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April 10, 2001 - Workshop

Mayor Krajewski called the Workshop meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall.

Present:Mayor Brian Krajewski; Commissioners Marilyn Schnell, Thomas Sisul, Michael Gilbert, Sue McConnell; Village Manager Michael McCurdy; Village Attorney Daniel Blondin; Village Clerk April Holden


Visitors: Press: Susie Gura, Downers Grove Reporter Residents & Others in Attendance: Joel Andersen, Andersen Homes, 6212 Washington; Marilynn Gerloff, 4241 Highland; Mark Zabloudil, 620 39th St.; Dave Brown, 1508 Gilbert; Dave Tatterson, 1240 Gilbert; Jan Kopis, 1240 Chicago; Maureen McGowan, Kevin Pratt, March USA , Inc., 500 W. Monroe, Chicago; Jim Russ, 4915 Main St.; Carol Kania, Sun Publications, 1500 Ogden, Naperville; Shanon & Martin Tully, 3678 Venard; Bob Sullivan, 1090 39th St.; Jim Montesantos, 5200 Main; Jennifer Mesenbrink, Tribune Co., 23 W. Fullerton, Glendale Heights, Mary Miller, 2512 Freeland Ct., Naperville; Bob & Mary Rose Jaskula, 4640 Cumnor Road Staff: Susan Brassfield, Grants Coordinator; Steve Ruffolo, Director of Operations, Public Works; Amanda Browne, Planner; Ken Rathje, Director of Planning Services; Jerry Sprecher, Deputy Village Manager; Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager; Dave Conley, Director of Engineering, Public Works; Carol Conforti, Staff Liaison, Liquor Commission; Jack Bajor, Director of Public Works; Mary Scalzetti, Community Events Department; Bob Shoger, Manager, CBD Project; Brian Pabst, Director of Redevelopment

Mayor Krajewski explained that Council Workshop meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. The meetings are video taped live and for later cable cast over cable channel 6.

The Workshop meeting is intended to provide Council and the public with an appropriate forum for informal discussion of any items intended for future Council consideration or just for general information. No formal action is taken at Workshop meetings.

The public is invited to attend and encouraged to comment or ask questions in an informal manner on any of the items being discussed or on any other subject. The agenda is created to provide a guideline for discussion.

The Mayor noted that following the Workshop meeting this evening, there will be a Public Hearing on the 2001-2002 budget and the proposed Five Year Financial Plan. The Council will be voting on one Resolution as well.



Manager McCurdy noted that there have been some last minute changes to the bids, and asked that action on the bid on the Canon color copier be deferred.

Public Works Facility Cleaning & Custodial Services. Manager McCurdy said staff recommends extending the service with Crystal Maintenance for another year in the amount of $16,680.00. They have been pleased with the overall services of this company. This will be placed on next week’s Consent Agenda.

Risk Management, Health Insurance Contracts. The Manager said this recommendation includes insurance for the Village’s self-insurance program, risk management and health related insurance contracts. Quotes were obtained and the recommendation is to award a contract to Kemper Insurance for $87,400 for excess general liability; St. Paul & and Marine Insurance Company for $28,500 for additional excess general liability coverage; Traveler’s for $20,296 for property coverage; Safety National Casualty Corporation in the amount of $41,280 for excess Worker’s Compensation; and broker’s fee for $15,000 to Marsh USA , Inc.

Commissioner Gilbert asked if these represent any changes in coverage.

Dennis Burke , Director of Risk Management, said this represents more coverage as there is an addition of $2 million enhanced stop-loss coverage.

The Mayor asked about the broker’s fee and whether Marsh gets commissions from the policies they place. Mr. Burke said they accept the broker’s fee in lieu of commission.

The Manager said these will be on next week’s Consent Agenda.

Manager McCurdy said staff further recommends for the Village’s health insurance program to award a one year contract to Humana for $135,792 to administer the medical, visual and dental programs. In addition they provide stop-loss coverage in the amount of $171,300. Further recommendations are to Kraemer Loney, Inc. for benefits at an annual cost of $26,741; AIG Life Insurance for $43,389; Fortis, Inc., for long term disability insurance in the amount of $40,822; Health Plan Management for the flexible benefits program at an annual cost of $13,930; and Creative Care Management for the Employee Assistance Program at an annual cost of $16,374. In addition, pharmaceutical prescription benefits are provided to the employees; however, the contract is less than $10,000, and therefore, may be approved by the Village Manager.

Manager McCurdy said that a committee made up of Village staff, assisted by Commissioner McConnell, is looking into the total self-insured program and benefits package with the intent of seeing some changes at the beginning of the next calendar year.

Commissioner McConnell said each of these groups seems to be providing good services and it did not make sense to disrupt the service now. She said there were able to obtain a good contract with Humana and she does not think they could match that anywhere else. They are putting a performance guarantee into place as well. She said the Village has a fairly rich benefit plan and was unable to obtain any fully-insured quotes at this time. They are making a recommendation to change the pharmacy vendor possibly by the first of the year. They have also investigated whether it was best to have outside consultants managing this program, and it was determined that the Village could not hire someone for $26,000 to manage this program.

The Mayor thanked Commissioner McConnell for her participation with the Committee.

Manager McCurdy said this would appear on next week’s Consent Agenda.

Canon Color Copier. This item was deferred.

Grant Request: Illinois Arts Council. The Manager said this request is in the amount of $700 to offset the costs of the production of Alice in Wonderland on June 22, 23, and 24 at the Tivoli Theatre. The funds will come through the Community Events Commission. The Manager said this would be on the April 17 Active Agenda.

Text Amendment to the Zoning Code. The Manager said this recommendation is from the Zoning Commission regarding the minimum setback requirements for parking and vehicle displays on the intersecting street sides of corner lots along Ogden Avenue. He said that the Mayor has suggested deferring this item to a further Workshop to allow staff to look at the questions raised by the Zoning Commission. The Mayor said he would also like to have the Economic Development Commission review this. There was consensus among the Council.

Plan Commission Recommendation: Cumnor Road Lot Split. The Manager asked Ken Rathje to explain this recommendation.

Ken Rathje, Director of Planning Services, said this recommendation is for a lot split at 4346 Cumnor Road for a lot which is 100(x328( in size and is improved with a single-family residence. The underlying zoning of the property is R-4, Single Family Residential. He explained that a flag lot must have a minimum depth of 305’, and a minimum width of 75(. The pole section must be at least 20( wide. Mr. Rathje said the split would result in a front lot of 80(x163(, a flag lot with an access drive of 20(x163( and a main lot of 100(x165(. He said that both lots meet the applicable requirements for this type of lot split. The location of the existing garage would fall within the area where the access drive would be located, which would conflict with the yard requirements. Therefore, the Plan Commission made its recommendation based upon the elimination of the garage. Mr. Rathje said that staff has learned that the petitioner has someone interested in purchasing the front lot with the house, thereby leaving the existing house as is. He indicated that the flag lot is the best approach for this property.

At the Plan Commission meeting there was some discussion of other flag lots in the area and Mr. Rathje presented an overhead highlighting them. He noted that there are no stormwater issues involved in this lot split and that both Mr. Jungwirth and Mr. Rymas have reviewed the proposal. The Plan Commission made a unanimous recommendation in favor of this lot split.

Commissioner Schnell asked whether other flag lots in the area are within the boundary of the Village. Mr. Rathje said all but two of them are in the Village. The other two are in unincorporated Downers Grove. The Commissioner asked whether these lots are similar to the others, and Mr. Rathje said they are almost identical to the others that exist. He noted that the lots in this area are extraordinarily deep. Commissioner Schnell asked whether both proposed lots meet and/or exceed the minimum requirements of the Village’s Code. Mr. Rathje said they do.

Commissioner Gilbert said he has been against flag lots for some time, particularly when they create a brand new set of circumstances in a neighborhood. He said he finds it difficult to support this case as it creates a brand new area of flag lots in the Village. He said he believes they are asking much of neighbors to have homes built in their back yards. He finds it difficult to support this.

Commissioner Sisul said they should consider the alternative that the petitioner could do with the property. If they sold the property, they could split the property anyway. Mr. Rathje said there would be limited considerations in that situation, as the existing house would not be able to maintain the required side yard setbacks on the south side if the lot were split down the center into two 50 foot wide lots.

Commissioner Sisul said that the goal of the Village is to find more lots with a frontage in the area of 75( as opposed to 50(, and that the petitioner would be able to have a lot width of 75( or greater by dividing the property. Trying to upgrade the size of the lots from R-4 to R-3 sized lots and its greater space requirements would be to the betterment of the neighborhood rather than having narrower lots.

Commissioner Gilbert said if they had two 50( lots he thinks they would build in the front of the lots, and not the back. He does not believe this is an appropriate location for flag lots.

Commissioners Gilbert and Sisul discussed that there may be some houses built toward the back of lots.

Commissioner McConnell asked Mr. Rathje if a 50/50 split would fit within the parameter of creating a variance. Mr. Rathje said it does. He said the Subdivision Control Ordinance restricts both the Plan Commission and Council in cases where there is a lot split or subdivision that has exceptions. Creating two 50-foot wide lots would require approval of width exceptions for both lots, much like creating a flag lot is an exception. The same set of criteria would be used to evaluate a lot width exception.

Commissioner McConnell said she would like to hear from the petitioner if they would consider a 50/50 split.

Commissioner Schnell asked if a 50/50 split would have to go back to the Plan Commission.

Village Attorney Dan Blondin said it would have to go back to the Plan Commission.

Mr. Rathje said that at the hearing, the Plan Commission asked the petitioner whether they would consider that, but to go to a 50/50 split the house would have to be demolished or significantly reduced. The petitioner is not interested in pursuing that.

Commissioner Schnell asked the dates when the other flag lots were created. Mr. Rathje said most of them were done in the 1990s. The Village did not have a flag lot ordinance until the middle or late 1980s.

Commissioner Gilbert said in this case they will be cutting new ground. He said he lives on a lot that is 320( long, and he would not want to see that lot split next to him. He believes there are some areas in town where he would not want to see flag lots created, and this is one of them.

Commissioner Schnell asked whether most of the lots are deep as you approach Main Street. Mr. Rathje said they are not. This is an unusual situation in that these lots were created so as to provide adequate seperation distances from wells and septic fields. There are not a lot of areas in town with lots greater than 305( deep. The Ordinance was drawn narrowly with respect to flag lots. There would have to be 305( depth or more to even consider the creation of a flag lot. In addition, there are no variations or exceptions to the rules regarding lot area or width or depth with the creation of a flag lot.

Mary Miller , 2512 Freeland Ct., Naperville, is an urban planner for the Village of Woodridge and is representing her parents this evening, Mr. and Mrs. Jaskula, in this petition. She said concerns have been expressed about a house being built to the rear of the lot. That would not be setting a precedent on this block. There is a site with a home at the far end of the property three lots north of the subject site. Ms. Miller said her parents’ house has been on the market, and they have received no acceptable offers for the property in a year. If they are unable to sell the property it reflects on the neighborhood. She said it is a beautiful property, and there are other beautiful properties on the block. Her parents have an investment of over 30 years in this property. They want to sell so they can downsize to a condominium. A large property such as this has a limited pool of potential purchasers. Ms. Miller said the proposed lot split is intended to sell the property, not to necessarily make a profit on the property. If they were to split the property down the middle, they would have to demolish the house or cut off the kitchen part of the house, making it unsaleable. She said this type of property is more suitable to an estate residential type of zoning. She said that forcing someone to remain with a large estate-type lot with little market value or appeal is imposing a hardship on the property owners.

Bob Jaskula , the petitioner for the lot split, commented on Commissioner Gilbert’s comment about not wanting a house built at the back end of the lot. Mr. Jaskula said the property has been on the market since March of last year. The land value has brought an appraisal of $300,000 for the property, although the house is not a $300,000 house. There is nothing to say that someone could come in tomorrow, purchase the whole property, and put a house in the back of the lot. He would like to have the option to sell the properties and move on. They have been there for thirty years, are in their 70s, and want to move to another phase of their life.

Commissioner McConnell asked why they are so adamant about a flag lot versus a 50/50 lot split. Mr. Jaskula responded that the reason they are petitioning for a flag lot is they were under the impression they could split the lot in half; however, they were told that the minimum width was 75( and the lot did not meet that criteria. The Village said they could request to split it into a flag lot and found that their property more than meets the flag lots requirements.

Commissioner Gilbert said he understands their concern and their dilemma. He asked if the house was appraised by a professional appraiser. Mr. Jaskula said it was appraised by a real estate agent. The Commissioner asked whether they have asked for a price below the appraisal. Mr. Jaskula said they researched other properties and marketed the property at $319,000 and then reduced the price to $299,000 in January. Commissioner Gilbert said $299,000 may be high for that area. Mr. Jaskula agreed that the house is not worth $299,000, but is at least worth $220,000. It is the value of the property that has increased the appraisal value. He said a new buyer could buy the property and split it, and ask between $130,000 to $160,000 for the flag lots. They want to sell the house at a fair market value and move on. Commissioner Gilbert said it is difficult to determine the value.

Bob Sullivan , 1090 39th Street, said he was a member of the Zoning Commission. He has been on the Zoning Commission since the late 1980s. He said he is in agreement with Commissioner Gilbert’s comments; however, the economic forces of the Village are that they have to create flag lots. He said the believes the Village will have to allow the flag lots as the petitioners meet all the criteria.

The Manager said this item would appear on the May 15 Active Agenda.

Zoning Board of Appeals:

MC-1-01 Rezoning from Village R-1 to R-3.

Mr. Rathje said this petition for rezoning is for property located at 6859 Dunham. He said the property may have been one of the original farmstands in the area. The petitioner is interested in redevelopment of the property and is filing for rezoning from R-1 Single Family to R-3 Single Family. The zoning of the surrounding area of the subject property is R-3 and R-4. Mr. Rathje noted that some of the surrounding R-1 property is owned by the Park District. He noted that the Zoning Board of Appeals made a unanimous recommendation for approval of the requested rezoning.

Manager McCurdy said this would appear on the May 15 Active Agenda.

MC-2-01 Annexation & Rezoning from County R-4 to Village R-2

Mr. Rathje stated that this petition seeks rezoning upon annexation for property located at 702 39th Street. The underlying zoning of the property is County R-4 Single Family. Mr. Rathje said that the property is currently vacant, and the petitioner is seeking R-2 Single Family zoning for the site. He stated that the property falls short of the area requirements for an R-2 lot; however, under the so-called “75% rule” regarding non-conforming property it would be a legal nonconforming lot. Mr. Rathje stated that during the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, questions were raised concerning drainage in the immediate area. Mr. Jungwirth, the Village Engineer, reviewed the site and was of the opinion that development of the property would more than likely benefit drainage for the surrounding area. He said that Mr. Jungwirth is consulting with DuPage County to assure that there are no other issues in the area affecting the drainage.

Commissioner Sisul had no questions regarding this site, but asked Mr. Rathje about the estate zoning mentioned earlier in the flag lot case, and whether that would be equivalent to R-2 or R-1 zoning. Mr. Rathje responded that R-1 or R-2 in some communities would be equivalent to estate zoning. He stated that the subject area has much larger sized lots both north and south of 39th Street. The County designated the area as R-4, which would be equivalent to the Village’s R-3 zoning. The 75% rule allows the Village to maintain a minimum standard for the buildability of non-conforming lots.

The Manager said this item would be on the May 15 Active Agenda.

MC-3-01 Annexation & Rezoning from County R-4 to Village R-2

Mr. Rathje said that this petition seeks rezoning upon annexation related to property located at 404 39th Street. This lot is similar to the previous lot, and was divided in the County from a larger lot. The petitioner is requesting R-2 Single Family zoning, and the property exceeds the minimum width requirements. It also exceeds the 75% rule with respect to lot area. Mr. Rathje said that Mr. Jungwirth also looked at the drainage for this property and found no records of drainage problems. The property provides an opportunity for a reasonable development. The Zoning Board of Appeals made a positive recommendation for approval of this request.

Commissioner Sisul asked whether there was a plan for redevelopment of the lots. Mr. Rathje said only the westerly lot is being considered for annexation. The easterly lot is already improved with a house and is not annexed. To his knowledge the lots are not owned by the same property owners.

The Manager said this item would appear on the May 15 Active Agenda.

Draft License Agreement for Brew Fest. The Manager asked Carol Conforti to make this presentation.

Carol Conforti , Staff Liaison, Liquor Commission, stated that the application for a Special Community Events License concerns the 2001 Brewer’s Fest. There have been some amendments made to the agreement granted for the 2000 Brewer’s Fest. The event has been scaled down from previous years, as the applicant will not use the Fishel Park area in an effort to assure that the event runs more smoothly and safety. She noted that a memorandum of a meeting held last evening with the residents, expressing their concerns, has been prepared. She stated that Mr. Montesantos of Founders Brewery was present to answer any questions. Ms. Conforti asked that if the Council decides to move forward with this agreement that it be placed on the April 17 Agenda.

Commissioner Schnell asked about the menu, as there appears to be many beer vendors and only two small food areas. She asked if there would be other food areas, and enough food provided. Ms. Conforti stated that the two food vendors would be providing more food over a longer period of time. There would be fewer food vendors but enough food.

Commissioner Schnell then asked whether there would be a fence to block off the beer garden from the residential area. Ms. Conforti said there would be a fenced area as well as an enclosed stage area. Commissioner Schnell noted that last year there were concerns expressed about the band stopping at 10:00 p.m. Ms. Conforti said that the police have been instructed to stop all the entertainment at 10:00 p.m. In addition, the sound system will be relocated to Main Street as it was last year.

Commissioner McConnell asked whether this has gone before the Liquor Commission. Ms. Conforti said a public hearing on the application was not held, but they did discuss the matter and there were no major concerns expressed. The Mayor indicated his intent to issue the license.

The Mayor asked about the four exists and whether there would be security guards at those exists. Ms. Conforti said that there is a main entrance and exit. Other exits are for emergency use only or for staff access.

The Mayor asked whether Mr. Montesantos hired the police officers. Ms. Conforti said he hires off-duty police officers. Attorney Blondin corrected that Mr. Montesantos would be paying the police officers, but they would be under the Village control and jurisdiction. He is paying for their time.

Bob Sullivan , 1090 39th Street, said this is the first one of these agreements that has not been reviewed by the Liquor Commission. He said this looks like the Mayor is favoring the Brewery. The Mayor said his job is to determine whether they are qualified to serve liquor. The Council will approve whether or not to use the public streets for the festival.

Mr. Sullivan said his opinion is that they should use the Commission when they can. Regarding police officers, he said several years ago the public complained about people having problems with the crowd and violations. They said that there were people in Downers Grove police uniforms who would not enforce the Village’s ordinances because they were hired by the Brewery. The Mayor clarified that the police are under the Village’s jurisdiction. Mr. Sullivan said that would not have changed but for the Liquor Commission having reviewed it. The Mayor clarified that the Liquor Commission’s authority is to determine whether they should serve liquor. He added that there were numerous meetings available both before the after the Brewer’s Fests for resident input, and there was a meeting held last evening with the residents. He said staff has met with the residents as well.

The Manager said that this item would be on the April 17 Active Agenda.

Sanitary District Intergovernmental Agreement for the CBD Redevelopment Phase IV Improvements. The Manager said the cost to the Sanitary District is $116,002 for their portion of the Phase IV improvements to the downtown work north of the railroad tracks.

Manager McCurdy said this would appear on the April 17 Active Agenda.

2001 Sidewalk Replacements. The Manager said ten bids were received and the low bidder was from WAS Concrete in the amount of $161,580.00, which was 5.8% below the estimate of $170,580. They are a relatively new company, however, staff reviewed their references and is satisfied with the result of those reviews. They worked in Highland Park, Oak Park and River Forest.

The Mayor asked Mr. Bajor whether he has looked at the Community Response Center calls regarding the sidewalk program.

Jack Bajor , Public Works Director, said they have seen those comments. The Manager said they will monitor the calls and add sidewalks where possible. The Mayor asked if they could add sidewalks to this contract as it is less than the budgeted amount. The Manager said they would look into adding a clause to the contract to go beyond the base list.

Commissioner Schnell asked whether staff inspects the sidewalks and how they determine the locations listed. Mr. Bajor said they have an ongoing program of staff actually going out and inventorying the sidewalks, as well as obtaining comments and calls from residents. Commissioner Schnell recommended they publicize the program in the Village Corner.

Commissioner Sisul asked about sidewalks on Lincoln and Osage in Area 5, as he noticed some calls from that area. Mr. Bajor said staff will look at the condition of the sidewalks in that area.


Attorney Blondin presented three items to the Council: 1) a Resolution authorizing the Grant for the Illinois Arts Council; 2) a Resolution authorizing the License Agreement for the Brewer’s Fest; and 3) a Resolution authorizing the Intergovernmental Agreement with the Downers Grove Sanitary District for downtown improvements.


1. Jim Russ , Chairman of the Downtown Management Board, thanked Commissioner Sisul and Manager McCurdy for meeting with several business owners downtown to discuss some issues regarding construction and traffic issues on Main Street related to the downtown improvements.

Review of the 2001/2002 Budget. The Mayor said a public hearing on the 2001/02 Budget would be held as a Special Council Meeting following Workshop.


The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 7:45 p.m.

April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh/