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, Martin Tully, Mark Zabloudil; Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Daniel Blondin; Village Clerk April Holden
Visitors: Press: Susie Gura, Downers Grove Reporter Residents & Others in Attendance: Mike Kubes (Liq. Comm.) 5538 Lyman; Marilynn Gerloff, 4241 Highland; Roger Crisman, 1140 Gilbert; Mark Kudelko, 1200 Gilbert; Mary Eckdhal, 6204 Middaugh; Donna & William Skoumal, 4904 Belmont Rd.; Marilyn & Kerry Krafthefer, 5 Oak Brook Club, Oak Brook; Fred J. Fratto, 6205 Middaugh; Nancy & John Stapleton, 1220 62nd St; Lou Kueltzo, 1224 60th Pl.; David Hankes, Webmaster; Peter Hultman 1410 Gilbert; Jack McGuire; 1425 Gilbert; Stephanie Johnson, 4700 Northcott; Dave Bradley (Bradley Group) 1032 Ogden; Ray W. Buhrmaster, 1436 Gilbert; Susan Brown, 1508 Gilbert; Andrew Clark, 1226 62nd St.; Scott Krafthefer, Todd Thiessen (Oakwood Development) 4937 Oakwood & 1311 Maple; Michael Cody, P. Fortello (CVG Design Group) 604 N. Washington, Naperville; Alan Enzbigilis, 1526 62nd St.; Henry & Jean Garavoglia, 6230 Middaugh; Linda Kunze (Downtown Management Board) 1015 Curtiss; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; Laurel Bowen, 829 Clyde; Ronald E. Moravec, 5935 Brookbank; Patil Sulkim, 81 Edgewood, LaGrange; Kristin Boyd, 124 N Madison, LaGrange; Bridget Broner, 744 Prairie; Bill & Andrew Van Buren, 6576 Fairview; Martin J. Estall, 5512 Main; John & Jacquelyn Provenzale, 5243 Carpenter; Maureen & Mark Grove; 6576 Berrywood Lane; Gordon L. Goodman, 5834 Middaugh; Jack & Jackie Cleary, 1712 Darien Club Dr., Darien; Joan Michel, 6604 Middaugh; Mike Satela, 1137 Curtiss; Bruce Gottelmeyer, 4528 Washington; Edward Rickert (Smith, Rickert & Smith) 5117 Main; Eric A. Munzenmay, 4904 Lee; Rita Martin, 4942 Montgomery; Mark Morrison, 6002 Middaugh; Chris Hayden, 1219 60th Place; Roger Godel, 1237 60th Place; Pat Peterman, 1143 Gilbert; Joe Nagy, 331 3rd Street; Jim Gaspar, 6555 Berrywood; Larry Rosol, Mike Zaremba, Andy Collins, Regina Miller, Tom Pazol & Ed Richert, Rosol Construction, Inc. Staff: Don Rosenthal, Director, Code Services; Jack Bajor, Director, Public Works; Sue Brassfield, Grants Coordinator; Trisha Steele, Asst. Director, Financial Services; Kathy Des Marteau, Redevelopment; Liangfu Wu, Director, Information Services; Steve Ruffolo, Director of Operations, Public Works; Jane Gerdes, Asst. Director, Public Works; Lanny Russell, Fire Chief; David Burns, Deputy Fire Chief; Ken Rathje, Director, Planning Services; Amanda Brown, Planner; David Hankes, Webmaster; Mike Baker, Asst. to the Village Manager; Doug Kozlowski, Public Information Officer
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 noted two changes to the agenda. He said that the Traffic Signal Maintenance Contract has been removed, and the grant application for the Phase II of the Lacey Creek restoration has been added to the agenda.
Sidewalk Improvement. Manager Ginex said staff recommends awarding a contract to M&C Scavelli, Inc, which was the lowest of the six bids received, at a cost of $295,960.20, plus a 5% contingency. Staff further recommends the two additional locations of 40th & Glendenning and Earlston Roads at an additional amount of $40,230.
Injury Reduction Initiatives – Fire Department. The Manager said it is hoped this program will reduce the frequency of lower-back on-duty injuries. Staff recommends awarding a contract to RSK Co for $17,241.75, and Edward Fitness at $4,320.
Downers Drive Directional Bore 550’ 12” Storm Sewer. The Manager said staff recommends awarding this contract in the mount of $39,875 to Metro Underground Services, Inc., for drainage work on the 4500 block of Downers Drive.
Traffic Signal Maintenance Contract. The Manager said this item has been removed from the agenda.
Fire Hydrant Supply. The Manager said staff recommends a contract for FY 2001 /02 in the amount of $65,254.50 to U.S. Filter Distribution.
Water Insertion Valves Supply & Labor. The Manager said staff recommends approving the contract extension with Free Flow Tapping & Inserting Company for FY 2001 /02 in the amount of $34,855 which is a 2% increase over the previous contract.
Commissioner Gilbert asked about the Fire Department’s initiation of monthly safety committee meetings, as he understood they had already been meeting.
Deputy Fire Chief Burns responded that the Safety Committee has been inactive for a while, and is now being reactivated.
Commissioner McConnell asked whether the $21,000 is in the budget. Manager Ginex said it was in account 5315.
Commissioner McConnell said in the Fire Department’s Action Plan there were a number of goals stated, and she asked whether there was a timeframe for those goals. Deputy Chief Burns said they started implementing the action plan last year and have seen some reduction in the frequency of injuries. Various elements of the plan have been implemented since the proposal was written. Pending Council’s approval, they will establish a timetable for implementation within a few weeks.
Commissioner McConnell noted there were six work-task analyses, and three workstation analyses. She asked how those would be selected. Deputy Chief Burns said they would choose the six most common activities causing injuries. There will be an analysis conducted on one engine, one ladder truck and one ambulance.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether they set up base line data. Deputy Chief Burns said he compiled a 5-year history which was provided to the Council. That forms the baseline he is using at this time for frequency and severity rates. He said he would be using the current year.
Commissioner Tully commented on the sidewalk improvement alternate bid for Area 1 and the status of the wetland bank project in that area.
Jack Bajor , Director, Public Works, said he, Commissioner Schnell and some staff attended a meeting with the County, and they will be completing the work in the wetland area this fall. There is another meeting scheduled for August 9.
Commissioner Tully then asked about the alternate bid and asked when the 60-day period begins for the contract. Mr. Bajor said it would begin now. He said the Village wants to work with the County and have it ready to go for next year.
Commissioner Schnell said that at the County meeting, they said they could not do earthmoving until late fall, with restoration in the spring. There still have to be three public hearings. This will not be done in the next sixty days.
Manager Ginex said the bids would be placed on the next Council Consent Agenda.
Budget Amendment Ordinance. The Manager said that last October 5 he came before the Council asking for assistance in obtaining a Block grant to purchase computers for the investigations unit. The Village awarded $14,084 in federal funding with a 10% match. Purchase of the computers was delayed until the Police Department renovation was completed. That work is done, and they are now ready to proceed with the purchase of the computers.
Phase I – E-permitting. The Manager said staff would make a presentation on the permitting process. He asked Mr. Rosenthal and Dr. Wu to comment on this item.
Dr. Wu , Director, Information Services, made a slide presentation.
Don Rosenthal , Director, Code Services, explained how staff consolidated some of the permit forms to make the process easier for applicants. Mr. Rosenthal said citizens would be able to access permit information and forms on the Internet, as well as obtaining standard paper forms at Village Hall. He described forms displayed in the slide presentation. Mr. Rosenthal said the program includes an explanation of Code Enforcement, a “Meet the Staff” section, instructions on how to apply for a permit, a description of the forms center, on-line permitting, and frequently asked questions. He explained that this is a test phase of the project.
Commissioner McConnell asked how the program would be tested, and Mr. Rosenthal said it would be done internally at this time.
Commissioner Tully complimented the presentation and asked what staff envisions as the final project. Mr. Rosenthal said that the applicant would send the staff an electronically encrypted file. They will eventually have to come in for the permit.
Commissioner Sisul said it has taken eight years to get to this point, and he is encouraged by the steps staff has taken. It is a great simplification of the permitting process.
Commissioner Gilbert asked whether simple plans could be transmitted electronically in this process. Mr. Rosenthal said they could not at this time; however, they are looking at the possibility of taking plans on diskettes or burnable CDs.
Commissioner Zabloudil said this is a great start. He asked whether the information will be noted to the applicant as having been received. Mr. Rosenthal said each applicant will have a profile established which would follow that individual with any future applicants. Regarding confirmation, Dr. Wu said the applicant would be able to check their status themselves in their profile information.
Dr. Wu said that what they have presented today is still yesterday’s technology. This is only the first phase. The second phase will be on-line permitting. The goal is to reduce the trips residents have to make to the Village Hall. He then commented on working with the Code Enforcement staff, saying it was a pleasure to work with them. He said this represents a huge change in their operation, and staff has to learn all of these new procedures.
The Mayor asked about comments received from the Technology Committee. Dr. Wu said they have been shown the prototype of the e-permitting, and they responded positively. He hopes to be back to the Council with the second phase of this project within 3-4 months, which he said would be today’s technology.
Commissioner Schnell also congratulated staff on this, stating she was glad to see it coming. She asked how this will be publicized. Dr. Wu said they met with the Chamber a few weeks ago, and will go to their board meeting in August. They will send out information to all of their members. In addition, the information will be published on the website.
Contract for TIF Analysis with Kane McKenna & Associates. The Manager said Kane McKenna previously provided consulting on the development of the downtown, Ogden Avenue and TIF Areas. He said they will recommend the most reasonable financing strategies for public improvements and private new development, and they will provide a financial backbone for the multiple downtown redevelopment efforts.
Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program Grant Application . The Manager said this grant will support Phase II of the Orchard Brook Lacey Creek Restoration Project. It requires a 40% match of Village funds and would be funded from the Storm Water Management account. The Phase II plan consists of clearing and planting, as well as additional planting to enhance and maintain the Phase I work. He said staff requests waiving the one-week waiting period to permit timely filing of the grant application to the Illinois Department of Environmental Protection Agency.
Local Law Enforcement Block Grant. The Manager said staff is requesting waiving the one-week waiting period on this grant as well. He said the Police Department was allotted $18,941, and there is a required 10% match for the grant which will come from police funds. He said the Advisory Board recommended using the grant funds for a police community support van. The Mayor asked why they need the waiver. Manager Ginex said they only received this two weeks ago, and it has to be submitted tomorrow.
Commissioner Tully asked the Manager to explain the need for the van. Manager Ginex said the Police Department has a Community Support program. Staff for that program use their own personal vehicles to move the displays around the community for programs such as Stranger Danger, Home Security Inspections, or Safety Town, etc.
Telecommunications Tax IMF Swap. The Manager said that based upon recent legislation in the PrimeCo case, the staff is recommending the swap of the current 1% IMF fee, and an addition of 1% to the Telecommunications Tax.
Commissioner Tully asked the status of the PrimeCo case. Village Attorney Blondin said that it has already been decided by the Illinois Supreme Court, and is back at the trial court level now. The Illinois Supreme Court ruling found the IMF unconstitutional. Technically, Downers Grove and most other communities outside of Chicago are not defendants in the suit. However, the decision will apply to the Village as well. He said staff determined it best to take this proactive measure at this time. Since that IMF fee is no longer collectible, this action makes it revenue neutral.
Commissioner Tully asked if there could be a change in the ruling down the road. Attorney Blondin said there have been some negotiations at the State level to adopt legislation to increase the telecommunications rate from 5% to 6%. Another possibility coming in the future might include the State collecting the Telecommunications tax and paying funds back to the Village.
The Mayor said the legislation is a two-step process which will raise the tax to 6%, in addition to making the State the collection agency of sorts. Attorney Blondin said there are some concerns which have to be addressed in terms of how the funds will be processed.
The Mayor asked whether the courts have addressed the issue of back payments.
Attorney Blondin said it is not clear if it only applies to the wireless fees. There are still many questions open regarding the amount that would be paid back.
Commissioner Tully asked if it was correct that since the PrimeCo decision the Village has been escrowing wireless fees.
Trisha Steele , Assistant Director, Financial Services said 25% of the fees collected have been escrowed since the ruling. Attorney Blondin said the Village does not know what amount of fees in some cases were for wireless fees.
The Mayor addressed a question to the Finance Committee concerning the Telecommunications tax. He said most of the communities in the corridor are at the maximum 6%, while the Village is at 3.5%. He asked that the committee look at raising the telecommunications tax as an option to further reduce property taxes. The Village rebated $1 million in taxes last year in property taxes. He said they had discussed this during the budget hearings. Ms. Steele said they would look into that.
Bradley’s Brookbank Prairie Subdivision Approval . The Manager asked Ken Rathje to make the presentation.
Ken Rathje , Director, Planning Services, described the site, stating it is between Brookbank and Middaugh on approximately 4.85 acres of property. There are three parts to the petition. The first is a recommendation from the Zoning Board of Appeals requesting zoning from R-1 to R-3, consistent with surrounding zoning. The Zoning Board of Appeals has forwarded a positive recommendation. He noted that the difference between R-1 and R-3 is primarily lot size. The second and third parts of the petition were petitions heard by the Plan Commission. In May 2000 there was a hearing regarding a request for the vacation of a portion of Middaugh Avenue to the west of the subject property. The final petition was heard by the Plan Commission on July 10 for approval of the final plat of subdivision. The Plan Commission forwarded unanimous positive recommendations on both petitions.
Mr. Rathje said the area in question has a significant section of wetlands of which 1.05 acres will be left untouched. The proposal is for seven single-family lots ranging from 11,500 square feet to over 39,000 square feet. The engineering has been completed and a written certificate has been provided by the Village’s engineer. He noted that there were about 15 items referenced by the engineer as part of the certification. Mr. Rathje said the proposed development will result in the completion of Brookbank Road. About 300 feet has been unfinished for some time. With the approval of the subdivision, the developer would complete that road. There would have to be coordination between the Public Works Department and the developer regarding that road completion, as the Public Works Department is planning the installation of new watermains in 2002. Mr. Rathje said there are lot depth exceptions requested for Lots 3, 4, 5 and 6 primarily caused by the associated wetlands.
Concerning the vacation of Middaugh Avenue, Mr. Rathje said that the staff and petitioner have been informed that there are reservations on the part of the Council for this vacation. In that regard, he said that Mr. Bradley would like to address the Council concerning some modifications to the subdivision that might address those reservations.
The Mayor said there have been a number of communications between the Council members and some residents regarding the issue. He said that the Village Manager, Mr. Rathje, the Mayor and the petitioner met to discuss a means of addressing the vacation. He asked Mr. Rathje to explain that proposal.
Mr. Rathje said that in the event the vacation is not granted, the northwesternmost lot would be reduced to 60 feet in width. The discussion with Mr. Bradley included the possibility of taking the reserved land which would have been part of Lot 1 and combining it with Lot 2. In the event that occurred, Lot 2 would measure 140 feet east to west by 144.80 feet north to south, with an area of 20,272 square feet. In the discussion, he said they noted the possibility that the developer would be responsible for specific improvements to the east and west sides of the streets. In addition, there would be the possibility that no roadway improvements would proceed north of the proposed Arnold Court, which would be the cul de sac coming in from Middaugh. Mr. Rathje pointed out on the map the area that would be affected by the Middaugh improvements waiver being suggested. He referred to one of the drawings in the packet which says “storm sewer, sanitary sewers,” on which the pavement improvement is shown.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether the developer intends to include the walking path. Mr. Rathje said that Mr. Bradley volunteered to do the walking path, as the Park District requested it as part of the vacation. It is not something that cannot be required by the Village as it is an off-site improvement.
Mr. Rathje then added that the wetlands will be covered by a complete easement as well as a buffer area. They will remain untouched and will be owned and maintained by the homeowners’ association of the property. The restrictive covenants are part of the Plat of Subdivision and will be recorded as part of that. The Homeowners Association covenants will be recorded as a separate document and these documents have been reviewed by the Village Attorney.
Dave Bradley , Bradley Land Group, 1032 Ogden Avenue, said that they have gone through a lot of planning and organization to put this piece together, and they have worked on it for close to two years. They have gone through a number of stages including many engineering obstacles, government agencies and neighborhood meetings. He said that their goal is to develop the property in an environmentally friendly way, and in a way that is profitable to the developer and that will be an asset to the neighborhood. He understood that Council was concerned about the vacation aspects, and that is why they met to discuss an alternate plan with the Village Manager. He believes the plan needs to move forward.
Commissioner Gilbert asked when he will be submitting a 6-lot plan. Mr. Bradley said they will quickly renumber the plat removing the lot line and submitting it for approval by the Council. The Mayor said if they are to go with the second option, they could approve the proposal subject to the submittal of the new drawings. Mr. Rathje said that Mr. Jungwirth said the modifications will not adversely affect the engineering. The Attorney said it would come up for approval within two weeks at the earliest. He said the Ordinance itself will describe the differences between the changed plat and the original plat.
The Mayor said he received an e-mail from someone on Brookbank regarding the potential increased traffic after the street is changed to a two-way street. He suggested that staff do traffic counts at that time to determine the need for traffic control signage.
Commissioner McConnell asked Mr. Bradley about the improvements to the walking path. Mr. Bradley said that with the proposed vacation the Park District was concerned about having the walkway for the neighborhood continue north of 59th Street. At that point they agreed, and based on the support of the neighborhood and the need for it, they will continue to provide those improvements. The Park District indicated there were problems having a path of concrete or asphalt due to an existing floodway, and recommended use of other materials which Mr. Bradley said he has agreed to use.
Commissioner Tully asked Mr. Bradley what the schedule would be. Mr. Bradley said they would begin as quickly as possible, and the market will direct the completion date. The Village has a two-year letter of credit requirement, and they intend to complete it by then.
Commissioner Tully said he noticed that there is a watermain replacement scheduled for 2002 and wondered how the construction schedule would fit in with that replacement. Mr. Bradley said the Public Works Department has been in contact with him regarding that replacement, and the development of the roadway. Mr. Bradley said that the cul de sac would be built as soon as possible. That would be followed by the earth work and detention areas, followed by the road cuts and installation of underground sewers and water connections. He said timing depends upon the availability of subcontractors and materials.
Commissioner McConnell thanked Mr. Bradley for the work and effort made for this difficult area.
Commissioner Zabloudil said he would not want to pursue vacating the right-of-way at this point in time. It would be a dangerous precedent. He supports the modification of Lots 1 and 2 and suggests moving forward with the improvements described. He said he agreed with the waiver on improvements to Middaugh.
Commissioner Gilbert said he agreed with Commissioner Zabloudil. He said there is logic and reason for Middaugh to be completed at some point in time. He said he sympathized with the residents who have lived in an area which is unsettled to some degree; however, he believes it is ill advised for the Village to give away the right-of-way. He said even if the Village was to give away a vacated right-of-way , the Village should be compensated for that vacation. He suggested discussing that in more detail in the future. Regarding the Middaugh area, he said it was commented in the Plan Commission meeting that the need for the street might change at some point in time. He has no problem closing it off in a fashion described tonight and likes the proposed walking path.
Commissioner Sisul said he has had a problem with vacating Village rights-of-way for a long time. He questions the ability of one Council to regulate what needs to be done in the future. He is very pleased that an agreement has been developed. He said that Middaugh might not ever be developed in the future. He does support six lots versus seven.
Commissioner Schnell said she had a different view regarding the vacation. She said by vacating the parcel on Middaugh they are protecting the wetland, the Park District property and property that the Village leases to the Park District. It is an area that is prone to flooding and has had some problems. Presently it serves a purpose as a floodway. She said that Middaugh is fairly narrow with a lot of hills. It is difficult to navigate if there are vehicles parked on the road. Children use the road, and there is not a complete sidewalk system. Commissioner Schnell said that Mr. Bradley has met with the neighbors and has hopefully come up with a satisfactory solution. She said she found it problematic that this proposal has changed at the eleventh hour. She would be in favor of vacating Middaugh because she thinks it is what is right for the neighborhood and protects the wetlands. As far as Brookbank and the fact that it will now be a two-lane street, she understands the neighbors’ concerns. There are enforcement issues that need to be addressed immediately. Brookbank has always been designed and planned for completion. The difference is that in the Neighborhood Plan Brookbank is shown to be completed, and Middaugh is shown not to be completed. She thinks that is because of the wetland and water issues. As a Village they need to do a very good job in the beginning of enforcement of the changes to Brookbank. She said that her first desire would be to vacate Middaugh; however, she applauds Mr. Bradley and the fact that he was willing to compromise. She said although she thinks the right thing to do is vacate Middaugh, she will support the proposal.
Commissioner McConnell said she is favor of not vacating Middaugh. She appreciates Mr. Bradley’s willingness to redo Lots 1 and 2. She also agrees to waiving the 140 feet along the west edge. She suggested setting up a multi-group task force to look at the options to address the area needs in regard to children going back and forth in that community. She believes some of the neighbors would be willing to be involved in that.
Commissioner Tully asked if there is any serious engineering obstacle to putting Brookbank through. Mr. Rathje said no; the engineering has been certified, which means it is buildable.
Commissioner Tully said that no petition has been made to open up Middaugh, and the question is whether that property should be vacated. He said he cannot think of a reason as to why anyone would want to open up Middaugh, given its location. Having said that, he did look at the Neighborhood Plan which he quoted as follows: “any dedicated right of way which is not needed to provide access now or in the future be vacated.” It was the last part of that sentence which bothered him. He cannot conceive of any reason why anyone would want to open up Middaugh, but it is the future that troubles him. He cannot say what might happen 25 years from now, and he would not want to be in a position where someone’s options were restricted by someone else 25 years ago. He is reluctant to vacate the right-of-way. Now that the six-lot plan has been established, it is a win/win situation in his opinion, and they will not have to give up the right-of-way. He is in favor of the six-lot plan and extended his appreciation to Mr. Bradley for his cooperation. He is also inclined to waive the improvements on Middaugh which were discussed earlier. He further said he appreciated the efforts of Mr. Bradley in his attempt to identify the issues and reach out in advance to the neighborhood.
The Mayor said he has a problem with giving away the Village’s right-of-way. He cannot see any short-term or long-term reason to put Middaugh through. He is concerned about setting a precedent on other streets. The Mayor said he favors the second alternative which has been presented as well, and also has no problem with the waiver regarding Middaugh. He indicated there are probably many other streets which people would like to have to themselves, and this would set a bad precedent in his opinion.
Mark Morrison , 6002 Middaugh, said he lives across the street from the proposed development. He applauded the staff and Council and said that the attention to detail that he has seen by staff is incredible, and he appreciates that. They listened to the concerns of residents and explained terms that they did not understand. He said the volume of paperwork implied that a lot of work was done. Mr. Morrison said that in the Commission meetings he attended, the Commissioners listened to the concerns of the residents. He said he has petitioned the residents on Middaugh, and those residents were concerned with the possibility of opening up Middaugh. Mr. Morrison presented the Council with the latest copy of the petition not to connect Middaugh Avenue. He said having the cul de sac go through gets them part way to getting Middaugh connected which will create a thoroughfare from 55th Street to 63rd Street. That will cause traffic problems. The residents of Middaugh have indicated in the petition that that is a major concern. They want to see Middaugh remain closed, either through a vacation to Mr. Bradley, or some other document that would assure that Middaugh remain closed.
Commissioner Tully said he understands the concern; however, no one is promoting the idea of putting it through. By not vacating the property, they are taking the current concerns into account as well as the future concerns.
Mr. Morrison said that the plan proposed is positive in many respects, and Mr. Bradley worked with the neighbors on many concerns.
Chris Hayden , 1219 60th Place, thanked the staff, Mayor, Council, and Manager for accepting his call for guidance and assistance. He does not consider himself a spokesman for the neighborhood. Mr. Hayden said that during the various meetings the neighbors had with staff and the Village it was obvious that vacating the land was not an acceptable procedure. He asked the Council to reconsider its position in that the Village has been a poor steward of the pathway. He and his son have shoveled the path out. During the washout, the Village Public Works Department has given less than a sympathetic ear to the fact that the path was washed out again, and it was left to the neighbors to rebuild the path. He said that the voices of the neighbors do not seem to penetrate the lower levels of Village government. Mr. Hayden said he can understand the Village’s hesitancy. He stated he favors the idea of a task force made up of neighbors, staff, Park District personnel and other appropriate organizations. He asked whether the task force could generate a set of recommendations on establishing a higher level of stewardship for the property. He said he heard references made to Ordinance 2324 of 1979. What was said in 1979 is still rock solid in his opinion. After Mr. Bradley’s development, there are only three lots on Middaugh south of 60th Place, and north of 60th Place there are two lots left for building. There is a finite amount of land available that can dramatically affect the neighborhood. He asked Commissioner Sisul, based on his earlier comments, what changes he would consider as definitive that would demand the vacation.
Commissioner Sisul thanked Mr. Hayden for his participation in this issue. He said he is hesitant to speculate. He thinks the street has engineering problems, and it would have to be a very significant occurrence to create consideration for a vacation of the street. He said the Village has already vacated some rights-of-way where it was not a very good idea in his opinion.
Mr. Hayden said he supported the concept of a task force. He said the primary point that the neighborhood would like to participate in is to generate an expected level of stewardship, and to directly address Ordinance 2324 and its relevance at this time. They would also like the opportunity to make recommendations. He said the neighbors have significant reservations on the traffic impact of this development, and they would like to see recommendations made regarding above-ground storm sewers. He volunteered his services and knew of other people who are interested in participating.
Roger Godel , 1237 60th Place, asked that everyone become totally familiar with the road before they make any decision to go forward with any extension on Middaugh.
Nancy Stapleton , 1220 62nd Place, said she would like to add another requirement of the task force, which is to look at the beautification of Brookbank. There is a median strip for which no one wants to be responsible. There is no consistency in the maintenance of the strip, and it is primarily used as a dog run which is unclean. She said there are good examples of other similar medians in other communities that should be investigated. In relation to the traffic study, there have already been two traffic studies done on Brookbank. She does not see that another is needed until the road is finished.
Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, said the Plan Commission meeting was held two weeks ago, and this is already on the Workshop agenda. The Parking and Traffic Commission looked at this issue only one week ago. He asked whether it is necessary to vote on this at the first August meeting, or can they wait until they receive the Parking and Traffic report. He doesn’t think it’s necessary to hurry the vote after all the time they have spent in studying the development.
Dr. Goodman said he is pleased that the Council is looking carefully at its previous practice of vacating land. He sees that as short-sighted. Often vacated land is valuable land that can serve as connections in the Village. He also thought Commissioner McConnell’s comments on obtaining cooperation between the appropriate agencies in development of the rights-of-way was good. He said he has been recommending for some time that the Village and Park District have cooperative agreements regarding the management of such lands. Dr. Goodman repeated he was pleased that they do not feel this has to be vacated. The development will be strong without the seventh buildable lot. Dr. Goodman said a great deal of care has gone into planning this development and the engineering associated with it. It would have been better if the Park District could have purchased the land, however. He said the Park District was interested in doing so; however, Mr. Bradley did not want to sell it. He said that the Village has balancing to do, particularly where there is an opportunity to work for more recreational and open space for the community in the area.
Andrew Clark , 1226 62nd Street, said he supported the Council’s decision not to vacate Middaugh. He questioned the plan regarding the sidewalk portion being adjacent to the curb rather than a 14 foot grassy parkway. He would support a parkway and placing the sidewalk away from the street. He believes a 14 foot parkway is the Village standard, and he referred to the recent issue of the sidewalk plan for the recreation center along Belmont Road. Mr. Rathje responded that the median has taken up a significant portion of the right-of-way that would be useable for a parkway, and that is why the sidewalk has been placed close to the street. The Mayor asked if the sidewalk can be used to the west, and Mr. Rathje said he did not think the sidewalk could be used at all because of the wetlands. Mr. Bradley said the sidewalk has been made wider than a typical sidewalk which is 5 feet. This is 6 feet. The wetlands on the northeast corner of the property make the sidewalk placement problematic. They believed some sidewalk was better than none. Mr. Clark said he thought the initial plan at a neighborhood meeting showed a grassy area. Mr. Bradley said he did not believe there was such a plan shown, because the wetlands was a primary issue in the layout of the subdivision. The Mayor asked Mr. Rathje to have Mr. Jungwirth check the wetland issue again.
Ronald Moravec , 5935 Brookbank, said he was glad that everyone realizes there is a problem with children being able to traverse certain areas such as the uncompleted part of Brookbank. He said this is a problem in the entire Village. He said sidewalks are not being kept clear, and he does not know if there is an ordinance to keep them clear. It’s impossible for a resident to clean the sidewalks, even if they wanted to, because the snow plows throw the snow onto the sidewalks. If a sidewalk is installed close to the road, it will be useless. Children will be walking the streets as has been done for years. He is surprised that more accidents have not occurred. In his area going to Hillcrest school, the sidewalks are not cleaned, and children walk in the streets. La Grange Park and Hinsdale clear the sidewalks using a special machine. Mr. Moravec said the Village is sorely lacking in providing any ways to assist pedestrians in the winter. There are elderly who don’t want to or cannot drive, and there is nothing for them. He said consideration should be given to pedestrian problems that occur during the winter.
Commissioner Gilbert asked if Mr. Moravec was suggesting that they should not put the sidewalk in at all. Mr. Moravec said he is suggesting they make the sidewalk an extension of the sidewalk on either end of the development. They should build it and provide some method for keeping it clear. He said the plan he remembers seeing did not have a sidewalk that close to the road. Commissioner Gilbert said there is no easy answer given the presence of the wetlands. There are legal as well as cost issues involved.
Robert Michel, 6004 Middaugh Court, said he has lived there for 25 years, and whenever he wanted to go north, east or west, he had to go to 63rd, Brookbank or Carpenter. Putting through Middaugh would make it very easy for him and others, but it would be a bad thing for the neighborhood and Downers Grove. It would cause safety problems for the children who attend three neighborhood schools and who use that road. He suggested vacating Middaugh now. His concern is future Council members who might want to put the street through, and he does not want to see that happen.
Jeff Eckdhal , 6204 Middaugh, said that a lot of work has been put into this development. There is no good reason to have Middaugh go through, and he thinks it would be a good precedent to vacate Middaugh through the cooperation with the builder. It would put the issue to bed. He sees no good reason to have Middaugh open.
Dr. Goodman addressed the Council again commenting on the question of sidewalk alignment along Brookbank. He said that in the packet provided by the developer there is a geometric plan showing the rights-of-way on both sides of the pavement portion of Brookbank. On the east side the right-of-way extends very little with no room for a sidewalk. There is adequate right-of-way on the west side, but it is a question of how the grading is done. The wetland delineation does not go into the right-of-way. To make the roadway there will have to be a very steep drop off. He suggested giving them a little more separation between the right-of-way and the sidewalk. He sees it as a grading question rather than a wetland question. He supported Mr. Moravec’s and Mr. Clark’s concerns.
There being no further discussion, Mayor Krajewski called for a brief recess. Upon return, the Mayor began consideration of the next agenda item.
Gilbert/Curtiss Landbank Proposals. The Mayor asked Mike Baker to explain the next proposals.
Mike Baker , Assistant to the Village Manager, said that the Council asked staff to undertake an RFP process and submit the top two finalists to the Council. The RFP was released on May 15 to 20 qualified residential builders. A pre-submission conference was held on June 21 and a deadline for submissions was July 13. Two groups submitted proposals, On July 16, a review team convened to review the proposals and determined that both met the basic criteria of the RFP . The two proposals were from Oakwood Development and Rosol construction.
The Mayor said that the Council adopted Resolution 78-49 in 1978 commonly known as the Landbanking Policy. He read a portion of that proposal and explained what the intent of the policy was. He noted that the last landbank property was purchased in 1990. He said the Council is now going to hear proposals for developing the property and intends to turn the property back to private ownership. He said the Council has seen the proposals and there have been pros and cons expressed on each of the proposals.
Mr. Baker noted that pictures for both proposals are on the Village website.
The Mayor added that the Council will not be deciding anything tonight but will merely be getting additional feedback and answers to some of their questions.
Scott Krafthefer , 4937 Oakwood, said he was President of Oakwood Development. He said they are referring to the proposed development of the landbank properties as Hidden Creek. He introduced members of the project team. The architect is the Charles Vincent George Design Group, and Thiessen Construction is the builder. Mr. Krafthefer said the proposal is to build sixteen luxury townhouses ranging in price from $357,000-$475,000 for a total project cost of $6.9 million. The total project size is 41,000 square feet.
Mike Cody of the Charles Vincent George architect group said they had four objectives in this proposal: 1) develop a proposal to meet the architecture and character of the neighborhood. 2) preserve as many of the large trees as possible; 3) increase the character of the neighborhood while maintaining low density – their plan calls for 16 units with an open courtyard and gazebo at the easternmost portion of the site; 4) meet zoning requirements which call for large front and side yard setbacks. They have compromised the sideyards inside the units. The front yard along Gilbert would require a variation of less than 50% reduction, which is allowable.
Mr. Krafthefer said if the project was awarded, they would expect to close on the land in January, begin demolition in February, and start construction in the spring with a 5-7 month building period. He said the project would compliment the downtown area. They would market the project to empty nesters and white-collar workers. He thanked the Council for its consideration.
Commissioner Schnell asked what the height of the building would be. Mr. Krafthefer said it is a two-story building with a partially exposed basement. There is a 30 foot maximum height. Commissioner Schnell noted that the garage for Unit #12 faces Gilbert. Mr. Krafthefer said the depth of the lot is too narrow to get a garage behind the building. In further response to Commissioner Schnell, Mr. Krafthefer said the open area would be maintained by the homeowners but would be accessible to the public. He did not know how many trees had to be razed at this time; however, if they had to reconfigure buildings that could be considered in some places. Commissioner Schnell asked the relationship of the height of the townhomes to the building adjacent to it. Mr. Krafthefer said the townhomes are 4 to 6 feet taller. He added that they are not encroaching on the creek.
Commissioner McConnell asked what their thinking was for this type of development. Mr. Krafthefer said keeping in mind the Village’s objective, and the land purchase price, single-family homes would have to cost between $600,000-$650,000, as they would only be able to fit about six homes on the site. Regarding the detached garages, Mr. Krafthefer said that allows for a private patio area, which is a sales advantage. Commissioner McConnell echoed Commissioner Schnell’s comments regarding the parkway trees and other trees. She asked about that, and Mr. Krafthefer said there are two very substantial trees near the tot lot as well as another large one on the site that will be saved.
Commissioner McConnell said they mentioned there might be an opportunity for salvage operations. Mr. Krafthefer said they would give anything of historical significance to the Historical Society. They would probably also have a demolition sale. The Mayor said that was something the Village could do prior to selling the land as well if the Council wanted to proceed in that direction.
Commissioner McConnell then addressed the density and whether it is within the Zoning Ordinance requirements. Mr. Rathje said it is and was consistent with the RFP . It appears as though the manner in which the land is divided would result in 4,000 square feet per dwelling unit. Commissioner McConnell then asked about the type of building Thiessen Construction has done in Colorado.
Todd Thiessen , 1311 Maple, responded, stating he was born and raised in Downers Grove, although he did large projects in Colorado. His local projects are Burr Ridge, Western Springs, Clarendon Hills and other surrounding communities. He worked on a large townhouse project in Telluride, Colorado as well.
The Mayor asked if the Council would be able to tour some houses he has constructed, and Mr. Thiessen said that would be fine.
Commissioner Tully asked whether stormwater issues have been anticipated. Mr. Krafthefer said they don’t anticipate any, but they have not yet pursued the topographical survey. That will be determined later. Commissioner Tully then said that the parking appears to be a two-vehicle limit, and asked what they intend to do with visitor parking. Mr. Krafthefer responded showing on the drawing some circulating space in the area, as well as behind the garages. Mr. Cody said they wanted to minimize the paving on the site. They could probably accommodate an additional 10-15 cars.
The Mayor said that the present residents appear to be utilizing some of the church parking lot. He said that in this proposal it appears as though they will not be able to park in front, and Mr. Krafthefer said not for the units fronting on Gilbert. There is not a holding area, and the cars would have to be kept in the garages. He said in Units 3-11 the garages will be on the same level as the basement area to allow for easy storage accessibility.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked whether any consideration has been given to burying the utility cables. Mr. Krafthefer said they could, but would have to offer less for the land.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked what the door was at the basement area. Mr. Cody responded that was a dumpster area which would be screened.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked whether they have done any asbestos testing, and Mr. Krafthefer said they have not as yet. Regarding financing, he said that their financial commitment letters are not written, but he has received verbal approval from some smaller investors.
Commissioner Gilbert asked why they chose to move the garages into free standing rather than attached, particularly for units 13-16 and 1-2. Mr. Cody said they wanted to take advantage of the limited parking areas and a vehicular easement. It provided an opportunity for private yards. Commissioner Gilbert then asked about funding and whether it was from private sources. Mr. Krafthefer said it was.
Commissioner Sisul congratulated the developer on their proposal. He appreciates that they are local people. With regard to parking behind the homes, he noted that units 5, 8 and 11 have no patio spaces at the rear. Mr. Cody said that Lots 3 and 4 have a common courtyard. Units 5, 8 and 11 would get diagonal courtyards as defined areas.
Commissioner Sisul then asked about the bench. Mr. Cody said it is just an area for people to sit down as they walk through the area. Commissioner Sisul asked whether they anticipate any cooking in the front areas of the homes. Mr. Krafthefer said they do not anticipate any cooking in the front. They have a private area in the back. Units 3, 4, 9 and 10 will be screened from the front.
Commissioner Sisul then asked about steps for the development. Mr. Cody said there is a slope in the topography, and the steps address that change. There is a 5 foot drop off between Units 3 and 4.
The Mayor asked what the architectural integrity of that neighborhood is. Mr. Krafthefer said that refers to the historical value of the area more than any one architectural quality.
Mayor Krajewski asked Mr. Baker about the density, saying to the east on Curtiss Street there is a four-story apartment building. He asked how many units there were in that building and Mr. Baker said he did not know. Someone from the audience said they thought it was sixteen. The Mayor asked that they check the density.
Mayor Krajewski then asked Mr. Krafthefer about the front setback off Gilbert. Mr. Krafthefer said it is 15 feet and 20 feet. The Mayor then addressed the financing and the 75% construction loan. Mr. Krafthefer said they have talked to three separate banks. If they have 25% equity, they will finance. Regarding stormwater, the Mayor asked if they have been in touch with Chrys Rymas. Mr. Krafthefer said they have not had contact yet. The Mayor said that is a particularly important issue, and he would like to see them follow up on that issue in the next few weeks. He said he thought it was an outstanding proposal which would be a benefit to the area.
Commissioner Zabloudil said there was an option basement patio wells, and he asked if they could show what it would look like. Mr. Cody showed a depiction of that patio well. Mr. Krafthefer said it was primarily designed for the areas that fall in the center to bring more light. They would control the size.
The Mayor thanked them and said they would listen to the next proposal. He explained that no decision would be made this evening, and that the Council will be seeking additional input over the next month.
Commissioner Schnell said to the Mayor that the individual who is interested in moving one of the homes said she would be interested in moving the home in mid-September or October. They would like to move two more, and asked the Council to think about it. She asked the Council to e-mail their opinions to Enza Petrarca. The Mayor said he doesn’t think it would be a problem. The earliest they would be able to make a decision would be the end of August. They would then have to work on a developer’s agreement and the potential sales of the units before demolition. Commissioner Sisul said they might want to ask the next developer about that as they have indicated they would be ready to proceed quickly. Commissioner Gilbert asked if she has lots for all three, and Commissioner Schnell said she believes there is a commitment of a double lot to move at least two homes. She has financial backing for 1137 Gilbert, and possibly one on Curtiss.
Larry Rosol said he has been in business for fourteen years and in construction for 23 years. He introduced Mike Zaremba of GSP Marketing. Also introduced were Tom Pazol, Ed Richert, Regina Miller and Andy Collins of the development team.
Andy Collins said he was the senior lender and a director with Hinsbrook Bank. He said they have a facility on Ogden Avenue in Downers Grove. Mr. Rosol has been their customer for ten years, and they have financed a number of projects for him. They have looked at the financials of the project submitted to the Council. Mr. Collins said Mr. Rosol is a competent developer and they have given him the go ahead for this project.
Mike Zaremba referred to the handout distributed to the Council and reviewed the objectives of the Village for the landbank property. They studied the land and prepared different scenarios including custom homes, 16 townhomes, and 26 rowhomes. He said they looked at the impact of the TIF contribution and decided to target on the rowhomes because they realized the Village had made a considerable investment on the downtown infrastructure, street improvement and parking garage. They heard that the Village was looking for additional homes to support that investment. He said they studied comparable real estate at Bending Oaks. They are projecting the selling price to be below $400,000 per unit.
Mr. Rosol discussed the architectural design of the project. He said they are rowhouse design in the Georgian style. There are two 8-unit buildings on Gilbert Street with garages accessible from the back only. There is also a 5-unit building on Curtiss Street with another unit that backs up to it. He said there is a total of 26 units made up of two and three bedrooms selling from $365,000 to $385,000 depending upon the square footage. Amenities remain the same throughout the units. Mr. Rosol said to the east of the property they have planned a public park area of about 5,200 square feet off Gilbert. That area would be usable by the public, and they would expect to donate that land to the Village or Park District, rather than have a homeowners association own it.
Mr. Zaremba said another consideration was traffic. They did not want to have any cars backing onto the streets. They wanted to keep the living space in front of the home, which would also allow for easy maintenance of the property. Mr. Zaremba said their target audience is a commuter audience, which is a more affluent customer. He said that this is a good investment for single/married professionals with a six-figure income. That is a stable audience that would be committed to the area.
Mr. Zaremba then summarized the goals of creating a development that would match the character of the neighborhood. Their staff photographed the neighborhood to determine the character. He noted that they also have a certified approval from an arborist regarding the trees on the site. They will be proactive in their efforts to preserve as many trees as possible. There are five trees with a potential for root danger that they will work to save from damage.
Mr. Zaremba said they worked toward creating a product that would sell. There are three basic models with color choices for floor, countertops, cabinets and carpeting. With consideration of the disruption to the Village, they plan to put all the concrete structures in at one time, which will contain the construction on the property. Safety was also considered an issue. He noted that they discouraged play spaces behind the rowhouses. He discussed the potential retail benefits with 26 families added to the area.
Commissioner Tully asked about the proposed open space for the area. Mr. Rosol responded it would was 29.9% of the total land area which was all green space. That includes the 5,300 square foot park. Commissioner Tully then asked about parking, noting there were two-car garages for each unit. Mr. Rosol said they would have an additional nine space parking area for visitors.
Commissioner Tully asked if there were any stormwater concerns. Mr. Rosol said they did review it. They can go with a containment system/catch basin system. They will look at a variety of options. Regarding the height, Mr. Rosol said the building is 35 feet in height with three stories. Commissioner Tully asked if they are open to more diversity regarding the facades, and Mr. Rosol said they are open to diversification. The units are not flush, they have different door styles, and they have separate roofline units as well.
Commissioner McConnell said the presentation was very helpful. She asked what the difference was between rowhouses versus townhouses, and whether that was primarily a density issue. Mr. Rosol said that single-family was eliminated right away since it would not be economically beneficial to the Village. They also wanted to limit the backyards and the best way to do that was through rowhouses. Any play area would be along Curtiss and Gilbert. He said it was a gated area. Mr. Zaremba said he thought it unlikely that they would attract families with children for these units. Mr. Rosol noted that the outdoor living would be in the deck in back. Mr. Zaremba said the homeowners association would not encourage cooking in the front portion of the homes.
Commissioner McConnell said one of the things for consideration is how the development ties into the community to the west. There also has been discussion about salvage opportunities and historic preservation of the existing buildings. Mr. Rosol said there would be due time to sell any items on the site. As far as historical value, he said he was not familiar with the historical aspect of the existing properties. The site is called Parker’s Place in honor of Col. Parker who owned the site.
Commissioner McConnell said there is a set of rowhouses in the center without street access, and she questioned how sellable those units would be. Mr. Rosol said those units would have a courtyard in the front. Mr. Zaremba said they would probably be the last properties to sell. Commissioner McConnell asked whether they would be building over St. Joe’s Creek, and Mr. Rosol said they would not.
Commissioner McConnell then asked about the density design and whether it was beyond the current Code requirements. Mr. Rathje said that was correct. There are 25% more units in this proposal than allowed in the RFP .
The Mayor asked whether moving the lot lines changes the density. Mr. Rathje said that based on the current subdivision ordinance, a number of the existing lots are already nonconforming if developed as single family units. The Mayor asked if moving the lots lines will affect the density. Mr. Rathje said they would probably need to discuss this further. They may need a modification in the Zoning Ordinance to accommodate this.
Commissioner Gilbert asked if the project were developed as a PUD what effect it would have. Mr. Rathje said as a PUD they would need to look at the Zoning Ordinance as well as it would still exceed the density requirements. Mr. Rathje said higher density is possible in apartment buildings. This proposal would require minimum front and side yard setbacks and would require consideration of the density requirements. Commissioner Gilbert asked if the primary difference between the apartment and townhome is that it is owner-occupied. Mr. Rathje said it is design, in that a townhome has only the common element of walls, while apartments have the common elements of walls, floors and ceilings.
Commissioner McConnell asked about the timetable, and Mr. Rosol said he would be looking at a September start regarding demolition, asbestos removal, underground work, etc. He said he could see the units up by next spring.
Commissioner Schnell asked about basements. Mr. Rosol said it would be a slab foundation. He said the height is measured from the top of the roof. Regarding utilities, Mr. Rosol told Commissioner Schnell he was planning for underground utilities. He has included the price to bury Mr. Rots’ utilities as well. Commissioner Schnell asked about the traffic flow. Mr. Rosol used a chart to show the flow. He said that the driveways are staggered to limit cut-through traffic. He said that you should not see the traffic during the day. He said that residents would park in their garages, and they are supplying an additional nine spaces for visitors. Regarding the trees, Mr. Rosol told Commissioner Schnell that they intend to save the parkway trees, and whatever other trees that can be saved. Commissioner Schnell then asked about other construction the Council could view. Mr. Rosol said the architect could refer them and provide drawings. He said they have not done stacked rowhouses themselves. Mr. Zaremba mentioned Tuxedo Park at Orleans and Superior as another example. Mr. Rosol said Elmhurst also has similar units. He also has two homes in progress in the Village. Commissioner Schnell asked whether the proposed wrought iron railings might be a safety issue. Mr. Rosol said there is not a safety issue. The railings are 3 feet in height. Mr. Rathje confirmed that they met the Zoning Ordinance standards.
Commissioner Zabloudil said he had no questions other than discussion of the commitment letter which would be talked about later.
Commissioner Sisul said most of the issues have been covered. He asked about how the outdoor living space fits into the concept of the development. He said this type of house appeals to a certain market. Mr. Rosol said that this type of home is attractive to commuter areas.
The Mayor thanked them for the time they put into the proposal. He said the Council would like to tour units they have done. In regard to stormwater, he will ask staff to review the requirements. They will also review the financial status in terms of their ability to complete the project. The Mayor then asked for public comments.
Bill Van Buren , 6576 Fairview, said this is a unique situation for the commuters. He said he thought many workers in the city live in a rowhouse environment, and this could attract that group. He is concerned about the empty establishments seen over and over in the downtown area. He said he liked the second plan.
Al Enzbigilis , 1526 62nd Street, said he was raised in the Village. He owns a couple of small businesses and has thought of opening a business in the Village. Part of the reason he has delayed his decision was the continual construction in town. He is disturbed to see stores closing in the downtown area. He said the building constructed on Main Street south of Maple just doesn’t fit the area in his opinion as a resident. Of the two proposals presented tonight, the rowhouses appeal to him because the larger brick buildings do not fit into the community. The Mayor informed Mr. Enzbigilis that this is the last year of the downtown construction.
Pat Peterman , 1143 Gilbert asked the Oakwood Group about the percentage of greenspace they planned. Mr. Krafthefer said it was 40%-50% of the development, including the park. Ms. Peterman said she was glad to see the park in the plan. She is concerned that they will not have a sunroom anymore, but will have a brick room. She likes the open spaces toward the back, and favors the Rosol plan.
Roger Crisman , 1140 Gilbert, said John Przybyl asked him to read a statement. Mr. Crisman read the letter in which Mr. Przybyl provided his feedback on the two proposals. He favored the Oakwood Plan due to lower density, less massive scale, attention to tree preservation, open greenspaces, less pavement, responsive to neighborhood character, more human scale, shorter building time, no sidewalk walls. Mr. Przybyl also expressed concern in his letter about the R-6 zoning and the issue of density. The Mayor indicated that Mr. Przybyl has contacted the Council via e-mail, and met with some of them at Coffee With the Council.
Mr. Crisman then expressed his own opinion stating he has faced the landbank issue for about sixteen years. He is anxious to see how this is resolved, and he is looking for a very positive event to occur. Key to him are what he calls townhouse core requirements, operational questions, and personal struggles or challenges. He said that he wants to see the correct balance of single-family homes compared to attached homes. He said he thought attached homes could still give the feeling of community. He wants the site to fit into the neighborhood, such as similar rooflines, vintage appearance, etc. He wants to see tree and greenspace preservation. The Oakwood Plan gives consideration to front yards and back yards. Safety and security is another issue of concern to him. Regarding operational questions, he said flooding and water retention questions are extremely important to him. He would also like to see a mix of townhouses and single-family homes, and asked what the economics would be to incorporating that idea. Mr. Crisman said in relation to this project, he thinks of it as yet another construction project. He noted all of the different types of construction he has seen in the area over the past ten years. He said that the benches included in the Oakwood Plan were a big hit in his opinion. He does not want to have a wall across the street from his home. He bought a wall by moving next door to a retirement home, but being walled in on two sides is a concern. He asked whether the timing was correct for the Village as well.
Ray Burhmaster , 1436 Gilbert, asked both developers about the slope on the site, noting that the elevations submitted from the developers are both flat. He asked what the developers will do in terms of regrading the parcels. Mr. Krafthefer said their plan is easy to change because of the independent buildings. They can have a differential between the buildings. They have not yet received the topographical survey. Mr. Rosol said they have not yet received the topographical survey, but they know the rear of the property slopes drastically. They would need to bring the grade up where necessary . He said he was waiting to see if they get the project and address the issue at that time. Mr. Krafthefer said they felt the same.
The Mayor asked the contractors to put their proposals at the Library for the next few weeks.
Jack McGuire , 1425 Gilbert, said he has lived in the Village 66 years, and when he moved here he was eleven years old. He thought at that time the Village was a cathedral of trees. Over the years, the Village has gone down. Everything in the Village is money today.
Patrick Sullivan who lives in Chicago said he is in the market to buy a house now. He saw some rowhouses on Armitage between Cleveland and Lincoln. He is from LaGrange, and it would be an easy choice for him to move once rowhouses were built. He knows there are others in the same situation who would be interested. He said the cost of rowhouses in Chicago are approaching $500,000.
Mark Kodelka , 1200 Gilbert, said he appreciates the resolution of the landbank issue. He said there are several important issues, one of which is parking on Gilbert. The proposals are 16 versus 26 units, and parking appears to be less of an issue with the Oakwood proposal. He finds Oakwood more appealing aesthetically, noting that a front porch is difficult to use due to the traffic volume on Gilbert.
Jay Nagy , 331 3rd Street, said he is a business owner in the Village and stated that the more families they bring into the Village, the easier it is to stay in business. He likes the rowhouses as he thinks they are unique and create more foot traffic.
Mark Grove , 6576 Berrywood, said he moved to the Village 17 years ago, primarily for the access to the train. He thinks the rowhouses will attract the younger professionals, and will generate income to the downtown area. There is a good base of restaurants in the downtown. He would like to see a few more restaurants.
Bridget Brauer , 744 Prairie, said she came here about six months ago from Texas. She said in Texas, Wal-Mart destroyed their downtown areas. She likes the sense of community in Downers Grove, but there are a lot of empty windows in the downtown area. She believes the best thing for the downtown is the theater and the restaurants. Some of her neighbors agree that if there were some more restaurants downtown it would attract more people. She said she believes the rowhouses will help with that by drawing the people to the downtown area. The Mayor thanked her and welcomed her to the Village. He explained that the downtown construction projects were to replace the watermain and infrastructure which is more than 100 years old.
Andrea Van Buren , 6576 Fairview, said that she preferred the rowhouses and said that the people they are attracting will not be collecting lots of things. They will beautify their yards but will probably not spend much time there. She thinks they will keep it clean, and these rowhouses will suit their lifestyles.
Jim Gaspar , 6555 Berrywood, said that this is an architectural as well as an economic play. What will benefit the Village long-term is the focus. He said from the perspective of empty nesters, rowhomes have regentrified the downtown areas of Chicago and might be a welcome addition to Downers Grove.
The Mayor said the Council will accept more comments regarding the proposals at the August 7 meeting. They will not decide on a proposal until August 21 at the earliest.
Commissioner Gilbert asked both developers to provide a chart on their greenspace, paved area and building area. He would like the total square footage of the property, the building, pavement, greenspace and the park area.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Finance and Administrative Committee
Commissioner McConnell said there is no report and the next meeting is August 21.
Public Works Committee
Commissioner Schnell said she has no report and their next meeting is August 7.
Public Safety Committee
Commissioner Gilbert said they have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
The Attorney reviewed the items being presented to the Council: An ordinance providing for an amendment to Ordinance No. 4302 and the Village of Downers Grove budget for Fiscal Year 2001/02; a resolution authorizing an agreement with Kane, McKenna & Associates, Inc. for downtown consulting services; an ordinance amending the Downers Grove utility tax; an ordinance rezoning Bradley’s Brookbank Subdivision from R-1 to R-3; a resolution of final plat approval for Bradley’s Brookbank Prairie Subdivision. Mr. Blondin said he would be modifying that ordinance to accommodate the alternative plan. He said he was going to present an ordinance vacating a certain right-of-way, but he suggested the Council members let him know if they wanted it to remain on the agenda.
Attorney Blondin said he would be asking the Council to waive the one-week waiting period and act on three matters tonight: A resolution authorizing execution of an employment agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Riccardo Ginex; a resolution authorizing submittal of a grant application to the Bureau of Justice Assistance for FY 2001 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant Program; and a resolution authorizing submittal of a grant application to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for Phase II of the Lacey Creek Restoration Project.
The Mayor called for a Motion to waive the one-week waiting period.
Commissioner Sisul moved to waive the one-week waiting period to consider new business. Commissioner Gilbert seconded the Motion
VOTE :AYE: Commissioners Sisul, Gilbert, Zabloudil, Tully, McConnell, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
NAY : None
The Mayor declared the Motion carried.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND RICCARDO GINEX
RESOLUTION 2001 -65
Commissioner Sisul moved to adopt a Resolution authorizing execution of an employment agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Riccardo Ginex as presented. Commissioner Gilbert seconded.
VOTE :AYE: Commissioners Sisul, Gilbert, Zabloudil, Tully, McConnell, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
NAY : None
The Mayor declared the Motion carried.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SUBMITTAL OF GRANT APPLICATION TO THE BUREAU OF JUSTICE ASSISTANCE FOR FY 2001 LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM
RESOLUTION 2001 -66
Commissioner Gilbert moved to adopt a Resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Bureau of Justice Assistance for FY 2001 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant Program as presented. Commissioner Zabloudil seconded.
VOTE :AYE: Commissioners Gilbert, Zabloudil, Tully, McConnell, Sisul, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
NAY : None
The Mayor declared the Motion carried.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SUBMITTAL OF GRANT APPLICATION TO THE ILLINOIS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY FOR PHASE II OF THE LACEY CREEK RESTORATION PROJECT
RESOLUTION 2001 -67
Commissioner Zabloudil moved to adopt a Resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for Phase II of the Lacey Creek Restoration Project. Commissioner Schnell seconded.
VOTE :AYE: Commissioners Zabloudil, Schnell, Tully, McConnell, Gilbert, Sisul, Mayor Krajewski
NAY : None
The Mayor declared the Motion carried.
Commissioner Zabloudil said Council members were invited to the grand opening of White Castle as they have renovated four of their stores across the country. He encouraged all residents to visit their new store. He said the Mayor fried up sliders. He said they have done great things with the facility and are trying to attract new customers.
Mayor Krajewski said CLTV did a feature story on White Castle.
Commissioner McConnell echoed the comments made about White Castle.
Mayor Krajewski said he and the Village Manager would be meeting on Wednesday, July 25 with representatives from IDOT , the County and Metra to finalize a draft intergovernmental agreement among the four agencies for the transfer of Belmont Road to the County.
The Mayor said on Thursday, July 26 the Village Manager, Commissioner Sisul and he would be meeting with the Mayor of Woodridge, a Woodridge Council member and the Woodridge Village Manager to discuss the Suburban Estates issue and a boundary agreement which was signed 20 years ago.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 11:12 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh/