Mayor Sandack called the Workshop meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall. The Mayor led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Present:Mayor Ron Sandack; Commissioners William Waldack, Sean P. Durkin, Geoff Neustadt, Bruce Beckman; Village Manager Dave Fieldman; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Absent:Commissioners Marilyn Schnell and Martin Tully
Visitors: Residents: Mark Thoman, 1109 61st Street; Tim Meaney, 420 Franklin Street; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore Avenue; Linda Kunze, Downtown Management, 933 A Curtiss; Greg Bedalov, DGEDC , 2001 Butterfield, Suite 120; Laura Crawford, DG Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2001 Butterfield, Suite 105; Marge Earl, 4720 Florence Avenue Staff: Tom Dabareiner, Director, Community Development; Mike Baker, Deputy Village Manager; Brandon Dieter, Management Analyst
Mayor Sandack explained that Council Workshop meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at 7:00 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.
1. Active Agenda and Informational Items
Ordinance Amendment: Liquor Provisions – Fees. The Manager said fee amendments were last considered in 2006. The Liquor Commission discussed this matter and unanimously recommended approval.
Mayor Sandack said one of the reasons this is presented now is because license renewals take place in June. He extended his thanks to the Liquor Commission in this matter. This was vigorously discussed. There has not been an increase since 2006. It is important that there be a reasonable correlation with respect to staff time and fees, and that the fees be in line with other villages. He said he appreciates the Liquor Commission’s recommendations.
3. Consent Agenda Items
Bid: Pavement Patching. The Manager said staff recommends awarding a contract to Chicagoland Paving Contractors, Inc. of Lake Zurich, Illinois for pavement patching services in the amount of $73,900. This contract was competitively bid and four bids were received. He noted that this is not pothole patching.
Commissioner Beckman said the lowest bidder was substantially below the other bids; however, he is comfortable with the information provided by staff, and is confident in this bidder.
Dave Fieldman , Village Manager, said the low bid was consistent with the budgeted amount.
Contract for Health Plan Consulting . The Manager said staff recommends a three-year contract to become effective May 1, 2009 with GCG Financial, Inc. of Bannockburn, IL, the Village’s current consultant, for plan consulting services in an amount not to exceed $39,482 per year. Services provided by the consultant include conducting research, providing advice, screening of products and negotiating various insurance products and alternatives. This was competitively bid and 11 responses were received. Staff is satisfied with the services of GCG Financial, Inc.
Friday Night Classic Car Show Special Commercial Event License and Fee Waiver – Downtown Management Corporation. The Manager said staff recommends execution of a Special Commercial Event License and fee waiver with the Downers Grove Downtown Management Corporation for the 2009 Friday Night Classic Car Shows. These shows will be held each Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. between May 22 and September 4, 2009. This is an annual event. Staff estimates in-kind services incurred by the Village as a result of the proposed fee waiver to be $4,957.20.
Commissioner Beckman suggested that a portion of the car show be moved to Mochel Drive to alleviate congestion.
Commissioner Neustadt noted that the Friday Night Car Shows begin May 22, 2009.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
Village Manager’s Quarterly Report: 1st Quarter – 2009. Manager Fieldman said the report includes a budget report, strategic plan report and key accomplishments.
With respect to the budget report, Mr. Fieldman reviewed the General Fund revenue and expenses. Revenues and expenses are tracking per the revised FY09 budget. Mr. Fieldman reviewed the FY09 budget implementation plan including a projected $2 million revenue shortfall addressed by reducing expenses by $1.5 million and enhancing revenues by $500,000. He said revenues are down 6.1% and expenses are down 5.4% from FY08 .
Mr. Fieldman then provided a status update on the strategic plan. There are 15 projects scheduled for this year. He said ten projects are on schedule; two are in progress and have changed in scope – Ogden Avenue and Village facilities – and three have been deferred due to budget constraints – branding and marketing plan, downtown parking study and gateway entrance signs. He noted that project sheets are on the Village’s website for each project. Information is also available in the monthly statistical reports.
Key accomplishments include the FY09 budget implementation; economic development, including DeVry attraction, Midwestern University expansion, Larson Eye Clinic and ASGE office building; TCD3 kick-off; WIIP project contracts awarded; downtown façade improvement program; downtown valet parking ordinance; facility needs report and recommendation; historic preservation plan; Circulator Task Force findings; community notification system; building permit fee adjustment; cost saving measures; revised financial reporting; and applications for federal funding. Funds will be coming to the Village from the State of Illinois for resurfacing of Butterfield Road as well as Ogden Avenue.
Mayor Sandack noted the work that has been accomplished. He said he is hopeful that more federal stimulus funding is forthcoming. A great deal of work has been accomplished already, and there is much more to be done.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
The Attorney asked the Council to consider a resolution in opposition to the proposed amendments to the County Zoning Ordinance regarding workforce housing.
The Mayor asked for a motion waiving the one-week waiting period to consider new business.
Commissioner Durkin moved to waive the one-week waiting period to consider new business. Commissioner Beckman seconded the motion.
VOTE : AYES : Commissioners Durkin, Beckman, Neustadt, Waldack; Mayor Sandack
NAYS : None
Mayor Sandack declared the Motion passed.
The Mayor asked for a motion to consider a resolution in opposition to the proposed amendment to the County Zoning Ordinance regarding workforce housing, in its current form.
A Resolution in opposition to the proposed amendments to the County Zoning Ordinance regarding workforce housing. This objects to proposed amendments to the DuPage County Zoning Ordinance regarding Workforce Housing.
Commissioner Durkin moved to adopt “A Resolution in Opposition to the Proposed Amendments to the County Zoning Ordinance regarding Workforce Housing,” in its current form. Commissioner Beckman seconded the motion.
A RESOLUTION IN OPPOSITION TO THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE COUNTY ZONING ORDINANCE REGARDING WORKFORCE HOUSING
RESOLUTION 2009 -53
Mark Thoman , 1109 61st Street, said there are three pieces of legislation dealing with this matter that are intertwined. The item the Council is considering has faulty language. He presented slides that demonstrated the potential impact of the proposed legislation. He said the Village found it objectionable to have 25 units on a 2.75 acre site, and, under the proposed legislation, 40 units could be on that site. The County would exempt themselves from stormwater detention and water hook-up and would also permit septic tanks. This is a by right ordinance which means that these matters would not have to appear before Council. He supports the Council’s resolution.
Tim Meaney , 420 Franklin, said he listened to last week’s Council meeting where the proposed County ordinance was discussed. He agrees that the problem is the County’s by right ordinance and finds the objections to be valid. He recommended that this become an opportunity not just to object to this ordinance, but also to indicate what the Village supports, which is housing conceived in a fashion that makes sense for Downers Grove. He proposed some minor changes that accentuate the positive in the resolution and not simply register opposition, include an invitation for dialogue with the County, demonstrate to the residents that the Village Council values the services provided to the community by middle and lower income households, and further demonstrate sensitivity to maintain a balanced range of income levels in the Village. He suggested comments to that effect be put in writing in the resolution to go back to the County. Mr. Meaney submitted his suggestions.
The Mayor thanked Mr. Meaney for his comments. He said he called for the motion in its current form. He suggested that it may be more effective to send a cover letter to the County accompanying the resolution offering to communicate and dialogue with the County.
Commissioner Waldack thanked both Mr. Meaney and Mr. Thoman for their comments and explanations. The resolution under discussion has been modified from that on the website and in the packets.
The Mayor said the current form of the resolution contained a line that was removed.
Mr. Fieldman said the fourth “Whereas” in the preamble contained a reference that “…the amendments may diminish the character of surrounding residential neighborhood.” Based on a conversation with Commissioner Waldack and other feedback, that portion of the preamble was removed and the resolution being voted upon tonight does not include that language.
Commissioner Waldack thanked staff for making that change and Council for allowing that change. He said he agrees that a cover letter should be attached to the official resolution indicating that the Village supports the idea of workforce/middle income housing. This is a matter of good intentions but bad process.
Commissioner Durkin said he agreed with the idea of a cover letter. He said he is disappointed with the County’s intent to bypass their own stormwater requirements which they require in all municipalities. It does not make sense. He also thanked Mr. Meaney and Mr. Thoman for their comments.
The Mayor said the County has the authority to make their laws with respect to unincorporated areas. What is proposed is a request to permit workforce housing which would have higher density with reduced setbacks, septic field and well water opportunities and it would be by right and not a special use. This could abut on almost all corners of the Village. Typically the Village would be given the opportunity to opine and object or support the initiative. If the proposal, as drafted, were to pass, we would no longer have that opportunity if a project came in as a workforce housing initiative. Workforce housing is a well-intended initiative; however, the implementation and process is poorly thought out. To his knowledge, municipalities have not been invited to talk about the specifics with the County. We should join with Woodridge and Lombard in objecting and invite the County to work with us on a program that makes far more sense. An initiative proposed as a special use makes sense because it provides for opportunities for notification. He also said he agrees with comments regarding the County’s plan to bypass its own stormwater plan, saying this is a bad precedent and opens the opportunity for further bad legislation.
VOTE : AYES : Commissioners Beckman, Waldack, Durkin, Neustadt; Mayor Sandack
NAYS : None
Mayor Sandack declared the Motion passed.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting three items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing a license agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the Downers Grove Downtown Management Corporation for the 2009 Car Show season; 2) An ordinance amending liquor license fees; and 3) A resolution authorizing execution of a plan consultant agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and GCG Financial.
MAYOR ’S REPORT
The Mayor explained that the reason for the meeting being moved to Monday this week was to allow the Council members to travel with DuPage Mayors and Managers to Springfield and meet with legislators concerning the Village’s “shovel ready” projects.
Phil Cullen commented on the liquor license proposals. He sated in Aurora they charge $2,100 for their liquor license, which is spread out over a period of time. He said it would be advantageous to a business to be able to spread out the license fee over three months. He also suggested that the Village might want to consider flexible terms for varying sizes of restaurants. If the goal is to encourage more restaurants, this fee structure might discourage that.
The Mayor said the Council is sensitive to these feelings. He thinks the Village has been on the low end regarding fees in the past. He also noted that the Village has successfully brought in new business to the downtown area, as well as other business corners. The hope is to capture staff time fairly, and also be cognizant of neighboring communities.
Commissioner Durkin said that the liquor license fees cover underage buys. He agrees with the recommendation regarding establishing a flexible payment structure.
Commissioner Beckman said he would also be amenable to a payment plan.
Commissioner Neustadt announced that this is Downers Grove restaurant week, with 18 restaurants providing special offerings.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 7:29 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh