Zoning Board postpones Great Room decision once again

Chris Kirk

The fate of the Great Room is still undecided after the Evanston Zoning Board of Appeals failed to reach a quorum Tuesday.

The board was planning to determine finally whether Northwestern’s dining facility at 610 Haven St. violates the city’s zoning ordinance. The ruling is now slated for the next board meeting April 20.

The Great Room controversy began when Evanston residents George and Andrea Gaines, who live on the 2200 block of Orrington Avenue, filed a petition in November claiming recent changes to the Great Room’s hours violated Evanston zoning law.

The University and Gaines’ attorney, a former alderman, sparred in front of the board in March. The board planned to rule at a regular board meeting Tuesday.

But even if the board had made a decision Tuesday, the Great Room controversy would live on, Associated Student Government President Mike McGee said. Either side would likely have appealed the decision to Evanston’s City Council, he said.

The facility will remain open until the board rules on the issue.

“Any time the hearing is postponed or the decision is postponed, that means it’s just longer for the Great Room to be open,” McGee said.

– CHRIS KIRK