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: Residents: Troop 80 Boy Scouts; Coral Carlson, 732 Prairie; Mim Eichmann, 718 Prairie Marilynn Gerloff, 4241 Highland; Steve McCready, 7225 Camden Road; Allan Ambrose, Managing Director, Northern Trust; Jim Russ, 4915 Main; Steve McCready, 7225 Camden; Kay Whitlock, Burke Engineering; John Przybyl, 1227 Gilbert; Dave Tatterson, 1240 Gilbert; Ken Gould, 408 Lake Avenue
Staff: Amanda Browne, Planner; Ken Rathje, Director, Planning Services; David Van Vooren, Deputy Village Manager for Administration; Jane Gerdes, Assistant Director, Public Works; Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager; Stan Balicki, Support Services Manager, Public Works; Marion Heintz, Police Department; Bob Schiller, Traffic Manager, Public Works
Mayor Krajewski explained that Council Workshop meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. The meetings are video taped live and for later cable cast over cable channel 6.
The Workshop meeting is intended to provide Council and the public with an appropriate forum for informal discussion of any items intended for future Council consideration or just for general information. No formal action is taken at Workshop meetings.
The public is invited to attend and encouraged to comment or ask questions in an informal manner on any of the items being discussed or on any other subject. The agenda is created to provide a guideline for discussion.
Mayor Krajewski recognized Boy Scouts from Troop 80 in the audience. He asked them to come forward and give their names and schools. Mayor Krajewski presented them with Village pins.
Police Department Community Support Van. Manager Ginex said Public Works and the Police Department have worked to research a passenger van to be used by the Police Department in their public education and community outreach efforts. The recommended vehicle is a 2001 Chevrolet Express bi-fuel passenger van, which is currently a product demonstrator owned by General Motors, and in the possession of Nicor Gas. Staff is recommending an award to Grossinger Chevrolet of Palatine in the amount of $24,800.00. He said $18,941 of the funding for this vehicle was made possible through award of the FY01 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant program by the US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. A stipulation of this grant requires the Village to contribute $2,105. As this vehicle runs on natural gas, as well as unleaded gasoline, the Village will be able to recover $4,000 through the Alternate Fuels Rebate Program administered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Commissioner Tully asked about the certainty of recovering the $4,000 rebate.
Stan Balicki , Support Services Manager, said the rebate program is administered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency with funding through the US Department of Energy. Mr. Balicki said he is certain funding will be available.
Mayor Krajewski said the cost of the vehicle to the Village would be $2,105.00.
Astro Amusement Contract . The Manager said Community Events received two contracts to consider as vendor for the amusement rides at the 2002 Heritage Festival. Contracts were received by Astro Amusements and Midwest Midways. Astro Amusements Co., Inc., has been providing ride services since 1985, while Midwest Midway is a new vendor. Both contracts were reviewed. The Tourism and Events Commission has recommended the continued use of Astro Amusements Co., Inc. as Astro has proven they can handle an event of the magnitude of Heritage Festival. Midwest Midways has worked at smaller events, and were short manpower at their largest event. Further, Astro is involved in supporting the community and Heritage Festival by sponsoring a variety of activities. The rides will be located on the south side of the tracks, along Burlington Avenue between Main and Washington Streets, including the Curtiss lot and Lot B.
Zoning Commission Recommendation: File 2001-09 – Text Amendment Regarding M-1 District on West Side of Thatcher Road. The Manager introduced Amanda Browne to discuss this matter.
Amanda Browne , Planner, said this is a three-part text amendment recommendation from the Zoning Commission. The first two items relate to the M-1 Zoning district and are related to a specific area of the M-1 Zoning District located on the west side of Thatcher Road and south of Hitchcock that also abuts the Illinois State Tollway. The third item relates to an off-street parking ratio requirement.
Part A of the amendment has to do with how the openspace-landscaped greenspace requirement within the M-1 Zoning District can be satisfied. Currently the requirement in the M-1 Zoning District is 15 percent of the lot area is required to be openspace-landscaped greenspace with half of that minimum area being located within the front yard. This proposal would allow properties along Thatcher Road to satisfy the openspace greenspace requirement elsewhere on the zoning lot, eliminating the 50 percent of the 15 percent within the required front yard.
Part B of the amendment has to do with the front setback for off-street parking spaces along Thatcher Road. The current requirement is 35 feet for the front yard setback for parking spaces. This amendment would reduce that requirement to 5 feet from the front property line.
The third amendment does not relate to that specific area in the M-1 Zoning District. It is a rule of general applicability regarding printing related uses and the parking ratio for those particular uses. Currently the Ordinance requirement is one parking space for every 500 square feet of floor area. This would reduce that requirement to one parking space for every 850 square feet of floor area. This would relate to all printing related uses, not necessarily those located in the area along Thatcher Road.
The Zoning Commission forwarded a unanimous positive recommendation for approval on all three parts of the amendment.
Commissioner Tully asked if this portion of Thatcher Road is on the sidewalk matrix. Ms. Browne was not certain.
Regarding the off-street parking, Commissioner Tully said this portion is business specific in that it relates to printing related businesses. He said a definition is provided. Printing businesses have considerable equipment and space not taken up by employees. The ratio of employees to the floor space is such that fewer parking spaces are required. If the business were to change, he asked if the new business would have to comply with the standard manufacturing requirements for parking. Ms. Browne said that was correct.
Commissioner Tully said he noticed that some other DuPage County municipalities tie parking requirements to the number of employees a business has. Given that this change is due to the ratio of employees and the business, he asked if it might be better to tie parking to the number of employees of a business. Ms. Browne said a number of municipalities do this; however, none of the Village’s parking ratio requirements actually relate to the number of employees due to the fact that it would be difficult to enforce as there is no way to monitor the number of employees in a business from pay period to pay period and from shift to shift.
Commissioner Tully said it is more likely the number of employees would change more frequently than the nature of the business.
Ken Rathje , Director, Planning Services, said that prior to 1977/78 the Village’s manufacturing ratio for parking was tied to employees. Staff found it almost impossible to monitor. Staff shifted to a floor area ratio and has had good results.
Commissioner Schnell asked about the greenspace requirement within the five-foot setback. Ms. Browne said the idea would be that that the setback would allow greenspace, but the requirement for any greenspace in the front yard has been removed.
Commissioner Gilbert said as someone from the printing industry, he thought the parking requirement for printing related uses was logical and made sense.
Plan Commission Recommendation: File 1064, Lot Split with Lot Width Exceptions – 728 Prairie. The Manager asked Ken Rathje to address this matter.
Mr. Rathje said the Plan Commission was presented with a lot split petition for a parcel located on the north side of Prairie approximately 231 feet east of Elm Street. The property measures 98.5 feet by 297 feet. The proposal is to divide the property into two lots each measuring 49.25 feet by 297 feet, each with an area of 14,627.5 square feet. The Plan Commission had a lengthy discussion on this matter, including the request for the lot width exception. Under the terms of the Subdivision Control Ordinance as it is currently written, the lot width exception goes from 75 feet to the proposed 49.25 feet. The Plan Commission reported out a split vote of 5:3. Commission members took into account issues of the exceptional depth of the property, exceptional amount of land area of each of the resulting parcels, and the presence of approximately 18 lots in the surrounding area of several blocks which have lot widths ranging between 37.5 feet and 48 feet. The area has a variety of lot sizes.
Regarding similar lot splits granted resulting in less that 50 foot lot widths, Mr. Rathje found a 1986 petition involving a 99 foot by 297 foot property on the east side of Highland at the intersection of Highland and Sherman. That lot split was approved into two 49.5 foot by 297 foot lots. He noted that this lot split took place at a time when the Plan Commission had authority to approve and grant lot splits, including variations of this type. It did not come before the Council at that time.
Mr. Rathje said one of the neighbors presented a series of photographs that he presented to the Council.
Mayor Krajewski asked about lot splits since the Subdivision Control Ordinance was put in place in 1999. Mr. Rathje said there have been no lot splits resulting in lot widths of 49.5 feet since that time. He said the Subdivision Control Ordinance does not allow both lot width and lot area variations. In order to create a lot with any type of lot width variation in the R-4 Zoning District, the parcel of land must be 21,000 square feet or greater as the default minimum lot size is 10,500 square feet.
Mayor Krajewski asked the Village Attorney to comment on this variance by the Plan Commission creating a variance with the Zoning Ordinance.
Village Attorney Dan Blondin said the Zoning Ordinance provides for 50 foot lot width, and variances under the Zoning Ordinance can only be granted by the ZBA within certain limitations. In effect, this would be allowing a variation to the Zoning Ordinance through the Subdivision Control Ordinance through the Plan Commission hearing process, rather than through the ZBA process that is called for in Chapter 28, the Zoning Ordinance. He said this is very unique. Mr. Blondin said if one is requiring a variation beyond what the zoning requires, usually the Zoning Ordinance is the controlling body, and the ZBA reviews. He recommended the Council make a policy decision as to whether it wants to allow a variation to be made in this manner.
Mr. Rathje said lot width or lot depth variations are permitted and provided for under the exception provisions of the Subdivision Control Ordinance.
Commissioner Schnell asked when the 75 foot lot width requirement for the R-4 Zoning District came into effect. Mr. Rathje said it was 1991. Commissioner Schnell said the variation granted in 1986 was based on the fact that R-4 lot width requirement was 50 feet.
Attorney Blondin said the 75 foot requirement is not a zoning width requirement, but rather it is a subdivision requirement. The zoning requirement is and has been 50 feet. This petition is a deviation from both the Subdivision Control Ordinance and the Zoning Ordinance.
Commissioner Schnell said she is uncomfortable with a lot width of less than 50 feet. She said the lots on Prairie may not be wide, but they are deep. She said she has trouble envisioning this split on the street.
Mayor Krajewski said the lots run parallel on the south side of Prairie so that the side yards, which are deeper, are facing Prairie.
Commissioner Tully asked when the 18 lots that have a lot width of less than 50 feet were created. Mr. Rathje said he believes they were all created before 1965, when the Zoning Ordinance was put into place.
Commissioner Tully said since 1965 there have been no lots created in this neighborhood less than 50 feet wide. Mr. Rathje said that was correct.
Commissioner McConnell asked about the likelihood of having similar requests for exemptions from the 50 feet lot width requirement if this petition is approved. Mr. Rathje said most of the lots were divided into widths of 50, 75 or 100 feet. It is unusual to find lots slightly below the 100-foot wide dimension. They are far and few between.
Commissioner McConnell asked if the Council is setting itself up for exceptions of all different kinds beyond that of a 50-foot exception if this is granted. Attorney Blondin said the Council would be, as it would be saying they would be willing to grant variations from the Zoning Ordinance in the context of the Subdivision Control Ordinance.
Coral Carlson , 732 Prairie, immediately to the west of the subject property, thanked Commissioner Schnell for reading the minutes so carefully. She said Prairie Avenue is a unique street and is a gateway to the community. It is a collector street used by many people. It is important to maintain the character of the neighborhood. She said she does not object to the house on the property being torn down. It is a compliment to Downers Grove that people want to come and live here and have houses they feel comfortable in. However, this property and Ms. Carlson’s property were platted in the 1920s. Houses built in the ‘20s were built to considerably different standards than the houses being built today both in terms of square footage as well as amenities. The houses that would be put on two 49.5 foot lots would be considerably larger than the houses that would have been built on those smaller lots in the 1920s. This would change the quality and the character of the neighborhood. She said she is troubled by the increasing urbanization of Downers Grove. This is a step in the direction of creating small, urban-sized lots, rather than larger, characteristic suburban lots that Downers Grove enjoys. Additionally, she discussed the dangerous precedent of approving this petition and setting up potential conflicts for the Zoning Ordinance and asked that this petition be denied.
Mim Eichmann , 718 Prairie, immediately east of the subject property, said she took the pictures Mr. Rathje referred to earlier. She said the homes in the pictures are shown from the frontage facing Prairie even though the plat of survey shows the homes facing Stanley and Prospect. This causes one to have an entirely different perspective when driving down the street. She discussed the precedent of dividing the property. She said she thinks of this as a cake or pie sitting on the table in which everyone takes a bit as they pass by, destroying the integrity of the dessert. She said her husband’s family has been on the property she lives on for 100 years. She asked the Council to consider what the precedent means for this area.
Mayor Krajewski said he thought this was a dangerous precedent that the Council may set if this variance is granted. He said there was lengthy discussion by the Plan Commission on this matter. The three members voting against this petition gave their reasons. Only the Chairman gave reasons why he voted for this.
4. Plan Commission Recommendation: File 1068 Lot Reconfiguration with Lot Width Exceptions, Northwest of the Intersection of Prairie & Washington. Mr. Rathje said the proposed lot reconfiguration is not where a new lot is created, but where land is transferred between adjoining property owners. Specifically, the two properties are juxtaposed at right angles to one another. The property at 908 Prairie measures 66 feet by 210 feet for an area of 13,860 square feet. The property at 4730 Washington measures 75 feet by 99 feet and an area of 7,425 square feet. The proposal is to convey the easterly 16 feet of the northerly 52 feet of the Prairie property to the Washington property. The neighbors have been working together to try to help the owners on Washington to have a little deeper yard than the current 99 feet. The Plan Commission unanimously recommended in favor of this petition, including the minor lot width exception for the northerly 52 feet of the Prairie property. Mr. Rathje gave the dimensions of the resulting parcels. The Washington parcel would result in an area of 8,257 square feet and the Prairie property would result in an area of 13,028 square feet. A garage on Prairie precluded more regular lot sizes.
Lease Agreement with First United Methodist Church. The Manager said the Village currently has a lease arrangement in place with the First United Methodist Church that allows for shopper and employee parking for approximately 50 parking spaces in the church lot fronting on Grove Street. The Village first entered into the agreement beginning April 1, 1999 through December 1999. This agreement was subsequently renewed in 2000 and 2001. The lease agreement was initiated by the Village prior to the Main Street construction to relieve parking congestion during the project.
The Manager said there is only one notable change in the agreement that requires Council approval. The Village and Church have agreed to designate ten of the spaces in the lot as residential use. The agreement would maintain the same lease terms of $1,000 per month and assigns responsibility for lot maintenance functions, including signage, barricades and enforcement to the Village.
Zoning Board of Appeals Recommendation: File C-5-01, Special Use for Building Addition and Garage for St. Mary’s Church, 4744 Douglas Avenue. The Manager asked Mr. Rathje to address this item.
Mr. Rathje said St. Mary’s Church is requesting permission to modify their special use in order to put a 3,318 square foot addition on the sanctuary. The construction will be along the west side of the Church and in-fill in the courtyard area that exists between the easterly side of the Church and the Parish Center. Mr. Rathje said there is another 648 square feet of floor area to be added to a three-car garage to be located east of the sanctuary. Because the location of the Church is relatively close to Douglas Road, and under the recently amended provisions of the Zoning Ordinance permitting the Council to grant bulk and setback modifications to churches in order for a church to be able to practice religion in a reasonable manner, the Church is also seeking approval of a modification to allow the yard setback to be reduced.
This Church was built prior to the current setback requirements that would require full setback on each side of the corner lot. The portions of the Church along Douglas to be expanded have setbacks ranging from 14.29 feet to 14.85 feet. The petitioner is looking to expand the Church 7.75 feet to the west on either side of the current entranceway, which would reduce the setbacks such that they would range from 6.71 feet to 7.18 feet. All other aspects of the applicable rules and regulations governing zoning would be consistent with the currently applicable standards. There will be no increase in seating. The existing legal nonconformity would stand. The lot coverage would remain below 40 percent. The total floor area ratio would stay below the 0.6 maximum.
Mr. Rathje said the ZBA first voted on the question of the modification to the reduced setback. Secondly, they voted on the general nature of the proposed special use petition. Both were unanimously approved. The Board was complimentary to the efforts the Church made to have minimum impact under the Zoning Ordinance while still meeting their specific needs.
Mayor Krajewski said Council was provided a tape of the ZBA meeting. He asked that the Board members state their names before speaking so the Council members can identify them on tape.
Commissioner Sisul suggested the Chair could mention the name when calling on the member.
Commissioner McConnell said it was very helpful to have the letter the attorney wrote as well as the detail provided on the tape.
Commissioner Tully asked how close the part of the expansion of the sanctuary on Douglas would be to the existing sidewalk.
Mr. Rathje said it would be six or seven feet from the existing sidewalk.
Commissioner Tully said part of this request was under Section 28-1020 of the Zoning Ordinance enacted in July 2001. This is the first petition to come before the Council under this section. Commissioner Tully agreed with Commissioner McConnell that there was a substantial amount of information provided. He said it would be helpful to make a record and go through the five factors in 28-1020(b). He read the five factors. Commissioner Tully said the burden has been addressed. He asked Mr. Russ to address the other elements, particularly #2, the efforts employed by the applicant to avoid or reduce the burden.
Jim Russ , 4915 Main Street, Attorney for the petitioner, said the Church was built in the 1960s. The original design was to have an altar at one end with a traditional center aisle design. The Church was reconfigured to make it a church in the round, which currently exists. With the current design of the building, it is not possible structurally to relocate the altar without tearing the building down. The other reconfigurations examined resulted in a loss of 54 seats from what currently exists. The loss of any seats was not an acceptable design. This provided the minimal work to the exterior of the building yet maximized the seating that currently exists.
Commissioner Tully noted that the Council was provided with information from a number of residents who live near the Church indicating their support.
Mr. Russ said that was correct. He said the modification will add seven feet to the Church on the Douglas Street side. It is the minimum that can be constructed to replace the 54 seats to be lost in the reconfiguration. He said the rest of the addition meets or exceeds the setback requirements and building height requirements. It is only the Douglas side addition that is the exception.
Regarding adverse impact of the requested modification on the area involved, Mr. Russ said this modification would be a benefit to the surrounding area. He said funerals congregate on Douglas Street, a residential street with insufficient parking. With the reconfiguration, the focus of the entrance will be on the east side within the parking lot.
Commissioner Tully said no adverse effects were mentioned by the neighbors during the ZBA meeting. Mr. Russ said that was correct. He said there were no questions or requests from the surrounding neighbors prior to the hearing.
Commissioner Schnell clarified that there would no loss of seats, but that the number would remain exactly what it is today. The reconfiguration to make the space between the pews bigger necessitates the need for the additional seven feet to maintain the current seating. Mr. Russ said that was correct. Mr. Russ said the seating in the seven-foot addition would be movable seating, allowing configuration for different ceremonies.
Commissioner Schnell said another benefit is that the Church and surrounding buildings will be fully sprinkled. She thanked Mr. Russ for providing such complete information on this matter.
Steve McCready , 7225 Camden Road, thanked the ZBA for their work. He said the Church is a “home” and a part of the community. They are trying to make improvements to their home. He said the building is usable but not in the current configuration. He said the neighbors in the area have no objections.
Mayor Krajewski complimented the staff and Council for their work on this matter.
Agreement with Orchardbrook Homeowners Association re: Lacey Creek. The Manager said the Village and the Orchard Brook Homeowner’s Association entered into an agreement in 1998 to cooperate in the restoration of the wetlands within the Association’s boundaries, and to provide stream bank stabilization to Lacey Creek. The agreement was renewed last year, and expires on December 31, 2001. Staff is requesting that the agreement be renewed for one more year under the same terms. A majority, but not all of the work was completed in 2001.
The Manager said the partnership between the Homeowner’s Association and the Village has resulted in a unique environmental restoration project. He said Commissioner Gilbert was involved in this project. It has proven very beneficial to the entire area. Some notable contributors have been DuPage County, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. They have agreed to contribute a combined $437,000 in grant funding. The Homeowner’s Association pledged $40,500 and the Village contribution of $100,000 represents a truly collaborative effort. He said Perry Erhart, past president of the Homeowner’s Association and resident of Orchard Brook has played a decisive role in the project. Staff recommends the renewal of the existing agreement.
Commissioner Tully said this is a unique project and a unique partnership at the federal, state, county, local and Homeowner’s Association level. He said he was glad to see this continue to go forward. He said the project would not be here without the efforts of Mr. Erhart.
Mayor Krajewski said the County and other areas of the State have looked at this as a model in working with other areas within DuPage County and the State.
Commissioner Sisul said everyone can be proud of this agreement and the way it has developed. He recommended submitting it to some of the national municipal organizations for recognition.
Commissioner Gilbert agreed with the comments regarding Mr. Erhart. He said this project started 6 ½ years ago. It has taken a great amount of tenacity to reach this point. It is temporarily stalled due to the permitting process, but is well underway and everyone should see a great product next year.
Scavenger License for BFI . The Manager said scavenger licenses are renewed annually, as provided by Ordinance. There is only one “Class A” license, which is currently issued to BFI who is under contract with the Village through March 31, 2003. BFI has submitted their annual application and fee, as required. He said there are six “Class B” scavengers submitting renewal applications for the coming year. They are Waste Management Metro of Cicero, Disposal Management Systems of Schaumburg, Hillside Disposal Service of Hillside, K. Hoving Inc. of West Chicago, Onyx Waste of Northlake, and Crown Disposal of McCook. All the “Class B” providers have submitted appropriate applications, and their renewal is also recommended.
Staff is recommending Council authorize a “Class A” Scavenger License for BFI Disposal Service for 2002.
Commissioner Sisul said he had occasion to talk to a Councilperson from Independence, Missouri, who explained that in his community everyone registers with their own scavenger service. They have five services and on any one day, there could be five trucks on the same street at the same time. People don’t want to change this situation.
Water Revenue Bonds. The Manager asked Marty Lyons to address this item.
Marty Lyons , Director, Financial Services, said this is to recommend the issuance and approval of $4 million in general obligation bonds for the Automated Meter Reading System with water revenue backing on the bonds. He referenced a detailed listing of the costs. Staff has looked at a variety of methods for paying for the system. A financing mechanism was recommended due to the amount of savings associated with the AMR system that would enable the Village to pay off a ten year debt issuance through increased water revenues without a change in the rate to the extent projected in the five year plan. A general obligation with water revenue to defease the debt service instead of issuing a property tax levy yields a savings of $54,133. The Bond Counsel fee is $11,000 due to the fact that Chapman & Cutler has to examine the water fund. He estimates the interest rate to be below 4 percent. Revenue bonds would be above 4.1 percent and would entail higher fees. He recommended proceeding this year because $6 million in general obligation bonds was issued earlier this year. Issuing another $4 million puts the Village under a $10 million limit, which allows for the issuance of bank qualified bonds offering a further decrease of .10 to .15 basis points on the interest rates. He is projecting an interest rate of 3.95 percent.
Mr. Lyons said the bond sale would be set for December 18, 2001. Ordinances would be presented that night with the bond scheduled included. Mr. Lyons said Allan Ambrose of Northern Trust is present tonight.
Mr. Lyons said there has been a marked increase in the response to the project. They have appointment for over 75 percent of the homes in the first area.
Mr. Lyons said a debt analysis was done of the Village’s overall debt structure. He said the Village rates high in all the areas it should, and in nearly all the areas where it should rate low, it does.
Commissioner Gilbert asked about the effect of this on the overall rating of the Village in the bond market.
Mr. Lyons said there was no adverse effect. It might have a positive impact because we are proposing a ten-year issue, while the last three issues have been 20-year issues end loaded due to the TIF revenue structure. The Village is long on its debt payback timeframe on purpose because we are waiting for TIF revenues. By doing this ten-year general obligation bond using the water revenues, we are paying back in a level debt capacity and paying back over ten years. This helps our payback ratio.
As regards the amount of debt, it has no negative or positive impact. Mr. Lyons said the Village did not get an upgrade from Moody’s in 1998 because the Village had not been in the market. There was only one bond issue in ten years and Moody’s did not have enough history on the Village to increase the rating.
Mayor Krajewski asked Mr. Ambrose if he has seen an increase in the number of bond issues over the last few months due to the low interest rates.
Allan Ambrose , Northern Trust, said there have been a variety of responses from municipalities. Some, due to the uncertainty of revenues such as sales taxes, have cut back on projects. Others, because of the interest rate environment, have decided it is a good time to move forward.
Christopher Burke Urban Watershed Agreement. The Manager said Christopher B. Burke Engineering has submitted a proposal for professional engineering services related to developing a Watershed Plan for addressing detention storage for areas inside the CBD where redevelopment is planned. A Watershed Plan will be developed to address the needs for providing detention for the CBD areas while meeting the requirements of the Stormwater and Flood Plain Ordinance of the Village.
The Manager said funding for the contract will come from the CBD /TIF engineering account. Because the parking deck has been moved back a few months, there are sufficient funds in that account.
Staff is recommending approval of this contract.
Commissioner Schnell asked for clarification as to whether this would be both upstream and downstream.
Jane Gerdes , Assistant Director, Public Works, said the water coming in and going out would be studied as well as the changes going on in the watershed and the effect that has on the stormwater. Ms. Gerdes said Kay Whitlock of Christopher Burke Engineering is present.
Commissioner Schnell said one of the concerns raised at the Public Services Committee meetings is the downstream and the effect of downtown development. She asked Ms. Whitlock to briefly explain this project and how resident concerns will be addressed.
Kay Whitlock , Burke Engineering, said they will develop estimates of flow for the whole watershed upstream of the CBD . They will know what parts of the watershed will be contributing flow and an estimate of the timing. They will develop a computer model in order to make sure that when redevelopment takes place there is a plan developed with the Village and DuPage County as to detention needs. One of the specific elements of the proposal is to look at the downstream reach to see if there needs to be streambank stabilization. They want to make sure there are no negative impacts in the immediate downstream area if there are any changes in the flow regime. They have incorporated into the proposed plan of work any issues that have been raised.
In response to Commissioner Schnell, Ms. Whitlock said the downstream boundaries of the study will be the corporate limits of the Village.
Mayor Krajewski asked Ms. Whitlock to discuss coordination with DuPage County.
Ms. Whitlock said DuPage County has some work that will be parallel to this project. They have had discussions regarding working simultaneously in order for the projects to dovetail. She said she thought this would help the Village get the approval of the plan from the County.
Commissioner Tully said the County is preparing a watershed plan for St. Joe’s Creek, which includes the CBD area. He said Ms. Whitlock would be working with the County to make sure our efforts are consistent and compatible with the County’s efforts.
Ms. Whitlock said the work she will be doing is more detailed in a site specific area than the larger context of the County’s work. She said the timing of the two projects is perfect.
Commissioner Schnell asked about the opportunity for public and Council comment regarding specific concerns.
Ms. Whitlock said as she develops the basic information gathering it is very important to know of any existing concerns or problems so they can be addressed. The proposal provides estimates for presentations and meetings. She will work with the Public Works staff to make sure she is aware of concerns and model the watershed is such a way that the technical answers can respond to people’s questions.
John Przybyl , 1227 Gilbert, said he was glad this issue has come forward. He said the County approved the Ordinance today for the entire St. Joseph Creek Watershed review. He asked about the area to be reviewed in Downers Grove.
Mayor Krajewski said our plan would be St. Joseph Creek within the Village corporate limits.
Ms. Whitlock said the goal with the County will be such that they do not leave a gap, nor will they duplicate efforts. She said this would include downstream streambank stabilization.
Mr. Przybyl said two lots west of his were recently for sale and large homes were built on these lots. One had previously had a one-bedroom fishing shack. He said the area has changed by these large structures and 12 mature oak trees were cut down. He said some areas need to be better respected. He said most Zoning Codes do not do a good job of appreciating the neighborhood. He said it is important to look closer at the ambiance and feel of an area.
Dave Tatterson , 1240 Gilbert, said he has water retention in his backyard during storms. He asked how residents can be involved in this study.
Mayor Krajewski said the contract will include opportunities for resident input. The consultant will have meetings that will be publicly noticed. The Mayor asked that Mr. Tatterson be sent notices of the meetings.
Commissioner Zabloudil said it would be important to gain the input of all the residents along the Creek. He suggested sending a letter to them to heighten their awareness and make them aware of this process and the meetings.
Mr. Przybyl suggested using the sign-in sheets and sending additional notices to those people as is done by the Park District board.
Commissioner Gilbert said there is a copy of this agreement at the Library and on the Village’s web site.
Mayor Krajewski said staff is developing the parking deck and there is the ability to have water storage under the deck, which may help with problems downstream. Recommendations from the report can be incorporated into the project before it begins.
An Ordinance Establishing Parking Restrictions at the Main Street and Maple Avenue Parking Lot. The Manager said the Village constructed a temporary parking lot at the northeast corner of Main Street and Maple Avenue. It was put in place to create additional CBD shopper parking as it is anticipated that current parking area will be affected by the construction of the new parking deck. Staff is requesting the Council adopt an ordinance limiting the area to three-hour shopper parking.
Commissioner Schnell asked about the placement of the handicapped parking space. She asked that the placement be reviewed as it is on a hill.
Bob Schiller , Traffic Manager, Public Works, said the placement of the handicapped stall was discussed. There is a significant grade through the entire parking lot. There is not a level area where it could be placed. Current placement was based on the fact that it is close to the corner and signalized intersection.
Commissioner Schnell said when it snows, the snow will be piled on the lawn next to the parking stall and someone with a wheelchair will not be able to access the driver’s side.
Mr. Schiller said he will review this and will make sure that snow is thoroughly removed so it can be accessed. He said the striped areas should be on the passenger side. Typically, handicapped stalls are not hashed on both sides of the stall.
Commissioner Tully said the Village has a consultant looking at all the parking lots in the CBD and other areas with respect to compliance with the American Disabilities Act. He asked if that study is ongoing. Mr. Schiller said it was and he will ask the consultant to comment on this stall.
Commissioner Tully asked if the Main and Maple parking lot is included in the super ticket program.
Manager Ginex said it was not, and outlined the areas included in the super ticket program at this time.
Commissioner Sisul said the main concern was with businesses further north on Main. He suggested monitoring this lot before moving forward with this. The main emphasis is to encourage shoppers. He said they do not want employees using it as a parking spot.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Gilbert said he had no report at this time.
Commissioner Schnell said the Public Services committee met this evening and discussed three items: The PSI report to address Mr. Hultman’s concern. The consultant commented that he could not give advice regarding the safety issue due to the fact he was not there. The consultant’s report indicated that the project was completed in substantial compliance with the construction documents. Commissioner Schnell suggested the Village continue to monitor the cracks. She said Mr. Clark suggested a professional project manager for the parking deck so concerns can be addressed on a daily basis.
Mayor Krajewski said the Village won a national award for safety. He said the professional project manager for the parking deck was staff’s recommendation and he thinks it is a good idea.
The second item was a discussion of the stormwater administrator title and Kay Whitlock of Burke Engineering joining the Village. The third item was the Automated Meter Reading project including the status of the project, and problems regarding bills that went to some of the residents. She said there is a map of the areas projected to be included next year and suggested in be put on the web page. She said they are getting good signals from the collectors. She said staff is doing a great job and they are getting positive responses. It appears it is working well.
Commissioner McConnell said she would have a report next week.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Attorney Blondin said he was present 19 items: a resolution authorizing an agreement with Metro Transportation Group, Inc. re: Traffic Signal at Main & Franklin; an ordinance prohibiting tampering with police animals; a resolution authorizing an intergovernmental agreement with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County for the joint purchase of natural gas, gasoline and diesel fuel; a resolution authorizing professional development services agreement with The Lakota Group re: CBD Zoning; a resolution authorizing professional development services agreement with The Lakota Group re: Ogden Avenue Corridor Streetscape; an ordinance amending certain provisions of the M-1 District concerning greenspace and parking requirements; an ordinance approving a lot split with an exception as regards lot width for the property commonly known as 728 Prairie Avenue; an ordinance authorizing lot reconfiguration for properties located at 908 Prairie Avenue and 4730 Washington Street; a resolution authorizing execution of a lease agreement with the First United Methodist Church; an ordinance authorizing special use at Saint Mary of Gostyn’s Catholic Church to permit an addition to the existing structures; a resolution authorizing an amendment to an agreement with Orchard Brook Homeowners Association; a motion authorizing 2002 Class “A” scavenger license with BFI /Illinois Recycling; an ordinance authorizing General Obligation Bonds for AMR System; a resolution authorizing execution of an agreement for professional engineering services with Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.; an ordinance establishing parking restriction at the Main Street and Maple Avenue parking lot; an ordinance re: Village of Downers Grove 2001 Aggregate Tax Levy; an ordinance levying taxes for the Fiscal Year commencing on the first day of May, 2001 and ending on the thirtieth day of April, 2002 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area Number One; an ordinance levying taxes for the Fiscal Year commencing on the first day of May, 2001 and ending on the thirtieth day of April, 2002 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area #2 (Downers Grove Downtown Service Area); an ordinance levying taxes for the Fiscal Year commencing on the first day of May, 2001 and ending on the thirtieth day of April, 2002 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area #3 (Prince Pond Special Service Area); an ordinance abating a portion of the 2001 tax levy related to Fairview Avenue Debt Service; an ordinance abating a portion of the 2001 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 1999; an ordinance abating a portion of the 2001 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2000; and an ordinance abating a portion of the 2001 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2001.
Ken Gould, 408 Lake Avenue, asked about the Village’s water source, operable wells and testing.
Mayor Krajewski said the Village gets its water from Lake Michigan. It is brought into a treatment plant. All of the Village wells are operable at this time and serve as the back-up system for the Village. They are tested on a regular basis. Further when the DuPage Water Commission installed the pipes, they brought in a couple of lines so a bypass line would be available if a line is shut down for repairs.
Commissioner Sisul said four members of the Council attended the National League of Cities conference in Atlanta last week. He suggested that each attendee review one of the topics at a workshop in the future. He said they have acquired tapes of some of the meetings. They are of matters of municipal interest.
The Mayor asked that this be put on the January workshop agendas. He asked the Commissioners give the Village Manager topic information.
Commissioner Schnell thanked the Council and the residents for the opportunity to go to the National League of Cities. She said the seminars were exceptionally good as were the presenters. She said she learned a great deal. She said she would be sending a web site address to the rest of the Council that was provided at a seminar on zoning.
Commissioner McConnell said this was a very good conference. She said Downers Grove is in very good shape as compared to many other municipalities. Although our issues are important to us, they pale in comparison to what some of the communities are dealing with. A morning was spent discussing homeland security. Again, she said Downers Grove is in very good shape compared to other municipalities. The coordination efforts we have been doing have paid off. Additionally, she picked up materials for the Technology Commission, and noted that there were several places that would not give her materials when they found out all the things we already have available.
Commissioner Tully thanked the Downers Grove Historical Society for their annual Christmas program presented on Sunday. He said it was an amazing one-man presentation of A Christmas Carol. Regarding the National League of Cities conference, Commissioner Tully said it was an excellent trip and very enriching. He said the four Council members split up and covered the issues of importance to the Village such as budget and finance, stormwater issues, effective government, etc. He said it was useful to sit down with members from large and small cities throughout the country. He said it made him appreciate our community and local government. He learned of a community of 8000 in Minnesota dealing with the State Department of Transportation building a four-lane interstate highway through the middle of town, which will take eight years to complete. This helped him put into perspective the disruption caused by the four-year renovation of the Central Business District Main Street.
Mayor Krajewski thanked the Council members for attending the conference.
Commissioner Sisul moved to adjourn to Executive Session pursuant to Section 2©(5) of the Open Meetings Act to discuss the purchase of property, and Section 2©(11) to discuss litigation. Commissioner Gilbert seconded the Motion.
VOTE : YEA : Commissioners Sisul, Gilbert, Zabloudil, Tully, McConnell, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
The Motion passed unanimously.
The meeting adjourned into Executive Session at 8:17 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk