Mayor Krajewski called the Workshop meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall.
Present:Mayor Brian Krajewski; Commissioners Marilyn Schnell, Martin Tully, Ron Sandack, Stan Urban, William Waldack; Village Manager Cara Pavlicek; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Absent:Commissioner Sue McConnell
Visitors: Press: Kevin Stahr, Downers Grove Reporter; Flynn Murphy, The Sun Residents: Joyce Skoog, Roy A. Skoog, Brad Skoog, Select Motor Cars, 1513 Ogden; Peter Coules, Donatelli & Coules, Ltd., 15 Salt Creek Lane, Hinsdale; Gordon Goodman, 5832 Middaugh; John Schofield, 1125 Jefferson; Linda Dean, 5227 Main; Bill Wrobel, 7800 Queens Court; Andy Clark, 1226 62nd Street; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; Gloria O’Marrah, 7101 Osage; Tohurs Alcon, 4708 Douglas Road; Charles and Janet Smart, 4804 Main; Jeff Merrinette, 6655 Main; Brent Hyland, 818 Warren; Dean and Nathan Andrews, 1105 Curtiss; Valerian Simirica, 1700 63rd ; Matt Brolley, 1709 Ogden, Lisle; Steve Cirbir, 1500 Skokie, Northbrook; John Helander, 666 Dundee; Northbrook; Dave Kleespies, 6135 Grand; Michael Brauner, 1441 Prentiss; Ken Lerner, 4933 Whiffin; Martin Stern, 4709 Oakwood; Sam Salahi, 1080 Cherry Wood, West Chicago; Boy Scout Troop 99: Chris and Ron Martin, 5909 Grand; Nick Stiebris, 5913 Osage; Roy, Ryan and Ray Snisko, 1337 Andrus; Will Rotunno, 1300 68th Place; Eric Petrie, 6511 Hillcrest; Ed Donnelley 1700 Monmouth Place; Arvids Stiebris, 5913 Osage; James Williams, 6018 Osage; Mike Koma, 6033 Grand; George Nicholaou, 4845 Highland; Dave Matthias, 4417 Downers Drive Staff: Fire Chief Phil Ruscetti, Mary Scalzetti, Director, Tourism & Community Events; Police Chief Bob Porter; Dave Barber, Director, Public Works; Andy Matejcak, Director, Counseling & Social Services; Don Scheidler, Deputy Director, Community Development; Greg Zimmerman, Director, Human Resources; Liangfu Wu, Director, Information Services; Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager; Dave Fieldman, Deputy Village Manager; Don Rosenthal, Director, Community Development; Terri Tarka, Purchasing; Angela Clark, Planner; Jeff O’Brien, Planner; 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.
Village Manager Cara Pavlicek reviewed each of the items on the Consent Agenda.
Consent Agenda Items
Renewal of Turf Maintenance Contract. No questions.
Bid: Replacement of Public Works Vehicle 658. No questions.
Replacement of Public Works Vehicle 280; Waive one-week waiting period. No questions.
Ordinance Authorizing the Sale of Surplus Vehicles. No questions.
Resolution Accepting Boundary Hill Subdivision Public Improvements. No questions.
Grant Application: Mini-Grant Alcohol Program (MAP); Waive one-week waiting period.
Commissioner Tully asked about the Mini-Grant Alcohol Program. The Manager said that this IDOT grant allows for drunk driving enforcement campaigns, and supports the overtime budget.
The Mayor asked how long it takes to put the grant together.
Police Chief Bob Porter said that traditionally with IDOT grants, there is a two or three week turnaround. Mayor Krajewski asked how long many hours it takes to actually put the grant together. Chief Porter said he’d have to discuss this with Sue Brassfield, Grants Coordinator. The Mayor asked if this is related to setting up stops. Chief Porter said there are several different campaigns, such as having officers in high DUI areas on duty.
Active Agenda and Informational Items
Ordinance: Downtown Parking Changes. The Manager asked Public Works Director, Dave Barber, to provide Council with background information.
Dave Barber , Director, Public Works, said the total allocation of spaces in the deck is 774 with an additional 17 surface spaces, for a total of 791 spaces. There are 18 handicapped spaces, 197 spaces for shopper parking, 124 CBD employee parking spaces, and daily fee parking at $3.00 per day for 304 spaces. An additional 131 spaces are located on the top deck for commuters and CBD employees.
Mr. Barber then reviewed the allocations and the placement of the designations. He indicated that last year some CBD employee parking was moved to the second level. The third level including ramps is daily fee parking. The fourth floor includes CBD employee parking and daily fee parking. CBD parking is included in the fourth floor ramp, with commuter parking on the roof.
Mr. Barber said there are five classes of rates. He reviewed the location of the various lots located throughout the Village. Class 1 is commuter permits and overnight parking; Class 2 is for commuter permits at specified lots; Class 3 is for CBD employee parking permits, which is an overload parking permit in various downtown parking areas; Class 4 is a student permit; Class 5 covers commuter permits. The item before the Council concerns overnight parking in the downtown area, and an adjustment to the fee. Those with a current permit will have a fee that will escalate over three years. New permits would become effective January 1, 2007.
Secondly, Mr. Barber said that the daily fee parking pass is obtained in the morning for use in the commuter lots. There is concern that daily fee permit holders are taking up spaces used by quarterly permit owners. The recommendation is to sell the daily fee permits after 8:15 a.m. Many of people purchasing daily passes are non-residents.
The last items in the ordinance are some general clean-up items to remove references to some lots that have been eliminated.
Mayor Krajewski referred to the parking deck allocation form and shopper parking on Ramp 2, space Nos. 328-336, and said he can’t imagine that those are full. Mr. Barber said that was correct. The Mayor asked the rationale for those shopper parking spaces. Mr. Barber said originally the whole floor was shopper parking, but 54 were added for CBD permits. The Mayor said it seems that 42 spots are useless, and he recommended they become daily spaces. Mr. Barber reviewed the sections mentioned by the Mayor, explaining how the spaces are presently utilized and how they can change the allocations. He said they could put the dailies and shoppers together.
Commissioner Waldack raised the question about daily sales taking place at 8:00 a.m., and recommended keeping it at 8:00 a.m. for residents, and 8:15 a.m. for non-residents. Mr. Barber said that might cause problems with customers by staff having to check IDs. He said there is a tight time frame of people who are waiting for the doors to open to get their passes and catch their train within minutes. Commissioner Waldack said he would prefer people wanting to catch earlier trains be told what options there are, including the commuter bus, when these changes occur.
Commissioner Tully there is an 8:45 a.m. daily train into Chicago. He said he is in favor of maximizing the use of the deck. He said that there has to be flexibility. The issue becomes opening up additional daily fee parking spaces and making changes as spaces become available as construction and other special projects move forward. He said people want this and it is revenue for the Village. He noted that there are occasional commuters who need to go into the city for a meeting and can’t believe that there is nowhere to park. There is a need to educate residents of the parking inventory and how to use it. They also need to know the use of the deck. Often the occasional user doesn’t know how the daily parking works, and he asked how these changes will be communicated to the public. He would not want to see the daily parking service eliminated altogether.
The Mayor asked where the occasional commuters park if they choose to park for the weekend. Mr. Barber said they had spaces in the Curtiss lot, and there are spaces in Belmont lot as well. People can also call the Police when something unusual occurs and their car won’t be ticketed.
The Mayor referred to Lot A having few shopper spaces and he thinks they need more shopper spaces. Mr. Barber said there is very little turnover of commuter spots in Lot A. The Mayor said that he would like to be sure they are residents. He also mentioned that there is no way for a daily commuter to get change in the deck. Mr. Barber said they are looking at that.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether daily permit people can go to the deck and park in the newly opened 66 spaces. Mr. Barber said they could. Commissioner Schnell said it should be advertised that way. She is concerned about people who park at Belmont, and asked whether there is a problem there. Mr. Barber said that there is more of a problem in the winter, and it will be a problem next year with the underpass construction.
Mayor Krajewski said he would like to have the Village take over the Metra lot.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said that this has been discussed.
Commissioner Schnell commented that as people come in over the next couple of months for the daily permit they should be given information as to the changes. Mr. Barber said they are already directing new language on the website page, and talking about the commuter parking system in more detail.
The Mayor asked about another lot on Belmont that could be made into a parking lot temporarily. Mr. Barber said staff would look into this as well. Mr. Barber said he understands that, with respect to the Belmont underpass, work will start on the utility relocations and the two parking lots in the first quarter of 2007.
The Manager said staff would look at the 8:00 a.m. option as well.
Commissioner Urban asked how many tickets have been written since the deck opened. Mr. Barber said he would get that information.
Barbara Wysocki of the Chamber of Commerce asked whether patrons of local restaurants could leave their cars in the deck without being ticketed. The Manager said if the restaurant calls the Police Department, they would not be ticketed.
Lisa-Marie Subdivision (County Plat Approval). The Manager said this has been before the Council previously, and they are now being asked to approve the pre-annexation agreement and authorize execution of the final plat which is by the DuPage County.
Commissioner Schnell noted that the street is dead-ended.
Commissioner Tully said he understands that the subdivision is required to follow the Village’s subdivision Control Ordinance requirements “to the extent the Village Council determines that such Village standards are necessary or appropriate to protect the public health, safety and welfare.” He asked if it is staff’s opinion that the developer has met all of the requirements.
Deputy Village Manager Dave Fieldman replied affirmatively, because the petitioner has responded to all of the issues raised during the Plan Commission and Council meetings. Staff is comfortable with this proposal.
Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment: Residential Regulations. The Manager said this item was discussed by Council before, and staff has reviewed and addressed questions that were previously raised.
Mr. Fieldman said that there were some specific questions raised at the last Workshop. The goals of the proposed amendments are to simplify the Code and make it easier to understand, to have consistent interpretation, and to reduce the potential negative and drainage impact of larger homes being built in existing neighborhoods.
Mr. Fieldman pointed out that there are pros and cons that any numbers chosen by the Village with respect to setback and drainage. He said the goal of side yard setbacks is to create the proper drainage swale. He showed examples of retaining walls, window wells, air conditioners, and encroachments. An extra foot, from five feet to six feet, can make a difference in water containment. Mr. Fieldman showed examples of improper drainage situations, and ways to provide proper drainage with encroachments such as air conditioners.
Mr. Fieldman referred to discussions raised about handling drainage with “pipe” solutions. Staff has reviewed this but the engineers feel that the pipe solutions cannot completely replace the proper swales, because in heavy rain events there is still a need for an overflow outlet. In addition, there are maintenance issues with the pipes, they can be cost prohibitive, and may not be able to address certain soil limitations.
Mr. Fieldman said that staff was asked about fire concerns by increasing the setback from 10 feet to 12 feet. There would be more space between the buildings, but these measures are not as significant as other measures such as residential sprinkler systems.
Concerning maximum eave height, Mr. Fieldman said a concern is that a builder could build a three-story flat roof house. In order to eliminate this possibility, a maximum eave height of 23 to 25 feet would be instituted. That would force the designer to have a roof element that would be more traditional and more in keeping with the general design of the houses in Downers Grove. The disadvantage of this would be that it could be perceived as prescription, having roofs that all look the same.
Mr. Fieldman said there were several questions at the last meeting on the impact of the proposed regulations on a 50 foot lot. If the setback is 6 feet on a 50 foot lot, the house can only be 38 feet wide. This pinches the house, as you would want a 20 foot garage, 5 foot entry area, leaving only 9.5 feet for the front room. It creates an incentive to design the “snout” house by pushing the garage to the front of the house, which would be an unintended consequence. At the Plan Commission discussion, some expressed concerns that this was not an acceptable design from an aesthetic standpoint. To address that, staff’s recommendation includes an incentive if the builder builds a detached garage, therefore increasing the side yard setback ten feet on either size, and allowing ample space for the front rooms of the house. The detached garage could take up a larger amount of the rear yard, however. Installing a driveway to the detached garage could also cause stormwater concerns. He pointed out that in the infill development market, people may not be willing to have a detached garage on an expensive home.
Mr. Fieldman summarized that there are some positive points in the staff’s six foot setback recommendation, but there are also some negative points. There are several options.
Mayor Krajewski thanked staff for their work on this project. The biggest concern expressed to him by residents is to not affect property values in a negative way. He also hears about the construction disruption in terms of noise, dirt and fences on individual streets. There are also those people who want no building done at all. He asked for clarification that all builders must comply with the County’s Stormwater Ordinance which means you cannot add water to the neighbors’ lot. Mr. Fieldman said that was correct. The Mayor said he doesn’t really care whether it is a five foot or six foot sideyard setback as long as they comply with the County Ordinance. He noted that he received an e-mail from a resident regarding the height of homes, and asked that staff explore this in terms of what other communities set forth.
Mr. Fieldman said that towns measure height of a building at the midpoint of the roof structure, which is how the Village’s Ordinance reads. It’s an incentive to get a traditional slope of a roof. If you go to a peak height maximum without an eave point maximum, builders can built a square box house. Most builders would probably not choose to have boxy designs because that type of house will not sell.
In relation to peak height, Commissioner Schnell she would be in favor of an eave height maximum. Regarding 50 foot lots and “snout” houses, she noted that these houses are unattractive to some. She asked if there is a way to make sure drainage requirements are met and work, as they are required to work. If they want to eliminate “snout” houses it would almost dictate that they stay with the five foot setbacks, and she want to know how to make sure the stormwater needs are met.
Mr. Fieldman said in most cases they can work within the current five foot setback and get proper drainage. There may be occasions with a lot of grade changes where it will not work. The six foot setback gives the staff 20% more area to work with for drainage.
Commissioner Schnell asked how they can balance all of the needs—stormwater, aesthetics-etc. She asked if perhaps they need to look at underground storage. She would like to see the staff and Council move forward on this, however she is not sure whether the setback should be five or six feet.
The Manager said they can move forward on this without including the setback at this time. This community has substantial redevelopment, which is a good thing. But the Council may wish to take additional time to address site maintenance issues, and in this particular situation, she sees maintenance issues on construction sites as a significant part of the problem.
The Mayor noted that if swales are not installed correctly, the setback will not make any difference. They have to address the enforcement issue.
Commissioner Sandack said that a tremendous amount of time has been put in on this issue, and any change they make will have consequences. The object is to try and reduce the number of negative consequences. There are fundamental property rights that the owner has. A simplification of the Code makes sense and is the appropriate driver of this process, as is stormwater drainage. The difference between five and six foot side yard setback for stormwater may not matter as long as the Stormwater Ordinance is followed. He sees this ordinance as a regressive ordinance that unfairly burdens R-4 zoning districts, and he would be in favor of changing back to a five foot setback and letting the remaining setback requirements stand as is. If his colleagues cannot accept this, he would pick up on the alternative suggested by the Village Manager to look at the certain portions of the ordinance on which the Council has consensus. He doesn’t recall hearing one person suggest that the lot coverage concept is a poor concept. The height restriction is interesting. Some people took photos of large older Victorians homes that would not meet these height regulations, due to some of the ornamental aspects to the Victorian design. It would eliminate the ability to build the Downers Grove Museum in Downers Grove. He would be in favor of the eave point maximum.
In regard to accessory structures and setbacks, Commissioner Sandack said he would favor making it five feet for the R-4 zoning districts. Absent a compelling reason to deviate, he leans toward letting the market dictate. The Commissioner noted that other communities are struggling with these same issues. They do not want to hurt property values.
Commissioner Urban said he had concerns about the public safety issue, and from what he heard tonight there is not a major concern except for the placement of the ladder. He would agree with the five foot setback, but wants to hear more about the turret issue that Commissioner Sandack mentioned. Many of the newer homes have decorative pieces and they have to decide how those will be addressed.
Mr. Fieldman said that staff noted that some homes would not meet the requirements, but not most of the homes that are being built today. If someone came up with a design that has those features, that would be consideration to request an exception.
Commissioner Tully noted that no matter what happens, some people will say that the Council got it all wrong. He said that e-mails he has received are totally contradictory. The Commissioner said they can discuss this topic forever and still won’t have everyone agree. In this case, there are seven changes being proposed: Zoning text and map amendment; lots of record; nonconforming structures uses; setbacks; lot coverage; height; and accessory structures. He said most of these changes have raised no negative discussions.
Commissioner Tully pointed out that “variance” has not been discussed, and exceptions that make sense should be granted. He said there will always be issues that need to be addressed through variances where they meet criteria and make sense. He is in favor of the maximum eave height.
Regarding setbacks, Commissioner Tully said this is an issue with respect to smaller lots. In the early 1990s the Village created an ordinance stating that new lots should not be less than 75 feet wide. There are many 50 and 60 foot lots that were created prior to the 1990s. He recalls that some builders said they liked the additional setback, but they were concerned about encroachment issues such as the window wells, chimneys, air conditioners, etc. He is not convinced that the six foot setback should be eliminated but is sensitive to hardship issues and would like to consider all alternatives. A good architect and builder is what makes a good house, and he is concerned about labels being given to snout house designs. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The Mayor agreed with Commissioner Tully that he would not judge the desirability of a “snout” house. In reviewing the discussion, three Commissioners seem to be in favor of the five foot setbacks. Height and encroachment issues have also been raised.
Commissioner Schnell said that she is concerned about having the maximum flexibility in designs. She wants creativity in design, and if a five foot setback allows that, she would agree to the five foot setback.
Regarding enforcement, Commissioner Schnell asked when a house is demolished and the foundation is removed, how long the hole can remain open until construction begins.
Don Rosenthal , Director, Community Development, said it is required to be level and planted with grass. Commissioner Schnell said that there is a lot in her neighborhood with a big hole, and it is a safety factor as it fills with water and creates an attractive nuisance to children on their way to or from school. The Mayor said that’s true for the Golden Duck as well.
George Nicholaou , resident of the Village, said the last time he spoke before the Council he promised to bring forward some information. He provided the Council with documents from the 2000 U.S. Census, noting that homes from 1939, 1949 and 1959 are probably the homes targeted for redevelopment. These represent a significant umber of homes within Downers Grove. He used overhead projections during the course of his talk, saying when he was on the Plan Commission he and another member went through the community to photograph the types of buildings in the community that could be affected by the height issue. The Village has a great variety of housing stock. He said that there are homes that could not be built by the ordinance the Council is now reviewing. He urged the Council to identify the main issues, whether it is building height, setbacks, water issues, code enforcement. All of the homes he photographed and showed to the Council would not meet the ordinance requirements, and every one is within a one-mile radius of the downtown area. Mr. Nicholaou said he believes there are too main restraining caps that restrict creativity. Many years ago there was an issue to revitalize the downtown area; however, the infrastructure was insufficient to handle revitalization. So they had to install a new infrastructure to meet the needs. He encouraged the Council to think 21st century in terms of the housing stock, because the Village’s customers, who are the citizens of the Village, want to live in this community and raise their families in the best way they can.
The Mayor said that some of the houses shown could not even be built under the current ordinance, not only the proposed ordinance.
Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, noted that this is a complex subject that can go in many directions. He thought it would be helpful to focus his remarks on one issue—primarily what to do about side yard setbacks for R-4 lots less than 75 feet wide. Section 28-1111 Side Yard, in the draft ordinance, contains requirements for the various residential districts. The ordinance refers to the requirements in the R-4 District as being the same as those requirements for R-3 Districts. He said the question has not been the inappropriateness of side yard setbacks in the other residential districts as proposed; however, the question arises in regard to R-4 zoning. R-4 districts should have a specific number designated, and not simply the same as the R-3 district. Arguing about architecture makes the ordinance more complicated. They have to deal with the issue of the R-4 district and its side yard requirements. He suggested changing that paragraph. It is time to move on this and find a consensus. It seems that changing that one paragraph with a five foot side yard setback for the R-4 will allow them to move forward on this issue.
Ken Lerner , 4933 Whiffen Place, said he represents the Coalition of Managed Redevelopment that has submitted their opinions on some of the questions raised so far. He wanted to focus on the lot coverage figure. The current proposal requirement is 32%, and he would like to see that number reduced to 25%. On a lot that measures 50×125 feet, a 32% limit gives a footprint of 2,000 square feet, with the added rear bonus of another 500 square feet for a detached garage. For a two-story house that would be 4,500 square feet of living space, and a ranch would be 2,000 square feet. Reducing the buildable area to 25% would allow a footprint of 1,562.5 square feet plus the 500 square feet of garage. The total living space would be 3,625 square feet. He submits that is a viable sized house given today’s standards. It is not correct to say this is not livable. Larger houses need to be on larger lots. One of the issues in the size of the house is how it relates to the size of the lot.
The Mayor said that a one-story house would be less than 1,600 square feet.
Bill Wrobel , 7800 Queens Court, said he is a 37-year resident. He has a 75 foot lot with 12 feet on either side of the lot, and has swales. He would not want to live on a constrained lot. When buying their house, they went into the peripheral area of the Village to meet his family and economic needs. He commended the staff on their work, and noted that a six foot setback will require people to go to larger lots. People respect the traditional look of smaller houses, green space, etc. He would like to keep the Village proper as Village and not new development. That is part of the charm of the Village.
Dave Matthias , 4417 Downers Drive, Matthias Builders, said he comes before the Council as a resident first, and not as a builder. He agrees with the 32% lot coverage as it creates green space, drainage, and height. As you restrict lot coverage, builders will go after the third floor space because a restriction of coverage concerns height. They do not need to be overly restrictive, but should consider that third floor coverage. In terms of drainage swales, Mr. Matthias discussed his current project with an 11-foot side yard, on an 88.5 foot wide lot and it is a drainage nightmare. The solution for this was to install a private storm sewer. An extra foot of setback won’t solve all the problems. He is worried about swapping width restrictions for height restrictions.
Commissioner Waldack said he wanted to wait for public comment because this ordinance has come into being because of calls from the community, and because of community dialogue. The issue has progressed with staff and the community attempting to develop the ordinance. Eventually the Plan Commission reviewed it and has made a recommendation to the Council for its approval. He had concerns about a 32% footprint. He said that several weeks ago Mr. Davenport said that people with smaller homes may want to expand into their back yard, but the 32% footprint prohibits that. Regarding the eaves, he believes it makes sense to change it. In regard to the five or six foot setback, he thought five feet was too small. Homes affect adjacent properties and homeowners, as well as marketability. Commissioner Waldack said he was also concerned about fire safety and getting a ladder to the second story or roof. He noted that people have to cross their neighbor’s yard to make repairs, put out their lawn furniture, etc. It is important to respect the property of adjacent houses. He does not like variances, but can see granting a variance on a 50 foot lot due to characteristics unique to the property. He would support six foot setbacks with an option for variances.
Commissioner Waldack said that the Council should adopt this ordinance as is and then allow the process to call attention to any necessary changes that need to be addressed. He summarized saying he is in favor of the eaves, a 32% footprint and a six foot setback, and he would be willing to revisit the ordinance. In regard to “snout” houses and McMansions, he stated that he didn’t make up the terms, nor are they local terms. It’s not necessarily a bad term, and he doesn’t mean to be derogatory. He recommended passing the ordinance as is and let the process work.
Commissioner Schnell said that if the five foot setback allows creativity, she would approve that.
The Mayor suggested that staff bring back an ordinance with a five foot setback. The Manager said she would provide information regarding encroachments, and additional language regarding the eave heights. Staff will also get clarification for ornamental towers, spires, etc.
Commissioner Sandack pointed out that variances do not come before the Plan Commission or the Council, but go before the Zoning Board of Appeals which has the final authority. The Council will not have the final say.
Manager Pavlicek said staff would outline alternatives based on the discussion. The Mayor asked that staff get feedback from Commissioner McConnell as well.
Special Use to Expand a Professional Office at 1105 Curtiss Street . The Manager said this recommendation is from the Plan Commission and staff.
Commissioner Tully said that it appears that the standards for approval of Special Uses have been met, and this would be an appropriate special use.
Lot Split with Exceptions for Lot Width (5319 Blodgett Avenue).
Commissioner Tully said this is a request for an exception, because lots are required to be no less than 75 feet wide. If this property is split, it will result in both lots having 66 foot wide frontages. The standards for granting a variation include a number of factors, such as consistency with the neighborhood, unique hardships, altering land use characteristics, etc. The driving issue here is in the character of the neighborhood. The lots in the neighborhood are predominately less than 75 feet wide. It would be hard to oppose this exception request, as it appears to be appropriate.
Commissioner Waldack said he is very reluctant to allow a variance on a 75 feet requirement. This was originally granted in 1974, before the Ordinance and had not been recorded. Because of this he would agree to grant the exception, but generally wants to enforce the 75 foot requirement. He suggested that the 75 foot requirement should be reviewed in light of the redevelopment ordinance just discussed.
Commissioner Schnell said there are legal reasons for establishing 75 foot lots. She would be opposed to changing that. She said that this is a unique case and she will support this although she does not like creating lots of less than 75 feet in width.
Annexation and Rezoning of a Three (3) Lot Subdivision with Exceptions for Lot Depth and Right of Way Exceptions (63rd & Springside) . The Manager said this recommendation is from the Plan Commission subject to conditions they specified in their Motion.
Commissioner Schnell said that she recalls staff was reluctant to allow a three-lot subdivision because the hardship was not shown. She asked if this is still staff’s opinion.
Deputy Village Manager Fieldman said they are requesting lot depth exceptions of 13%. Two platted lots are bigger than the normal and the third is not as deep as one would expect. He noted that the Plan Commission recommended approval. Commissioner Schnell agreed with staff’s opinion that hardship could not be proven, and staff’s recommendation was not to allow it, and she asked if staff has taken a different position on this. Deputy Fieldman said that staff can and does support the Plan Commission’s recommendation.
Commissioner Tully said there are three requests—annexation, rezoning to R-3 upon annexation, and a lot split with exceptions wherein two lots would become three lots. There is no problem with the annexation issue. As for rezoning, the predominant zoning in the area is R-3, so that would be an appropriate request. He agrees with Commissioner Schnell that the applicant doesn’t have enough information to defend the hardship. The requested reduction would result in a 13% reduction, which he sees as a significant amount. The testimony at the Plan Commission about the resulting lot depth said it is the trend of development in the surrounding area. He said a question was raised at the Plan Commission meeting regarding the lot depths. He asked staff to provide information as to lot splits before the vote on this next week. Deputy Fieldman said staff would provide aerial photos and layouts of the Brian Court subdivision adjacent to this subdivision. Those lots generally met the 140 foot depth. Commissioner Tully said the more information staff can provide, the better it will help him in making a determination as to hardship.
Commissioner Urban said he has the same concerns as Commissioners Schnell and Tully, as he has a hard time figuring out the hardship.
Commissioner Schnell asked for research as to examples other than cul de sacs, and what percentage of lots have this type of lot size so she can see if this is consistent with what has been done before.
The Mayor said there are a number of lot depth exceptions in the bulbs of cul de sacs, as well as the surrounding streets, not just in the cul de sc.
Tracy Kasson spoke representing the petitioner. He said this is on 63rd Street which is a high traffic street, near the high school, and with condominiums across the street. An argument can be made that townhomes would be the highest and best use for the site. He noted that the lot depth exceptions will back up to a regular lot. It meets all of the other requirements, and the lots in the area are of a similar size. They have met all of the other bulk requirements.
Mr. Fieldman, in response to the Mayor, said he would check on the County’s requirements for development in the area that falls under DuPage County jurisdiction.
Commissioner Tully said he better understands the hardship now because two lots currently have driveways on 63rd Street. As this is proposed there will be one drive on 63rd Street with two driveways on Springside which affects the planning, but is a potential benefit.
Manager Pavlicek said staff would bring back the information requested.
Special Use to Allow a Used Car Dealership at 1513 Ogden Avenue.
Commissioner Schnell asked if the petitioner is the same as the one at Fairview and Ogden. Mr. Fieldman said this is not the same operation. Staff has worked extensively with this petitioner. There will be no on-site repair, no loading or unloading, and there are defined parking restrictions. Commissioner Schnell said if it is a different operation, that’s fine
Commissioner Waldack asked where the current operation is and Mr. Fieldman said they are not in operation now. Commissioner Waldack asked whether, when they were operating at 413 Ogden, they had any violations other than the one reported, and Mr. Fieldman said none that he is aware of. Commissioner Waldack then asked whether the Internet sales would affect sales tax and revenues. Mr. Fieldman said that the transactions will take place in Downers Grove, and the Internet is simply a marketing tool.
Commissioner Tully said that Section 28-1902, Special Use Elements, addresses this type of Special Use. He said that only because of the restrictions is this acceptable to him. The sidewalks, greenspace and signage improvements are in accord with the Ogden Avenue Master Plan.
Lot Split and Rezoning from R-1, Single Family Residential, to R-3, Single Family Residential (1441 Parrish Court). The Manager said that when this was annexed into the Village it was zoned R-1 single-family. The requested rezoning and lot split will make this consistent with the neighborhood with no exceptions or variances needed.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
There were none.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting 15 items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing execution of an extension to the contract between the Village of Downers Grove and Green Grass, Inc.; 2) An ordinance authorizing the sale be public auction of personal property owned by the Village of Downers Grove; 3) A resolution authorizing acceptance of public improvements – Boundary Hill Subdivision; 4) An ordinance amending permit parking; 5) A resolution authorizing execution of a pre-annexation agreement and execution of a final plat of subdivision for 5841 Janes Avenue (a/k/a Lisa Marie Subdivision), Downers Grove, Illinois; 6) An ordinance amending various provisions of the Downers Grove zoning ordinance; 7) An ordinance authorizing a special use for a professional office building located at 1105 Curtiss; 8) An ordinance approving a lot split with exceptions for the property commonly known as 5319 Blodgett; 9) An ordinance annexing 1700 63rd Street to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois; 10) An ordinance amending the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois, codified as Chapter 28 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code, as amended, to rezone property located at 1700 63rd Street; 11) A resolution approving the preliminary plat of subdivision for S and S Subdivision; 12) An ordinance authorizing a special use for 1513 Ogden Avenue to permit an automobile dealership; 13) An ordinance amending the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois, codified as Chapter 28 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code, as amended, to rezone property located at 1441 Parrish Court; 14) An ordinance approving a lot split with exceptions for the property commonly known as 1441 Parrish Court; and 15) An ordinance appointing student members to selected commissions.
The Attorney asked the Council to consider waiving the one-week waiting period to consider the following items: 1) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Illinois Department of Transportation for the Mini-Grant Alcohol Enforcement Program (MAP); and 2) A motion to authorize the purchase of one 2007 International 7400 cab and chassis with Prairie International Trucks, Inc. of Springfield.
Commissioner Tully moved to waive the one-week waiting period to consider new business. Commissioner Urban seconded the Motion.
VOTE : YEA : Commissioners Tully, Urban, Waldack, Sandack, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski NAY : None
Mayor Krajewski declared the Motion carried.
Commissioner Tully moved to approve the replacement of the Public Works vehicle 280 as presented. Commissioner Urban seconded the Motion.
VOTE : YEA : Commissioners Tully, Urban, Waldack, Sandack, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski NAY : None
Mayor Krajewski declared the Motion carried.
Commissioner Urban moved to authorize submittal of a grant application to the Illinois Department of Transportation for the Mini-Grant Alcohol Enforcement Program. Commissioner Schnell seconded the Motion.
VOTE : YEA : Commissioners Urban, Schnell, Waldack, Sandack, Tully, Mayor Krajewski NAY : None
Mayor Krajewski declared the Motion carried.
The Mayor asked if there is interest in reviewing the 75 foot lot minimum requirements. There was not.
The Mayor asked for motion to go into Executive Session. 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.
VOTE :AYE: Commissioner Tully, Urban, Waldack, Sandack, Schnell; Mayor Krajewski NAY : None
The Mayor declared the Motion carried. The Council convened into Executive Session at 9:20 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh