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 Committee Room of the Village Hall.
Present:Mayor Brian Krajewski; Commissioners Marilyn Schnell, Thomas Sisul, Michael Gilbert, Sue McConnell, Martin Tully, Mark Zabloudil; Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Daniel Blondin; Village Clerk April Holden
Visitors: Press: Susie Gura, Downers Grove Reporter; Jennifer Taylor, Chicago Tribune Residents & Others in Attendance: Philip Hutchman, Steve Rebora, Desman Associates, 300 W. Washington, Chicago; Mark Daniel, Rathje, Woodward for Midwestern University; Greg Gaus, Midwestern University; Kent Ebersold, Mark Baresel, Steve Wilking, Charles Dickerman, D.G. Rotary; Shanon Tully, 3678 Venard; Jim Russ, Ben Babel, St. Mary’s; Nick Rarahalios, Tom Drake, Edelman Public Relations; David Tatterson, 1240 Gilbert; Marilynn Gerloff, 4241 Highland; Mike Norberg, 1713 White Place; Steve McCready, 7225 Camden Staff: Amanda Browne, Planner; Ken Rathje, Director, Planning Services; Jane Gerdes, Assistant Director of Public Works; Lt. Pam Church, Police Department; Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager; Kathy DesMarteau, Redevelopment; Carol Conforti, Liaison to the Liquor Commission; Brian Pabst, Director of Redevelopment; Bob Schiller, Traffic Manager
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 cablecast 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.
Manager Ginex said that the Westside Park Agreement has been removed from this evening’s Agenda.
Bid: Lindley – Washington Storm Sewer Improvements. Manager Ginex said staff recommends awarding the bid for this project to Trine Construction in the amount of $153,500. This company has done about eight projects since 1979 in the Village.
Plan Commission Recommendation: Esplanade Centre. The Manager asked Mr. Rathje to present this item.
Ken Rathje, Director, Planning Services, said this development is located on the south side of Butterfield Road, west of the Tollway, and will be constructed in two phases. Phase 1 is an 11,400 square foot restaurant known as Carlucci’s, with a 1,000 square foot outdoor seating area within a walled space. He described the proposed building stating the site is 2.733 acres in size. The building will be done in a Mediterranean architectural design. They are providing 148 parking spaces, which is above the requirement.
Mr. Rathje said that the second phase of the development is an office building at 3450 Lacey Road. The building will be 241,765 square feet in size on 6.377 acres. He described the location of the building in regard to the surrounding area. The building will be limestone with curtain-glass glazing. The development includes a 905-space parking deck, of which 605 spaces are required. Mr. Rathje said the developer plans to provide 86,922 square feet of landscape/greenspace area. He stated that Gary Mori is in attendance, and showed exhibits of the elevation drawings from Hamilton Partners.
Mayor Krajewski complimented Hamilton Partners on the development, and asked about the timing.
Gary Mori, Hamilton Partners, said they intend to open the restaurant next spring and hope to start construction in the fall. The timing for the office building depends upon the economic situation. They are hoping to contract with some major tenants who have expressed interest in the building. There is no specific schedule for the office building at this time. Regarding the building currently under construction, Mr. Mori said they expect completion in mid-December.
Commissioner Sisul asked about the exterior materials planned for the restaurant. Mr. Mori said the majority of the lower part will be limestone, with the upper part done in stucco.
Commissioner Gilbert asked about stormwater management for the site and whether the current ponds are designed for this facility. Mr. Rathje said that was correct. All that will be needed for detention for the proposed building will be additional piping to tie it all together.
Commissioner Tully asked when they intend to conduct a traffic study. Mr. Rathje said that Hamilton Partners would need to develop 400,000 additional square feet beyond what is being presented tonight before another traffic study would be required. Commissioner Tully asked whether the Council could obtain letter-sized copies of the colored renderings, and Mr. Mori said that would be provided. Commissioner Tully said he has been to the Carlucci’s in Rosemont and would welcome that restaurant in Downers Grove.
Parking & Traffic Recommendations: Manager Ginex said the P&T Commission reviewed the following areas for parking restrictions.
Concord/Bunker Hill Parking. The Manager said the Commission recommends parking restrictions on the north side of Concord 50’ east and west of Bunker Hill, and on the north side of Concord, 50’ east of Stonewall.
Cumnor/Foxfire Court Parking. The Manager said that because of existing sight problems for oncoming traffic, the Commission recommends parking restrictions on the west side of Cumnor, 50’ north and south of Foxfire, and on the east side of Cumnor, 50’ north and 50’ south of the Cumnor entrance to Downers Drive.
South High Parking. The Manager said that staff recommends amendments to Chapter 14 of the Village Code allowing for a parking permit system for South High, and a fee system for commuter parking.
Commissioner Schnell said this issue was raised because the residents thought it would be a good idea. She asked about the parking permits and whether they would be used Monday through Friday only or weekends as well.
Bob Schiller, Traffic Manager, said they would be used similar to the commuter system. Open parking would be after 3:00 p.m. on weekdays and all day on Saturday and Sunday. He said this is a test program and said forms were sent out to the students. They are just beginning to get responses. If it becomes popular, they may consider expanding this and using the fees for roadway work to expand area parking.
Special Event License Agreement – Rotary Octoberfest. The Manager said this would authorize an agreement for a special license for an Octoberfest on September 21 and 22.
In response to the Mayor, Mr. Schiller said they are planning to use the First United Methodist lot for the displaced parkers from the Grove Premium lot for the Octoberfest.
Commissioner Tully asked what the seating capacity is for the proposed tent.
Kent Ebersold of the Rotary Club said they have seating for 632 people, as well as standing space. The estimate including standing space is between 800-950 spaces. Commissioner Tully said he read that they expect 1000-5000 people in attendance over the two-day period, and Mr. Ebersold said that was correct.
Commissioner Tully said a question was raised by the Liquor Commission as to the need for control of people in and out of the tent. Mr. Ebersold said he spoke with Carol Conforti about having a counter system at the door to stop entry until others leave. Commissioner Tully said other questions that have been raised with other festivals concern the volume, direction and time for outdoor music. Mr. Ebersold said they intend to stop the music at 10:30 p.m. Commissioner Tully asked about the music inside the tent and where it would be directed. Mr. Ebersold said it would be directed north and south, and would be fully enclosed inside. The volume to the outside will be muffled. They will pay attention to the volume.
Commissioner McConnell said she shared the concerns expressed about crowd control and asked about security. Mr. Ebersold said the area around the tent will be snow-fenced and they will have port-a-potties outside the area also snow-fenced. There will be three uniformed police officers, in addition to club security.
As to liquor control, Mr. Ebersold said they will be aware of the number of drinks served, carding, etc. They intend to have wristbands for anyone over 21, as well as having a non-alcoholic beverage station separate from the other stations. This is a family event, but everyone will be carded when they come in. They will also serve wine and soda.
Commissioner McConnell said she noticed they may be asking for help from the Village regarding set up and tear downs, and asked what else they might need. Mr. Ebersold said he spoke with Mr. Schiller and basically they need help getting the lot cleared on Thursday to set up the tent, and they would appreciate having a street sweeper come in to clean the lot for Monday a.m. If that is not possible, they will hire a service. Commissioner McConnell asked if there will be a charge from the Village and Mr. Ebersold said they are seeking a bid from the Village for this. The Manager said that Carol Conforti provided information as to the cost and they anticipate it to be about $421.00 excluding police security costs.
Commissioner McConnell asked about cleanup being done by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. She said that normally they have requested cleanup by 10:00 a.m. Commissioner McConnell expressed concern about them having to use the entire day Sunday to clean up.
Carol Conforti, Liaison to the Liquor Commission, said the reason they required 10:00 a.m. for the Brewer’s Fest was due to the fact that they blocked the streets and it was necessary to have the street opened to allow people to get to church on Sunday morning.
Commissioner McConnell asked about emergency exits and how they will be safeguarded. Mr. Ebersold said that he is not sure how the emergency exits are secured, but they are easy to remove from the inside. They will also have people stationed around the perimeter of the tent. He reiterated that anyone 21 or over will have to wear a wristband.
Commissioner Schnell asked if there will be any time that children will be excluded. Mr. Ebersold said it will be open to families during the entire time, but they will market it in such a way that the children should be at home by 8:00 p.m. On Saturday from 11:00 a.m.
3:00 p.m. they have a magician, juggler, face paintings, etc. In terms of how they will market this, Mr. Ebersold said they have 55 members in the Rotary club, and each member is required to sell or give away 30 tickets to the event. They will also prepare posters and rely somewhat upon word of mouth advertising. They will try to get as much publicity from the newspapers as possible. To date they already have $20,000 in expenses before even opening the door. Commissioner Schnell asked if he knows what the profit for the Naperville event has been. Mr. Ebersold explained they are allowed to have a four-day event in Naperville resulting in a profit of about $100,000. He said that they hope this event will raise between $25,000$30,000 profit. That money will be returned to the community. Commissioner Schnell said they might want to look to the web page and to the Visitors Bureau brochures for additional advertising.
Commissioner Gilbert said that this was the concept they had in mind when they created the Tourism and Events Board. As of September 1 there will be a new vehicle to give broader recommendations.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked about parking, and whether the lot will be blocked off at Washington. Mr. Ebersold said the recommendation was to block off the lot except for vehicles needed for the event. Commissioner Zabloudil asked whether they have contacted other parking lot owners in the area, and Mr. Ebersold said they have not. They thought the street parking and commuter lots would be sufficient.
Economic Development Commission Membership on Land Use Bodies. The Manager said this concerns placing non-voting members on the Planning Commission, Zoning Commission, and the Zoning Board of Appeals. He asked Attorney Blondin to make this presentation.
Village Attorney Dan Blondin said the Council proposed to have liaisons of the EDC assigned to the Village’s land use commissions, and this Ordinance addresses that request. It would be the prerogative of the Council to appoint a non-voting member of the EDC to each of those land use bodies, so the EDC liaison could carry information back to their board on issues being addressed by those bodies. He noted that some existing bodies have members from other boards on their commissions.
Commissioner Tully said a concern has been raised by the EDC as to whether it would unfairly tax the EDC members to sit on these other commissions; however, he noted that the Plan Commission, Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals do not meet that often. He is somewhat relieved to know this will not be an undue burden on any one individual. He noted that the purpose of this in his view is to create a channel for cooperation and communication between the commissions; therefore, it would not be a conflict to have a non-voting member present. He stated that there is also the possibility of combining some of the boards, noting that Wheaton recently eliminated one of their commissions altogether. He said they might want to think about that for the future.
The Mayor said the EDC Chairman and the Director of the EDC have an understanding of all of the EDC activities. The EDC has three or four subcommittees on which the members serve, and he expressed concern that if they send a subcommittee member as the non-voting liaison that person may not have full knowledge of all of the issues concerning the EDC . He suggested that perhaps they could have staff members, such as Steve Rockwell, attend the commission meetings and inform those members as to the activities of the EDC . He further recommended that minutes of the various meetings be sent to the other commission members.
Commissioner Schnell said that the Plan Commission had a representative from the Park District and other bodies on their Commission, and they only attended a few of the meetings. She said if there is an issue before the Plan Commission or other commission that needed a liaison, then that person could attend. But, there are many meetings that occur that have nothing to do with EDC . She said they have to foster communication, but she does not view it as necessary to have someone attend every meeting. When an issue is important they could have someone there, perhaps a staff member.
Commissioner Gilbert said there is a difference between the flow of information between staff members and board members. He said he thought it would be good to have an EDC member serve on the board and carry the information back to their own subcommittees. While some things may not seem relevant to economic development, they would have an effect on the future of the Village, and that is enough reason to have an EDC member involved as much as possible.
The Mayor asked whether members of a committee can sit on a board and adequately inform members of other boards.
Commissioner Zabloudil said not all of the board members could report all of the details back on a regular basis. He said it probably would not be necessary to have someone attend all of the meetings; however, if it related to larger issues such as 63rd Street, Ogden Avenue, etc., then staff should be present.
Commissioner Sisul said this was an interesting discussion, and there are two good viewpoints expressed. What is common is the recognition that the flow of information needs to be increased between the standing committees and the EDC . He served on the Plan Commission and he said that people assigned as liaisons rarely attended with one exception of the Park District liaison. He said that as a Council liaison member himself to a committee as a voting member, he felt it placed a burden on him in that in some way he was reflecting the opinion of the five people on the Council. He said he had to be clear in stating his own personal views, and not those of the other Council members. Commissioner Sisul said he thought it would be interesting to obtain suggestions of staff or the board members as to how to set up liaisons. He said there might be a combination of staff members or board members, and suggested referring this to Mr. Rockwell and Mr. Rathje for an apportionment of staff time and committee members’ time.
The Mayor asked if Mr. Rockwell discussed this with his board.
Steve Rockwell, Director, Economic Development Commission, said that they have a meeting on Wednesday and this is on their agenda. He said that they had a committee meeting on Sunday night and meet whenever they can. He believed sharing minutes of the commission and board meetings is a good step as well. He agrees with having meetings with staff and a few board members to determine what might be the best way to handle it.
Commissioner McConnell said that perhaps the various Chairmen need to be communicating with each other as to their individual board agendas.
Commissioner Tully agreed with Commissioners Gilbert and Sisul. He agreed that they need parallel communication at the board level as well as the staff level. He is open to doing that in a practical and pragmatic way, and is also open to the hybrid approach wherein a staff member could identify particular issues of possible importance to the EDC . He agrees with exchanging the minutes and regular staff communication. In addition, there are subcommittees in the EDC and he would not be opposed to having different people attend the meeting from those subcommittees depending upon the issues.
Commissioner Schnell said she thought the idea of exchanging agendas is a very good idea. Having a member of the EDC sit on a Plan Commission meeting may not be a good use of time if it is not relevant to that commission. There will be times when it is advantageous.
Mr. Rockwell pointed out that the Plan Commission staff did inform the EDC ahead of time about the text amendment proposal for Ogden Avenue.
Commissioner Sisul said it is important to consider the exchange of Council minutes in this process as well. One of the topics that could be discussed between staff would be the application of boards and commissions to land bank property proposals, the parking deck, and future downtown development plans. There has to be a way to get the members up to date on what is taking place, and what is being planned.
The Mayor suggested that the Manager and staff talk to the boards and come back to the Council with their recommendations.
Zoning Commission Recommendations: The Manager asked Ms. Browne to discuss these recommendations.
2001-02 Text Amendment regarding churches in residential zoning districts.
Amanda Brown, Planner, said this amendment would allow churches to seek exceptions from lot and bulk regulations in Article XI of the Zoning Ordinance as part of the special use process. She said requests would be subject to the determination that the strict application of the regulations would be a substantial burden to the exercise of religion. Secondly, other conditions would be 1) minimum relief necessary; 2) minimal impact; 3) existence of a unique condition. Another provision of the amendment is that any other conditions deemed necessary by the Board would be applicable. The Zoning Commission made a positive recommendation on the amendment.
Commissioner Tully clarified that this would provide an avenue for petitioners to seek the exceptions by meeting the conditions established. Ms. Browne said that was correct.
Commissioner McConnell asked about any recent judicial decisions on this issue.
Attorney Blondin said recent judicial action is not what is driving this. It is being driven by the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which provides that if there is a substantial burden placed on a church’s ability to exercise its religion, the governmental entity has the burden of demonstrating that it is advancing a compelling governmental interest and this is the least restrictive means of doing so. He stated that what the Council is doing is to put a procedural due process mechanism in place. The Courts have not addressed the issue and it has not been really challenged.
Commissioner McConnell asked whether this applies to any type of church activity, and Attorney Blondin said that the Zoning Ordinance says “churches” in some place, and “church-school” in others, which could be fairly subjective. Under the RFRA , it applies strictly to the exercise of religion. He said the Ordinance adds language as to what a church is, understanding that buildings are sometimes used for multiple purposes. What will be determined is whether or not a facility is used for worship in relation to its legitimate church activity.
Commissioner McConnell then referred to the definition of “church” in the Ordinance, which ends with “or ceremony by an assembled group.” She asked for clarification as to the scope of eligibility. Attorney Blondin said that is one of the problems in establishing what is a religion. He said that the word “religious” should be included before the word “ceremony” for further clarification. He would make that correction.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether the intent is to bring the Ordinance in compliance with RFRA , and Attorney Blondin said they are trying to install a mechanism to allow relief if the issue is raised. He said the burden of proof is still with the church that the restrictions substantially limit their ability to exercise their religion. The Village must prove that its restriction is advancing a compelling governmental interest and this is the least restrictive means of doing so.
Commissioner Schnell clarified that it only refers to bulk requirements, and the Attorney said that was correct, and it does not change use provisions either.
2001-03 Text Amendment regarding signs for colleges/universities in residential districts. The Manager said that the purpose of this amendment is to establish a new sign category to include colleges and universities with specific conditions that would allow an increase in the maximum area of signage.
Ms. Browne said the most noteworthy aspect of this amendment related to the location requirements regarding colleges and universities. The Ordinance specifies that colleges and universities are located on parcels of 40 acres or more, while the sign classifications typically apply to much smaller parcels of land in residential neighborhoods or on minor arterial streets.
Commissioner McConnell asked about the fee exemption waiver, and Ms. Browne said it was a carry over from existing regulations.
Park District West Side Agreement. This item was removed from the Agenda.
Continued Parking Deck Discussion. The Manager said Desman and Associates was present , and he then asked Brian Pabst to begin the presentation.
Brian Pabst, Director, Redevelopment, reviewed the background on the parking deck schematic design elements, noting that there has been overwhelming positive feedback from the public on the design. He noted that in addition to Desman’s presentation, staff members have taken photographs of other parking facilities to depict various facades and styles for the Council’s review. He then asked Lt. Pam Church of the Police Department to discuss her security analysis. He referred also to the security report given to the Council earlier, which has color renditions of some of the designs Lt. Church would discuss.
Lt. Pam Church said at the Council’s request she contacted numerous facilities regarding their parking deck facilities and safety issues. She contacted Naperville, Arlington Heights, Elmhurst, Good Samaritan Hospital, Oak Brook, and utilized the services of the Downers Grove Crime Prevention Unit. Her report includes the general operations of these parking facilities, types of crimes, and general discussion concerning recommended security features. Lt. Church said she would be commenting on the information that was provided in the report submitted to the Council entitled Security Survey – Area Parking Decks dated June 28, 2001.
Lt. Church then summarized specific sites visited. In Naperville there were three parking facilities, one of which is currently under construction. They have experienced nuisance incidents in their parking facilities and as a result will have red alert buttons on their facility presently under construction, as well as enclosed stairwells and camera surveillance. They do not believe the amber lighting provides enough lighting. White paint provides better light reflection and brightens the facility.
Good Samaritan Hospital has two parking facilities and their nuisance complaints include skateboarders, urinating in the stairwells, minor property damage, illegal parking, etc. They have red emergency call buttons placed every 50-75 feet on all levels and red emergency aid signs placed appropriately, as well as surveillance cameras.
Oak Brook Center has five parking facilities and experiences problems such as illegal parking, distribution of flyers by solicitors, minor property damage, etc. They have had no car thefts in the deck facilities. Their safety features include guard tours by security guards using sensors at various locations. The facilities are checked nine times per day. They also have green emergency aid buttons at appropriate locations, including the stairwells. The buttons are connected to an emergency intercom system and are tested daily. They also have white ceiling lights, and elevator walls and stairwells are glass enclosed. Closed circuit cameras are also placed strategically.
Arlington Heights has four facilities and experienced problems with urination in stairwells and elevators, debris, skateboarding, as well as one reported attack and a battery incident. They have five parking enforcement officers. Their safety features include blue light call boxes every 30’ in the underground portion, glass enclosed stairwells, elevator lobbies and walkways connecting to the condo building. They use white ceiling lights for better lighting.
In Elmhurst there are two parking facilities, and they have experienced no criminal incidents and only a few nuisance complaints in the past year. They have no special features other than glass enclosed stairwells. Their ceilings lights were amber colored, half of which were not on. They had many dark corners in the facility, and the elevators were under construction and unusable. Their Schiller deck has closed circuit videos, with police personnel assigned at the front desk to monitor the cameras. All activity is video taped.
Lt. Church recommended that the Village’s parking deck have white ceiling lights versus amber and light ceilings, higher ceilings for safety purposes and to accommodate tow truck use, glass walled elevator shafts, lobbies and stairwells, and placement of emergency buttons directed to the 911 dispatch officer. She said they also recommend video surveillance cameras in elevator lobbies, in elevator ceilings and at all exits and entrances. She said that video cameras should record all activity. In addition, there are manpower considerations. In Arlington Heights and Naperville, they recommended that for each additional facility a parking person be added as well. They expect a facility to generate more nuisance complaints that will require attention. She noted that Naperville Police Department reassigned 17 officers from other positions to their Central Business District during the summer months. Arlington Heights also has a police officer assigned during the day and afternoon shifts. She added that monitoring surveillance cameras also places a greater burden on police personnel.
Commissioner Schnell commended Lt. Church on a great report with considerable information. She asked about adding a parking person to the deck and asked whether it would be a sworn officer. Lt. Church said it could be a civilian parking enforcement person. She recommended that day and afternoon shifts be covered.
Commissioner Schnell asked about a means of penalizing violators who abuse the use of the emergency buttons. Lt. Church said she was unaware of how that would work. None of the places she visited has any nuisance complaints regarding the call buttons. She is unaware of any State regulations.
Commissioner Tully also commended Lt. Church on the report and the time spent in preparation of the report. He asked what the recommendation is regarding the number and placement of call buttons. Lt. Church said she thought the blue light placed between 50-75 feet was a good standard. It would depend upon the placement of the columns and specific design of the facility. Commissioner Tully asked about assignment of officers, and Lt. Church said she thought having at least one officer for the CBD area and deck during the day and afternoon shifts was appropriate to begin with, and consider evening patrol later on.
Commissioner Tully asked about patrols around the exterior of the building due to the placement of the deck in mid-block. Lt. Church said in viewing the sketch she doesn’t see any bushes or plantings that would limit visibility. From the drawing it seems accessible.
Commissioner Gilbert asked again about the manpower commitment. Lt. Church repeated she would recommend one person for the CBD during the daytime and afternoon shift, with closer patrols on the night shift as a start.
Commissioner Sisul commended the Lieutenant on the report stating the information would be helpful to the Council.
Steve Rebora of Desman Associates said the safety devices referred to are common in parking areas and should be placed in areas appropriate to and acceptable for this specific design. He was pleased to hear that the schematic design they presented last month has been well received. He noted that the Council made some requests of Desman at their last presentation, and he would make a Power Point presentation at this meeting to address some of those issues.
Mr. Rebora showed the site plan for the 750-car, 5-level proposed parking deck with access at Curtiss and Washington. The architect’s renderings showed the views from Curtiss Street, Main Street, Washington and Maple, noting a 5,000 square foot public events space proposed for the main floor of the deck. He stated they are recommending a 12’ ceiling height at ground level, which can be done with no lost parking spaces. They want the ground level to be as high as possible, with 8’4” clearance throughout the rest of the deck.
Mr. Rebora reviewed the design, which is a cast-in-place concrete structure with a brick facade. He said the facade consists of precast panels fabricated off site and brought in. The brick is an inlay method to the casting process. He said that information was submitted to the Council further explaining the process. It assures quality control and is a common method of construction. Mr. Rebora said the base price for that construction is $10,709,501.
There are options to the brick facade such as having the upper area stained concrete to compliment the brick. Using stained concrete for that upper area deducts $525,000 from the base price. Mr. Rebora noted that with paint, however, there is also maintenance. The garage would have to be painted about every 8-years at a total cost of about $190,000, so the actual savings is only about $340,000 by using the stain.
Mr. Rebora said another alternative is to have brick at archways and stair elevator towers, while having precast panels with an exposed aggregate on the remainder of the deck. He said that Good Samaritan Hospital uses this finish. It is durable and a good way to match the brick, and very common. It would be a net savings of $469,000. The final option would be to have form lined concrete, which means a liner is placed in the form that leaves a pattern in the concrete which gives character and texture to the panels. Additives can be placed in the concrete for color. He said that would be a savings of about $200,000; however, he noted that when additives are added, there tends to be fading and discoloration, and the cast brick looks fake.
Mr. Rebora said they are recommending the precast brick for 100% of the structure. In addition, they are recommending 12’ high ceilings in the ground level of the deck only.
Commissioner Tully said he appreciated the presentation of alternatives to the brick from Desman. He wanted to review the construction methods. Concerning the brick face, he understands them to be snap forms, which means they are not actually masonry and will not need to be tuck pointed. Mr. Rebora said that was correct. There is also no grout. The snap fit form spaces the brick into the pattern. It looks like the grout joint but it is the concrete panel. It is very durable and requires no tuckpointing.
Commissioner Tully verified that the all-brick proposal is not actually masonry construction, but is entirely thin facebrick that is cast directly into the precast panels. Mr. Rebora said that was correct.
Commissioner Tully then referred to form liners and asked what they were. Mr. Rebora said that essentially a box is built on the ground to the size of the panel, and concrete is poured into the panel. There is a rubber form that lays in the bottom of the box onto which the concrete is poured. It is basically molded concrete that has to be stained to look like brick or another finish. He said that when they used form liners in the past they have stayed away from the brick finish. He said it is difficult and he would not recommend it.
Commissioner Tully asked about the difference between concrete stamping and the use of form liners. Mr. Rebora said it is essentially the same thing.
Commissioner Tully then verified with Mr. Rebora that the cost for the cast-in-place frame would be $10.7 million base cost, which Mr. Rebora said was correct. Mr. Rebora also confirmed that staining the upper concrete to compliment the brick base would save approximately $525,000 with an additional maintenance component over a period of 40 years.
Commissioner Tully reviewed that the cost for a brick face inlaid on concrete spandrels on the arches and stair towers with stained form lined concrete would be about a $200,000 savings, and Mr. Rebora said that was also correct.
Commissioner Tully then asked about the first floor and restricting access. He suggested there could be decorative metal grates along the first floor and asked if that has been built into the design. Mr. Rebora said it was.
Commissioner Tully referred to Lt. Church’s reference regarding painted white ceilings. He asked if anything could be done with concrete to lighten the tone other than painting it. Mr. Rebora said they can do things to mix the design. The design they have been using has a lighter tone. The base design does not include painted ceilings.
Commissioner Tully then addressed the lighting for security. He asked about baffled lighting to reduce the light spillage over the surrounding areas. He asked if the baffles can be modified as the structure is going up and Mr. Rebora said he thinks it can be done. He said that glare and bright lights need to be baffled. They have not selected a final fixture as of yet. He said there are fixtures with baffles that can be snapped on different quadrants of the lights. It depends upon what baffling system is used. Using the exposed conduit allows the light fixtures to be moved in or out if they become bothersome. That issue would be covered in their next stage of design development.
Commissioner McConnell said she continues to believe that the brick look is the way to go. Regarding the lighting, she wants them to make it as light as possible inside.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether the base price includes security items. Mr. Rebora said they include the empty conduits but not the guts of the system. Commissioner Schnell asked his estimate of the cost for additional security items. Mr. Rebora said the white lights, high ceilings, glass walls in the elevator/stairwells are included. The intercom and video surveillance is not included and the cost could be between $100,000-$300,000. Commissioner Schnell said it needs to look good and be safe. She said they should look at security so that people feel it is a safe facility. An investment of $100,000 in security in a $10.7 million project is an investment in the residents. Mr. Rebora said security is in the design development phase. He said they have made some suggestions already on security, and now they would have to incorporate the Village’s recommendations as well. He said that the perception of user friendliness is often in the design and size, and not so much the cameras, etc. Commissioner Schnell asked about floor height, and Mr. Rebora said that after the ground level, every floor would be 8’4” high.
Commissioner Schnell then said that she thought there would be an analysis on the impact of this size of garage on the entrances and exits onto Washington and Curtiss Streets. Mr. Rebora said the traffic analysis is part of their contract and needs to be started. They have been waiting for the completion of the schematic design. Commissioner Schnell asked whether that analysis will provide an idea of the impact of this size of garage on the downtown, and Mr. Rebora said it would.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked about the pedestrian entrances and stairwells, and what consideration has to be given to the heating issues for those areas in the winter. Mr. Rebora said there is a cost associated with that as well. They do normally heat the ground level lobbies.
Commissioner Zabloudil then asked about the special events area on the first level and whether it could be expanded from the proposed 5,000 square feet. Mr. Rebora said it can be expanded. He said the 12’ clearance is to the bottom of the beam. They could raise the ground level height but they will lose parking spaces. The grade is currently 5% at the first ramp. Higher than that would be a speed ramp, which is not parkable. Commissioner Zabloudil asked about expanding the 5,000 square foot area to perhaps 8,000 square feet. Mr. Rebora said they could expand. Their program was not to develop 5,000 square feet but to develop some type of special events area. The plan was to maintain the entrance off Curtiss. The Mayor asked if they could move south with that events area, and Mr. Rebora said they could possibly move further south of the proposed area to expand it. That might be a good idea and he said he will look at the costs associated with that change.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked whether there are different thicknesses to the face brick. Mr. Rebora said there are different brands and methods used in the casting. They do not effect the end result.
Commissioner Sisul asked about the Council’s procedure at this point, and whether they would be coming to a decision as to the design concept and surface. He said there seems to be a consensus that they want to proceed with supporting the brick exterior.
The Mayor said that staff is recommending placing this on the July 17 Agenda. He asked about the maintenance expenses associated over the life of the garage with the recommendation of using the brick facade. Mr. Rebora said he does not believe there is any. Any building requires maintenance such as washing and cleaning.
The Mayor asked if the public had any comments or questions.
Mike Norberg, 1713 White Place, asked whether any of the brick faces are more graffiti resistance than another type. Mr. Rebora said that the brick they are proposing is similar in texture and feel to other brick. He suggested that in the design development they look at special sprayed-on coating sealers for the exterior. The Mayor asked if that would create a different look from the rest of the building. Mr. Rebora said there are products they use that do not affect the appearance.
Steve McCready, 7225 Camden Road, said he agreed with Commissioner Schnell that they need to do this right if he wants his wife and family to utilize the facility. He said he thought Lt. Church said that one community parked squad cars in their facility and had no crime in that facility. Mr. McCready suggested using squad cars for placement on the floors, and also agreed with the manpower issue. He suggested that the squad cars go through the facility at each of their shift changes as a daily event.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS None
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Attorney Blondin said he was presenting seven items to the Council: 1) Amendment to Planned Development #31; 2) Parking on Cumnor and Concord Drive; 3) South High permit parking; 4) a License agreement with the Rotary Club for Octoberfest; 5) Special Use for the Park District Recreational Center; 6) a Zoning Ordinance amendment regarding churches in residential zones; and 7) a Zoning Ordinance amendment regarding signage for colleges and universities. These items are on the Active Agenda for next week.
Commissioner Tully said it was an outstanding 4th of July picnic and he commended the Community Events Commission.
Commissioner McConnell echoed those comments, stating she thought the picnic area was great fun. It was a great 4th of July.
Commissioner Schnell concurred that the 4th of July party was wonderful and brought the community together.
Commissioner Schnell then commented that the Council had received materials last week from METRA regarding the Belmont underpass turning lanes. It spoke about the need for a left turning lane going south at Prairie, and a north turning lane going left at Haddow. She asked whether they can get some input from METRA regarding these plans, since the Park District is also being asked to install a left turn lane by IDOT . She would like to see that information obtained prior to next week regarding coordinating where the right-of-way is coming from. They need to look at the big picture on this matter, and she would appreciate any information they can get from METRA .
The Mayor said information is available. Regarding Prairie they will need land acquisition for the west side of Prairie. He said that METRA ’s concern is who will be paying for the left turn lane. There are four agencies that must address the issue and they need to figure out the funding source.
Commissioner Zabloudil said he thought the 4th of July parade and fireworks were wonderful, and he commended staff for the excellent clean up within a matter of hours after the festivities.
Commissioner Gilbert said he thought the parade went well, and he thanked everyone for their positive comments. He said the 4th of July party was considered a resounding success. He said more advertising is needed. He said the next event coming up is August 18 and 19 with the Bike Race in downtown Downers Grove.
Commissioner Sisul added his compliments to the Community Events Commission for an excellent 4th of July celebration. He alto noted the presence of Larry Musielak of the Zoning Commission at tonight’s meeting.
The Mayor asked about the parade route for next year, as people asked him whether the intention was to move it around year to year. Manager Ginex said that the comments he heard from the citizens were that they enjoyed having it in the neighborhood, and there were some recommendations to have it on the north side next year.
There being no further discussion, the Mayor adjourned the Workshop meeting at 8:50 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh/