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, Martin Tully, Ron Sandack, Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Absent:Commissioners Sue McConnell, Mark Zabloudil and Stan Urban
Visitors: Press: Kris Owens, The Sun Residents: Ron Sievers, Michael Stevens (Sievers Development); Megan Schroeder, 6036 Ridge Court; Jim Russ, 4915 Main St.; Steve & Beverly Creagan, 2400 College Road; Dan Hill, 2437 College Road; Michael Ouska, 5710 Janes Ave.; Debbie Johnson, 5850 Chase; Joseph Gentiluomo, 2423 College Rd.; Andrew Clark, 1226 62nd St.; Laurel Bowen, 829 Clyde Dr.; Al Gonda, 6120 Kingston Ave., Lisle; Dave Gonda, 956 N. Brainard, Naperville; Jane Mack-Crane, 5616 Elinor Ave.; Scott A. Herbert, 2238 College Rd.; James & Shirley Williams, 2474 College Rd.; Kevin Wirth, 2333 College Rd.; Lorraine M. & George Ross, 2235 College Rd.; Dennis Zimmerman, 5831 Elinor Ave.; Peter Hultman, 5300 Walnut; Michael Morris, 2517 College Rd.; Tom Long, 2206 College Rd. Gordon L. Goodman, 5834 Middaugh; Scott Strader, 4817 Lee Ave. Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore Ave. Staff: Joe Skach, Director, Planning & Community Development; Dorin Fera, Traffic Manager. Public Works; Phil Ruscetti, Fire Chief; Jim Jackson, Deputy Fire Chief; Dave Barber, Director, Public Works; Don Rosenthal, Director, Code Services; Stan Balicki, Support Services Manager, Public Works; Doug Kozlowski, Public Information Officer; Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager; Dave Van Vooren, Deputy Village Manager; Dan Mejdrech, Lieutenant, Fire Department; Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works; Steve Rockwell, Director, Economic Development
Mayor Krajewski explained that Council Workshop meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. The meetings are video taped live and for later cable cast over cable channel 6.
The Workshop meeting is intended to provide Council and the public with an appropriate forum for informal discussion of any items intended for future Council consideration or just for general information. No formal action is taken at Workshop meetings.
The public is invited to attend and encouraged to comment or ask questions in an informal manner on any of the items being discussed or on any other subject. The agenda is created to provide a guideline for discussion.
The Mayor introduced a group of Tiger Cubs from 1st grade at Fairmount School. Each received pins, and a flag was given to them for parades.
Bid: Fire Engine Purchase. Manager Ginex said the Department will be replacing the 1989 Ford Pumper with an engine from Pierce Manufacturing for which $283,250 is budgeted. They hope to get $25,000-30,000 for the Pumper. The Northwest Municipal Conference enables the Village to get a substantial discount toward the purchase. The final price of the truck is $309,545.
Commissioner Schnell said there is a $1500 fee to the Northwest Municipal Conference and asked if it was included in the cost. Manager Ginex said it was.
Commissioner Tully asked if the Fire Department will get all the equipment on the truck they need.
Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jackson said that staff worked diligently to assure that everything needed on the engine will be provided.
Lt. Dan Majdrech said the vehicle will do everything they need it to do.
Commissioner Tully said that although this purchase did not go out for bid through the Village, the Northwest Municipal Conference received bids from numerous apparatus vendors.
The Mayor asked if Pierce did the rescue truck, and Deputy Jackson said they did. They can add loose equipment to the proposed truck.
Parking & Traffic Commission File #19-02 Parking Restrictions Ridge Court & 61st Street. The Manager said staff did a study of the cul de sac. It has a 27-foot turning radius which is smaller than most. As a result parking on the street poses a problem for fire apparatus access. Therefore, parking restrictions are needed to provide for proper emergency services along both sides of Ridge Court north of 61st Street between 6:00-9:00 a.m.
The Mayor said that this was done on Brookbank, which does not really solve the situation because parking just moves down to the next available area. He asked that they look at making these restrictions uniform in the whole area.
Megan Schroeder , 6036 Ridge Court, said she favored the restrictions, but said that the school district has some late start dates. She asked that this be looked at more carefully and that the Village work with the schools particularly with the late starts on trash collection days. She said they need better solutions than all the different time restrictions.
Renewal of Notwires Internet Service Agreement. The Manager said Notwires has been used since June 2001. The renegotiation has reduced the cost by $900 per month, and staff recommends renewing the three-year agreement.
The Mayor noted that all e-mail addresses are changing, and the Manager said that the e-mail domain will change to just Downers.us. The Mayor said that the old e-mail will be good for a while but eventually they will only use the new address.
Plan Commission File No. 2005:
Annexation of 2323 Maple Avenue.
Rezoning of 2323 Maple Avenue.
Preliminary Plat for the Villas of Maple Woods Subdivision.
The Manager asked Joe Skach, Director, Planning and Community Development, to discuss this item.
Joe Skach , Director, Planning and Community Development, said there was no additional information other than what was presented in the Staff report.
Commissioner Schnell said there was a discussion of the number of units. The street is not a dedicated street, so the discussion is whether to accept the right-of-way. If they go with the 39 units with green space, it would eventually allow for the street if it should go through in the future. Mr. Skach said that was correct. He said with 41 units the opportunity for the potential roadway would be lost. He indicated that staff recommends the 39 units which provides for using the right-of-way as greenspace.
Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, commented on the right-of-way, agreeing with the Staff recommendation. He said it is important to keep the green way. He suggested that before a decision is made for a street, they should provide a pedestrian access along Janes through the development.
Steven Creagan , 2400 College Road, lives adjacent to the proposed development. He said they have spoken with many area residents, and he had a petition presented to the Lisle Township Highway Commissioner against connecting through to College Road. There are no sidewalks in the area, and there are safety concerns. Approximately ten years ago when the Village added the Bristol Apartments, it greatly increased traffic in the area. No provisions were made for sidewalks, and there were narrow streets. He said residents would like to see the problems regarding Durand Drive worked out. They do not want Durand Drive to connect through due in part to a flooding problem. There are existing safety concerns. He feels it is a good idea to leave it as greenspace. The multi-residential tenant would be up against large single-family lots. Mr. Creagan said it is a dangerous area already in terms of traffic, and they do not want to add more problems. He gave the petition to the Village Clerk.
Commissioner Tully asked Mr. Skach about the recommendations being made. He understood one was to either approve the preliminary plat with no right-of-way, giving the developer the option to add one more unit and foreclose any possible connection to College Avenue, or to approve the right-of-way that would be used as greenspace and allow the potential to connect to College in the future. Mr. Skach said that was correct per the Code requirements.
Commissioner Tully said that there is no proposal currently before the Council to improve the right-of-way into a street. The Mayor said he understood that the Highway Commissioner has no desire to improve that road. Mr. Creagan said that most of the residents would like to see the trees saved and would prefer the extra greenspace.
Joseph Gentiluomo , 2423 College, said he has lived in the area 48 years and is concerned for the safety of the children. He said there are traffic problems on College Road with Chase Avenue, Elinor, and the Bristol apartments. There is no way to patrol the area without the police there 24 hours a day. He recommends that the road not go through. He also expressed concern with potential flag lots in the area. The Mayor said that the area is under County jurisdiction and their rules are different. Mr. Gentiluomo said that residents are concerned about the lot sizes. The Mayor said those concerns would be passed on to the County.
Scott Herbert , 2238 College Road, wanted clarification of the proposal. Commissioner Tully said there are three things to be considered: 1) to annex the larger parcel, 2) to rezone the larger parcel, and 3) to give preliminary approval to the plat. The current recommendation is not to require the petitioner to dedicate a portion of the parcel as a right-of-way. As such, it could never be a street but would include additional units. The second recommendation is to keep the plan at 39 units, and require the petitioner to dedicate the right of way but not improve it, which would allow the Village the option someday, or not at all, to put in a connecting roadway if circumstances justify it.
Mr. Herbert asked if any reasons were given as to why it might need to be opened up in the future.
Commissioner Tully said no, but they may not want to tie the hands of a future Council or residents, and would prefer to keep the option open.
The Mayor said that Lisle Township has the rest of the road and they have no plans to improve it.
Bruce Johnson , 5850 Chase Avenue, said he is hearing that for some vague future possibility, they should keep a stub open. He feels the more compelling reason is the safety of the people who have to live with the existing traffic situation.
Commissioner Tully clarified that there is no proposal to put a street through. All they are considering is whether to provide an option. It appears that there would be a number of things that would have to be approved before a street could even be considered.
Mike Morris, Jr. , 2517 College, said that the area has the potential of being annexed at some future date, and he intends at that time to ask the Council for help with the traffic situation. He takes the PACE bus to Belmont Station and at College and Elinor Roads perhaps one out of ten cars actually come to a stop. The homeowners want to preserve College Road as it is today with no further increase in traffic. The Mayor said he does not believe the Village will annex this area anytime soon.
Jane Mack-Crane , 5616 Elinor, said she hoped the Village would approve the 41 units with no stub. She sees no need for options, and hopes that the Village does not consider any additional multi-family homes in the area. She sees the multi-family area as a buffer.
Steve Creager clarified that if this is left at 39 units they will put in greenspace, and not a street stub. The Mayor said that one resident commented on putting in a walking area.
Lorraine Ross , 2235 College, lives on the east end of the dead-end cul de sac, which has tremendous traffic. People do not read the dead end sign, and use her driveway as a turnaround. She pointed out that at the intersection of Chase and College the traffic does not stop, people speed and show no respect for the residential area. She said any traffic from a proposed stub would go east or west and would result in a disaster. She said that these are country lots and are unincorporated. Tax dollars go to Lisle Township who maintains the roads.
The Mayor said that the only entrance and exit is from Maple. Streets throughout the Village are used by people outside of Downers Grove.
Ms. Ross said that Mr. Dow of Lisle Township said that the Township will not agree to open Janes north of College Road. She said that Mr. Sievers did petition Lisle for an exit onto College.
Commissioner Tully said that there is no proposal to put a street through and the Village is not empowered to put a street through. The proposal is only in regards to a right-of-way. Ms. Ross asked if the Village incorporated that area whether they could put a roadway through. The Mayor responded that the Village cannot incorporate that area. The residents would have to voluntarily annex into the Village.
Commissioner Sandack said that staff might want both ordinances prepared for next week.
Demolition Ordinance. The Manager said that staff made changes reducing fencing from 6’ to 4’, and using chain link fence between 6’ and 8’ for commercial developments. The ordinance also establishes a $500 bond requirement to allow for remedial clean up in case the contractor fails to clean the site. Silt fencing will be installed prior to demolition and can be removed after final grading. Dumpsters must be placed within 3’-4’ of the excavation, and port-a-potties shall be set back from all the property lines.
Commissioner Schnell told Ms. Petrarca that she received an e-mail about this ordinance. One of the concerns about teardowns is tree removal. She asked whether there is a possibility to look at a revision to the ordinance stating that trees within a sideyard setback should be kept.
Don Rosenthal , Director, Code Services, said that they have covered that in Section D by saying each tree on the property including the parkway must be provided with fencing. The Commissioner said the difference is to save the trees, not just protect with fencing.
Attorney Petrarca said there is an issue regarding private property. They can only mandate the parkway.
The Mayor said they may want to look at this issue in different places than just in the demolition ordinance.
Commissioner Sandack said that the parkway is addressed. Village trees are protected. He is in favor of incentives not to tear down trees, but it is private property. This ordinance at least protects the Village trees.
Commissioner Tully said that the incentive would be worth looking at in his opinion. Any tree removal ordinance would apply to anyone who bought a house, not just builders.
Commissioner Sandack thanked staff for the changes. He noted that some builders are regulating themselves. If this is passed, he asked if it would go into effect immediately. Mr. Rosenthal said that it would. Those presently under construction would be asked to comply.
Scott Strader , 4817 Lee Avenue, said he is the resident who asked about tree removal. In some communities for every tree that comes down there must be a permit. Some builders even build homes around the trees. He would be in favor of adding it as an incentive. He asked what percentage of a building is considered a teardown or demolition.
Mr. Rosenthal responded that it requires 50% of the structure. Mr. Strader asked how big of a home can be put on a lot, and Mr. Rosenthal said that the size of the home is determined by the zoning.
The Mayor said that the issue of the size of buildings on lots may be looked at in the future as well.
Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, commented on the two provisions. The home adjacent to his is being constructed about 150’ in depth on a 75’ wide lot. In general he thinks this ordinance is a good step for the Village. He commented on Section D, saying that it is common practice to take trees down prior to application for a demolition permit. Some communities require obtaining a permit for removal of trees of a certain diameter. There needs to be justification for the removal and counseling on the part of the Forester. It also requires a commitment of the Village to staff such a position. Dr. Goodman said that he thought Section D deals adequately with trees in the context of demolition; however, it needs to be supplemented with more attention to incentives for tree preservation. Regarding paragraph “J”, regarding blockage of streets and sidewalks during demolition, he said that in some cases, such as the construction adjacent to his home, sidewalks are removed completely and not replaced until the construction is completed. This causes an interruption of traffic and the sidewalk is not available for use. He suggested that the Village might want to look at the timing for removal of the sidewalks and reopening them.
Mr. Rosenthal said that normally the sidewalk is not removed. He said staff will review this. Normally it takes a week to pour a sidewalk.
Weed Ordinance. The Manager said this is to clarify the definition of weed as opposed to a “planting”, as well as describing landscape requirements.
Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, stated he supported the amendments to this ordinance. They do clarify and place conditions to be met for natural landscaping.
Peter Hultman , 5300 Walnut, said he wrote the Council regarding his opinion on plantings in the Village. Ordinance #4442 was passed in August 2002 making it illegal to have plants in excess of 10” in height on the Village right-of-way. He said in Downers Grove, at sidewalks and intersections there are plants as large as 8’ tall, which provides serious problems for pedestrians and motorists. The ordinance is clear on the height, but the problem is that it is not enforced. His opinion is that the ordinance should be left as it is, and make the corrections needed to provide safety for pedestrians and motorists of the Village. He said that the Village has maintained illegal plantings at great cost to the citizens.
Lacey Creek Grant Agreement with DuPage County . The Manager said staff recommends approval of the intergovernmental agreement to provide financial support in the amount of $20,946 toward the final phase of the Lacey Creek Restoration Project. Improvement of the project will provide better water quality, reduction of erosion, and improved wildlife habitation.
The Mayor asked if Mike Baker heard from the County.
Mike Baker , Assistant to the Village Manager, said they have not responded as yet. He said the staff inquired as to whether Innisbrook could be included as well. The Mayor said that County funded 20% of the project. The question remains whether the County would fund 20% of the Innisbrook project as well.
Commissioner Tully clarified that this refers to Hickory Court Ditch.
Illinois 2004 Citizen Corps Program Grant Application to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The Manager said this grant in the amount of $21,487 is to support a Citizen Corps Program, which provide auxiliary services to the Village in the event of an emergency.
Commissioner Tully asked what would the situation be in terms of continuing the program after funding terminates.
Fire Chief Phil Ruscetti said they hope they would be able to continue the program funding. Major purchases would probably last for a number of years. He believes there will be more funding, especially since 9/11. He noted that young people will be involved in this project. He indicated that they would do fund raising if necessary.
FY05 Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) Application to the Chicago Area Transportation Study to Support a Sidewalk Project on Ogden Avenue. The Manager said this grant application in the amount of $1,162,000 would cover both sides of Ogden Avenue to facilitate a parkway improvement in conjunction with similar initiatives in Westmont and Lisle. Construction would begin in 2005 through 2007. They hope to use TIF funding for the project.
Commissioner Schnell asked where the Village has rights-of-way.
Mike Millette , Assistant Director, Public Works, said they have a larger map that shows the information. Commissioner Schnell said there would likely be right-of-way acquisition.
Commissioner Tully said the Council once discussed resubmitting a grant for Gilbert Avenue sidewalks. Mr. Millette said that the CMAQ fared so poorly they are looking at an STP grant.
Chris Fregeau , 1918 Elmore, asked for the criteria to determine whether TIF funds would apply. The Mayor said that since it is on Ogden Avenue it is a TIF eligible district. The Village could always choose to use other funds. Ms. Fregeau thanked the Council for following up on this.
Verizon CDPD Service Contract Renewal. The Manager said this is a contract renewal for the cellular digital packet service for mobile data computers used by the Police Department in the field.
The Mayor proclaimed January 19, 2004 as Martin Luther King Day in the Village of Downers Grove.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Tully said that the Local Transportation Subcommittee will meet tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. They are in the process of wrapping up their final report on the Grove Commuter Shuttle Service.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
Manager Ginex said that he attended the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Winter Conference in Rosemont. The Village of Downers Grove was recognized as one of four outstanding Community Oriented Policing projects in the State.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting 12 items to the Council: 1) An ordinance establishing parking restrictions on Ridge Court and 61st Street; 2) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between The Village of Downers Grove and Genisys Notwires Internet; 3) An ordinance annexing 2323 Maple Avenue and the vacant parcel immediately west thereof to The Village of Downers Grove, Illinois; 4) An ordinance amending the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of The Village of Downers Grove, Illinois, passed and approved April 19, 1965, as amended, to rezone 2323 Maple Avenue and the vacant parcel immediately west thereof (Village R-1 to Village R-5A); 5) A resolution approving the preliminary plat of subdivision for Villas of Maple Woods Subdivision; 6) An ordinance establishing standards for demolition and construction activities; 7) An ordinance amending the Property Maintenance Code; 8) A resolution authorizing execution of an intergovernmental agreement between the County of DuPage, Illinois and The Village of Downers Grove for the final phase of the Lacey Creek Stream Corridor Restoration Project; 9) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) for Illinois 2004 Citizen Corps Program; 10) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Chicago Area Transportation Study for FY 2005 Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ); 11) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between The Village of Downers Grove and Verizon Wireless; and 12) A resolution approving the final plat of resubdivision for Bradley’s Brookbank Prairie Subdivision.
Commissioner Sandack said that the Ice Festival is scheduled for January 23 and 24. Regarding this evening’s discussions, he said that teardowns are on the Council’s radar. The next topic of discussion will concern teardowns themselves. The Council has been asked for opinions regarding new building on small lots. He said he has received many e-mails from people interested in this topic, and he has invited them to participate in the discussions when they begin.
Commissioner Schnell concurred with Commissioner Sandack’s comments and she hoped that the community does become involved.
Commissioner Tully encouraged everyone to come down for the Ice Festival on January 23-25. Regarding the “teardowns,” it is not a teardown issue, but is broader and includes looking at the issues of zoning, building codes and code enforcement issues. There are many opinions on the subject, and the Council will be studying those issues in detail.
Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, asked how the public will be able to review the Bradley proposal plat of subdivision. Attorney Petrarca said it will be in the Library. Dr. Goodman said the scale is usually so small that it is difficult to see. Attorney Petrarca said they can have a copy made at Public Works. The Mayor said they should make one large copy and send it to the Library.
Dr. Goodman then asked about the Environmental Concerns Commission and asked when it will come into service. The Mayor said he is working on this right now, and Dr. Goodman is on the list for people to be interviewed.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 8:04 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh