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Aldermen Expected To Approve Plan For More North Branch Residences

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The City Council was expected to sign off Wednesday on a plan to rezone a stretch of land along the North Branch of the Chicago River, to allow for new residential development, despite misgivings from some North Side aldermen.

The rezoning would make it easier for new apartments, condos, and office buildings to be built along the North Branch of the river, but some aldermen – like Michele Smith (43rd) said they're concerned a huge influx of residents could overburden local streets.

Chicago Planning Commissioner David Reifman said he doesn't expect that to happen.

"Our goal is to attract 21st century jobs, not to open up thousands of acres just to tons of residential," he said.

Smith said the rezoning would not prevent that from happening.

Reifman agreed, but said "we're trusting the process and the aldermen of the wards."

Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) said he's worried about a lack of parks and other green space as a result of allowing more residential construction. He said he's already seen developers presenting plans for buildings with green space on rooftops, instead of at ground level.

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