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December 15, 2015


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 led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

2. Roll Call

Council Attendance (Present):  Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner White, Commissioner Vattimo, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully

Absent:  None

Non-Voting:  Village Manager David Fieldman; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; 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 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.

Mayor Tully said there are agendas located on either side of the Council Chambers, and he invited the audience to pick up an agenda and follow the progress of the Council meeting.

3. Minutes of Council Meetings

MIN 2015-6609 - A. Minutes:  Council Minutes - December 8, 2015

Motion:  Commissioner Olsen, seconded by Commissioner White, moved to approve the minutes as presented.

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried by voice vote.

4. Presentation - Economic Development Corporation Quarterly Report

Economic Development Corporation President, Michael Cassa, presented the EDC Quarterly Report to the Village Council.  He stated that the EDC is grateful for the support they receive from the Village, as well as the support of the professional staff of the Village.

Project Updates:  Mr. Cassa announced that the Zeigler Automotive Group opened their new dealership on Ogden Avenue and Cross for a RAM Promaster Truck dealership.  This project had to move quickly and is expected to net $841,000 in sales tax to the Village annually.

Alter Brewing Company has opened at 2300 Wisconsin Avenue.  They have an 8500 square foot craft brewing facility, which contains a tasting room and is available for private parties.  This is the second such facility in Downers Grove, with Emmett's microbrewery and alehouse on Main Street being the first.

Art Van Furniture held their Wonderland Light Show on November 4, with a million lit lights and an enormous ribbon tied around the building.  They have set company-wide sales records in almost all categories.  A video of their grand opening can be seen at

Vequity Real Estate is developing the site at 1201 Ogden Avenue and has secured a one-time tenant, which will enhance that section of Ogden Avenue. 

Mr. Cassa announced that Downers Grove Market, which is anchored by Caputos, has plans for a 7,000 square foot outlet building that will bring in three national tenants. 

Mr. Cassa then mentioned the Ogden Avenue/Lacey Road site that is a 9-acre piece and is being looked at by a company to purchase the property. Mr. Cassa is interested in having this site developed, as it will serve as an anchor for the central part of Ogden Avenue.  The second site is Ogden Avenue and Forest which is under contract and the company is looking at redevelopment options.

Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market opened their corporate headquarters in Downers Grove.  This is not just another company opening their corporate headquarters in Downers Grove but it is a non-Illinois company.

American Access Casualty Company purchased 2211 Butterfield Road last year, and they are now open for business occupying that full-remodeled space.

Sales Tax Revenue

Mr. Cassa then discussed total home rule sales tax.  From January to September of 2014, the total was $5,488,612.  For the same period in 2015 the total was $5,587,033, which represent a 2% increase.  This is the most recent reporting available to date from the State.  He said that total sales tax for the same period shows a 3.28% increase.  Once the final figures are received they will be able to give a totally accurate number.


Mr. Cassa then highlighted three initiatives in addition to the usual website, advertising and other platforms:   International Council of Shopping Centers Deal Making Show.  This covers the Midwestern U.S. and the EDC has an exhibit booth every year, which they staff.  Illinois Economic Development Association Site Consultants Event.  This consists of private meetings for economic development corporations to advise clients as to potential facilities. CoStar Tenant service (data-base of available sites).  This is the nation's premiere data-base of available sites which now contains a tenant service providing information on the tenant, their lease term and rental costs.  This provides an opportunity to contact those whose leases are coming due, and to contact businesses planning to locate in the area.

Partnership for Prosperity

This program was started to attract private sector investment to the EDC, and to date there is an annual investment and commitment of $46,000.  The EDC will continue to pursue private sector investment in the community.

Downers Grove Visitors Bureau

Mr. Cassa said one of the new group additions is SMERF (sports, military, education, religious, family).  These five groups generate leisure travel principally on weekends, and the Visitors Bureau staff will focus on these groups.  During the week the focus is on corporate business, and the weekend leisure business also generates sales tax revenue business.

The Knowland Reader Board identifies large conferences/meetings to be held in the Chicagoland area.

Group Tour Operators provide an opportunity to attract companies that schedule large group tours, stays in hotels, eating in restaurants, etc.

EDC will have staff representatives present at the annual conference of the Illinois Society of Association Executives in Springfield.

Mr. Cassa mentioned that two kiosks at the O'Hare Oasis have become available and the EDC has obtained those units and placed pamphlets and information in them regarding Downers Grove.

Hotel Occupancy Tax Revenue

Mr. Cassa said that between January 2014 to October, 2014 the tax revenue was $791,212.84.  For the same period in 2015 the total was $844,239.73, which represent a 6.7% increase.

Retail Market Study

Mr. Cassa said that the EDC Executive Committee authorized the EDC to hire a consulting firm to do a data analysis of the marketplace of which the EDC is a part.  Village Manager Dave Fieldman and Deputy Village Manager Mike Baker worked with the EDC to complete the Scope of Work that includes an analysis of:

retail sales for the Village of Downers Grove,

retail sales for the Chicago Metropolitan area,

retail sales for trade areas,

retail sales for other municipalities within the trade areas,

defining the customer base in those trade areas,

overall analysis retail sales performance in Downers Grove,

analysis of retail corridors in Downers Grove within the trade areas. 

The firm selected was AECOM, a Fortune 500 company with nationwide experience.  The second part of the work is the development of a strategy to improve the sales tax base. 


Reporting from the EDC will include quarterly reports to the Village Council in February, May, August and November.   The first presentation of each year will be a recap of the previous year.  Presentations will be data driven and each project will include projected sales tax revenues, projected real estate tax revenues, and jobs.  There will be overall reports on economic data including monthly sales tax revenue, and quarterly sales tax revenue by segments.  In addition, there will be a monthly hotel tax revenue, annual real estate tax revenue and monthly unemployment rates.  He said they would be able to report on other issues as necessary. 

Mayor Tully thanked President Cassa for a thorough report.

Commissioner Olsen said he appreciates the report.  He likes what has been outlined for planned reporting.  They need to continually assess and reassess the sales tax base.  He thanked Mr. Cassa and the EDC for their work on the high priority action items.  This goes hand-in-hand with business friendly metrics. 

Mr. Cassa said that one of the things that they do internally is to understand that they need to be able to measure their success. 

Commissioner White said he was pleased to see these developments.  He asked that data-driven reports be provided to the Council in advance and that they be made public as the whole community would benefit from that data.  This also fits nicely with the Village's Comprehensive Plan.  He thinks they should add a chapter on Economic Development.  He also would like them to incorporate the AECOM report into this.  He looks forward to these projects moving forward.

5. Public Comments

This is the opportunity for public comments.

Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, said he wanted to address two topics:  1) He was pleased with the EDC report.  It is good to see growth and an emphasis on sales tax.  The trade corridors are the primary generators of sales tax, including less visible areas such as the 63rd Street area.  He asked who does business development to assure the viability of these less visible area.  We need an agency to ensure that they don't become shabby.

Mayor Tully said the Village and the Village staff work in conjunction with the EDC to address all areas.  The Downtown Management Corporation concentrates on the downtown area.  These areas are not being ignored. 

Dr. Goodman said he hopes a report will be made on these areas.

The Mayor noted that there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to develop areas.

Dr. Goodman said, regarding his second topic, that on November 17, he asked about the status of maintaining the buffer zones at Good Samaritan Hospital.  The Village is not working on this at this time according to the Village Manager.  He noted that the Forest Preserve has provided a detailed report with their budget.  Dr. Goodman thinks the best way to proceed would be to have the three owners contribute funds and the hospital to permit staff to do this work.  He feels this is a policy issue.  He is pursuing this with the elected officials.  He hopes the Village can continue to work on this.

Mayor Tully said he has reached out to the President of the Forest Preserve to pursue this.

Michael Schwartz, 4733 Montgomery, said he has lived at this address since 1975.  A new home is in the process of being completed behind him and he now has a water runoff problem.  Water collects in the rain garden and overflows into his basement.  He showed slides of the water flow.  He trenched the area next to the sidewalk to divert the water.  The water runs onto a concrete slab and a PVC pipe he installed.  He showed two views of the pond extending across the back lot.  The lot in back of his property was elevated and graded so water runs toward his property.  A swale was installed that also causes the water to flow toward his property.  He wants the Village to fix this problem.

Mayor Tully thanked Mr. Schwartz for his comments.  He said this was brought to Council's attention earlier today.  This is new construction.  He asked that the process be allowed to be completed and allow staff to work on this in an attempt to fix it.

Sherwood Kraemer, speaking on behalf of a resident who lives directly to the north of the subject property.  The woman he represents said her property has never had water and now her rear yard is exposed to water.  They met with stormwater staff yesterday to discuss the problem and they were told that the rain garden was intended to handle 1 ¼" of rain.  There are now two houses on the lot.  This is a big problem and he would like to see it addressed.

Brian Blattner, 4732 Oakwood, said he lives west of Mr. Schwartz.  He followed the Village requirements for stormwater management.  This is a serious and important issue.  He has 2" of standing water for days on his property.  This has become an encumbrance; it smells, mosquitoes breed and trees are being flooded, which is also a safety issue.  A member of the Village staff noted that this meets code.

The Mayor said staff will work on this within the confines of the ordinance and codes.  He asked that everyone allow staff to address this.

Paul Disborough, 4736 Oakwood, said he lives next door to the Blattner's.  The intention is to show that neighbors want to work together to resolve this.  He said his rain garden is not working and he is most concerned about safety.  There is not a consistent process of policy.  He asked for the Council's help in resolving this issue.  He asked Council to continue to evaluate this and communicate with the neighbors the timeline for resolution.

The Mayor said this matter has been elevated to the highest level.  He knows staff will work to resolve this matter.

6. Consent Agenda

COR 2015-6608 - A. Claims Ordinance:  No. 6137, Payroll, November 27, 2015


BIL 2015-6607 - B. Bills Payable:  No. 6234, December 15, 2015


RES 2015-6617 - C. Resolution:  Authorize an Agreement with Total Parking Solutions, Inc. (Multi-Space Parking Pay Terminals)

Summary:  This awards a contract for the annual maintenance of the Village's eleven (11) existing multi-space parking revenue terminals to Total Parking Solutions, Inc., of Downers Grove, IL, in the amount of $22,440.00. 




MOT 2015-6606 - D. Motion:  Award a Three-Year Contract to Engineering Resources Associates (ERA) in an Amount Not to Exceed $20,000 per Year for Stormwater Review Services

Summary:  This awards a contract for stormwater related development review services to Engineering Resources Associates (ERA) in a not-to-exceed amount of $20,000.00.


MOT 2015-6616 - E. Motion:  Award a Three-Year Contract to Robinson Engineering, Ltd., in an Amount Not to Exceed $20,000 per Year for Stormwater Review Services

Summary:  This awards a contract for stormwater related development review services to Robinson Engineering, Ltd. in a not-to-exceed amount of $20,000.00.


RES 2015-6610 - F. Resolution:  Authorize an Amendment to the Intergovernmental Agreement re:  O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission

Summary:  A resolution executing an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Chicago regarding the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission. 




RES 2015-6605 - G. Resolution:  Authorize a License Agreement with T-Mobile Central, LLC, to Install, Maintain and Operate Antenna Equipment on Village Property Located at 1037 Summit

Summary:  This authorizes approval of a license agreement with T-Mobile Central, LLC d/b/a T-Mobile to install, maintain and operate antenna on Village property located at 1037 Summit. 




Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to approve the Consent Agenda as presented.  Commissioner White seconded the motion. 

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.


7. Active Agenda

ORD 2015-6571 - A. Ordinance:  Amendments to the Historic Preservation Code

Summary:  This adopts Version B of the Historic Preservation Code which includes provisions for a thematic district and a contiguous historic district. 



Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to adopt "Version B of an Ordinance Amending the Historic Preservation Code which Includes Provisions for a Thematic District and a Contiguous Historic District," as presented.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Dr. Goodman congratulated Council for moving so rapidly.  He fully supports Version B, thematic historic preservation.  This is an important initiative the Village is undertaking.  He is pleased to see the regulations have been simplified.

Ken Lerner, 4933 Whiffen, spoke on behalf of the Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance (PDHA).  PDHA is pleased to see the Village moving forward and looks forward to partnering with the Village.  PDHA recommends inclusion of the themed districts.  Elgin has added a theme district for bungalows.  Highland Park and Joliet also have thematic districts.  Mr. Lerner suggested that the ordinance be amended for both thematic and contiguous districts to require only one hearing before both the Architectural Design Review Board (ADRB) and the Council.

Rick Kulovany, 6325 Camden, said he represents Friends of the Edwards group.  They support Version B and their efforts will be on thematic districts.

Commissioner Waldack said the 2007 version of the historic preservation ordinance falls short.  He thanked the ADRB and the ad hoc subcommittee for their work.  He supports Version B.  He thanked Commissioner White for his suggestion.  Commissioner Waldack noted that this falls short in that it does not prevent another house from having to be moved or demolished.

Commissioner Hosé thanked the ADRB and the ad hoc subcommittee.  The changes are positive.  Residents seemed unaware of historic preservation options, and the regulations were too costly and too onerous.  Thematic districts are a tremendous positive addition to the ordinance.  Commissioner Hosé then addressed comments made two weeks ago that were contrary to fact.  Some Council members came close to a deal to move the Edwards house and it fell apart for reasons that could not be controlled by Council.  Commissioner Hosé noted that this ordinance does not go far enough and he looks forward to considering additional changes.

Commissioner Barnett said he supports this ordinance as it is exactly the right direction.  He said we need to figure out how to let people know about this.  This removes obstacles people say they faced.  He thinks this is still missing the value of being within a district and suggested that be considered by the ADRB or the ad hoc subcommittee.  He supports these efforts.

Mayor Tully suggested this be addressed as part of the strategy motion.  The Mayor said he appreciates the hard work of the ADRB and the ad hoc subcommittee as they generated a good work product.  He thanked people for their participation.  He is in favor of this ordinance.  The 2007 ordinance was a watershed event but were only words on paper.  Actions will determine the success of this ordinance. 

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.


MOT 2015-6572 - B. Motion:  Direct Staff to Implement the Proposed Strategies Outlined in the Historic Preservation Report

Summary:  This directs staff to implement the proposed public education and awareness strategies and financial incentive strategies developed by the Architectural Design Review Board and Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Historic Preservation.

Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to direct staff to implement the proposed public education, awareness and financial incentive strategies developed by the Architectural Design Review Board and Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Historic Preservation.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Dr. Goodman said he agrees that this is the most important step of this matter, and he is pleased to see an emphasis on this.  He suggested adding an historic layer in the GIS system to have interactive maps that layer the historic districts and the results of the surveys.

Mayor Tully said he is confident that staff has a good idea of things that might work in terms of strategies related to promoting historic preservation.

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.


ORD 2015-6601 - C. Ordinance:  Amend the Village Council Meeting Schedule

Summary:  This amends the Municipal Code regarding the scheduling of Village Council meetings on Election Day. 



Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to adopt "An Ordinance Amending the Village Council Meeting Schedule, as presented.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.


8. First Reading


9. Mayor's Report

RES 2015-6615 - A. Resolution:  Appoint Amy Gassen to the Plan Commission

Summary:  This appoints Amy Gassen to the Plan Commission. 



Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to adopt "A Resolution Appointing Amy Gassen to the Plan Commission.  Commissioner White seconded the motion. 

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

Mayor Tully announced that the next Coffee With The Council will take place on December 19, from 9:00 -10:00 a.m. at the offices of the Downtown Management Corporation, 933A Curtiss.

Mayor Tully wished everyone happy holidays and a Happy New Year.


10. Manager's Report

INF 2015-6614 - A. Information:  Facilities Plan Update

Deputy Village Manager Mike Baker reviewed progress on the facilities sustainability plan, a top priority action item.  In May 2015, staff was directed to pursue a different plan; in September 2015, Council confirmed maintenance and operational issues; in October 2015, financial and other resources were discussed; and in December 2015, Council approved a contract with Williams Architects to assist the Village in developing options.  The next phase will include various options.


11. Council Member Reports

Commissioner Barnett wished the residents, his colleagues and the staff happy holidays.

Commissioner White expressed the same sentiments.

Commissioner Hosé announced the Village's coat drive at Village Hall, the Police Department and Public Works facility through January 15, 2016.  Contributions will go to Sharing Connections.

Commissioner Hosé then wished everyone a happy holiday season.

Commissioner Waldack wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Commissioner Vattimo wished everyone happy holidays.

Commissioner Olsen wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Mayor Tully extended best wishes to all residents for a Happy New Year.

12. Adjournment

Commissioner Olsen moved to go into Executive Session pursuant to Section (2)(c)(1) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to consider personnel matters.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried and the Council convened into Executive Session at 8:40 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

April Holden
Village Clerk