Photo by Mitch Cerrone
Photo Caption -
Gregor Mortis, founder of Charybdis Multi-Arts Complex, 4423 N. Milwaukee Ave., hosts a variety of artists anyone from writers to painters to actors to musicians.

Lerner Times - March 29, 2001
Front Page

Artists’ group seeks zoning change to hold shows in studio

By Mike Gunnerson
Staff Writer

Charybdis Multi-Arts Complex is moving forward with a zoning-change request for its 4423 N. Milwaukee Ave. location. And Ald. Pat Levar (45th) has withdrawn his opposition to that request.

Charybdis founder Gregor Mortis said a Friday, March 23; meeting between him, the building owners and Levar went well.

”It went as good as it possibly could,” Mortis said.

Charybdis wants to upgrade its current B21, restricted retail district, zoning, to B4-2, restricted service-district, zoning. The change would allow Charybdis to hold a public-place-of-amusement license, allowing it to charge admission for events.

George Karzas, president of the Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce, attended the meeting and said it went “very well.” He said much of Levar’s opposition stemmed from “mix-ups early on as to what Charybdis’ intentions were.”

Mortis said area rumors had Charybdis holding “rave” parties, all-night dance parties where drug use is common.

But Karzas said that myth was debunked at the meeting. “That word (rave) should not be brought up with Charybdis.”

Levar told Mortis that he would take him at his word that Charybdis is what he said it is, Karzas said. Levar also apologized to Mortis for earlier outbursts based on rumors.

Levar could not be reached for comment.

Mortis said Charybdis has a hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday, April 10.

Charybdis has a clause in its lease specifying the building’s zoning be changed to B4-2.

Told by the building’s owner when the lease was being negotiated that the property had always been zoned B4-2 until it recently had been downzoned to B2-1, Mortis was also told that to rezone the building back to B4-2 would not be a problem, he said.

However, Levar produced evidence showing that the building had always been zoned B2-1 and that it had never been downzoned.

Regardless, Mortis said, he hopes the upcoming hearing will see his zoning change granted.

”We just want to do performances,” he said. “We just want to make some Money. We just want to survive.”

Photo by Mitch Cerrone

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