of life issues and crime updates to planning our annual festival. We thought we should comprise a list of some of the many things we have done in the past year. So here it is….
1. After 2 years of terrible weather… one being the hottest day on record (July 2005) and the other being freezing and rainy (July 2004), we hosted a very successful Summer on Southport festival in 2006! Our festival has remained one of the true children’s festivals during the day, and had some very well-known bands for adults in the evening. We are already working on plans for next year, and have great bands like Justin Roberts and Ralph Covert for kids, and Elevation, Two White Crew, 16 Candles and Maggie Speaks for adults. And our Gospel Brunch provided by Ann Sather is a truly special place to be on Sunday morning.
2. Because of the success of our festival, we were able to donate $9000 to Blaine School. They will use the money to renovate the west side play lot at Janssen and Grace.
3. Due to our efforts, our Jewel Store will be completely rebuilt. We spent many hours discussing Jewel plans with Alderman Tunney, the architect and Jewel corporate. Because of our involvement, we were able to gain much needed loading space for the trucks in the alley that previously have been a nuisance to our neighbors. We also were able to have input into the front and side facades, therefore having less blank wall and more green space and windows. These conversations came out of the formation of our Retail Committee, whose goal is to work alongside the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce to help bring and keep compatible businesses to Southport.
4. We have organized a Farmer’s Market Committee that is making great progress in bringing a Market to Southport this summer. Stay tuned for more information- the location is the Blaine School parking lot.
5. We have created New Resident Welcome Packets. These are being distributed to new neighbors and are filled with business cards, menus and information about our neighborhood.
6. We continue to monitor new development in the SNA area. Recent projects include 2 large developments on the 3700 block of Ashland and several residential addresses where the developers have requested zoning changes or variances. In each case we have worked diligently to be responsive to our neighbor’s concerns.
7. We also continue to address expansion requests of our bars and restaurants. The most recent project has been Bernie’s Tavern’s request for an expansion. Our neighbors wanted to see exterior improvements and also a decrease in the number of people at the sidewalk café. The owner of Bernie’s has agreed to work with the neighbors on both requests. As a result of these talks, Alderman Tunney is working on a better sidewalk café plan for all outdoor cafes surrounding Wrigley.
8. When the Cubs announced their request to host another concert, we surveyed our members for their opinion and worked with both the Cubs and the alderman to come up with a solution. Our concerns added more protections that went into the Concert ordinance just passed by the City Council. We have requested that more money from this event stay in our neighborhood.
9. When our neighborhood was hit by a rash of armed robberies last summer, we hit the streets and passed out flyers and whistles warning our residents to be careful and held a Community Meeting with the police to address neighborhood safety concerns. Our president, Jill Peters, on numerous newscasts to get the word out. As part of a neighborhood watch program, Jill has sent out alerts by email when she learns about crime in the neighborhood. As a result of last summer’s crimes we have been lobbying hard for permanent bike patrols and beat police, and better lighting in our area.
10. We have representatives who attend monthly CDDC meetings with the alderman where we helped create the 44th Ward Strategic Plan. We also have representatives who attend the monthly CAPS meetings with the police, and the Lakeview Citizen’s Council meetings with our larger community. This way we can continue to keep our members informed.
11. We are launching the SNA Fine Arts Club, a cinema and stage society for our members. For discounted tickets to upcoming events at the Music Box and Mercury Theater see details on page 1.As you can see, we’ve been really busy! If you have any concerns we are missing or have some positive suggestions for our neighborhood, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to all of our GREAT volunteers for their time and for making this a terrific year for our neighborhood
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