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, Ron Sandack, Stan Urban; Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Absent:Commissioners Martin Tully, Mark Zabloudil
Visitors: Press: Kevin Stahr, Downers Grove Reporter Residents & Others in Attendance: Dan Huggins, Custard Claims; Ted Barlas, Diana Jacobs, HRH ; William Waldack, 1409 Willard; Rich Moore, 2009 Ogden, Shanahan’s; Dave Andrews, Hamilton Partners, 1901 Butterfield Rd.; Rory Hancock, The Grove Fresh Market, 2065 63rd St; Liz Chalberg, Coldwell Banker/EDC; Sal Lewin, Max Madsen Mitsubishi, 2424 Ogden; Lee Eisenberg, Bill Kay Auto Group, 1601 Ogden; Michael Bogert, Chamber of Commerce; Tim McJoynt, Chamber of Commerce; Steve Hrbek, Highland Oaks Corp. Office Center, 1020 W. 31st St; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; Mike Busse, Community Bank of Downers Grove, 1111 Warren; Kathy Viskocil, Heritage House Florist, 5109 Main Street; Rich Coremzetti, Failla Realty, 1650 Plum Court; Robert Palumbo, Jr., Illiana FCU , 6655 Main St; Robert F. Pinelli, P&S Signs and Apparel, 6400 Woodward; Scott Marshall, Duke Realty, 4225 Naperville, Warrenville; Kevin Kovack, Catherine Slark, Mary Stapleton, Jim Russ, Phil Zarcone, Avery Coonley School, 1400 Maple; Peggy Hoffman, FGM Architects, 1211 W. 22nd, Oak Brook; Willis Johnson, Tivoli Enterprises, 603 Rogers St.; G.L. Goodman, PDHA , 5834 Middaugh; Ed Carroll, Sign Shop Express, 924 Warren; Linda Kunze, Downtown Management Corp., 1015 Curtiss; Jan Kopis, 1240 Chicago; Graham Merkin and Robert Merkin, Downers Grove Animal Hospital, 635 Ogden Avenue; George Nikolaou, Chairman of the Sign Subcommittee Staff: Dennis Burke, Risk Manager; Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager; Don Scheidler, Code Enforcement; Lori Sommers, Planner
Mayor Krajewski explained that Council Workshop meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. He noted that this meeting is being held on Monday. 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.
Consent Agenda Items
Bid: Risk Management Program Renewals. Village Manager Rick Ginex asked Dennis Burke, Risk Manager, to address this item.
Dennis Burke , Risk Manager, provided a proposal on the renewal for the Village’s self-insurance plan, which has been discussed with the Finance Committee. He gave a brief summary of the program to the Finance Committee and requested approval of Hilb Rogal & Hobbs (HRH) to be used as the Village’s exclusive broker for the renewal of insurance coverage for auto and general liability, excess Workers’ Comp, and for property insurance, as well as using them as a consultant for RFPs for competitive quotes. Mr. Burke said he received approval from the Finance Committee to use the services of HRH for a fee of $10,000 for consultant services, and a fixed rate of $20,000 to be the broker of record for insurance renewals. The RFP for the Village’s Third Party Claims Administrator was sent to five agencies selected due to their size and municipal experience. Three companies were selected to be interviewed. The best proposal was from Custard Claims with a fixed rate of $38,400 which was approximately $35,000 less than the next lowest bid. Renewal quotes were sought for property insurance, and the recommendation is the incumbent Chubb and Safety National for excess Workers Comp. He reminded the Council that excess Workers’ Comp is based upon salaries, which he calculated at a 3% increase. Mr. Burke said he was recommending incumbents. He recommended that the first layer of excess liability insurance be with C.V. Starr at a premium of $134,522 which includes terrorism coverage. The second layer is for Ace Westchester at a cost of $69,000, which is below last year’s quote. For property insurance he recommended the Chubb Group at a cost of $39,449 which includes the parking deck for a property value total of $67,468,767. He said Safety National Casualty is recommended at a premium of $67,524 for excess Workers’ Comp. The broker fee of $20,000 to HRH is 1.6% over last year. He noted there is a 1.6% increase over last year and advised that he reduced the premium amount by 13%, which resulted in a total cost $330,495 or $60,000 under budget.
The Mayor asked if there is anything else to be covered and Mr. Burke said the Custard Claims has to be included. The Mayor clarified that the bid amount is approximately $30,000 under budget.
The Mayor asked if there have been any problems with Custard Claims.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said that there have been no problems with Custard. Mr. Burke said that the Village had a significant auto claim which Custard helped settle. In regard to the current brokers, the Mayor asked whether they looked at the contracts and Attorney Petrarca said that they assisted staff with the language. Mr. Burke said that C.V. Starr did an audit and gave the Village an outstanding report.
Diana Jacobs of HRH said that Safety National comes in on an annual basis and audits the payroll. They had a claims audit from C.V. Starr on Custard Claims and Mr. Burke’s work. They were very pleased with the way Mr. Burke handles the claims. The Mayor congratulated Mr. Burke on that. In response to the Mayor, she said that the overtime factors in on the Worker’s Comp claims, but it is considered straight time.
Commissioner Sandack said that in each instance the incumbent won the business and asked if there was an explanation for that. Ms. Jacobs said that they successfully negotiated with them over the years, and because of their experience with the Village they have a better understanding of the Village’s needs. She added that C.V. Starr has the strongest breadth of coverage available to municipalities.
The Mayor asked whether HRH gets contingent payments, and Ms. Jacobs said they do not. Mr. Burke said that the RFP is for a three-year contract.
Active Agenda and Informational Items
Prosecutor Agreement. The Manager said staff recommends entering into an agreement with Michael McMahon for six months.
The Mayor said he understands that there is money in the budget to renew this for six months or to hire another part-time attorney. Attorney Petrarca said that was correct. She stated she was happy with the services they provided.
Avery Coonley Special Use. The Manager asked Mike Baker to address this matter.
Mike Baker , Interim Director of Planning and Community Development, said this concerns an amendment to a special use, and a setback variation which has been recommended by the Plan Commission. He said the expansion is proposed at 15,000 square feet for a 3-story addition.
Commissioner Schnell noted that the variation being asked is not toward residences, and Mr. Baker said that was correct. He further responded that there will be five trees taken out which are within the footprint of the building.
Sign Ordinance Amendment. Mr. Baker provided a summary on this request for approval to change the Village’s Sign Code, which began with the moratorium in May 2004. The Joint Strategic Plan Committee and Zoning Board of Appeals met to discuss proposed revisions, and a Sign Subcommittee was also established to focus in more detail. The Subcommittee met almost weekly for 17 weeks and business owners and representatives were invited to participate in the discussions. He then read the purpose of the Sign Ordinance as stated on page 28 of the proposed Ordinance:
The purpose of this article is to create a comprehensive but balanced system of sign regulations to promote effective communication and to prevent placement of signs that are potentially harmful to traffic and pedestrian safety, property values, business opportunities and community appearance. This article is adopted for the following purposes:
To preserve, protect, and promote public health, safety, and welfare. To preserve the value of private property by assuring the compatibility of signs with surrounding land uses. To enhance the physical appearance of the Village. To enhance the Village’s economy, business and industry by promoting the reasonable, orderly and effective display of signs, and encouraging better communication between an activity and the public it seeks with its message. To protect the general public from damage and injury, which may be caused by the faulty and uncontrolled construction and use of signs within the Village. To protect pedestrians and motorists by reducing distraction which may increase the number and severity of traffic accidents. To encourage sound practices and lessen the objectionable effects of competition with respect to size and placement of street signs.
Lori Sommers , Planner, then reviewed the proposed amended Ordinance. She said the Ordinance has been broken into ten sections, pointing out that the format has changed to place signage requirements in one area. This makes it easier for Code Enforcement as well. Ms. Sommers said that some definitions have been changed such as monument signs, freestanding signs, projecting and shingle signs. She used overhead projections to display examples of the various types of signs.
Ms. Sommers said the second major change concerns the measurement now being based on the tenant frontage rather than lot line to lot line. She said the proposed modifications are no longer regulated by zoning classification, but by two distinct districts: Downtown Concentrated Central Area/Fairview Concentrated Business District (CCA/FCBD) and all other locations in the Village. Landscaping requirements were added.
In regard to temporary signage, Ms. Sommers said that this section has been modified to be more user-friendly and allow for consistent, uncomplicated enforcement. They are allowing no more than eight one-week periods. Window signage has been modified to a total display area of 25% of the window, which is not calculated against the total amount of signage allowed for a site. Businesses above the first floor are allowed permanent window signs up to 25% of each window per tenant per floor, but they shall not be illuminated by neon.
Ms. Sommers said the height and square footage was reduced, and the proposed modification allows a ten foot height and 36 square feet for general commercial signs for lot widths 100 feet or greater. In the CCA /Fairview district the height limitation is 7 feet and 20 square feet. The total maximum allowable signage of 300 square feet is allowed for general commercial areas, and 200 square feet in the CCA /Fairview area. She added that regulations were created for shopping centers outside of the CCA /Fairview areas as well.
Ms. Sommers said a protected sign area was created in the CCA /Fairview areas to protect signs erected prior to 1965 as part of the Village heritage. Sandwich boards will be permitted no larger than six square feet calculated against total signage. In regard to amortization rates, a schedule has been proposed for compliance within seven years of the Ordinance adoption.
The Mayor said he attended an EDC meeting about a year ago when they distributed a proposed draft of signage changes. A number of members asked what an impact study has shown in terms of cost to the business community. Ms. Sommers said that figure would be difficult to come up with due to the quality and difference of the signs.
Commissioner Sandack thanked everyone for his or her participation and attention to this matter. There were intensive weekly meetings for an extended period of time, and he appreciates those efforts. He agrees with the Mayor’s request for what the cost would be to change signs. He suggested looking at the cost of not changing as well. He said the Village is not trying to shove anything down the throats of the businesses. In the long run this will benefit the businesses because the town will look better, and he thinks it would be wrong to do nothing. Commissioner Sandack said that the Village now has a start for the Sign Ordinance, and he will vote in favor of the changes. He also does not think that a seven-year compliance period is bad. Other communities have been doing this already.
Commissioner Schnell said that all of the people involved in this project deserve thanks because this was not a simple task. She said she will be more than willing to listen to anyone who wishes to make suggestions as to how to improve the proposed Ordinance. Her concern centers on the processes involved. There are now only two areas, the CCA /Fairview Avenue, and the rest of the Village. She asked why Ogden Avenue is not viewed differently than the Butterfield/Northwest Territory area. Ms. Sommers said they began with the downtown area, then Ogden Avenue, and then other areas. They realized that the Code as applied to Ogden Avenue could be the same as it was for the other areas. Commissioner Schnell said that the question is how this will affect businesses, will it be expensive, and is there a way to make it more palatable. She said on Ogden Avenue there is a TIF which is helpful. She asked about landscaping for monument signs and whether it is included in the front yard calculation, and Ms. Sommers said it would be.
Commissioner McConnell said this was a difficult task and she appreciates the group that took this on, noting that it will never be perfect. She questioned #7 of the purpose statement and asked if there was a way to clarify the meaning. As for landscaping, she asked why grass is not considered landscaping. Ms. Sommers said there was no landscaping requirement before. Other Ordinances did not allow grass. Landscaping makes it look better. Commissioner McConnell said that landscaping could also obscure signage. She then asked about window signage at 25% coverage and safety issues. Ms. Sommers said that the existing Ordinance is 50% coverage. There was some discussion about the safety and marketing issues.
Commissioner McConnell then asked for an example of a protected sign, and Ms. Sommers said that the Tivoli sign, its marquee, Herbert’s sign, etc.
In regard to sandwich board signs, Commissioner McConnell said an issue discussed was how to protect the sidewalk pedestrian area. She does not think the way it is written now provides for clear passage and would like to see this worded in a manner to provide protection for the public. She then asked whether this could be put online for the permitting process. Attorney Petrarca said that might not work as they have to submit detailed drawings.
Commissioner McConnell asked about the first paragraph on amortization, when the seven-year period begins with non-conforming signs if the Code is changed. Attorney Petrarca said that would depend upon what the Council directs.
Commissioner McConnell said she thought she read that, in general, signs last about ten years. In determining costs, they need to take into account that a number of the signs might be replaced within the seven years anyway. She asked about the surveys conducted about other communities and how this fits in, especially in the Ogden Avenue area. Ms. Sommers said Naperville has Ogden Avenue, the Tollway Corridor and their commercial area, and their signage requirements are based on lot frontages as well. The Village is within the range of other communities. Commissioner McConnell asked for a copy of the survey. She said she would like to see a comparison of the proposed modifications to the ordinance to the purpose statement.
Commissioner Urban expressed his thanks to those involved. He asked what the impact would be in terms of enforcement, and how many signs would be impacted if the Ordinance were adopted tonight. Ms. Sommers said it would affect a majority of the signs. He then asked about enforcement and Attorney Petrarca said that the Village would put out a notice as to when the signs would have to comply. At that time Code Services would have to enforce compliance. She added that there would be citations, removal of signs, or legal processes to insure compliance. She said that most of the sign ordinances have amortization periods. Commissioner Urban noted that the Village does not have businesses licenses, and asked whom the Village would go after. Attorney Petrarca said they would go after the people who filed a sign permit.
Don Scheidler of Code Enforcement said there are only about nine signs along Ogden Avenue grandfathered in since the last Ordinance change. Attrition would take care of many signs over the next seven years. He said that he and the staff received multiple sign calls on a daily basis.
The Mayor also extended his thanks to staff and community volunteers for their work. He said he has also received phone calls on signs, and he likes Commissioner McConnell’s suggestion regarding comparing changes to the purpose of the Ordinance. He also agrees with Commissioner Schnell’s concern about Ogden Avenue, the Northwest Corridor etc. He asked whether he understood correctly that Naperville uses lot frontage as opposed to building frontage. Ms. Sommers responded that the Village has a provision for 100 feet or greater. The total square footage is based on building frontage. Naperville uses lot frontage the same as the Village in determining maximum size.
The Mayor questioned monument signs in terms of purpose. He asked how a PUD affects the signage. Attorney Petrarca responded that signage incorporated into a PUD would become part of that PUD , and amendments could be requested to the PUD . Mayor Krajewski then asked about the Saturn dealership and Hart’s garage and the type of wall signage. Ms. Petrarca said that the State requires that they have a sign.
The Mayor questioned the number of signs provided for corner lots, and Ms. Sommers said that issue was not addressed as yet. Mayor Krajewski said they should take a look at that, and doesn’t see why they cannot have one sign on each side. As for the 75th and Lemont shopping center, he felt having only two monument signs was too restrictive in terms of number and size.
The Mayor said that Sees Candies raised the issue that they sit far off of Ogden Avenue, and the signs are small and difficult to read from the street. The Chamber also raised the issue of businesses that are set farther back being factored into the equation for calculating sign size. He said it is difficult to draft an Ordinance taking into account all possibilities, and that it is important to compare the signage requirements and restrictions to the purpose.
The Mayor then opened the discussion to the public.
1. Rory Hancock , The Grove Fresh Market, 2065 63rd Street, said he is taking over the former Lombardi’s business in Meadowbrook, and with the monument sign that is there he cannot put up a new sign until this is passed. He asked what would happen if the landlord does not conform. The Mayor said he thought once the moratorium is lifted he will be able to put up the sign as long as it is in compliance with the Ordinance; however, noted that the monument will not be in compliance. The landlord will have seven years to come into conformity with the amended ordinance.
2. Steve Hrbak , property manager of Highland Oaks west of 31st and Highland, said he only had a brief time to review the draft. His concern is for businesses on I-88. The majority of the signs are one monument sign per property which is too large now at 60 square feet. He is also concerned because of I-88. Naperville allows signage on the buildings to allow for space leasing. He said he would be restricted from naming rights. Attorney Petrarca said that they could still do this, and she will check the Ordinance. Mr. Hrbak said he wants to be able to keep competitive with other markets.
3. Tim McJoynt , Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, said that the Chamber has conducted meetings with its legislative committee and members as to the effects of the proposed draft. He said they submitted some bullet points to the Council summarizing the major concerns. They would like to meet with their members regarding the latest draft with the Plan Commission modifications. He said they think this is a really big change. Some signs have been there for many years, and what is difficult is how the changes effect what is already there. He sees moving forward, but they need to consider existing signage and understand that the signage costs will be considerable. He thinks that more than half of the signs along Ogden Avenue are non-compliant. Mr. McJoynt said they are not opposed to the purpose or the process, but eliminating grandfathering and giving a drop-dead date are big issues. Another issue is how variances will be handled. They are not trying to stop the process, but they are trying to make sure that the process is balanced.
4. Rich Moore of Shanahan’s on Ogden Avenue expressed his thanks for those working on this. He said they have a sign on the left side facing the east, one on the front, and a pole sign standing free. They have work pending for the front of their building, and he is concerned that they might be forced into reducing their signage immediately. They do not own the building and have no TIF . They have also spent a lot of money advertising where they are; however, many people say that they saw the sign and that is what brought them in. Signs are one of the best advertising pieces a business has, and this is an issue that needs to be addressed. The Mayor responded that their freestanding sign could stay as it is if it is not taken down during the construction.
5. Lee Eisenberg of the Bill Kay Auto Group supports the Village’s efforts to clean up the signage in the community, and said that enforcement will be biggest issue. In their situation, they need to change the sign face which will cause them to need to reduce their sign size, because they are adding one word to the sign. Attorney Petrarca said they would have to replace the panels with identical panels. The Mayor said that appears to go against the purpose of unfair competitive advantage, if all other dealerships have seven years. Attorney Petrarca said that is part of the amortization period and they are hoping that within seven years everything will come into compliance. The Mayor said his guess is that no one is going to touch this for seven years. Mr. Eisenberg said that puts them at a disadvantage. He said that car dealerships spend a lot of money in the community to bring people into the community and spend their money. If customers do not see the nameplate that they want they will continue to another area. This has to be considered with new, redeveloping and relocated businesses. He said that signage has to be uniform. Now there are businesses grandfathered in at 30 ten high, his sign is 20 ten high, and the ordinance wants them to go to ten feet high. He asked where the parity is.
6. Dave Andrews of Hamilton Partners said their property is under a PUD and they would have to come in for an amendment. Regarding wall and window signs, they are measured by the copy, whereas monument sign measurements are around the entire structure. This encourages people to maximize their letter size, and he sees that as a discrepancy in the measurement process. Mr. Scheidler described how they would measure granite signs regarding the surface area. Mr. Andrews said he thinks that issue needs further clarification.
7. Scott Marshall , 4225 Naperville Road, Duke Realty Corporation, represents Executive Towers West in the Northwest Territory. He thanked the Committee for taking into consideration some of his earlier comments. His concern is temporary signage and real estate signs. His understanding of the Ordinance is that there is not much differentiation between 650,000 square feet of office space fronting on I-88 and marking of real estate in other parts of the Village. He needs a much larger sign, which is plywood and attractive, but will need to be changed as needed. The Mayor asked about the Naperville Ordinance for the I-88 corridor. Ms. Sommers said that the sign he is referencing would come under the exempt sign area, contractor or real estate signs.
8. Linda Kunze of the Downtown Management Corporation said that the downtown has some unique individual situations. She said that the sign for one business, Weddings, Etc., was denied because of advertising, even though it is part of her actual logo. She asked for leniency regarding logos. Other businesses have their logos and type of products. The question concerns logos versus advertising. She said she would e-mail the copy to the Council in the morning.
Ms. Kunze then referenced a business at 5120 Main Street which will have to reduce signs on the window, but there is no wall space for additional signage. She again asked for flexibility in certain situations that are unique.
The Mayor asked about the variance provisions and Attorney Petrarca said there are variance provisions in the Ordinance to allow businesses to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals.
9. Graham Merkin of the Downers Grove Animal Hospital said their business has been on Ogden Avenue over 50 years. If they cannot have a freestanding sign in an area with limited parking, putting up a monument sign will take up a lot of the parking area. If they don’t have parking, they might be forced to move. He asked if that has been considered because many other businesses have the same issue. Wall signs on Ogden Avenue draw people’s vision off the road.
10. George Nikolaou , Chairman of the Sign Subcommittee and member of the Plan Commission, said that he has heard things tonight that he has not heard before, and he’s been involved with this issue for the past year. The EDC impact study is a document that he has not seen nor heard of. Mr. Nikolaou said that he directed staff to extend invitations to three sign people to provide input to the Committee. He said that Bob Pinelli of PS Signs needs to be recognized as the only one who agreed, and spent 11 weeks on the Committee. He was a great assistance to the Committee in trying to determine costs. The Subcommittee tried to ascertain what some of the costs would be. The direction of the Council was to look at this and attempt to minimize the effect on the community. He stressed that words like “nice looking” “appearance” etc., were avoided in their deliberations. They also recognized that they could not make every possible connection such as for the Esplanade, or the property at 5120 Main Street. Landscaping was put in as something that was necessary. They also believed license agreements had to be part and parcel to a good sign ordinance to assure appropriate code enforcement.
Mr. Nikolaou said there are loopholes in the Ordinance. He said that car dealerships were invited to participate in this process and he personally invited someone from Bill Kay to join the deliberations because they considered the dealerships as a major entity in the community. In relation to See’s Candies, he can empathize with their position and any others who have a large setback; however, as a businessman he knows what his signage is before he signs his lease. Regarding tag lines, this was considered and went from one to two tag lines. They listened to the businesses that approached them. Mr. Nikolaou said 25% of the window is not taking something away. Mulberry Street has a beautiful window sign with the lettering on the outside of the window, and that counts toward the total signage. If the letter were on the inside of the window it is not counted toward the total signage. So they based the size upon the frontage, and the 25% window sign will be over and above the amount allowed. There was no intention to take away advertising from a business. They were asked to clean up the Village. He then reviewed the many ways a business has to advertise its presence.
Mr. Nikolaou said that for the Downers Grove Animal Hospital, there are many signs on that property, and the Subcommittee direction was to clean up the area. The design was to take the pendulum to the far right, and the Council will eventually bring it back to a balance.
Mr. Nikolaou then addressed the concerns and questions of the Chamber of Commerce saying that if someone had attended the meetings or read the ordinance they would see that most of those have been addressed in the current Ordinance platform, from setbacks to landscaping. They suggested a tax break as an incentive for those people on Ogden Avenue not in the TIF such as Shanahan’s. He stated that the Committee knows that this is a costly inconvenience. The Committee is pro-business. Three are members of the Chamber of Commerce. He said they were advised by sign company representatives that signs have an average life of 7-10 years. He noted that some of the signs in the photographs the Council received are hung with bailing wire and the sign companies are afraid to touch them.
The Mayor asked if there are any particular areas where the Council should bring the pendulum back. Mr. Nikolaou said Ogden Avenue. They had a large aerial photo of Ogden Avenue and attempted to place signage in a utopian state. He said the Committee knew that large adjustments would have to be made. When businesses changed hands the signs should have been changed at that time. Mr. Nikolaou said that he drove Ogden Avenue with another person and attempted to read the signage at various speeds. They may have gone too far in how to make signage work well for everyone. People are afraid of change, yet some businesses with lesser signage are doing well. They made adjustments as they deemed were necessary. This is not a simple issue.
11. Mr. McJoynt of the Chamber said that the moratorium has had a negative impact on businesses, and asked whether the Council would lift the moratorium if the new applicants would agree to comply with the Ordinance once it is passed in the future. He disagrees that the Chamber has not paid attention. That is why they are here tonight.
12. Bob Merkin of the Downers Grove Animal Hospital said he was afraid of change that will hurt his business. He thinks signage should be based on the size of lot. He pays taxes to the Village. Naperville uses lot frontage, and thinks the Village should as well. The 10 foot setback will hurt them. The size of the signs seems restrictive. Mr. Merkin said that they have a nice pole sign.
The Mayor thanked everyone for their comments and for the work of the staff and committee members. He said that the Council needs to discuss what they will do about lifting the moratorium.
Commissioner Schnell said she believes they need to discuss a timeline regarding any proposed changes.
Commissioner McConnell expressed concern about lifting the moratorium without a better flavor of this Ordinance. She hopes they can move forward on this after one or two more Workshops. She also said that it might be beneficial to meet with the Chamber again for outstanding issues and then Workshop it again.
Mr. Nikolaou said regarding Bill Kay that they created another business. It was not the Committee’s intent to constrain them, but lifting the moratorium would be catastrophic at this point. He would agree to loosen the restrictions somewhat until the moratorium is addressed. The Mayor said he agrees totally, however the current ordinance does not allow them to alter their signage. Attorney Petrarca said that enforcement would be a nightmare.
Mr. Hancock asked about a temporary permit sign as he will be opening in five weeks and he would like to open with a sign on the marquee. Staff has been wonderful in assisting them. He also suggested that if there were to be a Workshop that it is done on a Saturday instead of in the evening.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner McConnell said that Public Safety Committee will meet on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 at 7:30 a.m.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
Manager Ginex said the best option for an Amnesty Day would be the week of September 26. They are also looking at next year, 2006, and will put a question on the 2005 survey for the timing of that Amnesty Day. He also said that as of last week the VOC supervisor billed 700 accounts which were delinquent, and they collected 692 for a total of $138,400, which is $400 over the goal for the false alarm billing. They will send the remaining accounts to collections, or lien the property.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting five items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement for legal services with Michael F. McMahon; 2 ) An ordinance authorizing an amendment to an existing special use for a 15,000 square foot addition to an existing school with variation; 3) An ordinance adopting the fiscal year 2005/06 budget in lieu of passage of an Appropriation Ordinance; 4) A motion appointing Sue McConnell to the Canvassing Board; and 5) A motion approving an agreement re: Village Manager recruitment.
Commissioner Sandack appreciated hearing from those who spoke on the sign issue this evening. It is a complex issue. He would like to finish it up and abolish the moratorium.
Commissioner Schnell concurred with Commissioner Sandack’s observations about the Sign Ordinance. She said she wanted to address the issue of teardowns and the pace at which the Village is addressing some of the concerns voiced. She suggested that perhaps they would be best served if there were an Ad Hoc Committee made up of Council, residents, architects and others. She heard at the last dialogue that there are questions and misunderstandings in the community. This is a major issue, and they have a target date to finish this by August.
The Mayor suggested working with the Architectural Review Board. Commissioner Schnell said she would like a committee to look at this and allow for public input. Residents and builders were on opposing sides. The Mayor suggested that staff open the meetings to the public. It appears that one of the things concerns lack of education and understanding. He thought public forums with staff would be beneficial.
Commissioner Schnell said they need an Ordinance that everyone can buy into. The public needs a clear indication of where the Village is going. She would like a specific timeline with specific points and goals and input points. The input needs to be put into the design of the Ordinance. There should be a specific action plan in place. The Mayor suggested a workshop with the Council for the Council’s input. Commissioner Schnell said she wants to see a specific point in time established.
Commissioner McConnell agrees that the Village needs to look at the next steps. They’ve only looked at this from the legislation perspective, from her impression. They need to get to the character and how to make it desirable to build something that fits in with the character of a community. Some builders are doing this already, while others are not. There is some discontent. She suggested that Commissioner Schnell be charged with formulating an action plan as liaison for the Council.
Mayor Krajewski congratulated the DuPage Children’s Museum for their one millionth visitor.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 9:03 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh