Making a neighborhood

This morning, I went to Dolce Casa Café  to grab a coffee and take some notes before heading into the chaos of the studio for the day.



At the front counter, there was a sheet of information on a petition for our neighborhood.  The first two lines made me audibly grumble: "Currently, SEVEN beauty salons operate betweeen 4700 - 4950 N. Damen.  An appeal has been filed with the city by Saturn Spa, LLC to open yet another salon/spa at 4845 N. Damen Avenue."  

There is a city ordinance that prevents too-similar businesses from opening less than 1000ft. away from an existing "competitor".  This isn't a damn-the-man situation where the mean City of Chicago is keeping a business from opening its doors.  This is a zoning restriction that helps neighborhoods.  It's a safeguard against an entire block becoming an unending row of waxing salons (for example).  Imagine the neighborhood you live in having every available storefront filled with a donut shop.  At first it sounds like a blissful utopia, but then, after a couple of days gorging yourself on crullers and planning donut crawls with your neighbors, you'd probably start to feel like your neighborhood sucked.  The residents that will be attracted to your area will change.  The businesses that already exist in the area will suffer (especially, the original one or two donut shops that have been there the longest).  Ultimately, several of the donut shops won't be able to make ends meet and, once again, you'll have empty storefronts needing tenants.

This is obviously an extreme example, but it gives you an idea of how allowing an over-population of too-similar businesses can affect an entire neighborhood...  and not in a good way. 

If you live and/or work in and around the Ravenswood/Lincoln Square neighborhood, please take a moment to read more about this issue below, and - if you agree - please please sign the petition linked below.  The petition only needs 50 SIGNATURES in order to present it to the 47th Ward Aldreman's office.

Here's the info:

City of Chicago Municipal Code Zoning ordinance requires Salons/ Spas to be at least 1,000 feet away from each other. Currently, SEVEN beauty salons operate between 4700-4950 N. Damen. An appeal has been filed with the city by Saturn Spa, LLC. to open yet another salon/spa at 4845 N. Damen Avenue. They do not meet the 1,000 feet restriction and neighbors in the area want more business diversity to patron, NOT another salon. Please join other local businesses and Lincoln Square/ Ravenswood neighbors to tell Alderman Ameya Pawar that another spa on Damen is not in the best interest of the community.

And here's the link to the PETITION:

Thank you in advance.  Your opinion can help the future success of our neighborhood, for residents and businesses alike.