Planning and Development

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at planning@bcochicago.org to share ideas or concerns you have regarding the evolution of our community. If you have a particular issue you want to explore in group discussion, ask for a P&D meeting to be scheduled.

The BCO can help you become informed on issues so that you can form your own opinion, and can help heighten awareness of issues to aid in timely resolution. The role of the BCO is to ensure a two way flow of information, and to help ensure the concerns of residents are heard.

If you’d like to be connected to others who are either for or against a particular proposal, we can do that so you can share information. If anyone within the community would like to create ‘position statements’ for either side of any issue, we are happy to share them to promote informed decision making. Please keep your position statements as fact based as possible with links or references when you can and considerations to be looked into further highlighted.

It is very important to follow what’s happening in our community and to keep our Alderman aware of your individual concerns and opinions about it. Even if your neighbors have already contacted him with a similar view, your voice counts!

Ward Office of Alderman Andre Vasquez
Hours: Monday 10am-8pm
Tuesday – Friday 10am-5pm
Every first Saturday 10am-1pm
Address: 5620 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
Telephone: 773-654-1867
Web: 40thward.org
Email: info@40thward.org

More information sharing happens on our Facebook page:  facebook.com/bcochicago
And be sure to join our BCO email list using the form located at the bottom of any page of this website to stay in touch.

Current Issues

Planning & Development issues and topics currently active in the Bowmanville neighborhood


July 2019: 2150 W Foster Ave, Zoning Change Request and Public Meeting

The BCO Board and the BCO Planning and Development Committee present this information for reference related to the Zoning Change Request and Public Meeting for the property at 2150 W Foster Ave. Please click the following link to view the pdf document:

P&D Notice 2150 Foster


Distressed Trees, Distressed Neighbors
We have heard from many upset neighbors about city tree trimming gone amuck.

If you have trees on your parkway still in need of attention you can make a tree trimming request directly to the city at this link. Feedback from neighbors indicates you will get best results if you are around and talking with the trimmers about exactly what needs to be done.

The Bureau of Forestry (under Dept of Streets and San) does the actual trimming.
Please be sure to raise concerns or give feedback to them:
Bureau of Forestry at 312.746.5254, and to
the Alderman’s office 773-654-1867, info@40thward.org and/or
Streets and Sanitation ssward40@ex.cityofchicago.org, 312.744.8387.

Past Issues


Half Acre Brewery’s recently approved zoning change to allow for their tap room and beer garden to move forward in the new Balmoral Avenue location.


May 2015:  Intrinsic School Proposed in the southwest portion of Rosehill Cemetery. 

An informational flyer developed by the BCO on the Intrinsic Schools proposal went out to doorsteps in Bowmanville the first week of June 2015.

A BCO community wide online survey was made available to gather feedback on the Intrinsic Schools proposal.  Intrinsic ultimately cancelled their plans for a school in Bowmanville.

The BCO was contacted by  a developer and by the alderman’s office regarding a contract pending for purchase of four (4) of the eleven (11) acres of Rosehill land north and west of the greenspace.  The full 11 acres has been listed for sale for some time now. (There is an article on page 4 of the old Spring 2013 Bee describing the full 11 acres with a diagram for reference).

A charter school called Intrinsic Schools has contracted to buy and build a 7-12 grade High School on four acres of this land.  The attorney contact for the buyer is Andrew Scott of Dykema. (apscott@dykema.com)

A first community meeting with the closest neighbors to the site was held on May 26 2015.

Intrinsic plans to file a formal zoning change request, which they expect be introduced in June.  As part of their zoning change process, they plan to be available for a broader town hall meeting and any other steps as outlined by the city’s planned development process.   A city council vote on the zoning change request could take place in the July to September timeframe of this year.  They hope to break ground in October 2015 and open the school in Fall 2016.
Our understanding of the concept and plans thus far includes:

Site and building related info:

  • Intrinsic, and Dykema as their attorney, are at the beginning of the process for community consultation.  They are reaching out in advance of filing the zoning change request to ensure the community organization and neighbors get looped in and are ready to engage on the topic.  They fully intend to participate in a broad community forum and follow the planned development process as outlined by the city.
  • The project will be a planned development that includes outlined uses for the ~4 acres they have under contract.  Their planned development will not include the remaining parcel of Rosehill’s land for sale that surrounds their site.
  • Their ~4 acres does not come right up to Bowmanville Ave, but extends east from Western Ave at Balmoral Ave in a rectangular shape next to the Streets and San lot, going back perhaps to a endpoint just behind the caretaker house land.
  • The proposal does fit within the covenants held by cemetery plot holders for appropriate use of the Rosehill land that is for sale
  • The buildings on the property towards the back portion are planned to reach ~34feet in height (~50 feet in height from the Western Avenue frontage, due to the sloping grade of the property)
  • Ingres and egress are planned to be limited to Western Avenue only (no pedestrian or vehicular access into the Bowmanville community is planned)
  • An artificial turf athletic field is planned to be located on the easternmost portion of the land. (no bleachers, no lights, no access into Bowmanville in their plans)

Intrinsic Charter Schools info:

  • Intrinsic has been previously approved by the Board of Education to open up to 5 Charter schools in Chicago.  The targeted site on Western Avenue would be their second location.
  • Intrinsic has one other site they have launched as a school located at Belmont and Kedzie.  That school is in its second year, first year on site.  Intrinsic is a Chicago based company, focused on the Chicago education market and Chicago students.
  • Intrinsic has chosen this Western Ave site partly for its access to public transport (the bus turnaround on Western Avenue namely) and the site proximity to Western Avenue and the Brown line.  Their location search has focused on Western Avenue and westward, to be accessible to students on the North and West sides of the city.
  • The student body will be selected via an enrollment lottery but strives to include neighborhood kids. Intrinsic’s first location serves predominantly low income families and students from all over Chicago.  We have asked for the percentage of kids in their existing Belmont school that come from the surrounding neighborhood and await that data.
  • Our understanding is that whether Intrinsic Schools should open charter schools is not up for consideration by our community as part of this process.  That debate takes place as the Board of Ed considers charter applications.
  • Whether this location is a suitable place for Intrinsic to open a school is the issue we are asked for feedback on, as it pertains to the zoning change that will be required to make use of this land in our community, and this location will put their school squarely in our community.
  • The founders of Intrinsic have a background in public education in Chicago, and have indicated that while their student body would inevitably draw some students away from Amundsen High School or Chappell Elementary, they expect the majority to come from a broader geographic representation.  They have indicated an interest in using their presence and their teaching methods, and they hope ultimately their success to help elevate all schools in the area and would be looking to collaborate with Amundsen, Chappell and other local schools where possible.  [Note, there is no track record to show this as a likely outcome, and the BCO Board has already identified as a concern competition with our local schools for resources and students.  We are also concerned how addition of this school in this location can distract community focus from the GrowCommunity effort that has been building momentum for Amundsen recently].

Background Links/Info we’ve identified thus far on Intrinsic:


March 2013 – Concept Schools Charter School Proposal

In March of 2013, Concept Schools, a charter school management company, submitted a zoning request to change zoning at 2050 W Balmoral Avenue to enable them to open a K-8 (and ultimately K-12) charter school at the site (at the old Duray Fluorescent building at Hoyne and Balmoral).  The outcome of this proposal was Concept withdrawing their plans and moving on to another location in Chicago.

Alderman O’Connor reported the zoning change request on his website:  http://www.aldermanoconnor.com/neighborhood/schools/charter-school-application-filed-in-the-ward/

You can read media reports of a community meeting that was held as the BCO began to explore this possibility:

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