1. Call to Order
Mayor Brian Krajewski called the regular meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Downers Grove Village Hall.
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
Mayor Krajewski led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
2. Roll Call
Present: Commissioner Ron Sandack, Commissioner Stan Urban, Commissioner Marilyn Schnell, Commissioner Martin Tully, Commissioner William Waldack and Mayor Brian Krajewski Absent: Village Clerk April Holden Non Voting: Village Attorney Enza Petrarca, Deputy Village Clerk Linda Brown, Assistant Village Manager Michael Baker and Deputy Village Manager David Fieldman
Mayor Krajewski said he would like to remind everyone present that the Council meeting is broadcast over the local FM radio station, WDGC . In addition, a tape recording and videotape of the meeting are being made using Village owned equipment. The videotape of the meeting will be used for later rebroadcast of the Council meeting over the Village cable television Channel 6.
The Council will follow the rules of conduct for this meeting as provided in Sec. 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code. These offer the public the opportunity to comment at several points in the meeting. First, immediately following approval of the minutes of the past meetings, an opportunity will be given for public comments and questions on the active agenda items for this evening’s meeting. Following this, an opportunity is given for public comments and questions on any subject. Finally, if a public hearing is scheduled for this meeting, an opportunity is given for public comments and questions related to the subject of the hearing.
The Mayor stated that at the appropriate time the presiding officers will ask if there are any comments from the public. If anyone wishes to speak, the individual should raise their hand to be recognized and, after acknowledgment from the presiding officer, approach the microphone and state their name and address. He stated that remarks be limited to five minutes, and asked that individuals refrain from making repetitive statements.
The Mayor said there are agendas located on either side of the Council Chambers, and he invited the audience to pick up an agenda and follow the progress of the Council meeting.
3. Minutes of Workshop and Council Meetings
Council Meeting – August 16, 2005 Workshop Meeting – August 23, 2005 Commissioner McConnell provided a correction to the Workshop minutes of August 23, 2005. There being no other additions or corrections to the minutes, Mayor Krajewski said they would be filed as corrected.
4. Public Comments and Questions
A. Comments and Questions on Active Agenda
Graham Mosley, 4925 Forest Avenue, said he sent an e-mail to the Mayor and Council last week regarding Ordinance 00-02067 relative to traffic, parking and public works. He said this is a wonderful project, but must fall within the scope of the Codes required by the Village.
Mayor Krajewski asked whether Mr. Mosley saw the traffic study that was done, and Mr. Mosley said he did.
B. Comments and Questions on General Matters
George Swimmer, 4905 Main Street, commented on the Belmont underpass. He said he has attended Metra meetings and thanked former Manager Ginex for his work in meetings held over the past years. He said the meetings were always well focused and on topic. Mr. Swimmer said that the underpass will cost about $40 million or more, and the Village will pay a small portion, to his knowledge. There is a substantial portion coming from the State of Illinois, the County, and Metra.
Mr. Swimmer then spoke regarding 9/11 saying many people knew there were security problems in airports, and on 9/11 there were 19 security breaches. The problem was not addressed, and we are all aware of the result. In regard to New Orleans, there has also been a problem for a long time and action was not taken to improve the levee situation. The situation could have been worse had the levees been bombed. He said he has spoken before about his concerns about rail transportation, and he then distributed materials to the Council and people in the audience who were interested. He reviewed regulations that have been effect for a long time concerning railroad safety on other rail lines. He handed out materials describing rule 6.30 of General Code of Operating Rules and quoted the rule regarding a train entering the station while another is on the platform.
The Mayor asked Mr. Swimmer to explain if he knew why Metra does not have certain safety measures in effect on this line. Mr. Swimmer responded by relaying information on several accidents where Metra fired employees involved in those incidents, saying he believes that Metra is concerned. He has spoken to the Council for years about this problem on the Burlington Northern line. He’s notified the railroad, and the Federal Railroad Administration about the problem, and was told that the local engineers union is also aware of the problem but nothing is being done. He asked why people are getting killed on this line, and not along the Union Pacific and the Rock Island.
Mayor Krajewski asked why the Burlington Northern does not have this rule on the books, and Mr. Swimmer said his understanding is that the Burlington Northern believes that this rule will slow down the traffic schedules. The Mayor asked whether the Burlington Northern, Union Pacific and the Rock Island are about the same size, and Mr. Swimmer said he believed so but the Burlington moves more trains on a daily basis.
Bob Kollmar, 1420 Concord, said he is not speaking for Burlington Northern Metra, but he is a former railroad official. The General Code of Operating Rules governs railroads west of the Mississippi. He knows people overseeing the operation of the local commuter systems, and they are dedicated to meeting safety concerns. Rule 6.30 does not apply here. He noted that the Burlington Northern has changed their methods of operation due to Village efforts to increase safety. Burlington uses trains to block the crossings and an inter-track system of fencing to prevent people from trespassing on the railroad tracks. He indicated that the methods used by the Burlington Northern are different than the method cited by Mr. Swimmer.
5. Public Hearings
6. Consent Agenda
COR00 -02069 Claim Ordinance: No. 5599, Payroll, August 19, 2005 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BIL00 -02070 List of Bills Payable: No. 5588, September 6, 2005 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
RES00 -02065 Resolution: Participate in the Suburban Tree Consortium and Authorize Certain Purchases for FY 2005 /2006 Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: A RESOLUTION EXPRESSING INTENT TO CONTINUE PARTICIPATION IN THE SUBURBAN TREE CONSORTIUM AND TO AUTHORIZE CERTAIN PURCHASES FOR FY 2005/2006
RESOLUTION 2005 -57 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Tree Consortium
BID00 -02071 Bid: Award $116,451.55 to Concare Incorporated for the Coating and Repair of Concrete Floors at the Public Works Facility and Fleet Maintenance Facility Sponsors: Public Works A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Public Works, Fleet Maintenance Passed The Consent Agenda
A motion was made by Commissioner Tully, seconded by Commissioner Urban, that the consent agenda be passed. The motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack and Mayor Krajewski
7. Active Agenda
ORD00 -02066 Ordinance: Amend an Existing Special Use to Authorize an Increase in the Variation for an Existing School Sponsors: Plan Commission Summary of Item: At their meeting of August 1, 2005, the Plan Commission unanimously recommended that an amendment to an existing Special Use be granted for the property located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Maple Avenue, 55th Street and Dunham Road for a Special Use Amendment for an increase in the variation for a building addition to the Avery Coonley School.
AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AN AMENDMENT TO AN EXISTING SPECIAL USE TO AUTHORIZE AN INCREASE IN THE VARIATION FOR AN EXISTING SCHOOL
ORDINANCE NO . 4702 Commissioner Tully said this concerns the request for minor changes for the Avery Coonley School. A motion was made by Commissioner Tully, seconded by Commissioner Urban, to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: Special Use – Avery Coonley School
ORD00 -02067 Ordinance: Authorize a Special Use for a Multi-Family Condomium Unit Located at 4929 Forest Avenue with Variations Sponsors: Plan Commission Summary of Item: At their meeting of August 1, 2005, the Plan Commission unanimously recommended that a Special Use be granted for the property located at 4929 Forest Avenue for residential multiple-family condominium unit with variations.
AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING A SPECIAL USE FOR A MULTI -FAMILY CONDOMINIUM UNIT LOCATED AT 4929 FOREST AVENUE WITH VARIATIONS
ORDINANCE NO . 4703 Deputy Manager Fieldman said that questions have been raised regarding the alley behind the proposed complex and he asked Director of Planning Keith Sbiral to respond to those inquiries.
Mr. Sbiral showed the Forest Avenue condo complex plan on the overhead screen, pointing out the alley area. Questions concerned traffic flow coming from the alley. Mr. Sbiral said that the Village’s Traffic Engineer said if traffic comes in from the north, the alley is too narrow to handle two-way traffic.
Commissioner Tully said that his question concerned the alley running behind the parcels which he understands is Village-owned right-of-way. It is clear that this is a single-lane alley, yet there is a “bump-out” for the lot furthest south. He was concerned about whether the alley needs to be used, and said it appears as though the alley is already being used now. Commissioner Tully asked whether there is some creative way using the Village-owned right-of-way to widen a portion of the alleyway and increase greenspace. Mr. Sbiral said that there is one business that uses it for access. Commissioner Tully said his point is to have one “lane” be used as greenspace area. Mr. Sbiral said he would speak with the neighbors in regard to that. Commissioner Tully said the minimum would be to grass that area over.
Mr. Sbiral said he received another question concerning greenspace on the front of the building. The actual greenspace on the south side is 11’7”, and the north side is just over 16’. There is a zero setback.
Commissioner Schnell asked the width of the alley. Mr. Sbiral said that the entrance to the garage is 24 feet, per Code. Commissioner Schnell asked whether something could be done either with the alley, or moving the building back to provide more greenspace in the front area. She thinks three or four more feet of greenspace in the front would improve the appearance. Mr. Sbiral said that the Village would have to vacate the alley to do that.
The Mayor said that he thinks they can look at vacating a portion of the alley. Commissioner Tully added that vacating it would require compensation, which might not be an option; but minimally, if it is the Village right-of-way, it could remain a permeable area and assist in storm water issues.
Commissioner Schnell noted that at present the stormwater plan has not been approved, and asked for an update on that status. Mr. Sbiral said that they are working out the details so that it is in order before going to the Plan Commission. After the Council reviews and approves the project, the developer will have to get their permits and comply with the County Stormwater regulations 100%.
Commissioner McConnell commented on the discussion concerning aesthetics of the project. She said this is private property and the petitioner has met the special use requirements and variation standards. She will be voting yes on this project. The Commissioner noted that staff has been working on getting the Architectural Review Board up and running to create incentives for developers.
The Mayor also said that it is important to encourage the concept design at an early point in the project.
Commissioner Waldack said that he would not be voting on the aesthetics of the situation. Stormwater and parking are still problems. He thinks the parking problem is a tough situation. He said he looked at the 8.5’ parking width and will vote affirmatively for this project. The stormwater issues will be resolved. He is concerned about things going before the Plan Commission. He looks at the variations carefully and is reluctant to grant the 8’ parking when 8.5’ is the rule.
Commissioner Tully said that the petitioner is asking for two things. There is no request for rezoning. They are requesting a special use and two variations from portions of the Code dealing with drive aisles and parking spaces. He said no other exceptions or variances are being requested. The uses are permitted in the area as part of the redevelopment of the downtown area. He noted that the approval would be conditioned upon all stormwater requirements being satisfied. The variations are internal variations that include slightly narrower drive aisles and the parking space width.
Commissioner Urban noted he will abstain from the vote due to the fact that he holds a leasehold agreement within the TIF District in which this property is located.
Commissioner Schnell said she would vote positively because the variances are acceptable. Anytime a developer comes to the Village with a request for a variance it gives the Council a chance to discuss the project and issues, and to perhaps bargain to make it a better project for the community. In this case staff and the Village were able to get the minimum of 12’ of greenspace, which makes this a better project for all. She is looking forward to the Ordinance regarding greenspace.
Commissioner Tully said he appreciated Mr. Mosley’s comments and thanked him for his e-mail contact.
The Mayor said his only question concerned Section 28.1902(d) regarding whether this would be detrimental to the surrounding area. With the stormwater situation being addressed, he will vote in favor of this. He then noted that 8’ parking spaces were installed in front of Immanuel Residences on Gilbert. A motion was made, seconded by Commissioner Schnell, to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Abstain: Commissioner Urban Indexes: Special Use – 4929 Forest Avenue
8. Mayor’s Report
Materials to be Received – Minutes
Human Service Commission – June 8, 2005 Library Board – July 27, 2005 Liquor Commission – August 4, 2005 Parking & Traffic Commission – June 8, 2005 Public Services Committee – June 21, 2005 Transportation Advisory Commission – May 19, 2005 & July 28, 2005 Zoning Board of Appeals – July 27, 2005 A motion was made by Commissioner Tully, seconded by Commissioner Urban, to Note Receipt Of this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack and Mayor Krajewski
Mayor Krajewski said that he attended a meeting with the Forest Preserve last week with Dave Barber and discussed the Village’s ability to place a sidewalk on Gilbert between Lee and the park. There are two ways the Forest Preserve could handle this: By granting a 25’ easement, or by vacating the property. One of the issues is that they actually own the road for about 100’. It would be practical for them to give up the road. The Mayor said he asked for an intergovernmental agreement since the Village plows and paves it. He indicated that the next Forest Preserve District Workshop meeting will be at the end of September, and they will bring the issue to their Board for a vote on the first Tuesday in October. Staff has sent out the RFP that will be back to the Village’s Workshop the end of September. He thinks the issue has improved with modifications being made to the sidewalk by staff. The Forest Preserve also owns part of the parking lot, and there were also issues regarding the location of the sidewalk, and the status of the retaining wall area.
9. Manager’s Report
Deputy Manager Fieldman said that the resurfacing on Belmont Avenue began by the DuPage Department of Transportation and should be completed by the end of the month. He also reported that the Village is sending a response team of four firefighters and one police officer to the region devastated by the Katrina hurricane.
Assistant Director Mike Baker said that Amnesty days will be on September 26-30, 2005, on the regular collection days. The first three cans or bags must have a sticker. He also announced a fall donation day to be held by the Environmental Concerns Commission and BFI to collect reusable items on Saturday 24 between 9:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m. in the high school parking areas. These items, including clothing and small appliances, will be distributed to the hurricane victims. He mentioned that there would be information on DGTV regarding local relief efforts.
The Mayor said that the resurfacing of the Belmont project was part of an overall intergovernmental agreement. He noted that IDOT owns the portion of Belmont from Maple to Ogden, and the County owns the remainder. An intergovernmental agreement transferred all of the roadway to DuPage County which allows them to apply for funding through the Illinois Commerce Commission, since it is no longer a State road. He said only a portion will be done at this time, with the remainder being completed after the underpass is completed.
Mayor Krajewski thanked all the Village residents for their response to the relief efforts for the hurricane victims. He said that the Rotary Club had a convoy of trucks going to New Orleans on Saturday. He reported on the activities of these volunteers working with the distribution centers, and said that the Village will continue to keep the residents informed as to the numerous projects taking place. He also said that there is a potential for more firefighters to be activated in the future for additional assistance.
10. Attorney’s Report
Future Active Agenda
11.Committee Standing Reports
Public Services Committee
Commissioner Schnell said the Public Services Committee will meet September 20 to discuss the Village and County bike plans. The meeting will be held in the Committee Room, with the time being announced in the Village Corner and on the cable station.
Commissioner Tully said the Finance Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. on September 20.
Public Safety Committee
Commissioner McConnell said that the Public Safety Committee met this morning focusing on Fire Department activities. She said that she believes Officer Roundtree and the four-man team are in New Orleans right now. They are sleeping in tents and running calls. The Public Safety meeting focused on overtime trends, and a report will be prepared. They also spoke about the ambulance fees.
12.Council Member Reports and New Business
The Mayor said New Business would be held over until next week’s meeting.
Commissioner McConnell then thanked the audience present at the meeting, and clarified that there would be a public forum at this time concerning the hiring of a new Village Manager. The function of the forum is to give the Council an opportunity to view how the candidates interact and react to the public questions.
Commissioner Tully said this would be a generic environment, but it presents an opportunity for the Council to observe the two remaining candidates in another setting. He thanked the public for coming in to participate.
Linda Kunze of the Downtown Management Board announced that she saw the 6:00 p.m. Channel 5 News this evening honoring the Village for its efforts in the relief projects for the hurricane victims. She was very proud and wanted the Council to know about the report.
The Council recessed at 7:33 p.m. to meet the Village Manager candidates. Council reconvened at 9:08 p.m. Commissioner Tully moved to convene into Executive Session pursuant to Section 2©(1) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to discuss personnel. Commissioner Urban seconded the Motion. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote