Mayor Sandack 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 Ron Sandack; Commissioners Marilyn Schnell, Martin Tully, William Waldack, Sean P. Durkin; Bruce Beckman; Village Manager Cara Pavlicek; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Absent:Commissioner Geoff Neustadt
Visitors: Press: Samantha Nelson, Downers Grove Reporter Residents: Mark Thoman, 1109 61st Street; Lorraine Tresnak, 5300 Walnut; Barbara McLellan, 5300 Walnut; Barbara Brieske, 5300 Walnut; Marilyn Hannapel, 5300 Walnut; Helen Kieta, 5300 Walnut; Charlotte Davidge, 5300 Walnut; Dorothy Daly, 5300 Walnut; Robert Burns, 5300 Walnut; Michael Davenport, Architectural Design Review Board Chair, 6636 Blackstone; John Schofield, 1125 Jefferson; John Kitka, 5718 Grand; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; Alice Strelau, 5611 Brookbank; Susan Ross, Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle; Tom Sisul, 5120 Main; Mark Khankan, World Class Motors, 1245 Ogden; Andy Clark, 1226 62nd Steet; Laura Crawford, Downers Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 1015 Curtiss; Greg Bedalov, Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation, 2001 Butterfield; Marge & Ed Earl, 4720 Florence; James Cavallo, Pierce Downers Heritage Alliance, 6943 Valley View; Carlo Rossi, Rossi Furniture/Rossi Real Estate, 2801 Centre Circle; Robert Nadler, Kimco Realty, 10600 West Higgins, Rosemont; Aarti Kotak, DLA Piper US, 203 North LaSalle Street, Chicago; Corine Acks, Architectural Design Review Board, 5217 Fairmount; Joe Anderson, 4805 Highland; Frank Falesch, 820 Prairie; Scott Jacaway, 4828 Oakwood; Marshall Schmitt, 4923 Seeley; Tom Le Cren, 545 Chicago; Kirby Eisman, 445 Austin; Tim Meaney, 420 Franklin Street; Roberta Muehlhaus, 1868 Grant Staff: Liangfu Wu, Director, Information Services; Bob Porter, Police Chief; Tom Dabareiner, Director, Community Development; Dave Fieldman, Deputy Village Manager; Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager; Phil Ruscetti, Fire Chief; Stan Balicki, Assistant Director, Public Works; Brandon Dieter, Management Intern; Jeff O’Brien, Sr. Planner, Community Development
Mayor Sandack led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Mayor Sandack 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.
The Manager said Dr. Goodman has asked to address the Council regarding the Blodgett House on the Move in support of the 1846 Blodgett House.
Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, thanked the Council for co-sponsoring the Gin Blossoms concert and for all their support. He reported strong advance ticket sales as well as 760 tickets sold at the gate. He recognized Dicke Tool and Sara Lee as two donors as well as other sponsors. He noted that souvenir programs are available. He will provide a financial report to the Village Manager.
Dr. Goodman said the Park District Commission voted unanimously to approve two sites for the House – one in Wandschneider Park and one at Randall Park. He said there is a lot of work to do, but the community is well on its way to preserving the House.
Mayor Sandack extended his thanks to the group.
Active Agenda and Informational Items
Historic Preservation Ordinance. The Manager asked Tom Dabareiner, Director, Community Development, to address this item.
Tom Dabareiner , Director, Community Development, reviewed various aspects of the Historic Preservation ordinance. He said this ordinance has been through a review lasting a number of months. The Architectural Design Review Board (ADRB) has reviewed this matter. He said the ADRB will serve as the historic preservation committee to receive and review nominations to designate a property or neighborhood as “historic.” Three other elements of the ordinance are: Historic Landmarks to recognize property; Historic Districts to recognize a geographic area; and Certificates of Appropriateness which would be required for most modifications to properties designated as Historic Landmarks and/or in Historic Districts. Mr. Dabareiner showed flowcharts depicting the processes for these three elements. Mr. Dabareiner noted that the chairman of the ADRB is in attendance at tonight’s meeting.
Mike Davenport , Chair, Architectural Design Review Board, said he appreciates having this ordinance available. This ordinance will be significant for years and years. It creates a challenge to architects and builders to create things worthy of being preserved. He is very proud of the work the committee has done and recommends the Council approves the ordinance. Regarding public input, he noted he sought newspaper coverage and posted information on various websites.
The Mayor said he appreciates Mr. Davenport’s efforts and thanked all who participated in developing this ordinance.
Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, said he supports this ordinance. He participated in many of the meetings. This ordinance is customized to Downers Grove. He said he would like to see this mature. It provides a framework for designation of a home as an historic structure. There is a population looking for communities with historic protections. Historic homes will not be destroyed arbitrarily.
John Schofield , 1125 Jefferson, thanked staff and the ADRB for their work. He hopes this will be adopted next Tuesday. This is not a coercive; it is a permissive ordinance. It provides benefits in terms of tax benefits that will be enabled once it is adopted.
Mr. Davenport outlined some of the tax benefits, the criteria for becoming certified and some of the requirements the Village will need to meet.
Commissioner Schnell asked about homes in the district that may not be historically significant.
Mr. Davenport said some homes will contribute to the historic district while others will not.
Mr. Dabareiner said the homes are subject to review if the owners want to make changes.
The Mayor noted there is no compulsory requirement in the ordinance.
Mr. Davenport said if a house is torn down, there will be restrictions on replacement.
Commissioner Schnell said there will need to be an educational component to this ordinance.
Commissioner Waldack thanked the ADRB for their work. He said he would like to see a designation if a property is historical regardless of the homeowner’s participation in the program.
Mr. Davenport noted that a survey of homes will be conducted and information regarding those homes identified as historic could be passed along to the new owners. The ADRB felt that participation in this program could not be forced on anyone.
Mr. Dabareiner said the State of Illinois identified 193 possible “significant” properties in Downers Grove many years ago.
Commissioner Tully discussed his involvement in this matter two years ago. He said it is appropriate for this to come before the Council on the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Village. This is the product of a very open process. The ordinance is tailored to Downers Grove. This ordinance helps preserve the balance between tradition and progress. It creates a balance between personal property rights and the community’s vested interest in preserving historical and architecturally significant structures. He appreciates the hard work of staff, the public and the ADRB . He thanked the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois for their input early in this process. This is an historic event and he suggested inviting those who participated in this effort to attend next week’s meeting.
The Mayor noted that this is a permissive generated piece and strong owner buy-in is required. It is not compulsive. He noted that it is very American and very Downers Grove. The work on this ordinance was well spent.
Special Use 3702 Venard Extended Family Accessory Housing. The Manager asked Mr. Dabareiner to address this item.
Mr. Dabareiner said staff is requesting approval of an ordinance for a special use for accessory housing. He outlined the layout of the house and floor plan. He said the special use is intended for the mother-in-law of the applicant. He outlined the conditions for granting a special use, the inspections and the requirement of a certificate of use. He said should the special use expire, the use must revert back to typical residential use/activities.
The Mayor asked if there is a deed or title lien.
Enza Petrarca , Village Attorney, said the special use permit could be revoked.
Commissioner Schnell asked if the apartment could be used by other family members or rented out once the special use is revoked.
Ms. Petrarca said it could not be used by others.
In response to Commissioner Beckman, Mr. Dabareiner said the applicant has been very forthcoming in their petition and plans. The Village wants to avoid rental units in a single-family residential district.
In response to Commissioner Waldack, Mr. Dabareiner said staff is concerned when there are plans that close off an area within a house and have a separate entrance as these are more consistent with extended family accessory housing for which a special use is required.
Commissioner Schnell asked as to a plan to revert back to a single family residence.
Ms. Petrarca said it is included in the ordinance.
Commissioner Tully asked if the special use expires upon change in ownership.
Mr. Dabareiner said it does.
Voluntary Annexations: 2428 Burlington; 6138 Boundary; 6239 Springside. The Manager asked Mr. Dabareiner to address this item.
Mr. Dabareiner depicted the locations on aerial maps. These applications were received in the winter and spring, but as State law prohibits annexations during the election period, they were not brought to Council at that time. These will be zoned R-1. They are voluntary annexations. The owners want to receive Village water.
Commissioner Schnell asked if these properties are in the Lisle/Woodridge Fire Protection District.
Ms. Petrarca said they are. The owners have to pay fees that the Village forwards to the Lisle/Woodridge Fire Protection District.
Final Planned Development with Variation from Code and Final Plat of Subdivision for the Butterfield Square Subdivision. The Manager said this was previously workshopped. She asked Mr. Dabareiner to address this item.
Mr. Dabareiner said the petitioner sought a buyer and a user of the vacant building. The petitioner is working with Rossi Home Furnishings and Real Estate company. The transaction is awaiting approval of the Council’s approval of the final plat of Butterfield Square Subdivision and Final Planned Development. Mr. Dabareiner discussed the shared parking arrangement.
Commissioner Beckman noted that the parking requirement is dependent on leasing the NICOR gas property. He asked what would happen if the petitioner loses the ability to lease this space.
Jeff O’Brien , Senior Planner, Community Development, said the petitioner would still meet the parking requirements under the current uses. If the uses change, parking would have to be re-evaluated. The NICOR easement is a recorded document with a 99-year lease.
Commissioner Durkin asked if the site will be owner occupied.
Mr. Dabareiner said it will be.
Commissioner Durkin noted that the Plan Commission recommended approval of the petition with a vote of 6:1 and that Commissioner Beggs voted against the approval of the petition due to lack of specific information about the future use and tenants of the vacant building.
Aarti Kotak , Attorney for the petitioner, said the issue was that a user was not identified earlier, but has now been identified.
Special Use and Plat of Consolidation 1245-1249 Ogden Avenue Automobile Dealership. The Manager asked Mr. Dabareiner to address this item.
Mr. Dabareiner said this is the World Class Motorcars site. A special use was granted in July 2006. The petitioner now wishes to demolish the building at 1245 Ogden Avenue. The plan complies with the Ogden Avenue Master Plan. This will consolidate land into one parcel.
Commissioner Tully noted that this is a modification of a previous special use.
Zoning Ordinance Amendment – M District Modifications. The Manager asked Mr. Dabareiner to address this issue.
Mr. Dabareiner said this is related to a recycling center. He said recycling centers are allowed today in the M district as a special use provided the criteria are met. The goals are to continue to allow this use in restricted locations removed from residential areas and to retain the special use requirements rather than making this a permitted use. Mr. Dabareiner depicted the areas where recycling centers are allowed to be located currently and under the proposed ordinance.
Staff suggested modifications to the Plan Commission recommendations based on the fact that an analysis of the recommendations raised questions of inverse condemnation. He outlined requirements for obtaining a special use as well as requirements for recycling centers. He said staff is concerned about limited areas that could be used for this purpose.
Commissioner Schnell said the Illinois EPA regulations only excluded the Tollway from their separation requirement of 1,320 feet. Staff is proposing excluding properties adjacent to government facilities, the Tollway, Forest Preserve and the Morton Arboretum from the 1,320 foot separation requirement.
Mr. Dabareiner said that a community with a zoning ordinance can set any reasonable distance as a separation requirement. The IEPA regulations are for those communities without a zoning ordinance.
Mark Thoman , 1109 61st Street, thanked Mayor Sandack and Commissioner Tully for meeting with him. He said there is confusion regarding the language of a “recycling collection center” vs. a “construction, demolition, debris sorting, and collection transfer station.” He suggested the Village define the types of centers. He referenced 415 ILCS 5 /22.00 Sec. 22.38 of the IEPA statute, he discussed his presentation before the Plan Commission, and he asked the Village Council to adhere to the IEPA regulations.
Mr. Thoman said he is frustrated by the lack of transparency of the process. This should have been publicized. He said the Village cannot allow every type of business within our borders. He asked the Council to delete all exemptions outlined in Section 28.1007(f) of the proposed ordinance, and to adhere to the Illinois Environmental Protection Act.
Susan Ross , Morton Arboretum, presented a letter from the President and CEO of the Morton Arboretum and read it to the audience. The Morton Arboretum requests reconsideration of the proposed amendment, as it does not provide setback protection to the Arboretum that is afforded to the other residential properties. This could adversely affect the Arboretum operations and jeopardize their goals.
Tom Sisul , 5120 Main Street, said he has a problem with the definitions. When making a change to a standard, one must look at the environmental impact. He asked if there is a rational basis for the exceptions. He noted his impression of a recycling collection center. He reiterated the need to know the environmental impact. He asked as to the intent of the IEPA regulations. He said the language in the ordinance is inconsistent and unclear, and terms need to be clearly defined.
John Schofield , 1125 Jefferson Avenue, thanked the Village staff for trying to close a loophole. He said this is an attempt to close a gap. He also thanked Mr. Thoman for raising attention to what is being discussed tonight. He said this does not affect him personally, but he feels it would be a mistake to place such a center next to the Morton Arboretum or the Forest Preserve. Regarding the residential question, the default prescribed by the State is ¼ mile between homes and the center. The exemptions outlined in the proposed ordinance seem to undermine the standard. He feels all the exemptions should be eliminated, but he wants to focus particularly on residential areas.
Tom LeCren , 505 Chicago Avenue, thanked the Council for the information he received in response to his questions. He addressed the 1,320 foot requirement. He said he is concerned about home rule powers. He understands they allow a municipality to be more restrictive, but he is not sure if one can be less restrictive than State statute.
Lorraine Tresnak , 5300 Walnut, said taxpayers’ monies established the IEPA guidelines and people should not undermine their worth. We do not need exemptions, but should follow the law.
Frank Falesch , 820 Prairie, said Council should put the 1,320 foot separation clause in the ordinance.
Joe Anderson , 4805 Highland, said he was the applicant for the recycling center on Thatcher. He said he was speaking strictly as a resident. He is opposed to the proposed ordinance because it does not advance the cause of recycling, it devalues the Council’s insight, wisdom and flexibility for now and for the future, and it does not follow the proper method for changes in the zoning ordinance. He said recycling centers are needed and companies will not make proposals to the Council. Current regulations protect the Village in terms of noise, odor, etc. This is a major change to the zoning ordinance that was made without a comprehensive analysis. He finds it troubling that the affected people were not notified of the proposed change. He said in January staff was in favor of a recycling center and now are banning recycling centers. He asked that this change be denied. He said the Illinois Environmental Protection Act is very confusing and specifically referenced setback requirements and transfer stations.
Commissioner Tully said he appreciates the information. Staff is trying to do the right thing. Special uses are a category of eligible uses in the Municipal Code. This ordinance is not in respect to any particular projects or people. There is a threshold requirement that must be met to determine if this is a special use as defined in the Municipal Code. Regarding the distance issue, 1,320 foot setback is reasonable in that it is recommended by the IEPA . He said he is troubled by the exemptions and is not sure they are all necessary and appropriate. He is not convinced they are warranted and is also not convinced to deviate from the Plan Commission recommendation.
Commissioner Beckman said he agrees with Commissioner Tully. He is troubled by the exemptions, particularly the difference between the Plan Commission and the staff recommendations. He is concerned about damage to the Morton Arboretum.
Commissioner Waldack asked staff for information regarding neighboring communities. He would like information regarding the legislative intent of the IEPA statute. He said the definition of terms should be checked. He noted that the Council would not have to grant a special use if it affects the health and safety of the residents. He is looking for additional information.
Commissioner Schnell said she believes the distance of 1,320 feet should be included in the ordinance. She noted that the definition of recycling has changed since it was first established and she is not sure the zoning ordinance has captured those changes. She would like to know if the definition could be more specific. She said she is struggling with the exemptions. There are not many places in Downers Grove where there can be a recycling center. She asked for clarification regarding the maps. She said she is not sure what the effect will be on residential districts. She further said she is not ready to vote on this next week. She would like this matter workshopped again.
Commissioner Beckman agreed that he would like more clarification with respect to the maps.
Mayor Sandack said that a recycling collection facility will still require a special use. The proposed ordinance does not change this requirement. He noted that staff’s intent was to make our ordinance stronger. Staff was trying to put a buffer in place. The Mayor said this is not a home rule issue. He further noted that Downers Grove has a zoning ordinance. He said clarifying the definitions makes sense. Our ordinance addresses recycling collection centers. The ordinance needs to be consistent and understandable. The Village cannot zone out particular businesses because we do not like them. The Mayor agreed that this matter is not ripe for a vote. He asked Council members to forward their questions to the Village Manager.
DuPage Water Commission Rebate & Rate Reduction. The Manager said Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager, has a report on this matter.
Mike Baker , Assistant Village Manager, provided background information regarding the Village’s participation in the DuPage Water Commission, noting that the Village is a charter member and operates a distribution center. The Village sells water to customers. The revenue is used to pay for the distribution center.
In April 2007, the Water Commission adopted a budget and authorized a $40 million rebate. The Village’s share of the rebate is $3,012,957.00. The wholesale water rate was reduced from $1.45 to $1.25 per 1000 gallons, effective May 1, 2007. This change in rates will result in approximately $275,000 savings to the Village in FY 07 and $440,000 annually thereafter based on average water consumption.
Mr. Baker outlined three options available to the Village for use of the rebate and rate reduction: 1) Dedicate the savings to infrastructure improvements; 2) Reduce rates to Village water customers; and 3) Pay off outstanding general obligation bonds issued for the automated meter reader system. With respect to option 3, Mr. Baker said the Village does not have the option to pay off the outstanding bonds at this time. Staff recommendation is to dedicate the savings to infrastructure improvements.
Tom LeCren , 505 Chicago Avenue, said he supports staff’s recommendation.
Commissioner Durkin said he agrees with the staff recommendation as the savings to residents is minimal.
Commissioner Beckman also agreed with the staff recommendation and noted that it is a prudent choice.
Commissioner Waldack said there are groups that question the use of rebates. Downers Grove has used rebate money appropriately in the past and will do so again. The Village needs to maintain the infrastructure for water delivery and stormwater. He does not want to see the water rates increase. He feels using the funds for infrastructure improvements is appropriate.
Commissioner Schnell agreed with Commissioner Durkin that the savings to residents is minimal. She said she did not realize the bonds could not be repaid early. She said the money will go a long way to fund projects that are over budget.
Commissioner Tully said he agrees with Commissioner Durkin.
Consent Agenda Items
Bid: Elmore Avenue Water Main Replacement. The Manager said this is in the amount of $712,045.10 to Vian Construction Company of Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
The Mayor asked that as much notice as possible be given to the residents regarding this project.
Commissioner Schnell suggested staff review the process for meeting with residents regarding such projects.
Bid: Skid Steer Loader. * The Manager said this is in the amount of $29,986.00 to Martin Implement Sales, Inc. of Orland Park, Illinois.
Police Department In-Car Laptop Replacements.* The Manager said this is a replacement purchase of 69 laptop computers at a total of $272,541.00. Funds for this are in the FY 07 Equipment Replacement Fund.
Commissioner Waldack asked staff as to the disposition of the old laptops. He said he was satisfied and impressed with the response that included recycling them, donating them to not-for-profit agencies, and disposing of them.
Commissioner Schnell asked about removing or erasing the hard drive.
Dr. Liangfu Wu , Director, Information Services, said super power magnets are used to swipe the hard drives.
Commissioner Durkin asked as to the life expectancy of the replacements.
Dr. Wu said it is five years.
Commissioner Durkin asked if the Village has looked at leasing computers.
The Manager said purchasing the equipment gives the Village flexibility and control. Further, it protects the Village against a company that might go bankrupt.
Dr. Wu noted that the value of the computers depreciates quickly.
Commissioner Durkin asked staff to look into leasing options in the future. He would like to extend the Village’s cash position.
Granting an Easement to AT&T. The Manager said this is relative to the Downers Drive water tower for cell tower facilities.
Agreement with the Illinois Tollway Authority . The Manager said this involves an agreement with the Illinois Tollway Authority which defines the specific areas of I-88 and I-355 where Downers Grove would provide emergency services.
Commissioner Durkin asked if this is only for ½ mile.
The Manager said on eastbound I-88 it is between milepost markers 135 and 135.5. On westbound I-88, it is between milepost markers 130.8 and 133.9. On I-355 north and southbound, it is between milepost markers 20.8 and 22.5.
Commissioner Durkin asked how that corresponds to exits.
Commissioner Schnell also asked for information as to the location of the mile markers.
Change Order :Lane Place Water Main Improvements . The Manager said a contract was previously awarded for this. This is in response to conditions in the field.
MANAGER ’S AND DIRECTORS ’ REPORTS
Right-of-Way Vacation Policy Discussion Alley Vacation 4714 Douglas Alley Vacation 422 and 445 Austin Street 621-639 Ogden Rezoning and Vacation of Alley Vacation of Prairie ROW
The Manager said a staff report has been prepared regarding pending vacations. The report is available to the Council for information purposes. This matter will be workshopped on July 10 and placed on the active agenda for July 17, 2007.
The Mayor said this has a difficult history. He asked Council members to review the materials and to be consistent as to the policy.
Kirby Eisman , 445 Austin, thanked the Council for the opportunity to discuss this matter. He asked as to a contact name if there are questions.
The Manager said he could contact Jeff O’Brien, Sr. Planner, Community Development.
FY 2006 Audit
Judy Buttny , Finance Director, said staff is requesting acceptance of the Village’s audit for the eight months ending December 31, 2006. The audit is also known as the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). It was prepared by Sikich LLP . The Village received an unqualified opinion from the auditors meaning that our financial statements are free from material misstatements and they are presented in conformance with generally accepted accounting principles. The CAFR is accompanied by a Management Letter. Staff agrees with the points brought up by Sikich. Staff has either corrected matters or is working to correct issues. Ms. Buttny asked that the Management Letter be referred to the Finance and Administrative Standing Committee for detailed discussion.
The Mayor said he concurs with the recommendation to forward the Management Letter to the Finance and Administrative Standing Committee.
The Manager said she has discussed with Commissioner Waldack a possible date of July 16, 2007 for this meeting.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting 11 items to the Council: 1) An ordinance establishing an historic preservation ordinance; 2) An ordinance authorizing a special use for 3702 Venard Road to permit an extended family accessory housing unit; 3) An ordinance annexing 6138 Boundary Road to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois; 4) An ordinance annexing 2428 Burlington Avenue to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois; 5) An ordinance annexing 6239 Springside Avenue to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois; 6) A resolution approving the final plat of subdivision for the Butterfield Square Subdivision; 7) An ordinance amending the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois, to designate Butterfield Square as Final Planned Development Number 44 with a variation; 8) An ordinance authorizing a special use for 1245-1249 Ogden Avenue to permit an automobile dealership; 9) A resolution approving the final plat of consolidation for World Class Motorcars Subdivision; 10) A resolution authorizing execution of an easement agreement to Illinois Bell Telephone Company d.b.a. AT&T Illinois; and 11) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.
Attorney Petrarca asked the Council to consider waiving the traditional one-week waiting period to consider voting on a settlement agreement between the Butterfield Homeowner’s Association of Lombard and the Village of Downers Grove, and a motion to accept the FY 06 audit.
Commissioner Tully moved to waive the one-week waiting period to consider new business. Commissioner Durkin seconded the motion.
VOTE : AYES : Commissioners Tully, Durkin, Beckman, Waldack, Schnell; Mayor Sandack
NAYS : None
Mayor Sandack declared the Motion passed.
1. A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between Butterfield Homeowner’s Association of Lombard and the Village of Downers Grove, et al. This will authorize execution of a settlement agreement between the Butterfield Homeowner’s Association of Lombard and the Village of Downers Grove, et al.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN BUTTERFIELD HOMEOWNER ’S ASSOCIATION OF LOMBARD AND THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE , ET AL.
RESOLUTION 2007 -70
Commissioner Tully moved to adopt a resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Butterfield Homeowner’s Association of Lombard and the Village of Downers Grove, et al., as presented. Commissioner Durkin seconded the Motion.
VOTE : AYES : Commissioners Beckman, Schnell, Durkin, Waldack, Tully, Mayor Sandack
NAYS : None
Mayor Sandack declared the Motion passed.
A motion to accept the FY 2006 Audit. This will accept the FY 2006 Audit and refer the management letter to the Finance and Administrative Subcommittee for their review.
Commissioner Durkin moved to accept the FY 2006 Audit and refer the management letter to the Finance and Administrative Subcommittee for their review, as presented. Commissioner Beckman seconded the Motion.
Commissioner Tully noted that the motion is to accept the FY 2006 Audit. The Council does not have the opportunity to change the audit.
VOTE : AYES : Commissioners Durkin, Beckman, Schnell, Waldack, Tully, Mayor Sandack
NAYS : None
Mayor Sandack declared the Motion passed.
Marshall Schmitt , 4923 Seeley, said he rarely comes to Council meetings. He is here out of frustration regarding the purchase of land adjacent to his home a few years ago. He and his family wanted to put a gazebo on the property. He discussed his conversations with Code Services, how he applied for a variance and then was told that staff would not support a variance. He was told to combine the properties, which he feels will decrease the economic value of the properties. He hired an attorney who told him a gazebo was not a permitted variance. He said this is an example of bad government. It is bad to be treated this way both at a procedural level and a substantive level. He asked that staff understand that they need to be consistent in what they tell a resident. He asked the Council to look at the merits of this and to look for ways to fashion an ordinance.
The Mayor asked Mr. Schmitt to give his recommendation to Council. He apologized on behalf of the Village for this situation.
Tim Meany , 420 Franklin, said he is speaking as a member of the DuPage United Middle Income Housing Group. The group would like to go on record as supporting Commissioner Waldack’s proposal at last week’s Council meeting to use the Village’s 2007 bond cap as a first step in a plan to retain middle income housing in Downers Grove. As Commissioner Waldack explained last week, some or all of this bonding authority would be turned over to IHDA , the Illinois Housing Development Authority. IHDA would then use this to issue bonds, the proceeds of which would be used to provide low-cost loans to qualifying, middle-income residents working in Downers Grove. In doing this the Village would not incur any debt or any other liability, since the bonds would be issued by IHDA , an organization completely separate from Downers Grove, although acting on residents’ behalf.
Mr. Meany said IHDA ’s annual household income limits for qualifying families are $72,400 for a household of 1 – 2 persons, and $83,300 for a family of three or more. In addition, the upper limit on the purchase price of a qualifying home is $325,000. These limits fit well with what the group has defined as middle income families.
Mr. Meany said his group is also aware that there is some competition for the bond cap. Versatile Card Technology company has filed a request to use the bond cap to issue industrial revenue bonds for expanding their facility here. He said he believes there is serendipity here between, on the one hand, a company that wants to expand its facilities and presumably hire more employees, and on the other hand, a support program to help these and other middle income employees to obtain a home in Downers Grove close to their work. They are open to sharing the bond cap with Versatile Card Technology. The combination gives the Village a great opportunity to add more local employees to the economic base and at the same time welcome these new employees with affordable, middle-income homes right here in the community where they will work.
Mr. Meany said he still believes that a Middle Income Housing Task Force must be convened and that the Village must view middle income housing as a strategic priority. He urged the Mayor and the Council to schedule a presentation by a representative of IHDA to explain in more detail how this organization can assist middle income housing efforts.
The Mayor said there are competing requests for the bond cap. He will ask staff for a recommendation.
Roberta Muehlhaus , 1868 Grant, said her property backs up to the Lee and Grant proposed development. She said six spruce trees on her property are tagged. She wants the Council to be aware of this.
Dave Fieldman , Deputy Village Manager, said the tags were to be place on trees controlled by the developer.
Ms. Muehlhaus said she is concerned that some of the fallen trees are tagged.
Mr. Fieldman said it is very common to tag all trees, even dead ones.
Commissioner Beckman said it was a grand opportunity to meet with residents at Heritage Festival. He thanked those who braved the weather to come to the Festival and to the Council booth. He said he took his grandson on his first Ferris wheel ride.
Commissioner Durkin thanked all those who worked at Heritage Festival. He said he saw a number of old friends. He worked both the Council and the Information booths. He was amazed at the crowd at 10:00 a.m.
Commissioner Durkin said the DuPage Mayors and Managers meeting last week was hosted by our Mayor. He noted that Midwestern University has a very interesting campus.
Commissioner Tully said Heritage Festival was a fabulous experience and a great way to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Village. He appreciates the efforts of all who participated. He congratulated the Blodgett House on the Move group on a successful concert. He would like to see similar events annually as there are many good causes that could be supported.
Commissioner Waldack said it was a great Heritage Festival and 175th anniversary. He extended his thanks to former Mayor Krajewski and former Commissioner Urban for their support of this event. He thanked the staff for their work and agreed that the Village should support causes such as the Blodgett House. He noted this could be financially or through sweat equity.
Commissioner Waldack said he attended the DuPage Mayors and Managers Transportation Committee meeting. He received the Downers Grove Circulator Study. He asked Council to review it and the four alternatives. He asked people to get information to the Village Manager or to him. On July 19, 2007 there will be a meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Public Works Facility to discuss the Circulator Study. Paratransit users and taxi subsidy users are encouraged to attend. He suggested the EDC and the Chamber of Commerce review the plan as well. This meeting will effect transportation in Downers Grove in the future.
Commissioner Schnell thanked residents for coming to the Council booth. She said Heritage Festival shows that the Village has the best, most dedicated employees. It is fun to reconnect with people you do not often get to see.
Commissioner Schnell said she received an e-mail from Linda Kunze asking to be put on the Community Events Commission. She had good suggestions from the business community.
Commissioner Tully said the Downtown Management Board is included in Heritage Festival planning on multiple levels. He suggested she be invited to the wrap-up meeting.
Commissioner Schnell said there is a difference between being a member and attending the meetings.
Commissioner Tully said Ms. Kunze is welcome at every meeting.
The Mayor suggested adding the Downtown Manager or designee as an ex-officio member of the Community Events Commission.
The Mayor thanked Mary Scalzetti and staff for their work and congratulated them on their efforts at the Heritage Festival. He extended special thanks to St. Mary’s Youth Group for the invitation at the dunk tank.
The Mayor reminded everyone that as of July 3, 2007, Council meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. in an attempt to accommodate people’s schedules.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk