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March 07, 2017

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 Walus, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner White, Commissioner Hosé, 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 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.

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 2017-7286 - A. Minutes:  Council Minutes - February 21, 2017


MIN 2017-7295 - B. Minutes:  Special Council Meeting Minutes - February 28, 2017

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

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried by voice vote.

4. Public Comments

This is the opportunity for public comments.

Bill Wrobel, 7800 Queens Court, shared an email he sent to Rep. Olsen referencing airplane noise in many municipalities.  He noted that this was a problem last summer as well, and flight patterns were to be changed, but the noise is worse now than before.  There are probably hundreds of people experiencing the same thing.  He contacted Rep. Olsen and intends to contact Jim Durkin and Christine Radogno.  He is looking for support from the public.  He is concerned about the frequency of the flights.  He asked Mayor Tully to query the DMMC members concerning this matter.

Mayor Tully said the City's "Fly Quiet Program" ended in 2016.  This is a great concern to many residents.  He said the Village will continue to share residents' concerns.

Jon Povlivka, 6016 Washington, asked if the Village can make public what it costs each affected taxing body to provide services to the downtown TIF.  This would allow us to get a better sense of how the TIF has performed in terms of costs.

Mayor Tully said to get an answer you would need to factor in the Ogden Avenue TIF as well.  He said he does not think this calculation exists; there are other factors that go into it such as payments to the school districts and Park District and it is not an easy question to answer.  Mayor Tully said he understands the issue to be that because the increase in EAV is put back into the TIF district over the 23-year life of the TIF to pay for debt and other obligations associated with that project, the assumption, for purposes of the question, is that those dollars are not going for services that would be provided to the residents and businesses of that district on an equal basis with people outside of the district.  Therefore, what is the delta between the two and can it be calculated on a per resident basis. 

Elaine Kindt, Baird & Warner, said people want to downsize and want two master bedrooms.  Her company would like to develop the site at 60th & Fairview into 2200 s.f. units costing $500,000.  The land is plighted and has many challenges.  She said she would like to poll Council members before going forward as to their feelings about this.

Mayor Tully said he was familiar with the property and noted that it has been vacant for some time.  The Mayor said Council will not give an off-the-cuff response to this inquiry.  He encouraged Ms. Kindt to meet with the Community Development staff.    

Ms. Kindt said they have met with the staff and were shut down.

The Mayor asked if it was due to land use issues.  Ms. Kindt said that was correct.

The Mayor said he does not want to set up expectations that cannot be supported.

Ms. Kindt said she is before the Council to open dialogue in this product.  She thinks this product is what residents are looking for.

The Mayor said there are criteria that must be followed.  The first step is to consult the Future Land Use Map and determine zoning.  A petition for a change in zoning could be submitted.  He noted that Council is currently reviewing the Comprehensive Plan and some changes could be made as a result of that review. 

Rose Kraft, Oak Tree Towers, said she knew there were problems before she moved into her building.  People enter the apartments of others and she said people are stealing from her. 

Mayor Tully noted that a Police officer met with her after her she last appeared before Council. 

Ms. Kraft said the residents need help.

5. Consent Agenda

COR 2017-7284 - A. Claims Ordinance:  No. 6199, Payroll, February 3, 2017


BIL 2017-7285 - B. Bills Payable:  No. 6316, March 7, 2017


RES 2017-7283 - C. Resolution:  Authorize an Agreement with Sentinel Technologies, Inc.

Summary:  This authorizes a contract for upgrading the Village's Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone system with Sentinel Technologies, Inc. of Downers Grove, Illinois in an amount not to exceed $113,282.00. 




MOT 2017-7291 - D. Motion:  Authorize an Amount Not to Exceed $24,403.50 to CDW Government (CDWG) for SQL Server Software Licenses

Summary:  This licensing is required to upgrade servers to current version of SQL server software.


RES 2017-7282 - E. Resolution:  Authorize an Extension to the Contract with Safe Step, LLC

Summary:  This authorizes the extension of an existing contract for the 2017 Sidewalk Rehabilitation Project (S-006) to Safe Step LLC of Hortonville, Wisconsin in the amount of $84,450.00. 




RES 2017-7281 - F. Resolution:  Authorize an Extension to the Agreement with Globe Construction, Inc. 

Summary:  This authorizes the extension of an existing contract for the 2017 Concrete Sidewalk Removal and Replacement project (S-006) with Globe Construction, Inc. of Addison, Illinois in the amount of $130,000.00.




RES 2017-7278 - G. Resolution:  Authorize an Extension to the Agreement with Geocon Professional Services, LLC

Summary:  This authorizes the extension of an existing contract for material testing services for capital improvement projects for an amount of up to $55,000 with GEOCON Professional Services, of Frankfort, Illinois. 




RES 2017-7279 - H. Resolution:  Authorize an Extension to the Agreement with Seeco Consultants, Inc.

Summary:  This authorizes the extension of an existing contract for material testing services for capital improvement projects for an amount of up to $55,000 with SEECO Consultants, Inc., of Tinley Park, Illinois. 




RES 2017-7280 - I. Resolution:  Authorize an Extension to the Agreement with Interra, Inc. 

Summary:  This authorizes the extension of an existing contract for material testing services for capital improvement projects for an amount of up to $55,000 with the INTERRA, Inc., of Bolingbrook, Illinois.




MIN 2017-7287 - J. Minutes:  Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions

Summary:  Comprehensive Planning Ad Hoc Committee - January 16, 2017; Library Board - January 25, 2017; Plan Commission - February 6, 2017; Zoning Board of Appeals - August 24, 2016


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

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners White, Waldack, Walus, Earl, Hosé; Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

6. Active Agenda

7. First Reading

ORD 2017-7262 - A. Ordinance:  Approve an Amendment to Planned Unit Development #9 to Allow Construction of a Medical Office Building at 1560 75th Street

Village Manager Dave Fieldman asked Stan Popovich, Director, Community Development, to address this matter.

Stan Popovich, Director, Community Development, said this concerns a Planned Unit Development (PUD) amendment to allow the construction of a new medical office building at 1560 75th Street.  He showed the location of the property on the west side of Grove Shopping Center.  A Pizza Hut is currently at this location.  The petitioner is proposing to replace the Pizza Hut with a medical office building.  Access will not change, the entrance will be at the northeast corner and no variations are requested.  Mr. Popovich noted that this is a one-story building.  The property is designated as Corridor Commercial per the Comprehensive Plan's Future Land Use Map.  The Comprehensive Plan recommends the Village encourage medical services in commercial corridors.  The PUD amendment criteria have been met.

Bill Wrobel, 7800 Queens Court, said he is very familiar with this area.  The outlots in this shopping center have had many issues with occupancy.  The property is an economic challenge.  The proposed use is a break with the fast food restaurants.  This might fit better on another site away from the restaurants.  He noted that medical office buildings do not generate sales taxes.

In response to Commissioner Earl, Mr. Popovich said the Pizza Hut is still operating at this site.


ORD 2017-7244 - B. Ordinance:  Update the Village's Comprehensive Plan

Mr. Popovich said this is a continuation of the review of the updates to the Village's Comprehensive Plan.  He said he would review four sections of the Plan tonight and referenced pp. 44-93.  The four sections are:

  • Commercial Areas Plan
  • Transportation Plan
  • Parks, Open Space and Natural Resources
  • Community Facilities Plan

With respect to Section 5, Commercial Areas Plan, Mr. Popovich noted that the updated sign ordinance paragraph was removed from page 50.  On page 52, the Permitting Process paragraph will be removed if staff is directed to do so.  Mr. Popovich highlighted four policy recommendations on page 55, including enhancing wayfinding, partnering to add "Downers Grove" in shopping centers, promoting historic preservation and promoting the federal tax credit program to commercial property owners as a means to maintain historic commercial properties. 

Mr. Popovich then reviewed changes to Section 6, Transportation Plan, pp. 56-71.  On page 59, the transportation map was updated.  Page 62, challenges with respect to pedestrian mobility were added.  The section on bicycle mobility, page 62, included a reference to the 2013 Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.  On page 66, text was added regarding car sharing.  On pages 69 & 71, new recommendations were added regarding a parking structure and charging stations, car and bike share spaces, as well as pedestrian safety and overall mobility and partnering with Metra and the BNSF to explore a grade separated pedestrian crossing at the Main Street Train Station.  A recommendation was also added regarding a bike rack request system.

Mr. Popovich turned to Section 7, Parking, Open Space and Natural Resources, pp. 72-81.  Page 73 was changed to reflect the updated Park District mission.  He reviewed text changes on pages 74&75.  A paragraph was added on page 81 regarding parkway tree planting.

Mr. Popovich said there were only a few changes to Section 8, Community Facilities Plan, pp. 82-93.  Pages 84&85 reference the updated school district plan and pages 88&89 reference the Village's Facility Sustainability Plan.

Mayor Tully thanked Mr. Popovich for the overview.  He asked for Council comments.

Commissioner Waldack spoke about the tools for commercial redevelopment and noted that private activity bonds were omitted. 

Mr. Fieldman said staff will add this.

Commissioner Waldack noted that there are various bodies involved in transportation.  He suggested adding quasi-government bodies and planning bodies that interface with the Tollway Authority and townships.

Commissioner Barnett spoke about Section 5, the Commercial Areas Plan.  He noted the use of the word "expand" in this section.  He suggested reconsidering the commercial land use, "Neighborhood Commercial."  That is a tough category and puts the Village in a spot of constant conflict and should be thought through.  He thinks the section is good and he does not want to change it; however, he said he wants to highlight that the Village intends to encourage Neighborhood Commercial areas.

Commissioner Barnett referenced page 46.  He said regional corridors are regional draws.  He would like to set out some long term goals and targets for the corridors.  After this is adopted there will be several years in which there could be small opportunities and we need to think about how that will integrate with this plan.     

Commissioner White said he was in agreement with some of Commissioner Barnett's comments.  He spoke of the intersection of economic development and the Comprehensive Plan.  He referenced page 13 regarding the conclusion of the 2016 Economic Development Plan to Enhance the Sales Tax Base as follows:  "The key conclusion of the of the report is that retailers want to located in Downers Grove, but appropriate, easy-to-develop sites are limited."  The Comprehensive Plan should work with the economic development strategic plan to identify sites that can meet the demand that exists that the Village cannot currently fulfill.  Businesses want to come here and we do not have a location for them.  We should solve that problem.  The Village's role is to give the EDC a product they can sell.

Mayor Tully suggested being more aspirational and flexible, and not product specific.  We should create an environment for the commercial activity we want to support.  Supporting commercial activity on Ogden Avenue means deeper lots.

Commissioner Barnett said the specificity is tough, but we need to be more specific than what is currently in the Plan.  The Comprehensive Plan is a land use document in the sense of vision, not zoning.  

Commissioner Barnett referenced the Façade Improvement Program on page 51.  

In response, Commissioner White suggested replacing this paragraph with a bullet point "Contemporary façade" under the Modernization paragraph.

Commissioner Barnett noted that with respect to street classifications, we have to classify our streets but suggested the definitions have some flexibility.  He would like to consider some classifications in terms of long range use or physical attributes.  Design standards look at intended uses of the streets.  

In response to Commissioner White, Mr. Fieldman said the Transportation Plan map on page 59 is both our objective and matches our current condition. 

With respect to pages 62&63, Commissioner Barnett suggested establishing a network of bicycle lanes.  He would like the Village to be more aggressive in terms of long-term street design.

The Mayor noted that the Village had a comprehensive bicycle plan that ran into all kinds of issues.  He asked that the plan be provided to the Council. 

Mr. Fieldman said it is the 2013 Bicycle and Pedestrian Update and he emailed it to the Council. 

Commissioner White referenced page 80 and suggested adding a sentence that encourages the continual recognition of outstanding parks, open spaces and natural areas as an integral part of the community branding efforts.  Our outstanding parks and forest areas are one of the ways we can help brand our community.

Commissioner Earl noted that the map of the commercial areas only shows one gateway into the Village at 75th Street; however, 75th and Fairview is also appropriate.

Mayor Tully suggested adding a comment on page 90, Stormwater Management, that the Village also takes advantage of other agencies toward the achievement of stormwater management goals. 

The Mayor said the Comprehensive Plan is scheduled to be adopted at the April 11, 2017, Council meeting.


REP 2016-6904 - C. Report:  Facilities Sustainability Plan Update

Mr. Fieldman said this is a continuing discussion of the future and plans of the Village Hall building and the Police Station and the property on which they reside.  This is the second of five meetings including the Coffee With The Council on March 18, 2017.  The question staff is looking to have answered is which model staff should pursue.  This was discussed at last week's meeting and extensive information is on the website.

Mr. Fieldman asked Mike Baker, Deputy Village Manager, to present information regarding the options to improve the Washington Street crossing.

Mike Baker, Deputy Village Manager, showed diagrams of four preliminary options to address the Washington Street crossing.  The goal is to improve safety and reduce vehicular, pedestrian, cyclist and train conflicts around the crossing.  The options include realignment of Washington to intersect with Curtiss; the closure of Burlington Avenue, west of Washington intersection; the closure of Burlington, east of Washington intersection; and pedestrian/traffic signals and barriers. 

Mr. Baker said other key points are that the range of options vary and increase with the less dense developments.  Funding was included in the preliminary cost estimates.  Refinement of options will consider broader impacts throughout the downtown.

Mayor Tully said he would like to see this addressed regardless of the development option selected.

Commissioner White reiterated that every option is better than the referendum voted down on the April 2015 ballot.  The dilemma is trading density for taxes.  It is a matter of weighing the balance of character, the tax burden and steps to preserving the downtown.

Commissioner Barnett said we have two outstanding options.  It is a tradeoff of density vs. cost.  He said he would like to move quickly.  We have four solid offers before us.  The medical office building has a certain appeal.  He said the downtown area has a lot of character.  This site is bordered by the railroad tracks and multi-family housing.  The lower density proposal has some advantage but it comes with a cost.  He hopes Council can vote by the end of the month.  He is excited about this.

Mayor Tully said we need to move forward with one of these options.  This is a unique opportunity to achieve a number of aspirational goals with little risk.  His concern is to move mindfully and deliberately.  As time goes on, some of these options will fall off.  He thinks the timetable is reasonable.  He urged everyone to think about the tradeoffs they are comfortable with.

Commissioner White asked when staff anticipates issuing occupancy permits for the Forest and Maple Avenue developments. 

Mr. Fieldman said it will probably be early next year; 12 to 14 months away.

Commissioner Hosé noted that there is also a risk that the existing systems will fail.

Commissioner Waldack said that by waiting the last time, we saved over $20 million and we put land back to use.  There are things that could adversely affect us.  He is not hearing from the public that there is a call for apartments.  There is concern that we will have a lot of apartments online at the same time.  There's the possibility that adding more apartments could hurt us.  We do not know what to expect out of Washington.  There is a lot to consider.  He reviewed the three sources of revenue - Fairview Avenue, Library and sidewalks - and noted that these are not directly affiliated with the Village Hall.  A year ago the plan was defeated and then Packey Webb took over the site the Village was considering.  He would suggest designating the property tax and sales tax revenues from Packey Webb toward a Village Hall or Police Station.  He would have preferred a pay-as-you-go plan and if we wait, he would like to save money for this.

Commissioner Hosé said we run the risk of negative effects if we delay.  The lesson from the referendum is not to raise taxes in order to build this.  We have options that do not involve raising taxes and solve the Police Station and Village Hall challenges.  We have the opportunity to solve $20 million in identified problems and do it with less money than what was originally set aside for just the Police Station.  

Commissioner White said he is looking to hear from the community about the balance between density and taxes.

Commissioner Earl asked staff to prepare an explanation of TIF for the public.  Mr. Fieldman said a TIF takes revenue from improvements in a specific geographic area and funnels it back into the area for specific uses. 

Commissioner Earl said it is also important to address where the balance of the funds would come from if the TIF doesn't perform.

Jon Povlivka, 6016 Washington, said he understands the Village has $2.2 million in cash.  The Fairview Avenue money, the Library money and the sidewalk money, totaling $1.1 million is taxpayers' money.  He believes all of this money is taxpayers' money.  He spoke of the costs to provide services.  Any of the developments will require services and these services are free because the property taxes from the development will go to the TIF.  The property taxes that go to the TIF will pay for the new Village Hall.

Commissioner White noted that the TIF law requires that if school-aged children live in the building the average cost of attending is deducted from the TIF fund.  We must pay the school districts the increased burden.  The school districts make up 75-77% of the total tax bill.  There will be no additional services imposed on the schools that are not paid for from the TIF.

Mr. Povlivka said that at some point the downtown population may be high enough that more personnel are needed. 

Mr. Povlivka said, with regard to a comment he made concerning the fleet garage, it should be moved sometime in the future.  It does not need to be moved now.  He said he has heard concern about a downtown grocery and this is the best site for a downtown grocery.  He would recommend three options:  a medical building, remodel the Police Station, or take a step back.

Bill Wrobel, 7800 Queens Court, said he went door to door about the referendum and the Commissioner candidates.  The previous proposal was not popular with the public.  In the fall, the Council approved a plan to move ahead with remodeling the Police Station.  Now there is a new plan.  He asked how this came about.

Mayor Tully said the solution for the Police Station was only a partial solution; it did not address Village Hall.  In looking at land use, it was questioned if this site was the best use of the property.  Council asked to look at developments that would pay for some of the building costs.

Commissioner White said he believes it would be irresponsible to put money only into the Police Station if we have development options. 

Todd Paradis, 417 67th Court, said he supports the medical office as there is too much density downtown.  He cautioned that the TIF projections could be wrong.   We owe it to the staff and the Police Department to give them better conditions to work in.  We need to move quickly and the time has come to act.

Barb Purtell, 200 Lincoln, spoke about vacant properties in Downers Grove on 75th Street and noted that there is also vacant space at 63rd and Cass.  Maybe people would like to see businesses other than car dealerships on Ogden.  She asked for more information about the costs. 

Mayor Tully thanked Ms. Patel for her interest.  He referred her to the website for detailed information as to costs.  He said in two weeks the Council will discuss commercial corridors as part of the Comprehensive Plan.  He noted that the EDC attracts businesses to all corridors of the Village.

Commissioner Earl noted that a copy of the Comprehensive Plan is at the Library and at Village Hall.

Hilary Denk, 433 Wilson, said she is happy to hear that there are options.  It is time for an upgrade of Village Hall and the Police Department.  It is time to stop putting on band aids.  She is thrilled with the idea of dealing with Washington Street.

Mayor Tully said this conversation will continue.


8. Mayor's Report

Mayor Tully reported on the meeting of the DuPage County Stormwater Management Committee.  Preliminary flood plain maps are to be released June 1, 2017.  A public open house has been tentatively scheduled for July 27, 2017.


9. Manager's Report


10. Attorney's Report

Pursuant to Section 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code, the following are presented for Village Council consideration:


  1. An ordinance approving an amendment to Planned Unit Development #9 to allow construction of a medical office building at 1560 75th Street


11. Council Member Reports

Commissioner White said the next lecture of the Downers Grove Friends of the Gifted (FRoG) series will be on neutrino research presented by Christopher White, Ph. D., a Downers Grove South graduate.  It will be at Ballydoyle's, 5157 Main Street on March 20.  The talk begins at 7:00 p.m.  

Mayor Tully said the Chicago Suburban Preservation Alliance will meet on March 11 at Avery Coonley School.  The Mayor said, as part of the afternoon schedule, he will present a landmark certificate to the Frigo's, owners of the Pierce Downer home.  There will also be other historic preservation sessions.  The Mayor noted that the afternoon sessions are open to the public.  


12. Adjournment

Motion:  Commissioner White moved to adjourn.  Commissioner Waldack seconded the motion.  

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners White, Waldack, Walus, Earl, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.