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September 09, 2003

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, Sue McConnell, Martin Tully, Mark Zabloudil, Ron Sandack, Stan Urban; Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden


Visitors: Press: Kevin Stahr, Downers Grove Reporter Residents & Others in Attendance: John Randall, Marriott Suites, 1500 Opus Place; Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh; Jim Russ, 4915 Main St.; Barb Wysocki, Chamber of Commerce; Liz Chalberg, EDC /Chamber, 728 Randall St.; Terri Brzezinski, 2219 Haddow; Carl and Linda Clevenger, 438 Lake Ave.; Mike Kubes, 5538 Lyman; Peter Tangelo, Green Knolls Center, 63rd and Main; Larry Mesilla, 6610 Barrett; Frank Ross, 1850 W. Ogden Ave.; Jan Kopis, 1240 Chicago Avenue; Mark Burkland, Holland & Knight Staff: Steve Rockwell, Director, Economic Development Commission; Kerstin G. von der Heide, Forester; Dorin Fera, Traffic Manager, Public Works; Amanda Browne, Planner; Phil Ruscetti, Fire Chief; Dave Van Vooren, Deputy Village Manger; Stan Balicki, Support Services Manager, Public Works; Jim Jackson, Deputy Fire Chief; Joe Skach, Director, Planning & Community Development; Mike Millette, Assistant Director, 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.



Purchase of Two Vehicles. Manager Ginex said the 4-wheel drive vehicles are for the Police Department and the Fire Department. He said there is a change in that the Fire Department vehicle will be taken to a broker for sale. Staff recommends the award to Miles Chevrolet for $57,096.00.

Commissioner Urban asked if there is a commission value going through a broker rather than DuPage Mayors and Managers (DMM) auction.

Stan Balicki , Support Services Manager, Public Works, said there is a 10% commission to the broker. There is a fee to the DMM which is about the same, but there is a possibility of getting more through the broker than going through the auction. The broker specializes in reselling fire equipment. Mr. Balicki said that two other vehicles were sold through the same broker.

Commissioner Tully asked about the benefits of buying through the State Master Contract instead of going through the bidding process. Mr. Balicki said that the State bid price is roughly $30,000, while the list price is about $37,000 per vehicle. That is a substantial savings per vehicle rather going through the bidding process, which would also include the cost of staff time.

The Mayor asked if additional equipment will have to be added to the Tahoe.

Jim Jackson , Deputy Fire Chief, said that the radios will come off the existing vehicles, while some other items will have to be added. There will be some additional costs later.

2003 TIF Bonds. The Manager asked Deputy Manager Dave Van Vooren to address this item.

Deputy Village Manager Dave Van Vooren said that he was before the Council about two months ago regarding the sale of the 2003 TIF Bonds. He said they have agreements and are recommending Northern Trust as financial advisor for the sale, and Chapman and Cutler as Bond Counsel for the 2003 TIF Bonds.

North Belmont Park Contract. The Manager said North Belmont Park does not have fresh drinking water. The existing private wells are contaminated with TCE , and a new source of drinking water is necessary. The Village has been working with the County for some time on this. County funding in excess of $290,000 will be for the storm sewer component. The Village has received an IEPA grant for 70% of the water main construction. The final portion of the cost is to be reimbursed by the PRP ’s through the three party agreement recently negotiated and approved. Trine construction was the lowest bidder in the amount of $817,025.60 and staff recommends awarding the contract to them.

Text Amendment Setback Variations – File #10969/9/03. The Manager said Mark Burkland was here to answer questions.

Mark Burkland said that he was there to address whether the scope and form of the suggested text amendment re: Setback variations could be legally precedent-setting in nature. He said that you can never significantly alter a zoning ordinance provision without creating some measure of risk of precedent setting. His opinion is that variations apply to a particular parcel of property when a specific set of standards have been satisfied, and in that situation there is little or no risk than one variation will naturally require another. However, from a practical perspective, whenever a variation is granted it does set a precedent. He said that staff has gone a long way to minimize the risk of granting variations beyond what was intended.

Commissioner Schnell asked when a variance is requested of the ZBA , as part of the packet of materials sent to the Board and as part of the staff recommendation being made to the Board, will there be references of the particular documents prepared given to the Board. How will the documents be integrated to the ZBA members.

Joe Skach , Director, Planning & Community Development, said that they added language making it staff’s duty to do so.

Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said that staff will provide all documentation and it will be a function of the staff to do so. Documents will need to be included such as the Ogden Avenue Master Plan, etc., and those plans will be taken into consideration in their deliberation.

Commissioner Sandack thanked staff for addressing his concerns. The concerns he expressed about Ogden Avenue have been addressed. He asked Mr. Burkland about other zoning districts. He asked if it is common to have this type of expansive language for purposes of ZBA hearings. Mr. Burkland said it is almost routine that zoning ordinances include 100% variation power for yards and often for setbacks as well. It’s common today to be more discerning about the regulations written, and often older codes include both the broad grant of power to vary, and selective limitations in certain circumstances.

Commissioner Sandack asked if the 50% formulaic criterion is common. Mr. Burkland said he has seen that less often, however, it’s limited to the residential district so he sees nothing negative. As far as any red flags or problematic issues, Mr. Burkland responded that there is one provision, at the end of subsection© paragraph 2, regarding the 10’ parkway, and it states an additional 5’ “may” be required, meaning it is not mandatory. There is a solid reason for writing it this way because of the different characteristics that have to be addressed on Ogden Avenue. Writing it with “may” instead of “shall” provides flexibility. The Zoning Board of Appeals needs to be careful and disciplined in how it analyzes these applications.

Commissioner Sandack said this has been a healthy debate. This is a difficult subject to conceptualize. The Village is doing something that will hopefully give the Ogden Avenue owners some flexibility in putting the real estate to its best use. He appreciates the efforts of staff on this issue.

Commissioner McConnell asked why this needs to be done in the first place. She did add that she has seen some of the benefits of doing this overall.

Mr. Skach said there were a couple of sites that really articulated the issue. Due to the 50% limitation on the required yards, there are several instances where the Village cannot even have a discussion with the potential petitioner because the site cannot meet the requirements and remain in productive use. He gave as an example the site at the location of 63rd and Woodward which could not be put into productive use.

Commissioner McConnell asked if it was Mr. Skach’s opinion that this is not just an isolated issue but there is a significant issue in many of the Village’s business districts that would not allow the owners to be able to use the property productively.

Mr. Skach responded that it is a larger scale issue. This provision at least allows discussion to be had.

Commissioner McConnell said that she wants the Village to be cautious not to over-engineer for an isolated or sporadic issue.

Commissioner McConnell then asked Attorney Petrarca about the precedent setting. She referred to the standards for granting a variation and how that would be documented. She asked if they should go back and look at the process of documentation particularly with regard to the standards, as that helps the Village to be clear from a legal perspective as well as a practical perspective. She suggested that they look at beefing up specifics of documentation.

Commissioner Urban asked whether staff was comfortable with this ordinance in how it is being presented, or do they believe more is needed. He does not want to limit the boards and the staff with stringent ordinances. He was happy with the first proposal that was presented. Mr. Skach responded that there are several Code issues that need to be looked at, and staff will continue to review and analyze those.

The Mayor asked Mr. Skach whether they can implement the Ogden Avenue plans. Mr. Skach that Planning is trying to keep up with the development. He said they have completed a grant application with a sidewalk plan for Ogden Avenue, as well as landscaping issues. They are also seeking funds to put implementable components in place as well. He said they do not need anything else that he can think of at this time.

Commissioner Urban said he looks at Ogden Avenue as a diamond in the rough. He is in favor of whatever is needed to develop Ogden Avenue in the proper fashion.

Commissioner Tully said he was happy with the prior version of the ordinance, and this one is better. He believes that variations should be made available where it makes sense to do so. It does not make sense to prohibit developments that make sense. He considers it wrong not to allow a petitioner to request variations up to whatever amount for a common sense development. He is not concerned with the breadth of this ordinance since it is in the form of a variance, and provides the flexibility they are seeking. He questions the parking component. The previous version permitted parking in a required yard and that is not in this version. Attorney Petrarca said it is incorporated in the new language. Commissioner Tully said he was happy that variations will only be granted where it makes sense to do so. He thinks the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Plan Commission, in particular, need to be particularly vigilant in applying the criteria for granting a variation which will substantially reduce the possibility of unwanted precedents.

Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, asked if the Council has any recourse if a variation is granted under this Ordinance that strikes the Council as inappropriate. Attorney Petrarca said that the ZBA has the final decision. She added that if it is simply a variance, the ZBA has final decision. If it is a component of a Planned Development then it eventually would come to the Council. Commissioner Tully pointed out that is the way it is now.

Dr. Goodman pointed out that the Village needs to make sure that all plans required are reviewed and current, such as the Comprehensive Plan and individual component plans. The Mayor said that the EDC and Plan Commission have been studying this for the past 7 or 8 months. They are looking at all of the major business areas.

Jan Kopis , 1240 Chicago, said he is Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Chamber of Commerce. He said he hoped that this version would be accepted. He said that there is a strong ZBA and Plan Commission that can address a variance and create amicable solutions for all parties. This is a building block to create progress. He said that the Chamber is a very proactive business and endorses this recommended amendment.

Parking & Traffic Commission Recommendation: File #12-03 Regulatory Control at the Intersection of Summit Street and Carpenter Street. The Manager said this location is in front of his house, and staff was asked to look at this by many of his neighbors. There is a high rate of speeding traffic on Summit. Staff discovered that traffic on Summit for a one-block area is 30 mph. Staff has recommended a Yield sign on the northeast corner of westbound Summit Street, as well as a temporary right turn restriction on Main Street and Summit.

Commissioner McConnell said that she drives on Carpenter almost every day and it has been particularly difficult.

Tree Supply and Planting Services with the Suburban Tree Consortium. The Manager said that for more than a decade tree supply and planting services have been obtained through the Consortium. The Consortium requires a resolution from the members. Staff is recommending about 189 trees. Contracts for tree and stump removal totaling $85,000 have already been approved. Staff is working diligently to keep the cost down, and is requesting a resolution for $40,000 to participate in the Consortium.

Commissioner Urban asked whether the staff has looked into the Village starting its own nursery as some other communities have done.

Kerstin von der Heide , Village Forester, said they have looked at it, but not formally. The Park District did this and had problems with deer and watering.

Commissioner Tully asked how much weight is given to installing more disease resistant species. Ms. von der Heide said she always steers toward the heartier species.

Commissioner Schnell asked if these are basically replacement trees. Ms. von der Heide said they were. There is still a backlog of trees to be replaced. The ones that are listed for this fall and spring of 2004 were originally scheduled for last year. In the past people had to wait only one planting season. The backlog presently is 129 trees. In further response to the Commission, Ms. von der Heide said residents are notified by door hangers, and in some instances, a letter is sent for storm-damaged areas.

Commissioner Schnell said St. Mary’s Church lost two trees. Ms. von der Heide said that she can notify them of what is available for replacement.

The Mayor noted that storm damage caused the loss of some trees on the south end of town of town as well. He also noted that in the past, there was brush pickup in the Village, and said that Woodridge just did this recently as well. He understands there are liability issues; however, he’d like to have this looked into over the next six months in terms of the determining what the additional cost for liability would be.

Linda Clevenger , 438 Lake Avenue, said that the trees have been a concern of hers for several years. She has spoken with the Forestry Department and has been waiting for a tree to be replaced for more than two years. They called the Village four years ago about a dying tree, which subsequently died, and they are still waiting. Ms. Clevenger said that it looks like the street is changing its make-up, with no mature trees in their area. She wondered when they are scheduled for tree replacement.

Ms. von der Heide said that they send out postcards to residents before planting takes place to remind residents of the options available. She said she would get back to Ms. Clevenger.

Dr. Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, said he was supportive of the effort to appropriate $40,000 on trees this year. He had questions regarding the Consortium, which he thought was a good arrangement. He asked what happened in 2002/03 and why no trees were planted. He asked if the Village reneged on the agreement.

Ms. von der Heide said they are in good standing. The nursery has had fantastic business with the new buildings, and they have asked Villages to be realistic on their numbers and to aim high so they know how many trees need to be planted to meet the request for five years in the future. She said that Villages have collectively ordered 1000 per year, and the Consortium has collectively purchased 5000 trees annually.

Dr. Goodman then asked about the 5-year plan, saying it looks as though the plan allows for 50 trees purchased in the fall, and 104 in the spring. With the $40,000 they apparently hope to plant 70 in the fall and 119 in the spring. He asked if they can pick up the slack for some other community with this additional amount of plantings. He is trying to understand the relationship between the order and the actual performance.

The Mayor asked if the extra trees will be available. Ms. von der Heide said that the Village plants more in the spring, as it is the best time. She said that most municipalities are seeking the same type of trees, so the excess will be available.

Parking Rates Ordinance. The Manager said that the rates were increased for the parking meter and permit rates in the Metra lots earlier this year. Last week the Village and Metra reached an agreement to assist with the reduction of the Village’s capital improvement funding. This Ordinance returns the fees to the previous year’s levels. Permit parkers will be credited the difference on their next quarterly statement.

Commissioner McConnell asked about those who pay the higher daily rates, and the Manager said they will not receive a refund as they do not know who those people are.

Village Council Policy Regarding Advertising. The Manager said the Village has been looking at doing some advertising on Village buses. They are close to an agreement with PACE , and need a policy to control maintaining consistency in advertising practices.

Commissioner Tully thanked the Village Attorney for taking initiative to bring this forth. He said he spoke with the Attorney about a revision to Paragraph 6 of the ordinance regarding the prohibition of commercial advertising for candidates for public office.

Commissioner Tully then said the Local Transportation Subcommittee would like to know when this will start and what the advertisements will look like, and what type of funds will be generated from this. He asked for clarification that all funds generated will go into the Transportation fund.

Commissioner Schnell said she thought this would be of benefit to the Transportation Fund, and it is a win/win situation.

Technical Amendment. The Manager said this corrects typos, and other inconsistencies in the Code.

Amendment by Village and TranSystems Corporation. The Manager said this is for Dunham Road between Lemont Road and 71st Street, and provides for wetland mitigation design and erosion control by the Department of Transportation. A design of the roadway improvements has been completed by TranSystems. He said the amendment is in the amount of $19,690 for the wetland mitigation plan.

The Mayor asked if this project was secured through STP funding.

Mike Millette , Assistant Director, Public Works, said it was secured through STP . In response to the Mayor, he said Harry W. Kuhn did the work on Dunham between 63rd and 75th. The Mayor said they did a very good job. Mr. Millette said they also did Fairview.

Versar Amendment. The Manager said this is the second and final extension for professional environmental services. The conditions remain the same; however, Versar is requesting a $5.00 per hour increase for new tasks.

Commissioner McConnell asked for confirmation that the 20% charge will be 15%, and Mr. Skach said that was correct.

The Mayor asked about the RFQ for the Curtiss Block. Mr. Skach said they received information on Friday and will get it out to the Council as soon as possible. Commissioner Sandack asked when, and Mr. Skach said within the next two weeks. Commissioner Schnell asked that a copy be made available to the Council members.


Public Services Committee

Commissioner Tully said the Local Transportation Subcommittee will meet tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. at Village Hall. The Stormwater Utility meeting date may change.


Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting nine items to the Council: 1) An ordinance amending provisions for variations; 2) An ordinance amending traffic regulations on Summit Street; 3) A resolution expressing intent to continue participation in the Suburban Tree Consortium and to authorize certain purchases for FY2003 /2004; 4) An ordinance amending permit parking lots and parking rates; 5) An ordinance adopting advertising policies; 6) An ordinance making certain technical amendments to the Downers Grove Municipal Code; 7) A resolution authorizing an amendment to an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and TranSystems Corporation for professional services (Dunham Road improvements); 8) A resolution authorizing a third addendum to an agreement for professional services between the Village of Downers Grove and Versar, Inc.; and 9) A resolution authorizing submittal of applications to the DuPage Community Development Commission for the 2004 block grant funding for Community Oriented Policing Programs.


The Mayor announced that it was Commissioner Zabloudil’s birthday and the Council wished him the best.


Commissioner McConnell said that Character Counts will be sponsoring the Circle of Citizenship honoring the military both past and present. This will take place on September 13 at Fishel Park.

Commissioner Tully said that the Stormwater Floodplain Oversight Committee will be discussing new Committee tasks including looking at the various stormwater projects in the Village and coming up with a matrix priority ranking system. Their meeting is tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.

The Mayor said that on Friday an agreement was reached with the County regarding the contaminated water agreement. He thanked the staff for the extraordinary amount of time that was spent on this issue. He said $1.8 million was spent in 1985/86 for the infrastructure, which is now worth over $3 million. The Council last year said that the policy requiring annexation is now changed and the Village will not be annexing that area. Staff and Council have reduced the hookup fee to $2000. Mr. Shillerstrom and the County thought this was extremely fair. The said the PRPs are still working with the IEPA and the USEPA . Once the agreement is finalized they will move forward. He thanked staff again for their time and effort.


There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

April K. Holden Village Clerk Tmh