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, Sean P. Durkin; Village Manager Cara Pavlicek; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Visitors: Residents: Mike Davenport, 6636 Blackstone Drive; Marci & Gil Nuccio, 1623 71st Street; John Schofield, 1125 Jefferson; Tim Meaney, 420 Franklin; Andy Clark, 1226 62nd Street; Bill Wrobel, 7800 Queens Court; Geoff Neustadt, 4633 Saratoga; Mark Thomas, 1109 61st Street; Greg Bedalov, 4840 Seeley; Tom Sisul, 5120 Main Street; Jack Lucania, First Eagle Development; Carl Peterson, Encap, Inc.; Erik Gil, CBBEL ; Brett Duffy, Spaceco, Inc.; Tony Rossi, M&R Development; Bill Patrun; Patrick Thompson, DLA Piper; Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh Staff: Greg Zimmerman, Director, Human Resources; Bob Porter, Police Chief; Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works; Mary Scalzetti, Director, Tourism & Events; Dave Fieldman, Deputy Village Manager; Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager; Phil Ruscetti, Fire Chief; Liangfu Wu, Director, Information Services; Don Rosenthal, Director, Community Development; Jeff O’Brien, Sr. Planner, Community Development; Andy Matejcak, Director, Counseling & Social Services; Doug Kozlowski, Director, Marketing & Media Relations; Dorin Fera, Traffic Manager, Public Works
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.
Consent Agenda Items
Village Manager Cara Pavlicek gave a brief explanation of each of the Consent Agenda Items asking for questions from the Council or the public.
Contract for Parkway Tree Pruning Services. No questions.
Renewal of Maintenance Contract – Image Ware Bid: Vehicle Purchase – Fire Administration. No questions.
Renewal of Contract – Medical Billing . No questions.
Professional Services Agreement – Fire Station 2 Demolition Bid Documents. No questions.
Update to Village Council Policy – Compensation Plan. No questions.
Obsolete Village Council Policies to be Rescinded .
Commissioner Waldack said he has a philosophical problem with this as he likes to have a separate policy regarding Vision and Mission Statements. The Strategic Plan is new and will be reviewed each year and incorporates the Vision and Mission Statements, but he would like to have separate policies. As the plan is reviewed, they can include the Vision and Mission Statement as it appears in the policy. He noted that the Vision and Mission Statements were created with input from the public, while the Strategic Plan was not.
The Manager said the Council can do this either way. Staff would need to update the existing policies based on Council’s direction.
Commissioner Tully said he has no problems with the Vision and Mission Statements appearing in two places. He wants to make clear that the Council does have Vision and Mission Statements and they will not be eliminated. His concern is that they do not have conflicting Vision and Mission Statements.
John Schofield , 1125 Jefferson Avenue, said he was impressed with the quality of the minutes. He noted that the minutes are a resource as the Council and public review them. There is inconsistency in the availability of the minutes. The Executive Session minutes released never make it to the website. He urged that when minutes are released they be made available in all formats so the public knows what occurred in the non-public meetings. He would like to be able to access all records in one place. Mayor Krajewski asked that staff look into this.
2007 Transit Grant Agreement with Pace.
Commissioner Waldack said this is an annual agreement and a fine example of a cooperative partnership to promote public transportation. He is appreciative of the funding.
Active Agenda and Informational Items
a. Boundary Agreement with the Village of Lisle.
b. Agreement with the Village of Lisle and First Eagle Development, Inc.
Deputy Village Manager Dave Fieldman said this is a proposed amendment to an existing boundary agreement with the Village of Lisle. The existing agreement was executed in 1992 and amended in 1995. He said the centerline of Walnut Avenue shows the boundary line, and does not address maintenance issues. He reviewed the history of annexation, which has resulted in a “checkerboard” pattern of jurisdiction along Walnut Avenue. He explained that the existing boundary lines do not adhere to the centerline concept as contemplated, and there is a lack of maintenance coordination.
The Mayor asked if the agreement is inconsistent with the state statute, which requires a municipality annexing an area to take over the entire road.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca responded that it was not clearly defined in terms of going to the center line and this has resulted in inconsistencies.
Mr. Fieldman, using the overhead, showed a slide depicting the results of the various annexations of Lisle and Downers Grove in the aforementioned checkerboard pattern. He said in the proposed amendment, Walnut Avenue would be located within the Village of Downers Grove’s jurisdiction. To facilitate that, Lisle would disconnect portions previously annexed to them and in turn, Downers Grove would annex those disconnected portions. Downers Grove would disconnect another portion of the Tollway right-of-way to Lisle’s jurisdiction. The municipalities would work together to permit access to the proposed Metra station. The goals are to grant jurisdiction of Walnut to Downers Grove giving the Village control over the permitting aspects, improvements made, utilities installed, and all maintenance and operations.
Mr. Fieldman said that there was some discussion a few weeks ago about the Fairview Avenue widening done between 63rd Street and 75th Street some years ago. On that project, the road widening drove the agreements. The majority of Fairview was under Downers Grove jurisdiction while portions of Fairview Avenue were under Darien, Westmont, and Downers Grove Township. A series of jurisdictional transfer agreements were required to bring the road fully under Downers Grove’s control. The difference between this roadway and the Walnut Avenue situation was that plans for the road widening were prepared prior to obtaining jurisdictional control of all portions of Fairview Avenue. He indicated that on Walnut Avenue there are no pending improvement projects. There is a nearly equal split of jurisdictional control. Staff believes it is preferable to get the roadway under one Village’s control before any improvements are made.
The Mayor noted discussions he had with the Village Manager indicating that improvements were necessary on Fairview Avenue due to the addition of the Darien Club subdivision and the Park District property. He is concerned that the same thing may happen on Walnut. He noted that the pending Metra station will come in with 900 cars and a deck is contemplated to accommodate 3,000 cars. The only way they will be able to exit that facility will be through Walnut Avenue, with additional heavy traffic from I-355, and the Village will be responsible for the entire maintenance of the roadway. His thought is that I-355 is a boundary with Downers Grove getting property east of I-355, and Lisle getting property west of I-355.
Mr. Fieldman agreed that those are legitimate issues. He thinks the amendment is crafted so that Lisle would have to come to Downers Grove regarding any potential Lisle development. The Mayor said he is still bothered by the potential of 3,000 cars coming out of the Metra lot.
Commissioner Schnell said that Walnut is not in great shape as it is, and if a development comes in construction traffic will be heavy. She would like to see something in the agreement making the developer responsible for some payment toward improvements of the road. She recalls a discussion regarding a roadway under I-355 to access the Metra station, particularly since Walnut was not constructed to handle that much traffic.
Mayor Krajewski said that in the meeting held several years ago, Metra was looking to take Walnut to the north and then realign it at Authority Drive.
The Manager said that one of the problems that arises is trying to create a resolution between the two Villages. Another problem is to also provide some flexibility for future Councils. The staff’s recommendation is that the municipality with the most adjacency to Walnut would be responsible for the maintenance of that roadway.
Mayor Krajewski asked for a map to show what is incorporated and unincorporated, and the existing boundaries. There was some discussion of which areas are unincorporated and what the map the Council was viewing represented. Mr. Fieldman said staff can provide a clearer picture of the area. The Mayor asked about all the property shown on the map shaded blue and whether Lisle had annexed that property before the Park District obtained it. Mr. Fieldman said that annexation and ownership by the Park District does not directly effect annexation by either Village.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether Lisle is considering this as well. Mr. Fieldman said both staffs have seen drafts of the agreement, and have agreed with the draft in concept; however, both Councils have not reviewed it. This needs to be done concurrently.
There was some discussion as to the Eagle First development and whether it would go to Downers Grove or Lisle.
Commissioner Durkin said that Fairview Avenue from 75th Street and 63rd Street was the final phase of the redevelopment of Fairview Avenue from the railroad tracks south, so he believes that the project was already in place prior to the existence of Darien Club.
Commissioner Tully said it is important to have a better understanding of this in terms of the pros and cons. He understands the negative aspects with regard to maintenance of the entire road. He said he is unsure whether there is enough information as to whether that control is sufficiently within the Village’s grasp to justify the cost. He understands wanting the control but the question is at what cost. Mr. Fieldman said staff will provide further information covering those points next week.
The Mayor said that it seems that Lisle has everything south of Walnut, and the Village has control of the area to the north. The Manager said that there is the option to say that both municipalities agree with the checkerboard line. The concern is with the inconsistencies such as overlapping. She indicated that there are multiple ways to solve this issue. As to Item B, she said that there could be an amendment. Mr. Fieldman said that the water service agreement requires the developer to submit a letter of credit to cover the water improvements. Language could be added that the letter of credit shall be increased in an amount and also guarantee the condition of the road.
Manager Pavlicek said staff would also like comments on the water agreement from the Council.
The Mayor said this is driven because the development wants to come into the Village of Lisle but obtain Downers Grove water services.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether they would pay nonresidential rates. Mr. Fieldman said they would. Commissioner Schnell asked for clarification that there is no Lisle water main on Walnut and Mr. Fieldman said that is also correct. Their watermain is not adjacent to the site. He believes they are connected to the Downers Grove Sanitary District.
The Mayor said he doesn’t think this is a contaminated area and as such would be required to annex to Downers Grove for water. Mr. Fieldman said staff would review that and bring the information back to Council.
Commissioner Tully said that long-standing historical practices require annexation to hook up to Village water.
The Manager said that based on the discussion this evening, this item will not be placed on next week’s meeting but will be held until the meeting the first week in January so staff can have conversations with Lisle and provide additional information.
Annexation of 2515 Haddow Avenue. The Manager said this is a voluntary annexation. The Mayor said this is a connection to Village water.
Final Planned Development and Final Plat of Subdivision for Residences at the Grove. The Manager said this was before the Council previously as a preliminary item, and they are here for final approval.
Commissioner Schnell said she spent some time with the Manager and Deputy Village Manager on this item before the meeting. Her major concern is with the ingress and egress out of Home Depot. Staff looked at the proposed modifications, and her question concerns the reconfiguration of the road and the fact that Home Depot has a large number of outdoor sales and sheds outside their store. With the limited parking at the site, she asked if there is sufficient parking within that development with the modifications proposed for the access road for the development. She would like to have an answer before a vote is taken. She wants to be sure that with the new road there will be sufficient parking, and is also concerned that with the new road, customers could not find a delineation of the road going to the new development. There appears to be no curb on the north side of the road, though there appears to be some type of curbing on the south side. She wants to know how ingress/egress will be delineated to that development.
Manager Pavlicek said that Commissioner Schnell has brought up some interesting issues regarding the Home Depot outside activities. Home Depot has a minimum number of parking spaces, and staff wants to be sure that they are within the requirements of the Village.
Architectural Design Review Board. The Manager said Council has been given a substantial amount of information in their packet on this item. She said that positive recommendations have been received from the Architectural Design Review Board (ADRB). Staff reviewed the recommendations in terms of implementation and would like direction regarding timing and control from the Council.
Mayor Krajewski noted that the ADRB spent a significant amount of time in meetings and working with staff. He said it doesn’t appear as though the Board and staff has had an opportunity to interact to the extent they could have. He said he would like to hear from both the staff and the ADRB . He referenced comments from the Board members that they would want to seek public input related to an historical district.
Jeff O’Brien , Sr. Village Planner, provided a brief background on the ADRB . The Board was given four questions including 1) evaluate the need for a historical preservation ordinance; 2) evaluate the need for Village-wide residential and/or commercial architectural design guidelines or ordinance; 3) evaluate the need for a permanent ADRB and what their scope and authority would be; and 4) evaluate the continued need and authority for the Design Review Committee (DRC). He said several members of the ADRB are present at the meeting. They were given a six-month time frame to complete their work and make their recommendations.
Mr. O’Brien summarized the recommendations which 1) determined there was a need for historical preservation regulations for both structures and historical districts, as well as an added neighborhood conservation district; 2) recommended Village-wide review for all non-residential development; 3) recommended a permanent Design Review Board to administer the historical preservation ordinance; and 4) found that the current Design Review Committee and Appearance Code were not effective tools for managing the appearance and design of new projects in the Village.
Mr. O’Brien said that based on the ADRB ’s recommendations and the Strategic Plan, which the Council adopted, the staff has made recommendations as well as alternatives to the ADRB ’s recommendation. Staff believes that the Village needs an historical preservation ordinance based on the model ordinance. Staff believes there is a need for design guidelines in the downtown area administered by staff with appeals going to another Village body. They refer to the downtown only at this time, but the Strategic Plan discusses corridor plans as well. Staff believes it would be relevant to incorporate some design guidelines into the corridor plans as well. He said that staff also believes that a permanent Architectural Design Review Board would be necessary to implement an historical preservation ordinance. Finally, staff believes the current Design Review Committee and Appearance Code are not effective tools in maintaining and attracting development for the downtown. He indicated that this is an entirely voluntary ordinance, so an owner or owners have to agree to having these regulations placed upon them.
The Mayor said he would agree with eliminating the Design Review Committee. He thinks the Village needs guidelines for the other commercial corridors in the future, particularly along Ogden Avenue. He referenced a grant that he thought was given to the Village by the State to allow a digital model of the vision for Ogden Avenue. He asked why staff is recommending the Plan Commission for the appeal process.
Mr. O’Brien said the reasoning was to avoid overburdening the Council. The Mayor said that one of the things they need to consider is whether they are overburdening the Plan Commission. In light of that, he would recommend the ADRB .
Commissioner Schnell said she believes there is a need for an Historical Preservation ordinance, but feels that they need to go to the public for input and to inform the public of what is in the ordinance and obtain feedback. She said that in reading the recommendations she read that if 51% of a neighborhood agrees, they would be covered under the guidelines established. There are many areas with historic homes with infills that are not historic, and they would be held to the standards. She asked if that was correct, and Mr. O’Brien said it was correct. Mr. O’Brien responded there are two levels of involvement: A contributing structure, such as a 1910 Victorian home, and a noncontributing structure, such as something build in a different time period. To add to an historical structure they would be held to stricter standards. The standards are not as high for the noncontributing structures, as long as they are sensitive to the historical area.
Commissioner Schnell said that she thinks they need public input and wants the Village to take the time to conduct public hearings. They need to be open to educating people as to what is being proposed, and why. In regard to the Design Review Committee and guidelines, at one time they had value, but their usefulness has gone. She said that the Village needs established guidelines for the downtown area, and the idea then was not to have any one building stand out in terms of color of the house or building. Both Ogden Avenue and perhaps even 63rd Street would also benefit. In terms of commercial corridors abutting residential areas, a plan is useful.
The Mayor said the Village needs to work on guidelines for all of its corridors. As long as the Village meets with the developers up front and establishes its preferences, the developers will probably be open to working with the Village. He does not want developers to learn of the Village’s plans for an area when they come before the Council for approval. They should learn of this at the beginning of the process.
Commissioner Sandack said that he read the minutes of the ADRB , saying there were some interesting and diverse viewpoints expressed. They’ve made some good recommendations. He would like further discussion about conservation districts, and also agrees with the concept for homeowners to attach language to their property deed regarding preservation of historic aspects of the property, so the purchaser would be aware of that up front. He said that there is a fine line between dictating colors of buildings and addressing aesthetics of the neighborhood. He believes they need more debate regarding the division between commercial and residential areas. There is a vision statement for Ogden Avenue and the TIF districts. He believes they need to get the landowners’ input. Commissioner Sandack said that he believes the Village has the appropriate tools for both the downtown area and Ogden Avenue right now. The current Design Review Committee doesn’t meet and therefore it shouldn’t exist any longer. He would like to have more discussion regarding oversight. He tends to go with the ADRB suggestion regarding who will be the overseer. He thinks the ADRB has done a great job and presented an excellent report, and perhaps the Village’s initial path should begin by taking smaller steps.
Commissioner Urban said 15 years ago he went to the Design Review Committee and had to paint his door three different times because there were three different opinions. Then he learned that he didn’t have to listen to them anyway. He would like to see the DRC eliminated, and asked why it didn’t work to begin with.
The Manager said that she believes it was probably an internal process in terms of appointments. The Mayor said that was the only Board that was not Mayor-appointed, but was put together by the Manager.
Commissioner Urban said that he feels that business owners just ignored them, but what he is hearing now is that the Village will just be renaming the old Design Review Committee and work with guidelines again. He asked if that was a correct interpretation and the Manager said that on staff now there are three professional planners, one of whom is an architect. When it comes to the downtown, they would like the opportunity to allow that process to continue to evolve in terms of establishing aesthetics and scale. She said staff is concerned about extending this to all areas of the community at this time, and would like to slow down and initially concentrate on the downtown area.
Commissioner Urban said he doesn’t want to lose sight of development in other areas which are just important as downtown. If they don’t get hold of the situation now, it can get out of control. He is not in favor of this unless it has some teeth. Guidelines alone are a waste of time and he sees no purpose in it. As an independent business owner, he would be happy to listen to the guidelines, but unless the Village funds his business they cannot tell him how to run his business unless there are teeth in the Ordinance. If there are no teeth, why would they have to have an appeal process and go before the Plan Commission.
Mr. O’Brien responded that staff envisioned several different models to be codified as guidelines in the Municipal Code and in the Zoning Ordinance. When it becomes part of the policing powers under the Zoning Ordinance or Municipal Code, then it will have teeth. They would be mandatory.
Commissioner Urban said he agreed with Commissioner Sandack that there should be a clear distinction between the commercial and residential areas. He wants guidelines along the corridors, which to him is more important than the downtown. There is more potential development in the corridors than in the downtown area. They should not forget the downtown, but place more stress on the corridors.
Mayor Krajewski said he understands staff’s desire to not take on too much at once and begin with the downtown area; however, some Council members are saying that they should move forward in the near future with the other corridors.
Manager Pavlicek said that staff was looking for piecemeal direction. The commercial and residential areas need to be discussed separately as they are very different corridors.
Commissioner Durkin asked whether the newly established EDC has looked into this. The Manager said they have not. She does not believe issues of design have spilled over into the EDC .
The Mayor said that the bigger issue is to make sure that there is communication with the EDC . Most developers will blend in as long as they are told what to expect up front.
Mr. Fieldman said that the EDC Strategic Plan contemplated that only the Village has control of the traditional police powered zoning, land use, entitlement, etc. Any design review is being seen as within the Village’s purview.
Commissioner Tully said that historical preservation and design guidelines are very weighty and sweeping topics that are a long time in coming. Some of these issues go back many years, and he is pleased to see the issues discussed. He concurs that there ought to be a full-blown presentation and opportunity for public input. He is pleased that they have the Historical Preservation ordinance with strong owner consent provisions. It is one thing to review minutes of the discussions of presentations, but it is second place to an actual presentation from the members who spent so many hours studying the topics. He would like to see the ADRB take the opportunity to present their findings and their reasons for the recommendations made. That would also provide an additional opportunity for public input. Historical preservation is part of the Village’s Strategic Plan. The ordinance is an exercise of the Home Rule powers of the Village and provides a needed tool to designate a home as architecturally or historically significant. There is a Prairie-style home in his area and the owners went through various agencies to have an architectural and historical status established because the Village has no such tool available. The tool of the ordinance and achievement of the historic/architectural status sets up other mechanisms to assist owners in maintaining their historically significant home, which they otherwise may not be able to do. Commissioner Tully said that it is also necessary to provide publicity and education about this.
Commissioner Tully said that the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois and members of the Downers Grove Historical Society should be recognized for their efforts and assistance to bringing an Historical Preservation ordinance to the forefront.
Historical preservation is already part of the Strategic Plan, and Commissioner Tully thanked the ADRB for their work and recommendations. He would like to see a presentation from the ADRB itself. The concept of conservation districts arose from restrictions on residential redevelopment. He would not like to hold up efforts on historical preservation while they are still considering the concept of conservation districts. As for design guidelines, Commissioner Tully said that if you plan, people generally will follow. If you tell people up front what you want by presenting them with guidelines, they will comply. He thinks it is a big mistake not to have this information available. A board is needed to take the petitions, hear the evidence, and make a determination as to whether a structure should receive the designation of historical and architectural significance. He said that he does not see a need for the Design Review Committee.
Commissioner Waldack said he would wait until after public comment to make his statement.
Mike Davenport , 6636 Blackstone Drive, said he is the Chairperson of the ADRB . He thanked the Council for allowing him to serve with other qualified residents on this Board. He pointed out that until Friday he was unaware of the staff’s recommendation. He thought he would be presenting tonight, but recently was told it might be better to have staff make the presentation. He noted that all recommendations from the Board were unanimous recommendations. Mr. Davenport said that there is a member on the ADRB who was a member of the Design Review Committee, and agreed that it disbanded because it had no teeth and was simply ignored or overruled.
Mr. Davenport said that there was never any discussion with the Board about the Strategic Plan. As for the Historical Preservation ordinance and staff’s recommendation for approval, Mr. Davenport said that the ADRB would not recommend approval at this time. The Board was charged to review the need for the ordinance, and the Board would like and welcome the opportunity to review the ordinance in greater detail.
Commissioner Sandack asked Mr. Davenport whether the Board had reviewed the ordinance before, and Mr. Davenport replied that they looked through it but there was no time to have detailed discussion about the ordinance as well as the other issues they were charged with reviewing. He said that staff told them it was not the ADRB ’s job now to review the ordinance, but simply to review the need as to whether it was necessary. As for the Conservation Districts, Mr. Davenport said that they saw that as a good tool or compromise for those who would want a Village-wide architectural control ordinance on residential properties. Arlington Heights and Park Ridge have ordinances of that type. The Board saw the Neighborhood Conservation District as a compromise for areas with mixed housing products. The Board sees this as requiring more research and public input, however. Staff’s recommendation not to move forward with the Neighborhood Conservation District was that they wanted to give time for the zoning and construction site management tools to come into play. The Board saw no connection between those issues. He said that the Board would like to talk about the staff recommendations, and they could have had some of this discussion in their meetings prior to coming before the Council at this meeting. The ADRB wanted to move quickly, but they could have had another meeting with staff to discuss their recommendations. He had no idea until last Friday that staff had differing recommendations.
The Mayor said that this allows the Council to give direction based on the ideas presented by both the ADRB ’s recommendations and staff’s recommendations.
Commissioner Sandack said that the staff conversation with the ADRB should occur with Point 1 being the Historic Preservation ordinance, which should be studied in more depth. A second meeting could address the critical paths of the timeline. Drawing the maps of the Neighborhood Conservation Districts would be the most difficult point, and those are the kind of conservations that need to occur. He agrees with Commissioner Tully and others that the ordinance should be the first item for debate.
Commissioner Schnell concurred with Commissioner Sandack with the addition of public input. They need to reach out to the sections of the Village that are more historic. She believes they need to have a series of meetings on these issues.
Commissioner Tully said it is essential that the Historic Preservation ordinance be reviewed by the ADRB . He is disappointed that this hasn’t come to the Council with the recommendation of the ADRB . He thought that when this came to the Council it would have been reviewed by the ADRB . He doesn’t want to slow this process down. Publicity and education is critical in this case. He believes there is a desire in the community for this as was expressed in meetings throughout the community over the years. The question is whether it should be forced upon the public. However, the strong owner consent clause in the ordinance should not pose problems for anyone. Owners would voluntarily participate. While he understands the need for education and input, this already has a long history and he wants to see this move forward.
Mr. Davenport responded that the date on the ADRB ’s letter of recommendation was in August. He also said that at that time, in the minutes, there was strong discussion by the Board that this be brought to the Council right away. It was staff’s recommendation at that time that they wait and bring this all together to the Council at this time.
The Mayor noted that there have been several long meetings on the budget.
Commissioner Waldack thanked Mr. Davenport and the ADRB for their time. He asked if the Board met once a month for six meetings. Mr. Davenport said that was correct. Commissioner Waldack said that there was a lot of material to cover in that period of time, and he appreciated all the time and effort expended by the Board. He also noted that there was a discussion about a survey of the Village when this was first discussed. As for the Design Review Committee, it has not met at all recently. He would like the ADRB to continue and take over the responsibilities of the DRC and to continue work on the Historic Preservation and Conservation Districts. He said that the ADRB seems to have more of a residential component to it, and for that reason he tends to favor the ADRB recommendations over the staff recommendations. He suggested that perhaps some components could be assigned to the staff by the ADRB to monitor until the ADRB is ready to take them over, with Council approval. Commissioner Waldack said he is concerned about expanding this to the residential areas and would like to see some residential effect from the work done by the Board, while continuing to respect property rights. He would like to see more public input. He repeated that his preference is for the ADRB recommendation.
Mayor Krajewski suggested that staff and the ADRB meet to discuss the Historical Preservation ordinance in greater detail. Everyone agrees there is a need for historical preservation. Both recommendations agree to the need for design review and architectural control. Staff’s short-term recommendation is to work with the downtown area and expand to residential development. Both recommendations indicate a need for a permanent Board. As to the Design Review Committee, everyone agrees that it is not effective or needed. He sees both short-term and long-term goals and wants to see the Historical Preservation ordinance addressed first. Public input will come in future actions. He asked if that was clear and the Manager said it was and that staff will try to codify this conversation into several Motions for next week to specifically give direction to both staff and the Commission as to what ordinances to prepare, etc. As Village Manager she wanted to get the information to the Council and apologized to the Commission for the misdirection.
1. Tom Sisul , 5120 Main, said that the Chamber of Commerce would like to be part of the discussion as it applies to the commercial aspects, which is entirely different than the residential aspect. Regarding the residential aspects, he said it seems as though the neighborhood conservation issues and historic preservation issues are driven by resident initiative. If it is from the bottom up rather than top down; it should be upon the individual community areas to come forward. Mr. Sisul said it is best for the Design Review Committee to rest in peace. The business community has every interest in making sure the buildings are compatible.
2. John Schofield , 1125 Jefferson, said he was astounded by the diverse composition of the board and impressed by the unanimity of their recommendations. Residential components are strong, well thought out, and compliment decisions made by the Council. He hopes this can be done during the 175th year of founding of the Village. It is more meaningful to give the residents tools to work toward community preservation, than simply planting 175 trees and having parades and fireworks.
3. Ken Lerner, 4933 Whiffin, commended the work of the ADRB . They have taken giant steps to carry through the desires of the community and have brought forward great ideas. He sees three main points where the Board and the staff differ. The first point is the Neighborhood Conservation Districts. He is not sure he understands what the conceptual difficulty is in thinking of neighborhood conservation district as opposed to or different from historic preservations districts. They are particularly important in communities such as Downers Grove, which is a mosaic of development that has taken place over a long period of time. Many of the neighborhoods were developed to the standards which were in place at the time, though they may not meet the definition of “historic.” Mr. Lerner then said the issue of commercial criteria would be instituted for the downtown versus the all commercial districts, and should not be taken with a piecemeal approach. A mechanism should be developed for an overall theme. He recommends having one board overseeing a way to establish an overall theme for an area. Thirdly, Mr. Lerner said regarding the point of whether the ADRB or staff would administer the design review process, he would have confidence in the role of the ADRB in pursuing this. It makes sense to tap the expertise of resident volunteer experts, and it is useful to have an independent review. Lastly, Mr. Lerner said it seems as though the process would not be complete if the ADRB did not have the task of developing standards for residential infill development. The Village would be missing the opportunity to tap the expertise of the residential experts in regard to both residential and commercial development. He supports additional public input. Residents are looking for direction and the opportunity to preserve the character of their community.
4. Bill Wrobel , 7800 Queens Court, congratulated Mike Davenport and the Board on their work. He attended their first meeting and said that they were a fine group of people representing a cross-section of the development community. He said that the Council should take the recommendations seriously and give the ADRB their full support.
The Mayor said there is a tremendous public interest in this. He was amazed at the number of resumes that came in of people willing to serve on the Architectural Design Review Board. There was a cross section of the community that served, and they presented an unanimous recommendation to the Council.
Commissioner Schnell agreed that the process should not be held up, but she said that as this process continues the Village has a unique opportunity to educate the public. There are certain tools that communities use to get information to the public. She proposes as they move forward with the ADRB meetings, that an ad be placed in the paper to make people aware of the meetings so they know what is taking place and what will be discussed. At least that assures making the effort to educate the public.
Parking and Traffic Recommendations
Speeding and Safety Interventions on 71st Street – Binder Road to Dunham Road. The Manager said this will implement pavement markings, which would include a speed limit reduction and designation of 71st Street as a through street between Binder Road and Dunham Road.
The Mayor said he received several calls from residents along 71st Street. He thinks the speed limit needs to be reduced to 25 mph. It is a cut-through area for students from Woodridge coming from school. He is not sure the marking will do anything. Some of the resident comments included increasing police coverage for the area using unmarked cars. The Mayor said he believes lowering the speed will be helpful. Some residents have objected to placing markings on the roadway. He noted that one member of the Parking and Traffic Commission did dissent, and he asked that the Commission members who vote against an issue include their reason for dissenting. He believes a lot of traffic comes in the morning and afternoon from the high school.
Commissioner Durkin asked why the speed study was conducted on Thanksgiving week.
Police Chief Bob Porter said that actually the officers did the count. The Mayor said it was done on that week because he had received an e-mail and several calls about it, and at his request the Chief sent officers there to check. The Manager said that they were there for a ten-day period. Chief Porter said there were a number of citations and verbal warnings issued. Commissioner Durkin said that he is still concerned with choosing Thanksgiving week because if the numbers are this high on a holiday week, they would be even higher during the normal traffic time. This is an opportunity for public input, but those in attendance at the Parking & Traffic Commission meeting were not notified that this would be on tonight’s agenda.
The Manager said her understanding is that the typical practice is that staff will follow up on a recommendation from the Commission meeting, but do not generally get back to the public. Commissioner Durkin said that he would like to know the percentage of people who were speeding in the area. Manager Pavlicek said she would see if the records are available. There will usually be someone running radar and someone else writing tickets. It takes more time to write the tickets, and she is not sure she can provide all data requested.
Commissioner Durkin said that he is trying to rationalize the information on the green sheets and find a way to solve the problem. Manager Pavlicek said that anecdotally this is a common traffic route to and from the high school for people living in and outside of the community, so they focused on the school times. The current speed limit is 30 mph, and they attempted to get a sense of where people were in relation to that speed limit. Commissioner Durkin said that he thought they should look at portable speed bumps. It would be a way to slow people down by putting these things throughout the community, versus allocating funds for reconstruction of roadways.
Commissioner Schnell suggested sign-in procedures at meetings in order to be able to contact people later. Regarding the striping and printing of 25 mph on the road, she asked whether it has been proven that striping slows down drivers.
The Mayor said that residents have expressed concerns about striping at the end of Dunham.
Mike Millette , Assistant Director, Public Works, said things that have been proven to reduce speed is anything that makes a driver nervous and alters the driver’s behavior, such as narrower streets where car doors can fly open. Prairie and Washington is an example. Speed bumps also work.
Commissioner Durkin said he doesn’t think the striping will work and it will look like an airstrip.
Regarding painting the speed limit on the road, Mr. Millette said they don’t have any studies as to whether this reduces the speed at which cars travel. They are looking at the speed limit reduction for enhancement of enforcement.
Commissioner Waldack said that the e-mails he received were supportive. He suggested doing it in phases, as it is a traffic calming effect.
The Manager said that staff’s recommendation is to do the speed limit reduction in phases.
Commissioner Waldack said this is a very busy street, and he supports lowering the speed limit. He asked that residents e-mail him with their comments.
The Mayor said he has heard from residents against the striping, but in support of the 25 mph limit.
Commissioner Waldack said he had 71st Street in mind when discussing enforcement. Parents need to explain to their teenagers the need to obey the speed limits.
Commissioner Durkin asked if “green” people with flags could be put out warning people to slow down. It was done in the Darien Club and it worked. He added that one of the things to be considered in laying out a subdivision is to have curved streets rather than straight streets, to eliminate the “drag-strip” effect.
1. Gil Nuccio , 1623 71st Street, thanked the Mayor and Council for considering the residents’ concerns. The Council has taken the concerns more seriously than the Parking and Traffic Commission. He asked for, but did not receive the trafficdata from the Commission, and also asked for a study of Dunham Road. The suggested speed bumps are effective. Mr. Nuccio said that 71st Street is a through street with a higher volume than the Commission’s designation as a collector street. He noted that police enforcement has been effective and the residents appreciate that as well.
2. Bill Wrobel , 7800 Queens Court, said he began attending the Parking and Traffic Commission meetings in 2002. In May 2004, he presented a petition to the Village for traffic calming on his street. Because of his efforts, the Parking and Traffic Commission recommended that the Council adopt a traffic calming ordinance which was done in 2005. In May 2005, the 71st Street petition was considered. He also had a petition under consideration for his street which was rejected because of a lack of data to warrant traffic calming measures. The 71st Street proposal has been before the Parking & Traffic Commission since May 2005, and on November 8, 2006 a recommendation was finally made. This is an issue of quality of life in the community. Mr. Wrobel said the Parking and Traffic Commission is recommending to the Council an antiquated solution to a 2006 problem. Today there are more students driving, 4-5 cars in every driveway, more speeding, etc. He asked that the Council direct the Parking & Traffic Commission to review this matter again. Some other communities address traffic problems as a quality of life issue, and a priority.
3. Andy Clark , 1221 61st Street, said that putting paint on the road is not a very effective way to curb speeding. The best thing is police enforcement, and he liked the idea of portable speed bumps. Regarding stop signs, he said he prefers Yield signs. Yield signs on Brookbank work, and Yield signs assign a legal responsibility as much as a stop sign.
The Mayor recommended reducing the speed limit to 25 mph, and continuing the enforcement. He also felt Commissioner Durkin’s recommendation merits investigation, noting that the portable speed bumps can be removed in the winter. The Manager said that one thing they do need to consider is the striping for the crosswalks.
Traffic & Safety Review – Lester School. The Manager said this Ordinance is to implement all way stop control at various intersections as well as approval of a crossing guard and additional parking restrictions.
Speeding & Safety Interventions on Linden Place – Chicago Avenue to Austin Avenue. The Manager said this is a speeding safety intervention issue. There were no questions.
Intersection Control – Prince Street at Grant Street. The Manager said this would implement all-way stop control. There were no questions.
a. Approval of Changes to the EDC Bylaws. The Manager said the EDC has considered and adopted by-law changes that are coming to the Council for its review. In response to the budget discussion, staff has worked with the EDC to develop an amendment to the agreement between the Village and the EDC to provide for the EDC taking on tourism as part of their responsibilities.
Commissioner Sandack said with respect to Section 2, he noticed that the Downers Grove Chamber representative and the Downtown Management representative were removed. He asked why. The Manager responded that they were not in the original by-laws that the Village enacted. This occurred when she arrived a year ago and she is not sure of the genesis of this.
Village Attorney Petrarca said they were not in the original by-laws that were adopted. This is basically a clean-up change.
Commissioner Sandack said his opinion is that it would be good to have those people there since there would be interfacing with the EDC . He also asked about Section 3, saying he didn’t recall any other document that had so many designee opportunities. In his mind “ex officio” means the ex officio representatives, whether the Mayor, School Superintendent, etc. The person should be identified, and should not include designees. He also asked about the “House of Representative or Senate” and whether that was an error as he assumes it was to be a General Assembly member. Commissioner Sandack said he didn’t think that made sense. A specific person should be named as an ex officio member.
Amendment to the Agreement between the Village and the Downers Grove EDC . The Manager said this is the actual amendment to the agreement between the Village and the EDC consisting of five specifics, including the addition of $150,000 in the budget for tourism. Other updates have been made.
Commissioner Schnell said she will not be supporting this, as she believes the EDC should work under the funding of the original agreement.
Commissioner Waldack asked about Item 4.5 regarding the Village’s financial obligation, and whether it would be removed. Village Attorney Petrarca said that could be deleted for clarity purposes. Commissioner Waldack said that the EDC is a new organization for which the Village budgeted $450,000, which should have included the tourism component. The funding could go as high as $500,000. Members of the Council who were directors of the EDC at the first budget discussion originally recommended about $283,000, and subsequently found that there was a problem with conflict of interest. When this organization was first conceived, giving Village money to a private corporation raised concerns as to the setup of the organization and how the Village would insure that it would function properly. He took particular interest in the conflict of interest section of the new agreement and thinks it is incumbent on the Council to be sure that the Council and the EDC have a proper relationship. He said he was referring to Section 19.2. There should be no undue influence on either party. He would like an amendment to the Section 19.2 language to add “that this restriction shall continue until five years from the date of separation from the Village.” That would make sure that no Village official or employee would be compensated by the EDC for a period of five years. He chose five years in that a Council term is four years. He added that he still has a serious problem with designating the additional $150,000 to basically create a job for tourism. He does not see this as appropriate at this time. He thinks that is a lot of money and could be better used for infrastructure.
Commissioner Sandack questioned the First Amendment to the agreement. He referenced item #2 regarding $150,000 prior to May 1, 2007, and asked why that date. The Manger said she arbitrarily picked that date. Commissioner Sandack added that, as a matter of style, items #2 and 3 are redundant. He doesn’t think that a full blown audit makes sense as long as an independent accountant makes a review of this organization. The Council has the opportunity to monitor and review this organization at any time. Commissioner Sandack said philosophically he still has a problem in funding new money on top of brand new money to a new organization. He thinks the group is off to a flying start and he commends them for that. Any organization that begins is under-funded which helps them grow in a financially efficient manner. Commissioner Sandack said he is still going to vote no on this, but would like to see some of the clean-up so that it can structurally stand scrutiny and be on its way organizationally to do great things.
Commissioner Tully referred to item #2 of the First Amendment, which clarifies the language for both the Village and the EDC for Fiscal Year 2007. He agrees that there is no need for item #3. Item #4 makes it clear that this is for one year. He asked that the words “if any” be added to clarify that there may be no additional funds beyond the percentage of motel/hotel sales tax revenue. He thinks they must require that the case for additional funding be made each and every year. His suggested language would be as follows for item #4:
4. Subsequent to Fiscal Year 2007, the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove shall determine each year the appropriate funding grant, if any, to be provided to the EDC in excess of the amount provided for in the Agreement. (the “Agreement” being the original one passed last year.)
Commissioner Tully then addressed item # 9 of the Amendment and offered additional language as follows:
9.All other terms and conditions of the Agreement, dated December 20, 2005, shall remain in full force and effect, except as specifically modified by this Amendment.
Commissioner Tully said in his opinion there is a tourism function required here and he thinks the Village should be doing the function of tourism. There were multiple jobs being paid benefits and wages for many years without comments from anyone. The question is should they do the function or not, and he thinks they should. He doesn’t understand the reluctance not to do this. He sees this function as a long-standing purpose of the tax itself.
Commissioner Schnell commented on Commissioner Tully’s points saying that there was a line item that included $100,000 from business licensing fees. The Village did not anticipate making money from business licenses, so the $100,000 should not have been there to begin with because it was not income. She sees some confusion there in terms of the licensing of businesses and whether the fee is perceived as an income source or non-income source.
Commissioner Tully said that the source of funding is not relevant. The point is that an additional source was identified. To say now that they are not going to give the funds is wrong.
The Mayor said that going back five years, the Village was spending $650,000-$700,000 on the function of economic development and tourism. There were 5.5 people. Over the last few years, there has been no EDC and no tourism. When there was a tourism function in the Village, the hotels generated $22-25,000,000 and that decreased by $5 million each year for five years when the tourism function stopped. Economic development is the key to providing the residents with low real estate taxes. The Village has gone 2.5 years without an EDC and both the EDC and tourism functions need to be done. He believes they should be spending more. He referenced tourism activities in surrounding communities. The Village needs to protect what it has. He noted that there are several opportunities that have been there for several years that are moving west to Naperville because the Village had no EDC .
Budget Amendment for Fiscal Year 2006. The Manager said this typically needs to be done at the end of the Fiscal Year. The Library rates were higher than projected.
Cash Management and Investment Policy. The Manager said this provides information to the Council and will be placed back on an agenda in January. The Mayor said he would like to see a dollar amount.
Update to Village Council Policy – Council Agendas. The Manager said this would be placed on the Manager’s report for next week if the Council does not wish to discuss this tonight.
Village Attorney Petrarca said she will have 30 items on next week’s agenda. The Mayor said this can be put on the Manager’s report for next week.
Commissioner Schnell said she has heard from residents regarding this item, and asked for additional information. She would like to see how staff feels this will enhance communication between the Council and the public, and how it will make the Council a more productive body. She heard today that they need more information as to what this means. It is perceived as taking away public input opportunity, and she would like to see additional background as to how staff sees this as advancing public input. She heard that people felt there was not quality input in the budget process, and that they feel this takes away from public input.
The Mayor said that in the past workshops were one hour in length. This proposed schedule allows more time for Workshops. The Manager said one of the issues is the difference in public comment opportunity between the Workshop and Council meetings. They need to establish a logical order for when public is invited to participate. She said they are losing out on opportunities to provide information on the off weeks.
Commissioner Schnell said that they need to explain that in writing so the public can have a clear understanding.
Commissioner Sandack said this will be perceived as squelching or limiting public input. He would like to see tauter agendas so they do not have feast or famine, which is Council-driven as much as staff. He likes the structure that they now have, but thinks it could be better. Weekly interaction with residents is important. If they eliminate a Tuesday meeting, there will be a misperception.
The Mayor said one of the goals assigned to the Village Attorney by the Council is to streamline the agenda.
The Manager said that with Boards and Commissions the staff gets mixed messages. Every time she has managed the Boards or Commissions in driving something forward, she takes the heat and is told it is not appropriate.
Commissioner Waldack said that he agrees with Commissioners Schnell and Sandack; there is a flow to things as they currently are. There is nothing to prevent the Council from opening up a Workshop meeting with general public comments at the beginning. He cannot understand how you can eliminate a meeting and have it be shorter or less work. They are having four meetings now, and he can’t see how three meetings will take less time. He senses a certain anxiety after 9:00 p.m. Having three meetings and going later tends to rush things along. He suggested having general public comments at the beginning of the Workshop. He prefers the way that they have it now and is not convinced that the proposal is good for the Council and the perception among the public.
Commissioner Urban said that he trusts the staff implicitly and will listen to their recommendations. He asked for examples of the schedule of surrounding communities when this is discussed again. He finds the idea intriguing.
Commissioner Durkin said that the City of Darien has two meetings per month. Given the volume of materials given to him, he can understand the thought pattern of staff. He noted the amount of time needed to read and fully understand the material in preparation for this evening’s meeting. If there is a way to improve this, he is willing to listen. The main goal is to be a more customer friendly Council and Village Hall. Perhaps they should look at how the agenda is laid out and respect people’s time.
Commissioner Tully said it was a goal of the Village Attorney as directed by the Council to streamline the agenda and run the meetings more efficiently. He doesn’t fault staff for bringing this forward. Some ideas for streamlining have already been implemented, such as the layout of the agenda. In terms of the number of meetings, they need to find ways to engage the citizens in participating. Opportunities for public input are important. He said there is no rush on this, but he doesn’t support reducing the number of meetings. Meetings are televised and increasingly more people watch the meetings. He would like to see other alternatives. He likes the one week waiting period to think through the issues. He would like to see other alternatives presented for streamlining the meetings.
The Manager said that staff would like to improve upon the time spent during the day to prepare the packets on a weekly basis. For example tonight, if there is a need for an item from tonight’s meeting to be placed on next week’s agenda, there is a very short time frame to turn that around for the upcoming packet and next week’s action. Staff is concerned that they may need to move to a process whereby there are two weeks in between, which is a problem with having only a Workshop meeting or a Council meeting. She indicated that paying bills is also a very important issue. They are not trying to eliminate public comment, but want to provide better access to the public and maintain the spirit of a transparent government.
Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, thinks the idea of a combined agenda of Workshop and formal Council action is promising but needs at least one week prior to voting, as recommended by Commissioner Tully. He could see even longer for a complex issue. The idea of not having to workshop all consent items is promising. He said that public comments at the start of the meeting would permit anyone who saw a problem with a consent item to suggest it be removed and considered separately. Dr. Goodman said he is not quite as negative about going to three meetings a month as others have suggested. There is a certain sense of relief to some who attend regularly.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting 29 items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement with Imageware Systems, Inc.; 2) A resolution authorizing execution of an extension to the contract with Andres Medical Billing, Ltd.; 3) A resolution amending the Downers Grove Compensation Plan by adopting a revised plan effective January 1, 2007; 4) A resolution repealing obsolete Village Council policies; 5) A resolution authorizing execution of the 2006 intergovernmental jurisdictional boundary agreement with the Village of Lisle; 6) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement with the Village of Lisle and First Eagle Development for water system design, construction, connection and service; 7) An ordinance annexing 2515 Haddow Avenue; 8) An ordinance approving final planned development plans to permit a multi-family residential development for Planned Development #38; 9) A resolution approving the final plat of subdivision for the Residences at the Grove Subdivision; 10) An ordinance amending traffic regulations on 71st Street; 11) An ordinance amending traffic regulations on Linden Place; 12) An ordinance establishing traffic regulations at Prince & Grant Streets; 13) An ordinance amending traffic regulations near Lester School; 14) A resolution authorizing execution of a first amendment to an agreement with the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation; 15) A resolution authorizing adoption of the amended Economic Development Corporation bylaws; 16) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement with Suburban Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (Pace); 17) An ordinance providing for an amendment to Ordinance #4665 and the Village of Downers Grove budget for Fiscal Year 2006/07; 18) An ordinance for the 2006 aggregate tax levy; 19) An ordinance for the 2006 tax levy for Special Service Area #1 (Brick Streets); 20) An ordinance for the 2006 tax levy for Special Service Area #2 (Downers Grove Downtown Special Service Area); 21) An ordinance for the 2006 tax levy for Special Service Area #3 (Prince Pond Special Service Area); 22) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2006 tax levy related to Fairview Avenue debt service; 23) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2006 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 1999; 24) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2006 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2000; 25) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2006 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2001; 26) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2006 tax levy related to the General Obligation Water Bonds, Series 2001A; 27) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2006 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2003A; 28) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2006 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2005; and 29) An ordinance amending the tax on gasoline.
Commissioner Schnell said she would discuss the National League of Cities Conference next week.
Commissioner Tully said that he, and Commissioners Schnell and Durkin attended the National League of Cities in Reno, Nevada. They spoke with people all over the country and he would like to provide information at the appropriate time. He appreciated having the opportunity to attend. He said that Henry Cisneros was the keynote speaker.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 10:38 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh