At Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to submit a measure that would pave the way for South Side parkland to be made available for two potential sites for the Barack Obama presidential library and museum.
The mayor's proposed ordinance would reportedly authorize the Chicago Park District to shift ownership of some parkland from either Jackson or Washington parks to the city for $1, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Specifically, the ordinance would cover the transfer of either 20 acres in Jackson Park or about 21 acres in Washington Park, but such move would only happen if the University of Chicago is chosen to build the attraction at one of its two proposed sites, according to the newspaper.
As many as 5 acres of parkland could be used to house the physical library building under the measure. The other acres of parkland proposed for transfer would have to be open space. The proposal would require the city to replace the park acres occupied by the physical library building somewhere else in the city.
An intergovernmental agreement relating to the land transfer is slated to go before the park district board on February 11.
Friends of the Park, meanwhile, has questioned the legality of transfering park district-controlled land to the city for the potential U of C sites. The group has not closed the door on filing a lawsuit over the matter.
The University of Illinois at Chicago, New York's Columbia University and the University of Hawaii are also vying for the Obama library.
Also at Wednesday's council meeting, aldermen could vote on new regulations relating to petcoke that would cap how much of the oil refining byproduct a company can stockpile in the city. The measure calls on the "Department of Planning and Development to issue one or more orders by March 31, 2015 that would limit the amount of petcoke stored in the city," according to a release from the mayor's office.
The council could also take up the expansion of the city's racial profiling definition to include "national origin" and "gender identity." As part of the measure, Chicago's racial profiling ban would be updated to be consistent with the definition at the federal level.
Also, changes to the Affordable Requirements Ordinance designed to increase affordable housing in the city passed committee this month and might see action in the full council.
Additionally, mayoral challenger and Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) plans on introducing a resolution calling for hearings into Uber and ride-sharing hiring practices as well as a parking ticket amnesty program, allowing people to pay off outstanding parking tickets received before 2014 minus any associated late fees or other fines. If approved, the proposed program, which would start April 15 and run through the end of December 2017, would not apply to people who owe more than $10,000 related to parking tickets. If the ordinance passes, this would be the first time the city has offered up a parking ticket amnesty program in ten years.