In order to give as many visitors as possible an opportunity to speak and in the interest of adjourning the meeting by 9:00 p.m., please limit your comments to 5 minutes in length, unless further time is granted by Council. Thank you.
1. Call to Order
Mayor Martin Tully called the regular meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Downers Grove Village Hall.
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
Mayor Tully invited Wolf Pack 57 to help lead those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
2. Roll Call
Council Attendance: Commissioner Barnett, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Rheintgen, Mayor Tully
Staff Attendance: Village Manager David Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca and Village Clerk April Holden
The Council meeting is broadcast over the local FM radio station, WDGC. In addition, a tape recording and videotape of the meeting are being made using Village-owned equipment. The videotape of the meeting will be used for later rebroadcast of the Council meeting over the Village cable television Channel 6. The Council will follow the rules of conduct for this meeting as provided in Sec. 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code. These offer the public the opportunity to comment at several points in the meeting. First, immediately following approval of the minutes of past meetings, an opportunity will be given for public comments and questions of a general nature. If a public hearing is scheduled for this meeting, an opportunity is given for public comments and questions related to the subject of the hearing. Finally, an opportunity is given for public comments and questions on items appearing on the Consent Agenda, the Active Agenda and the First Reading. The Mayor stated that at the appropriate time the presiding officers will ask if there are any comments from the public. Individuals wishing to speak, should raise their hand to be recognized and, after acknowledgment from the presiding officer, approach the microphone and state their name. Remarks should be limited to five minutes, and individuals are asked to refrain from making repetitive statements.
3. Proclamation - Downers Grove Panther Cheerleaders
Mayor Tully proclaimed Tuesday, February 3, 2015, to be Downers Grove Panthers Cheerleading Day in the Village of Downers Grove. He congratulated the second graders on their accomplishment.
Shannon Zimniewicz thanked the parents for the honor of coaching their daughters. She said she is very proud of the team.
4. Minutes of Council Meetings
MIN 2015-6064 A. Minutes: Council Minutes - January 20, 2015
Summary: Council Minutes - January 20, 2015
The Mayor asked for a Motion to approve the minutes as submitted.
Motion: Commissioner Neustadt moved to approve the minutes as presented. Commissioner Durkin seconded the Motion.
Votes: Yea: Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Rheintgen, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully
Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.
5. Council Member Reports
This is the opportunity for the public to comment on non-agenda items.
Mayor Tully said this item will be moved to the end of tonight's agenda.
6. Public Hearings
PUB 2015-6050 A. Public Hearing: Special Service Area (SSA) No. 8 - Nelson Meadow Subdivision
Mayor Tully called the public hearing to order at 7:08 p.m. to consider the formation of Special Service Area #8 (Nelson Meadow Subdivision) and the levying of taxes affecting said area. The special service area is located on the east side of Brookbank Road, north of Jefferson Avenue and west of Carpenter Street. An accurate map of said territory is on file in the office of the Village Clerk and is available for public inspection. Notice of this hearing was published in the Downers Grove Suburban Life on January 14, 2015 and a certificate of publication is made a part of these proceedings.
The Mayor summarized the procedures to be followed for the public hearing.
Village Manager Dave Fieldman said the Village is proposing establishment of Special Service Area (SSA) #8 for the Nelson Meadow Subdivision, which will serve as a safeguard in the event that the homeowners' association cannot or does not maintain the subdivision's common areas. The SSA will allow the Village to levy a special tax on the property owners for the maintenance of the common areas if the homeowners' association defaults and the Village is required to step in to provide such maintenance. The Village would then assume responsibility for maintaining the common areas.
There being no further discussion, the Mayor asked for a Motion to adjourn the Public Hearing.
Motion: Commissioner Neustadt moved to adjourn the Public Hearing. Commissioner Durkin seconded the Motion.
Votes: Yea: Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Rheintgen, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully
Mayor Tully declared the motion carried and the Public Hearing was adjourned at 7:10 p.m.
7. Consent Agenda
COR 2015-6061 A. Claims Ordinance: No. 6091, Payroll, January 9, 2015
BIL 2015-6052 B. Bills Payable: No. 6170, February 3, 2015
RES 2015-6038 C. Resolution: Authorize a Consultant Agreement with Strand Associates
Summary: This authorizes a professional services agreement for Engineering Services for Funding Assistance Application for Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's (IEPA) Public Water Supply Loan Program (PWSLP) with Strand Associates of Joliet, Illinois in the not-to-exceed amount of $30,400.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF A CONSULTANT AGREMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND STRAND ASSOCIATES
RES 2015-6048 D. Motion: Award a Contract to True North Consultants for Environmental Engineering Services in an Amount Not to Exceed $31,260
Summary: This authorizes a contract for Clean Construction and Demolition Debris (CCDD) environmental engineering services for various capital improvement projects to True North Consultants, of Naperville, Illinois in an amount up to $31,260.00.
RES 2015-6023 E. Resolution: Authorize a Memorandum of Understanding with the DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup
Summary: This authorizes the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to refrain from the use coal tar based sealants for public works projects. A reduction in use of coal tar sealants in municipal projects will enhance water and sediment quality, and help meet stream resource quality goals.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND THE DUPAGE RIVER SALT CREEK WORKGROUP
RES 2015-6061 F. Resolution: Authorize a State Local Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Assistance Agreement with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA)
Summary: This authorizes the execution of the Assistance Agreement between the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Village of Downers Grove for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) requesting federal funding in an amount up to $820,211 to support the purchase of flood prone properties.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF A STATE LOCAL HAZARD MITIGATION GRANT PROGRAM ASSISTANCE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (IEMA)
Motion: Commissioner Neustadt moved to approve the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Durkin seconded.
Votes: Yea: Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Rheintgen, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully
Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.
8. Active Agenda
9. First Reading
MOT 2015-6058 A. Motion: Direct Staff to Draft a Text Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance re: Electronic Message Board Signs
Mr. Fieldman introduced Planning Department Manager Stan Popovich to make the presentation, saying that staff will be looking for direction from the Council.
Planning Manager Stan Popovich said a motion has been prepared directing staff to draft a text amendment to the Zoning Ordinance that would permit electronic message board signs in the INP-2, Campus-scale Institutional and Public District.
Mr. Popovich said the Zoning Ordinance prohibits electronic message board signs in all zoning districts. School District 99 has requested the Village Council to direct Village staff to draft a text amendment that would permit electronic message board signs for properties that are zoned INP-2, Campus-scale Institutional and Public District. The school district wants to place a sign at both North and South High School. Currently both properties are zoned residential. The school district has been working with Village staff to begin the application process to rezone these properties to INP-2.
Mr. Popovich said School District 99 submitted a similar request for electronic message board signs in 2008. The amendments would have permitted electronic message center signs as special uses in residential districts, greater than 18 acres located on an arterial street. Only one electronic message center sign would be permitted for each facility and the maximum size would be 50 square feet and six feet tall. The Village Council denied the requested text amendment.
Mr. Popovich then addressed the proposed text amendment in the INP-2 zoning district. Currently only the Good Samaritan Hospital Campus is zoned INP-2. Other potential properties include School District 58 and School District 99, Park and Forest Preserve Districts, Midwestern University, and Village properties. Currently, 97% of all properties are in compliance with the Sign Ordinance and an additional 49 properties have approved signs that have not yet been installed. In terms of next steps, Mr. Popovich said, if directed by Council, staff would review current practices, draft a text amendment, conduct a public hearing at the Plan Commission, and forward consideration of the text amendment for the Council's consideration.
Dr. Mark McDonald, Superintendent of District 99, spoke on behalf of the Board of Education. District 99 is seeking a text amendment to allow digital signage. Schools have unique, compelling, and community issues. The first request for digital signage was in the 2007-08 school year. The district initiated a change in zoning to INP-2 last year.
Jim Kolodziej, Director, Physical Plant and Operations, reiterated that District 99 is submitting an application for INP-2 zoning and proposing a text amendment to permit digital signs for INP-2 designated institutions.
Jill Browning, Director of Communications, said that kids are a tremendous source of pride for all of us. There is a never-ending stream of good news shared in many ways and they want to expand that through digital signs. She noted that digital signs also provide a better chance to engage with people. The signs can be used for crisis notification, notifications of drills, weather-related school closings, other government agency announcements, invitations to events, school announcements, etc. Digital signs in high schools are common in DuPage County. She showed examples of the signs at Hinsdale Central and Naperville Central High Schools.
Mr. Kolodziej showed the current signage at North High. He proposed keeping the base and adding LED signage on top. The sign would be six feet high and ten feet wide. The sign at South High would be identical. There is no sign at South High currently. Mr. Kkolodziej then described the sign features.
Mayor Tully thanked Dr. McDonald, Mr. Kolodziej and Ms. Browning for their presentation. He also thanked the board members for their attendance at tonight's meeting.
Dr. Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, said this is a sensible thing for the Village to consider and it is overdue. He asked if a request for a sign by Good Samaritan Hospital would be a Council or a staff decision.
The Mayor said Council is exploring a change and the answer remains to be seen.
The Mayor noted that he was against an ordinance change in 2008, but things have changed. He would support examining such an ordinance at this time. This would be restricted to INP-2 zoning.
Commissioner Olsen said that, while he is somewhat skeptical of the idea of electronic signage, he would support moving forward with exploring the idea. He has been concerned about digital signs, but we owe it to our stakeholders to explore this.
Commissioner Hosé asked for clarification as to who would qualify for digital signage as the presentation by District 99 did not include the same properties as those included in the staff presentation.
Mr. Fieldman said that the information provided by staff is the most correct and most comprehensive.
Commissioner Hosé said he is not sure that very much has changed since 2008. District 99 is comprised of two schools. There are myriad ways to communicate. He said he cannot support digital signs and would not like to pursue this further. Allowing electronic signs in the INP-2 zoning district could allow District 58 schools, Park District, Village and other facilities to have these signs. Many of these properties are in residential neighborhoods.
Commissioner Rheintgen said Commissioner Hosé put it well. It is important to consider the impact on residential neighborhoods. She understands the need to communicate with students, but it is important to consider the impact on residential areas. The Sign Committee found LED lights to be obtrusive. She would not like to pursue this further.
Commissioner Neustadt said the schools are in residential zones. While everyone agrees on the need to communicate, he is not sure digital signs are the most effective way. The INP-2 zoning change would be a good idea with respect to signs, but not digital signs. He has supported the Sign Ordinance all along. He is not interested in pursuing this further.
Commissioner Barnett said he reviewed the minutes of the 2008 Sign Ordinance Committee. The Committee addressed digital signs and the comments about residential properties is moving to him. He noted that there may be other technology besides that proposed by District 99. He does not want to direct staff to write an ordinance in line with District 99's request, but he would continue to work with District 99 regarding other possibilities. He cannot support LED signs, but there may be other possibilities that are less offensive.
Commissioner Durkin referenced the Hinsdale South sign and noted that the City of Darien did not want it. The Commissioner said he does not support LED signs on Ogden Avenue. He supports changeable signs for school districts and supports looking at this. He would encourage staff to move forward. He would want the Village to have ultimate control over the messaging in the case of an emergency.
Mayor Tully said three Council members are interested in directing staff to draft a text amendment and three are not interested. In terms of exploring what the community wants, he suggested that a draft text amendment might help have that conversation. There would opportunities at Council and at District 99 meetings to hear what the community wants. Perhaps a public conversation will reach an "and" solution.
Mr. Fieldman said this item will appear on next week's Active Agenda.
Commissioner Hosé said Council has discussed looking at the Zoning Ordinance in the future. In the event this does not move forward next week, this could be on an agenda for long-range planning.
Dr. Goodman suggested this could be a special use rather than a permitted use. This would allow for a review of each request and each one would come to the Council for approval.
Mayor Tully left the meeting at 7:54 p.m. Mayor pro tem Neustadt then assumed responsibility as presiding officer.
REP 2015-6046 B. Report: Historic Preservation Ordinance
Mr. Fieldman asked Mr. Stan Popovich to discuss this item.
Mr. Popovich said the Historic Preservation Ordinance is Chapter 12 of the Municipal Code and was adopted in 2007. If directed by Council, a draft text amendment would be written after reviewing current practices. This would then go to the Plan Commission for a public hearing and then to the Village Council for consideration. Tonight's focus is to discuss how to create a historic district and a landmark designation, and the desired outcome is to develop a list of potential amendments.
Mr. Popovich first discussed how to create a historic district. There are five steps: an application, preliminary hearing at the Architectural Design Review Board (ADRB), preliminary findings, a public hearing at the ADRB, and Council consideration. With respect to the application, any party can apply. The application must include names and addresses of all parties, consent from 51% of all property owners, a written description, and photographs and district map. The preliminary hearing at the ADRB includes a publication of notice and preliminary determination of qualification. The criteria to be used by the Board in determining the designation of historic districts can be found in Section 12.600 and include two or more contiguous properties which do not have to be individually landmarked; a significant number of properties meeting landmark criteria; the properties contribute visually to the district; a sense of time and place unique to the Village; and clear and distinct boundaries.
Regarding the preliminary findings, all property owners are sent a preliminary determination via certified mail. The property owners are informed of the date and time of the public hearing. The public hearing at the ADRB must include publication of notice, the district criteria again are referenced and a determination/recommendation is made. Steps with respect to Council consideration include a simple majority vote, the ordinance is recorded with DuPage County and placed on the Zoning map, and the decision is sent via certified mail to all property owners within the proposed district.
Mr. Popovich then discussed how to create a historic landmark. There are currently two historic landmark houses: 5256 Carpenter Street and 4943 Highland Avenue. There are three steps: an application, a public hearing at the ADRB, and Council consideration. With respect to the application, any party can apply. The application must include owner consent, a written description, and photographs and a site plan. The public hearing at the ADRB must include a publication of notice. The criteria to be used by the Board in determining the designation of historic landmarks can be found in Section 12.400, and include the following: value to historic, heritage or cultural characteristics; identification with a person, distinguished architectural characteristic; notable work of a master builder; unique location or singular physical characteristic; unique example of a utilitarian structure; archaeological resources; source of civic pride. Steps with respect to Council consideration include a simple majority vote, the ordinance is recorded with DuPage County and placed on the Zoning map, and the decision is sent via certified mail to the property owner.
Mr. Popovich then provided a chart comparing Downers Grove's ordinance to that of other communities. With respect to potential modifications to the ordinance, Mr. Popovich suggested a reference to the Comprehensive Plan, update the public hearing notice requirements, update the application requirements, and revise designation criteria.
Mr. Fieldman said staff would benefit from Council and resident comments. Another discussion regarding regulations will be held in March.
Scott Lazar, 808 Maple, said no one is against a voluntary historic district, but they are against the way the ordinance is written. He likes the direction regarding the application requirements for landmark designation in that only the owner or the owner's designee could nominate a home. He suggested that an applicant for a historic district should be a homeowner who resides in the district and should include the consent of the owners. He suggested that minor exterior modifications be exempt from the Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) requirements. Regarding major modifications, proposed modifications require a public hearing and Mr. Lazar suggested that once a district is established, homeowners be allowed to make changes with the approval of the ADRB. A public hearing to consider modifications will scare people away. He also suggested a cap on filing fees for the COA, an exemption for economic hardship, provisions for ADA requirements, provisions for loss or substantial loss of a home, language regarding demolition, and Village obligations to provide value.
Mike Davenport, 6636 Blackstone Drive, said he serves on the ADRB. Some of Mr. Lazar's concerns are in the current ordinance. There was an ADRB meeting recently and there was discussion about restricting the scope of review to that which is visible from the street. He noted that our ordinance is aligned with what is found in other communities.
Dr. Goodman said this was an interesting presentation. He encouraged the Village to post the power point presentation on the website and suggested reviewing this policy regarding posting Council presentations on the website.
Commissioner Rheintgen asked about the repeal process.
Mr. Popovich said a petitioner would apply, describe why they want to repeal the designation, a public hearing would be held, and ultimately this matter would come to the Village Council. It would be hard to repeal the designation if there were no significant changes.
Commissioner Rheintgen asked as to the timeline for a repeal.
Mr. Popovich said it would be two to three months at a minimum. If there were an Act of God, the Manager might be able to issue a permit before the public hearing.
Commissioner Rheintgen agreed that the applicant should be a property owner in the proposed district when seeking to create a district. She would support the ability of property owners opting out. The discussion regarding a description seems vague and she would like more information regarding thematic districts. She feels the owner should be the application regarding landmark designation. She likes the suggestion regarding an exemption due to financial hardship.
Commissioner Hosé suggested that if there is a home in the district that is not particularly historic, they could be exempted from the district. He would also like to see an incentive program built into this to encourage redevelopment that would be more in turn with the historic nature of the district.
He said he likes the idea of a historic district being started by someone within the district, and he likes the idea of a landmark designation within a district. He noted that the comparable information demonstrates that the issue in Downers Grove is lack of interest, knowledge or incentive. He asked how we can get more interest and incentivize people to pursue this. He hopes we can increase awareness of the ordinance.
Commissioner Olsen said would like to explore the comment regarding properties not contributing or significant in the district. His main concerns have to do with the COA, the process, fees, etc. which are scheduled to be discussed next month.
Commissioner Barnett said Council is not getting the desired results. He suggested making it harder to create districts and make landmark designation more appealing. Regarding establishing districts, he would like to see the threshold quite a bit higher than 51%. He said he would like people to be able to opt out of designation. He doesn't want a district or designation to be by force. He would also like to think more about Village obligations.
Commissioner Neustadt said he likes the idea that the applicant and owner be residents in Downers Grove. He finds the conversation about incentives interesting. He noted that the community is ever changing and all homes within an area may not be historic. He said a historic district should not be done by force.
Dr. Goodman said the Downers Grove Heritage Foundation owned the 1846 Blodgett House. Landmark designation is an onerous project. One of the prime candidates is the Museum campus. He suggested talking to the Park District regarding the current ordinance and the changes being discussed.
Mr. Fieldman said regulations, facilitation and incentives will be discussed next meeting.
10. Mayor's Report
11. Manager's Report
Mr. Fieldman asked Public Works Director Nan Newlon to discuss the weekend's snowstorm.
Nan Newlon, Director, Public Works, described the storm characteristics. Records have been kept since 1886 and storms of 5+ inches typically occur once per year. This storm was the fifth largest event overall since records have been kept. It began at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 31 and ended at 5:00 a.m. on Monday, February 2, and resulted in 19.3" of accumulated snow in Downers Grove. At times, the snow fell at over 1" per hour.
Ms. Newlon said the Village plows 167 centerline miles of streets and 340 cul-de-sacs. Streets are categorized as Priority 1, 2 & 3. The downtown sidewalks are also plowed as are the commuter and downtown parking lots and platforms.
Ms. Newlon then discussed the Village response to the storm. Public Works began a 24-hour operation on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. She said there were 16 drivers on duty per shift. The Village contracts for downtown plowing and clearing all platforms as well as for snow hauling. The Park District assisted the Village's efforts.
Ms. Newlon then reviewed response time targets. For Priority 1 streets, the target condition is passable during the storm and cleared to the bare pavement within 12 hours of the storm's end. For Priority 2 streets, the target condition is to be cleared to the bare pavement with 12 hours of the storm's end. For Priority 3 streets, the target condition is to be passable within 18 hours of the storm's end. As of the end of the storm at 5:00 a.m., the actual response times were achieved with respect to Priority 1 streets being passable, and within one hour, Priority 1 streets were cleared to the bare pavement. Priority 2 streets were cleared to the base pavement within 14 hours of the storm's end, and Priority 3 streets were passable within 20 hours of the storm's end.
Ms. Newlon then discussed ongoing operations. The continued 24-hour operation is projected through the weekend. Operations will include eliminating the snow pack, piling and hauling away snow in the downtown, sight obstructions, and areas with limited space. She said snow is forecasted for Tuesday evening and Wednesday.
Mr. Fieldman spoke about the similarities between this storm and one in 2011 and how close we got to the standards this year as opposed to 2011. He thanked the Council for the equipment and personnel.
Commissioner Neustadt said the unsung responders are Fleet Services personnel as they keep the equipment running. He spoke about the work downtown with the different equipment.
Ms. Newlon said the brooms used by the contractors were not enough to handle the storm. She said we are fortunate to have shifts to operate on a 24-hour schedule.
Commissioner Hosé spoke about the snow pack and the effectiveness of salt on melting the snow pack.
Ms. Newlon said there are three factors that affect salt: the temperature, the sun and traffic. Salt is most effective on the highest volume streets.
Commissioner Hosé asked if there is a way to quantify the impact on the Priority 1 streets if resources are directed to the Priority 2 and 3 streets.
Mr. Fieldman said it has a lot to do with the rate of snowfall. The challenge was that it was snowing so fast that resources were used to keep the Priority 1 streets passable during the storm. It has to do with the characteristics and intensity of the storms.
Commissioner Barnett said the Village did well, but he asked if the plan matches up with the expectations of the residents. He asked that everyone be prepared to review this when discussing long-range goals. He has heard a lot about snow pack, cul de sacs, etc.
Commissioner Neustadt agreed that this should be kept in mind when discussing long-range plans. He noted that these storms are all different. He said the Village is using salt in a responsible manner.
Mr. Fieldman spoke about keeping the standards the same, but looking at service levels.
Commissioner Rheintgen said it would be great to have the priority levels on GIS maps to enable people to answer their own questions.
Commissioner Durkin thanked everyone for their work. He said we have large areas for improvement. We seem to drop the ball on longer storms, but we do a good job on storms of less than 12 hours. We only care about Priority 1 streets and wait until after the storm ends to plow the other streets and cul de sacs. He would like to look at contracting out clearing the cul de sacs as the service level to them is substandard. He urged people to shovel around their fire hydrants. He said sidewalk ends are bus stops and snow should not be pushed to those ends. We learn from every storm and need to set expectations.
Commissioner Barnett said the severity of weather events seems to be increasing. We need to be mindful of ways to leverage up capacity and tools.
Commissioner Rheintgen asked if we need to ask the school districts for assistance.
Commissioner Neustadt said that assistance usually goes the other way. There is a spirit of cooperation among government units.
Dr. Goodman said he drove through six different communities today and nobody has done the job Downers Grove did. Our community is very safe. The flexibility and ability to control the situation according to local conditions is very important. He further noted that it is important to ask the snow plow drivers what they think would be improvements. He said he was concerned about the lack of clearing in front of the Post Office as well as the sidewalk adjacent to it.
Commissioner Neustadt noted that the crews are working on this area.
Todd Paradis, 417 67th Court, said there were two trucks driving in tandem on his cul de sac and efficiency was lacking. The standard to make Priority 3 streets passable within 18 hours of the storm's end is unacceptable. The snow was packed in front of the fire hydrant. He suggested talking to the residents and not just the drivers.
12. Public Comments
Edith Larson, 915 59th Street, Clyde Estates, read a letter to the Council. Her father and his family have resided in Downers Grove since 1839. She said Clyde Estates is a wonderful area. She asked how it was decided that traffic control and stormwater retention areas are needed. She said it is the southeast corner of Clyde Estates that experiences flooding. Ditches will be an eyesore. Regarding the insistence on the installation of sidewalks, Ms. Larson said it is misplaced. She is generally not opposed to sidewalks, but she thinks some places are better suited for them and they will impinge on homeowners' privacy. There should be a way to consider extenuating circumstances where sidewalks are not needed as they do not go anywhere. She said she understands that this is a policy and not a law. She said there is not a big safety issue as there have been no traffic accidents, either between cars or between cars and pedestrians. She feels like this is government overreach. We need the street, but not the sidewalks or the ditches.
Jon Povlivka, 6016 Washington, said he has been a resident for over 40 years. He spoke about the process in regard to the Clyde Estates project. A traffic study was warranted. He said we are trying to solve a problem and we don't know the cause. Residents were told they had no choice with regard to sidewalks. He suggested reviewing the policy periodically. A traffic circle was proposed as traffic calming. The circle was then eliminated to save one tree. He doesn't think the Village knows how many trees will be lost. He feels the roots of the tree on his property will be affected. He then spoke about drainage issues and said some of the sidewalks will be too close to the road. You have to walk out of your way with this design. There is a sidewalk to nowhere. He proposed this project be tabled until the next construction season. He said his friends and neighbors do not support parts of this plan.
Commissioner Neustadt said another neighborhood meeting will be held. He also noted that the sidewalk plan is reviewed annually.
Commissioner Durkin asked if staff is under time constraints for this area.
Mr. Fieldman said it is at the discretion of the Council; projects are always queued up.
Wally Brown said he was coming forward due to the plan to put sidewalks in Clyde Estates. There are certain areas that were never designed for sidewalks including Denburn Woods and Clyde Estates. The tax money spent for this will outweigh the benefits. The neighborhood is working well and this will create havoc among residents living there. It is a waste of money and it will change the area. He urged Council to review this. He said he served as a Council member under Mayor Frank Houck. Clyde Estates is not a big area and is not a place to put sidewalks. He asked Council to re-evaluate the sidewalk program. He said sidewalks are down the list of things to put money into.
Mr. Davenport spoke about what goes into making a historic district. He said there are things that make Clyde Estates unique.
Laurel Bowen said she was speaking on behalf of her neighbor, Jim Hermanek who is 93 years old. She said Mr. Hermanek has not been contacted by anyone. He has a very wide front yard and his trees will be damaged or killed. The rain will flood the sidewalks and he is unable to shovel. There is no traffic problem. He feels his home is secluded and he values his landscaping.
A resident at 946 Clyde Avenue said they fell in love with their house. Clyde Estates is something special and he feels it will be destroyed. The work is not needed. Clyde Estates was built in the 1950s. He asked why the Village is trying to destroy it. Trees or tree roots will be destroyed by the sidewalks.
Dr. Goodman said it would be a good idea for staff to consult with the residents of Clyde Estates to determine what they would need to do to create a historic district. This is a distinctive neighborhood.
Mr. Lazar said he joined a group walking through the neighborhood with respect to moving the structure at 942 Maple. The impact on trees is still significant, but progress is being made. He still has concerns regarding the use of $140,000 of public funds for private use. This money could be used for historic preservation. Mr. Lazar then said that the Morton Arboretum provided signs highlighting the benefit of trees, but they are not taking a position regarding the house at 942 Maple.
Laurel Bowen, 829 Clyde, said the first letter sent to the residents of Clyde Estates was dated May 9, which was after the RFP went out in March. She has the attendance sheets of the neighborhood meetings and 28 homes were represented in total. There is no public record of the meetings. Except for two residents, people opposed the sidewalks. She provided background information about Clyde Estates. She said ten people did not get letters. There are no traffic injuries in Clyde Estates. She asked about a hydrology study. The plan calls for eight sidewalk crossovers. She asked Council members to visit Clyde Estates.
With respect to salting, Ms. Bowen suggested that plowing take place before salting so as not to create slush.
Commissioner Neustadt said there will be another neighborhood meeting regarding Clyde Estates. The meetings are designed to be informal. He noted that this is a bundled project.
13. Council Member Reports
Commissioner Hosé noted that the Downers Grove Museum has opened a new exhibit, "Fighting Fire - History of the Downers Grove Fire Department." It opened on January 24 and will run until May 30. The Museum's public tour hours are 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
14. Council Member New Business
Mayor pro tem Neustadt asked for a motion to adjourn.
Motion: Commissioner Barnett moved to adjourn. Commissioner Durkin seconded the Motion.
Mayor pro tem Neustadt declared the motion carried upon voice vote and the meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.