Skip to main content

August 10, 2004

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: Residents: Kevin Ohl, Crowe Chizek, One Mid-America Plaza, Oak Brook; George Nicholaou, Plan Commission; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore Avenue; Bill Wrobel, 7800 Queens Ct.; Andy Clark, 1226 62nd St.; Chris Lavoie, 1928 Wellington Place; Tim McJoynt, 1423 Grant; Peter Hultman, 5300 Walnut; Jim Mulqueeny, Village Technology Committee, 1190 Parker Ave.; Liz Chalberg, Economic Development Commission Staff: Brian Parks, Engineer, Public Works; Kerstin von der Heide, Forester, Public Works; Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager; Dave Van Vooren, Deputy Village Manager; Liangfu Wu, Dir. Information Services; Dave Hankes, Webmaster; Ann Marie Perez, Staff Attorney; Jon Hall, Stormwater Administrator; Don Scheidler, Code Enforcement Officer; Dave Barber, Director Public Works; Doug Kozlowski, Director, Marketing & Media; Joe Skach, Director, Planning & Community Development; Lori Sommers, Planner

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.


Change Order #15 – Parking Deck. Manager Ginex asked Dave Barber, Director, Public Works, to address this item.

Dave Barber , Director of Public Works, said that Change Order #15 includes replacement of a ten-foot section of retaining wall at $1,250, additional intermediate stiffeners to the security screens at a cost of $10,810. The Village will seek restitution for some of this cost. Also included is Saturday work to accelerate work on the stormsewer installation. The total for this Change Order request is $16,928.00. The total amount of Change Orders is $356,459 which represents 3.03% and is within the 5% allotment established.

The Mayor asked whether they expect that future change orders will still be under budget. Mr. Barber said he will provide the Council with a monthly report.

Tree Supply & Planting Services through the Suburban Tree Consortium. The Manager asked Kerstin von der Heide, Village Forester, to address this issue.

Kerstin von der Heide , Village Forester, said there are 31 communities involved in the Tree Consortium which include four supply nurseries. Trees can be ordered five years in advance, and there is the option to add to the order. She said she has been pleased with the resident participation, with 33% of the plantings done at citizens’ requests. The budget for tree services is $265,000 including tree supply and planting, tree and stump removal, demand pruning, and winter pruning. The recommendation is to continue participation with the Consortium in the amount of $69,600. She said the five-year order has been provided to the Council as well. She said she has been relatively conservative in her order and has included those species most requested.

The Mayor said there was a tree planting charge of $80. Ms. von der Heide said that the contractor plants the trees, including delivery, planting, watering and fertilizing.

The Mayor then asked about estimated budgeted amounts in the four different areas of tree services. He would like to know the status of the four areas. Ms. von der Heide said the tree and stump removal is in progress and she estimates a cost of about $100,000. The Mayor said he would also like an idea of what other communities order. Ms. von der Heide said the trees in this request are for pre-orders. In the last fiscal year the 31 communities bought over 5,000, and she then reviewed the other communities’ orders. Most averaged over 300 trees purchased.

Mayor Krajewski then discussed the fines for builders, which was $18,000. He said he would want to see this go into new trees. Ms. von der Heide said when she revised the Municipal Code in 1996 she wanted tree protection to happen in the parkways, and is frustrated that it is not. She said they have an appraisal method based on an International Society of Agriculture book that considers species, size, location, condition, contribution to the neighborhood, etc. That is why the fees vary. Trees which are 15” in diameter have been valued at about $3,000-$5,000. She said they will be looking at multiple fines in the future if the current fine systems does not work.

Commissioner McConnell asked how the prorated system works. Ms. von der Heide said if the tree has to be removed and replaced, they would be charged the whole amount.

Commissioner Schnell asked whether there is a way to be more proactive, and have Code Enforcement require some type of protective fencing on the part of the builders. Ms. von der Heide said they are proactive, but it only takes one day to cause a problem. Mr. Barber added that right-of-way permits are handled by Public Works, and he has asked that a training program be instituted for the staff.

Commissioner Schnell asked if birch trees are parkway trees, and Ms. von der Heide said the Village purchases single stem river birches as they work out well.

The Mayor asked if the Village requires the builder to hire an arborist if the tree is damaged as Hinsdale does. Ms. von der Heide said they do not at this time. She said they require fences, which do blow down. She said that they need staff to keep an eye out for that.

Mayor Krajewski asked if they were only now starting to fine the violators. Ms. von der Heide said it has only recently started. Right now she is watching 200 trees. The Mayor asked whether they can commit the fine money to buy new trees. Ms. von der Heide said it is used to offset the account.

Mike Baker , Assistant Village Manager, said he believed they put some expenses in the tree services budget in anticipation of the fines. If the fines exceed what was budgeted, they may be able to put in a budget amendment. He will obtain the tree services budget and provide answers to the Council.

Commissioner Tully said that the Council seems to be open to suggestions as to how to better protect parkway trees. He volunteered the services of the Public Services Standing committee to review any proposals.

Commissioner Zabloudil encouraged a policy on the fine schedule. He would like to see the policy put in place, and the Council concurred with that suggestion.

Liz Chalberg , 728 Randall, said with the huge influx of contractors, the Village is getting high quality contractors as well as some lower quality contractors who may attempt to cut their budget. She suggested a data base to track if a contractor has damaged any tree in order to determine if they should get a permit at all or should be charged extra for their permit. The Mayor concurred with keeping a record of offenders to identify repeat offenders.

Commissioner Sandack said if there are repeat offenders they could adjust the bonding as well.

Chris Fregeau , 1918 Elmore, said that the Village needs to send a reminder to residents as well and make sure that the residents are caring for trees as well.

Bid: Sidewalk (Glendenning & Woodward). The Manager said these projects are for Woodward from Chicago to Warren, and Glendenning between 39th and Ogden. Two bids were received with the low bid of $137,955 from A&R Cement, who also did Phase I. The Manager said after Phase I there was approximately $105,000 available in the budget. The total estimate for both Phase I & II will be in the area of $442,257. That exceeds the budget amount by approximately $57,257. Staff recommends using the excess from the quadrant funds for the additional work. He said a handout was distributed to the Council with a cost breakdown.

The Mayor asked if there is $162,000 in the quad fund, and Mr. Baker said that was correct. The Mayor asked about the gap program and Mr. Barber said that the gap program has been completed. He asked about the status of the project, and whether additional quadrant funds will be used for the gaps. Mr. Barber said they anticipate the quadrant funds will be used on the matrix list. He said work has started at Chase and James. Work will begin in September, and they are a bit ahead of schedule. In response to Commissioner Schnell, Mr. Barber said that staff met with the Glendenning and Woodward residents before the bids went out.

Commissioner Tully said he was glad they are able to take two more sidewalks off the matrix.

Purchase of a Document Management System. The Manager asked Dr. Liangfu Wu, Director, Information Services, to address this item.

Dr. Liangfu Wu , Director of Information Services, discussed the technology behind the project. There are four stages, the first of which focuses on document imaging. Secondly is the document management which includes archiving, scheduling, etc. Phase 3 pertains to content management, using information in any format. The final phase relates to process management which focuses not on the file but on the process. He said stages are determined by the needs.

Dr. Wu said that the Village is looking at an enterprise system in which imaging is extremely important. He gave the employee PAR form as an example in regard to the process, stating that the Village processes 7 to 10 PARs per day, but do not always know where the form is in the process.

Dr. Wu said that the Village began looking at systems five years ago and there is entirely different technology available today. Of 14 responses to the RFP , there are two finalists under consideration. He said both are good systems, however Liberty will not work for the Village. He said that the Village has received comments from Naperville which purchased the OnBase system, which is based on modular design and provides flexibility to work in phases. Dr. Wu said that the Village will start with the installation of the PARs.

Commissioner McConnell asked if the price includes all implementation, since this is an incremental approach. Dr. Wu said there are separate costs for development of workflow licenses. When five licenses for workflow are reached it will then be at the enterprise level.

Commissioner McConnell said it would be helpful to her to have an estimate of the total costs for implementing the installation and the overall time frame. It would be helpful to have maintenance costs as well. Dr. Wu said that maintenance costs are included. Commissioner McConnell then asked how other existing programs will fit together with the OnBase System. Dr. Wu said that the system has an enabler to coordinate with existing programs, although it has not been purchased for this year. Commissioner McConnell asked if staff is confident that this has the capacity to serve the Village needs, and Dr. Wu said yes. Commissioner McConnell then asked if there is a cost benefit analysis regarding the impact of the system for the Village. Dr. Wu said that they do not have any tenable or measurable figure, but as an example the savings of time in the PARs alone makes the benefit obvious. Commissioner McConnell then asked about the response time of the vendor and whether the staff is comfortable with their availability. Dr. Wu said that the Village is not thinking about putting this on the web yet, and is comfortable with the Monday-Friday schedule.

The Mayor asked whether Naperville implemented incrementally as well, and Dr. Wu said they bought more from the start, and hired a document management specialist who previously worked for OnBase. Dr. Wu said they visited Naperville and saw that Naperville uses it as a imaging system.

Commissioner Schnell said she would like to know the number of hours this would save the Human Resources Department, and whether there will be need for additional personnel eventually. Dr. Wu said at this point he sees no need for additional personnel.

Commissioner Schnell said she does not want to see them having to add more staff. They have been looking at this for a long time and have finally chosen this system. She asked if this will become outdated by the time it’s fully implemented. Dr. Wu said that potential growth is one of the factors they considered.

Kevin Ohl of Crowe Chizek said that there are 4,000 other organizations using this system, of which 700 or 800 are government agencies. With that type of customer base, the company has a trend of keeping up with technology so the system is current over the years. They have been in business since 1991 and their software has grown with technological advancements.

Commissioner Sandack said he is concerned that this system fits with the technology that the Village already has, and whether people can be trained for it. Dr. Wu said that staff has paid attention to that issue.

Mike Baker said that in terms of identifying potential savings, they will try to quantify that. He said that as they have gone through this process, there are things they will be able to do that they cannot do now, and it will unlock many possibilities.

Commissioner Tully referred to the cost differences between systems, as OnBase is about double the cost. He said the systems do not seem to be comparable and asked why Liberty was in the final analysis. Dr. Wu said the decision was based on the response to the proposal and their financial stability. He said that further examination showed that Liberty was better suited for smaller companies.

Commissioner Tully asked if the other companies were comparable, and Dr. Wu said most of then did not have unified systems, and staff does not want to deal with three vendors.

Commissioner Tully said that out of 14 products and vendors only one came out as appropriate, to which Dr. Wu replied that was correct. The Commissioner asked whether the Technology Commission has reviewed the system, and Dr. Wu said yes, they have, and they did a financial analysis.

Commissioner Tully asked about efficiency and whether an example could be given as to how it would operate for the Village. Dr. Wu said that one example would be in regard to document retention. He said that with this system, documents can be marked for destruction.

Commissioner Tully said he was glad to see the full text search feature, index and cross-indexing as well. Commissioner Tully then asked about the OnBase end user license agreement, which appears to be their standard agreement. He said he wanted to highlight the acceptance agreement, saying they need to be sure that they test the product and are fully comfortable with it. Dr. Wu said that technically he feels comfortable with the product.

Staff Attorney Ann Marie Perez said that the end user agreement is between the Village and Highland, makers of the OnBase system. The Village goes through a reseller, Crowe Chizek. Crowe Chizek is guaranteeing the Village that the product will work for what the Village has requested. She said negotiations broke down over the end user license agreement. Crowe Chizek has guaranteed that they will stand behind the product. She said there is a consulting agreement upon which the Village would rely. She said that 14 resellers proposed systems to the Village and two proposed this system. Others proposed combinations of systems bundled together, and the Village chose to stay with a single system.

Commissioner Tully reviewed that once the Village’s needs and criteria were applied, there were only one or two vendors. Ms. Perez said that Naperville went through a different reseller, which is why they hired a person to help with implementation. They were not happy with the reseller.

The Mayor said he was going through the minimum insurance requirements, and asked about errors and omissions. Attorney Perez said that the RFP required insurance. The Mayor asked about professional liability. Mr. Ohl said that they have in excess of $50 million. The Mayor requested that insurance consultants look at this, and Attorney Perez is they are looking it at now. Mayor Krajewski also asked if the A-7 rating is still appropriate.

Localized Poor Drainage Area (LPDA). The Manager asked Dave Barber to address this matter.

Mr. Barber said he wanted to provide better understanding of LPDAs. He said that the Village administers the County’s Stormwater and Flood Plain Ordinance within the community. The local flood zones (LPDA) are areas not included within a special management area, and based on historic information have poor or inadequate drainage. Staff has been administering these areas as if they are in regulatory floodplain areas.

Mr. Barber said as best as staff can determine from the records in the mid-70s, the Village used contour maps to identify areas where flooding might occur, and took a very conservative approach without identifying pipe size to adequately drain the area. In 1987 there was another review, prior to the DuPage County Ordinance. Mr. Barber said that there are approximately 100 such areas on the current LPDA map. The three categories include Lee and Ogden, Lincoln and Saratoga, and Grand and 59th Street. He described how the water drains, and explained that in the Lee and Ogden Area the staff built a 15” sewer to accommodate the water flow. He said this area in not on the flood relief maps, but is an area the Village has identified with problems.

Mr. Barber went on to explain that some areas are backyard flooding pockets, or ponds, showing the area at Lincoln and Saratoga which has overflow problems. Staff has dealt with the areas on an individual basis, and has not done a detailed analysis of the problem areas. He recommends that the areas be reviewed to determine whether they are really problems. Detailed evaluation would allow eliminating smaller areas and concentrating on larger LPDAs. One problem that has been identified is that these areas are on the Village map and not on any other maps that people can access.

Mr. Barber said staff suggests developing a proposal to eliminate street and back yard flooding areas, revising the maps, and researching other legal means to ensure that prospective property purchasers are aware of a LPDA presence on a property. Since January 1, 2003, he has dealt with approximately 12 LPDAs per year. They cannot simply be written off, and steps need to be taken to address them. He noted that stormwater review is done internally, but for consistency on LPDAs, staff works with Christopher Burke.

The Mayor said he is not comfortable with the work that was done in the 80’s and 90’s as the Village was placed on probation. He said this sounds as though the Village is on the right path regarding the review and streamlining. He said working with consultants delays the projects in some cases, and he would suggest looking at the turnaround time involved, since the consultants can be working on many projects for many Villages. If some of the smaller situations can be handled in-house, he would suggest handling it in that manner.

Commissioner Tully asked whether LPDAs are now a part of the FEMA map. Mr. Barber said they are not. The floodplain map does not necessarily include all LPDAs because modeling isn’t specific enough to pick up small pockets.

Commissioner Tully asked about LPDAs designated by the Village that are not on the FEMA map and whether any hydraulic studies were done in the past five years. Mr. Barber said in some cases yes, but only on specific models where development has taken place. Commissioner Tully asked if it would be feasible to start over with a FEMA map and add to it, rather than look at studies from 20 years ago. Mr. Barber said that is what they are proposing to do. They need to do a field investigation to come up with the flood elevation.

Commissioner Tully then asked about staff’s future plan to incorporate the LPDA maps into the GIS systems. Mr. Barber responded that they have already started a GIS system and now want to review it and remove sites where appropriate.

Commissioner Tully then addressed the notice issue regarding a resident or developer needing to be aware of LPDAs and how they may impact a property. He asked if these can be cross-referenced as part of the permitting process to make the owner/developer aware of the LPDA status. He thinks there are implications of having it show up on a title search. Mr. Barber said the first step they want is to eliminate as many of these as possible in order to have as few LPDAs as possible. He said then there would need to be discussion concerning policy on notices regarding mapping, title reports, etc.

Commissioner Tully asked how long it would take to get a final list of LPDAs. Mr. Barber said he hopes it is not a one-year process. He would like to do a first cut through using outside assistance. Then they can do hand calculations for remaining areas which may be significant, and make a determination of how to proceed.

Commissioner Tully asked how will they deal with areas adjacent to an LPDA or in an area of an LPDA in the interim. Mr. Barber said Jon Hall reviews these now and consults with owners or developers.

Commissioner Tully asked about the process for building in an area where an LPDA has been defined. Mr. Barber said there is a formula for determining the elevation, structural design, sump pumps, storage, etc. They would know the requirements and would not have to do additional modeling. The key is that the map has to be in place that is discoverable so people know that the area is in a flood plain.

The Mayor asked what the County requirement is, and Mr. Barber said it is one foot. The Village requires three feet. He plans to review that with the Stormwater Committee. He said that three feet presents other grading problems, and this needs to be researched further. The Mayor said he’s discussed this with other engineers, and they say that only Downers Grove requires three feet. Mr. Barber said he does not want to give estimates as to changing to one foot until this is researched further.

Commissioner Schnell said she likes the approach that is being taken. She said that this is in response to flooding areas and resident concerns. She said that this was done before the County had a stormwater ordinance and before stormwater issues were stressed as is done today. Now there is a stringent County ordinance in place. She noted her surprise about the Lee and Ogden area because that developer was required to do extraordinary things to prevent flooding. She said that the Village has fixed some areas in cooperation with the residents or developers, but she said she thought some LPDAs have to be kept.

Mr. Barber said they have the obligation to regulate the areas that flood or have regular problems. It is important to identify these on a map as problem areas.

Commissioner Schnell agrees with the Mayor’s comment regarding the elevations in certain areas. Mr. Barber said that changes in building standards over the years have to be considered as well. Homes built higher on a street than the remaining homes causes problems, and all of this information has to be evaluated.

Commissioner Sandack said he is troubled by the Village having LPDAs that are more stringent than the County ordinance. He recommended adopting the FEMA map. He doesn’t understand not following the County ordinance as stated and simply adopting FEMA . Mr. Barber said the Code provides for how areas are added to a map outside of what’s on the FEMA map. He noted that the County knows about these. Most of the Village’s LPDAs are not on the map. FIRM maps are developed by a computer process which merely identifies the main routes of the waterways through town. There are parcels that will flood in the Village, and are not buildable lots, and these need to be regulated.

Commissioner Sandack said that there are plenty of homes already built on LPDA . Mr. Barber said they do not want them to build in areas that will flood. They also do not want an area filled in to endanger adjacent properties.

Commissioner Sandack said there are people who have approached him who have found out that they are in an LPDA , and their entire property is supposedly in one, with a structure on the site. They’ve experienced problems only during heavy rainfalls. Mr. Barber said that is why this exercise is necessary, to identify the areas that can be removed from the list. Commissioner Sandack said he believes the process will be easier to simply abandon the LPDA process, and adopt FEMA , then work back from there. Mr. Barber said he would do his best to keep the Village off probation.

The Mayor said he doesn’t see how the County can hold the Village to a map that was not done by a study or a model. Mr. Barber said that there is a 12-year history of adopting a map and Code. The County would look at that in a negative way. He said he will check into this.

Commissioner Urban said his choice would be to make the LPDAs go away, and asked what other communities do. Mr. Barber said this is a local issue due to the Village’s geography and low spots. This doesn’t exist in a lot of other communities. The Village doesn’t have a complete enclosed pipe system located in the right-of-way.

Commissioner Urban agreed with streamlining the system, and asked about those who now live in an LPDA which is then eliminated. Mr. Barber said they need to look at that closely. Commissioner Urban said he had a situation with a neighbor living in the Prince Pond area who attempted to do some remodeling and had to be warned that he lived on an LPDA . Mr. Barber said they need to be careful in doing away with them because some of these have to remain as is.

Commissioner Tully said he understands the wisdom in exercising caution given recent issues with DuPage County. He suggested an initial conversation with the County regarding a simpler approach in determining what properties should be on LPDA lists.

The Mayor asked if it is more appropriate to go to the County Stormwater Committee.

Mr. Barber said he would speak with the County first.

The Mayor said he would like to get rid of all of them, and then add them back in as necessary, and he also would like them to look into the three foot question. Mr. Barber said he would keep the Council apprised of the situation.

Sidewalk Fees. The Manager asked Mr. Barber to address this item.

Mr. Barber said that the sidewalk ordinance is such that property owners involved in building or rebuilding on properties that have had sidewalks constructed in the past through Village programs are exempt from paying fees for new sidewalks. On properties for redevelopment which have had a sidewalk installed by the Village, the owner is exempt from paying fees. The proposed change provides that if the sidewalk abutting the property was installed under a Village program for which the property owner did not pay a fee, then the owner will still be obligated to pay the fee of $30 per running foot for a five-foot sidewalk when redeveloping the adjacent property. That is the only change made to this section of the Code.

The Mayor asked if the $30 fee covers costs. Mr. Barber said based upon project costs of $27 per running foot, plus engineering fees, the $30 fee makes sense. It was raised last June from $15.50 to $30.

Mayor Krajewski then asked about corner lots. Mr. Barber responded that the owner only pays for the side on which they have access.

The Mayor asked about a teardown where the sidewalk is ripped up. Mr. Barber said if a sidewalk exists that was put in not under one of the Village programs, they do not pay the fee a second time, but the owner is obligated to fix it. If the sidewalk was put in under the matrix, they will have to pay the fee and fix it.

The Mayor asked why they don’t charge them a second time for the sidewalk, and Mr. Barber said they paid once, and it is felt that it was not appropriate to charge them again. He said that the Code reads that if you develop or redevelop more than 25% of the gross floor area, you need a sidewalk permit again. In terms of a complete teardown, he said if there is no walk, they would pay a fee or put the walk in. If it was built by the matrix, they would pay a fee. If it was built previously by a subdivider they would have to fix it and put it back to the acceptable standards.

Commissioner Tully said he is pleased to see this being addressed as quickly as it is. He asked for an estimate of the number of lots that would be exempt from the fee. Mr. Barber said that he has a list of projects constructed by the Village for the last ten years, which is mostly south of 55th Street. Most of the new walks are north of 55th Street and installed from the matrix. He said there are about 5.1 million square feet of sidewalk in the Village but he is not sure how much of that was built within the matrix.

Commissioner Tully said he would get back to Mr. Barber with an explanation of the information he is seeking.

Woodridge Water Service Agreement. The Manager said the Village is trying to finalize the connections in the contaminated areas with the County, and there are a few homes left to connect. Three of the homes are west of Hobson but are not adjacent to the Village water mains. However, they are adjacent to a Woodridge water main, and this agreement would allow them to connect to the Woodridge system.

The Mayor asked how many homes in the Village are not connected to the Village’s water system.

Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said that anyone in the contaminated area is eligible to connect. With regard to this agreement, these people would pay the Woodridge rate.

Sign Moratorium. The Manager asked Joe Skach, Director, Planning & Community Development to discuss this item.

Joe Skach, Director of Planning & Community Development, said that the Village moratorium on signs was adopted May 18 and expires on August 18. The moratorium was amended on July 20, 2004 to refine the provision prohibiting neon signs in that neon used as a light source only, with the neon tube not visible, would still be permitted. Mr. Skach presented three options for consideration to address the moratorium after its scheduled expiration: 1) leave the existing moratorium language in place; 2) allow businesses to construct freestanding signs within specific requirements; and 3) end the existing moratorium as originally scheduled, but continue work on broader revisions to the sign code. Regarding Option 2, what is proposed is to have one freestanding sign per zoning lot with a maximum of 50 square feet per sign face, and a maximum height of 10 feet with a 4-foot cutout provision intended to promote vision safety. He used a slide presentation to give an idea of how the signs would look.

Commissioner McConnell asked why they chose 10 feet. Mr. Skach said that they looked at other communities. Height was an issue. They came up with a height recommendation as a reasonable starting point, and of nine communities surveyed, three have a 10-foot height, one is 8 feet, and the others are taller.

Commissioner McConnell asked how long it would take to make a recommendation for the sign ordinance, and Attorney Petrarca said it would not be before the end of September.

Commissioner McConnell said perhaps they could amend the ordinance rather than extend the moratorium. She would be in favor of freestanding signs 10 to 15 feet in height, and amending the Code to include Option 2.

Commissioner Schnell said she doesn’t feel comfortable removing the moratorium if they do not have something to put in its place. The 10-foot height makes sense in some places, but not in others. She said they need to look at what makes sense on Ogden Avenue, and she sees 10 feet as probably a reasonable compromise.

Commissioner Zabloudil said he felt 10 feet was a good starting place, and he thought there might be a need for different sign districts. He noted that there was no provision for monument signs at this time, and Mr. Skach said that was correct.

Commissioner Urban recommended lifting the moratorium. He can live with the 10-foot sign as presented.

Commissioner Tully said that Option 1 is not a viable option. He prefers Option 2 as it addresses the bigger issues. He also agrees to making changes to the ordinance, but not a moratorium to the sign ordinance. He said there will be further changes, and he agrees with the need for sign districts. He also agrees with making changes to the ordinance rather than simply modifying the moratorium. The Commissioner said he does not have a problem with the 10-foot height, as it seems like a reasonable height for the time. Regarding the 4-foot cut out, he expects that it is to provide sufficient vision, and he asked whether Dorin Fera’s input has been obtained. Mr. Skach said there was discussion, but not a definitive resolution. He said there was concurrence on the need to address this issue, but it needs to be refined to address issues such as width.

Commissioner Tully said that the Council has been concerned about the size and height. They need to consider how to provide for both height and area. He believes 10 feet is satisfactory for now. He then asked for an example of wall signage that would be permitted. Mr. Skach said that Every Day’s a Sundae is an example.

George Swimmer , 4905 Main Street, said he understands that the Council is in agreement for the 10-foot sign height and the 50 square foot area; however, he asked whether those who make the signs can be assured that the ordinance will not be more restrictive.

Commissioner Tully said it would be his thought that any more restrictive ordinance would be on a going forward basis.

Mr. Swimmer asked about setbacks and whether businesses can have the same degree of assurance regarding those. The Mayor said it is hard to say because he doesn’t know what will come forward. Mr. Swimmer said it is wise to agree that the moratorium has a negative effect on business. He appreciates the efforts of the Council and the various Commissions who have worked on this. He said that one person in attendance at the meetings of the Plan Commission pointed out that the ordinance is not necessarily bad, but many signs need to be maintained. He then commented to Commissioner Schnell and thanked her for always being here and working.

Commissioner Tully said that if a more restrictive ordinance is put in place, the question would be the date of required compliance. That would have to occur at some point in time.

George Nicholaou said he was the gentleman Mr. Swimmer referred to at the Plan Commission meeting, and he said that if the sign ordinance is enforced, it would clean up areas. He did not imply or infer that a new sign ordinance or amended one was not necessary. He encouraged the end of the moratorium, and encouraged the 10-foot sign. As one subcommittee member, he will be looking very carefully at different sign areas based upon the gateway discussions held over the past year or more. Mr. Nicholaou then said that there has been commentary that the business community has not been informed of the various discussions and meetings being held. He said this discussion began going back to February 15 when the Downtown Management Board met and discussed neon signs. On May 19, 425 members received a notification of the sign discussions and were encouraged to make their concerns known at those discussions. On June 22, 125 downtown property owners were notified of the moratorium and encouraged to comment. On July 1, Downtown Management announced to 500 members their meeting on the sign issues. The Chamber sent a notice on July 12 to its 900 members, and no one showed up to that meeting. He reviewed other mailings sent out, including notifications sent out today. He gave the letters referenced to Attorney Petrarca. He said he thinks the Council needs to know the accuracy regarding notifications given.

The Mayor said that there was plenty of notification to the business community. He then stated that the consensus of the Council is to go with Option 2.

Mr. Swimmer, 4905 Main Street, apologized if he misquoted Mr. Nicholaou’s comments at the Plan Commission. Mr. Swimmer said this is an important ordinance, and he cannot believe that businesses are not concerned about this. He was notified of the meetings through his wife. Mr. Swimmer said he thought the notifications were subtle and he doesn’t think people were properly aware of this.


Manager Ginex said he wanted to personally thank all of the Village staff involved in yesterday’s incident. Additionally he expressed specific thanks to Public Works Employee Bill McClain. He was doing his job as usual and found the device and alerted the police officers. This was a dangerous situation that was brought to a peaceful conclusion, and was a true team effort among Village Departments, the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department and Federal law enforcement agencies. The handling of the situation shows the quality and dedication of the Police Department as well as other Village Departments and staff. He also thanked the Village of Westmont for the use of their command vehicle, and the business owners and residents for their patience and understanding. He said that a joint investigation of the incident is on going and it is top priority. As soon as he receives any further information he will inform the Council and Village.


Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting seven items to the Council: 1) A resolution expressing intent to continue participation in the Suburban Tree Consortium and to authorize certain purchases for FY 2004 /2005; 2) A resolution authorizing execution of a consulting agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Crowe Chizek and Company, LLC ; 3) A resolution authorizing execution of a software maintenance agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Crowe Chizek and Company, LLC ; 4) A resolution authorizing execution of an end user license agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Hyland Software, Inc.; 5) An ordinance concerning sidewalk construction and improvements; 6) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the Village of Woodridge to proved water service; and 7) An ordinance amending a moratorium regarding the sign ordinance in the Village of Downers Grove.


Commissioner Schnell urged residents to register for the Community Redevelopment Dialogue. It is extremely important and resident input is necessary.

Commissioner Tully gave an update on the Coffee With the Council schedule. He said the Council has discussed opportunities for outreach and has talked about taking the CWC to different places in the community. He said he thinks that the Farmers’ Market location works well, and he would recommend keeping that for the next two meetings. He then recommended the Fire Station 5 at McCollum Park for the October meeting; the Public Works facility for the November meeting; the Library for the December meeting. Other locations to be considered would be the American Legion Hall, the Indian Boundary YMCA , the Park District Recreation Center, School District 58’s Administration Center, and El Sierra School. He then asked for permission to work with the staff to contact these locations.

Commissioner Schnell suggested including the bus as a location to showcase it.

Mayor Krajewski said that he, Mary Scalzetti and Commissioner Tully met with the American Legion regarding the 4th of July Parade. He said that the Legion has information from 1919 to the present. In 1924 they picked up the parade in Downers Grove. They had a newspaper from 1927 advertising the parade, including bus rides to the event. He said they learned a lot of interesting information at that meeting.

Commissioner Tully said that the American Legion has scrapbooks going back to 1919. It is a history of Downers Grove as well as the Legion. He suggested putting the Historical Society in touch with the Legion.

There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 9:31* * p.m.

April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh