Committee OKs new cooling requirements on high-rise, senior buildings to prevent repeat of heat-related deaths in Rogers Park

The James Sneider Apartments, 7450 N. Rogers Ave. in Rogers Park., where three residents were found dead during a heat wave last month.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

With temperatures topping the 100-degree mark for the second straight week, a City Council committee moved Tuesday to impose new cooling requirements on residential high-rises and senior citizen buildings.

The ordinance, championed by Ald. Maria Hadden (49th), was approved by the Zoning Committee. It’s aimed at preventing a repeat of the tragedy at James Sneider Apartments, 7450 N. Rogers Ave. in Rogers Park.

That’s the senior building where three residents — Janice Reed, 68; Gwendolyn Osborne, 72, and Delores McNeely, 76 — died in mid-May amid another heat wave. 

Hadden has told the Sun-Times a building manager cited the city’s heat ordinance in responding to complaints about the heat and questions about why the air conditioning hadn’t been turned on before the three women died.

The ordinance approved Tuesday and teed up for full Council approval on Wednesday is intended to strike the balance between protecting Chicago’s “most vulnerable” residents and confronting what Buildings Commissioner Matthew Beaudet called the “technical limitations” of the “two-pipe heating and cooling system” in many large buildings.

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Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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