The City of St. Francis Planning Commission
Thursday, November 20
St. Francis City Hall
4235 S. Nicholson Avenue.
Copies of the plan map will be available.
On November 12, Cardinal Stritch University unveiled its preliminary plans for an undergraduate campus to be built on the Cousins Center grounds and the vacant WE Energies lands to the south and west of the center.
Nine new buildings would be built on the 44-acre Cousins Center property, plus a library addition on the north side of the existing building. Several of the buildings would rise within 15 feet of the Seminary Woods. Stritch’s purchase also would include a strip of about 15 acres of Seminary Woods that has been part of what a coalition of environmental groups has been raising funds to purchase and preserve.
Almost the entire 80 acres of We Energies property, which is now a capped brownfield, would be covered with athletic fields – soccer and track stadium, baseball, softball and two practice fields – and a 558-car parking lot.
Environmentalists, preservation-coalition members and neighbors have grave concerns that the plan would eliminate the green-space buffer around the woods, severely altering the character of the woods and its ability to support existing wildlife. In addition, new buildings close to the woods would block sunlight to the woods, changing the delicate ecosystem.
A total of 1,440 new parking spaces, in addition to existing parking areas, has
raised concerns about increased traffic along Superior Street/Lake Drive, Oklahoma Avenue and Howard and Packard Avenues.
The City of St. Francis Planning Commission will meet this Thursday, November 20, at 7 p.m. to consider a zoning change that would be required for Stritch to proceed with its plans to purchase and develop the properties. The meeting will be held at St. Francis City Hall, 4235 S. Nicholson Avenue. Copies of the plan map will be available.
We urge people concerned about this plan to:
· attend the Planning Commission meeting;
· contact their aldermen;