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October 06, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Public comment will be taken electronically and in person.  To submit a comment electronically, please click on the "Submit Public Comment" link on the Current Week's Meeting page of the Village website any time before or during the meeting. Thank you.

1. Call to Order

Mayor Robert Barnett called the regular meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove at 7:01 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Downers Grove Village Hall.

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

2.  Roll Call

Council Attendance:  Mayor Barnett, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Walus, Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, Commissioner Kulovany, Commissioner Gray

Absent:  None

Non-Voting: Village Manager David Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca, Village Clerk Megan Miles 

3.  Proclamation- Fire Prevention Week

A.  Fire Prevention Week - Mayor Barnett proclaimed the week of October 4th - 10th as Fire Prevention Week in the Village of Downers Grove.

Fire Chief Jeff Pindelski extended words of appreciation for the proclamation and expressed the need for the community and families to take steps to learn about reducing fires in the community and in their homes during this time.  Fire Prevention Week activities will be brought to the community through Virtual Night at the Fire House and will include daily fire safety videos. The Chief asked that businesses and homes display a red light during Fire Prevention Week to honor those fire fighters and citizens who lost their lives to fire.  Lastly, the Chief announced that the Dowers Grove Fire Department was recognized for the fourth time by the American Heart Association with its highest rating for emergency medical services award and was one of 6 EMS providers in the State named for this honor. Mayor Barnett expressed his appreciation to the department for their outstanding work and efforts. 

4.  Mayor's Report

RES 2020-8674 - A. Resolution: Appoint and Reappoint Members to Boards and Commissions

Summary: This confirms the following appointment and reappointments to Village Boards and Commissions:




ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN REVIEW BOARD  Reappoint Jeff Riemer to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2023 Appoint Bill Styczynski to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2023

COMMUNITY EVENTS COMMISSION Reappoint John Aguzino to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2023 Appoint Rachel Rondy-Geocaris to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2023 Appoint DJ Fiore to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2023

LIQUOR COMMISSION Reappoint Alice Strelau as Chair to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2023 Appoint Abhay Shah to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2023 Appoint Vick Mehta to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2023 Appoint Scott Rausch to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2023

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS COMMISSION Appoint Jim Watson to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2023 Appoint Philip Bolton to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2023

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved that the Council adopt the Appointment and Reappointments of Members to Boards and Commissions as presented.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion. 

Mayor Barnett extended his appreciation to those who serve on the various boards and commissions. 

Votes:  Yea:  Commissioners Hosé, Earl, Walus, Sadowski-Fugitt, Kulovany, Mayor Barnett Nays: None

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried.

5.  Minutes of Council Meetings

MIN 2020-8677 - A.  Minutes:  Executive Session Minutes for approval only - September 1, 2020

MIN 2020-8676 - B.  Minutes:  Council Minutes - September 15, 2020

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved that the Council adopt the minutes as presented.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion. 

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

6.  Public Comments

Mr. David Rose discussed his year long efforts for environmental sustainability in the Village and was still waiting to hear Council's response to his comments over the past year which focused on five matters:  1) his definition of sustainability as compared to Council's definition; 2) the way of life in Downers Grove and whether it was environmentally sustainable; 3) reducing reliance on fossil fuels and using renewable resources; 4) was economic growth bound by environmental limits; and 5) how committed was Council to its goal of environmental sustainability. Mayor Barnett indicated he received Mr. Rose's written version of his comments tonight and would review them.  However, he explained that his opinion was only one of seven and the Council's scope was very narrow in nature.

Commissioner Hosé provided his own comments regarding capitalism and what was in the Council's scope.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt mentioned that the reference to carbon emission was provided in the Village's 2019 Long Range Plan and a consensus was not reached to move forward on the matter.

Commissioner Kulovany raised the fact that the Village has a green fleet of vehicles, the Village was honored as a Tree City, and the Village was doing a good job.

7.  Consent Agenda

COR 2020-8681 - A. Claims Ordinance:  No. 6379 - Payroll, September 11, 2020

BIL 2020-8680 - B.  Bills Payable:  No. 6552 - October 6, 2020

MOT 2020-8679 - C.  Motion:  Authorize a Change Order in the amount of $60,000 to an Existing Three-Year Contract with Snow Systems, Inc. for Specialty Winter Operations Services

Summary: This authorizes a change order in the amount of $60,000 to an existing three-year contract with Snow Systems, Inc. for specialty winter operations services.

MIN 2020-8675 D.  Minutes:  Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions

Summary: Architectural Design Review Board - July 15, 2020; Foreign Fire Tax Board - July 16, 2020; Plan Commission - August 3, 2020; Library Board of Trustees - August 26, 2020; Foreign Fire Fund - August 27, 2020 and September 3, 2020

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved that the Council adopt the Consent Agenda as presented.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion. 

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

8.  Public Hearings

PUB 2020-8614 - A.  Public Hearing:  Special Service Area #11 - Downers Grove Downtown Service Area

Mayor Barnett summarized the procedures to be followed for the public hearing.

Deputy Village Manager, Mike Baker explained the purpose behind the creation of SSA #11, its history and the fact that the current SSA would expire at the end of 2020 with the new proposed SSA#11 in its place. When that would occur, the maximum rate would decrease from 1.5% to 1.0%.  Per Mr. Baker, both the current and the proposed SSAs were the main funding mechanisms for the Downtown Management Corporation. 

Commissioner Kulovany and Commissioner Earl extended their appreciation to staff and the Downtown Management Corporation as well as residents.  

There being no comments from the public, Mayor Barnett adjourned the public hearing at 7:30 p.m.

9. Active Agenda

MOT 2020-8683 - A.   Motion:  Direct Staff to refer to the Plan Commission for Review and Consideration of Zoning Text Amendments regulating Adult use of Cannabis Businesses consistent with Specific Parameters

Motion:  Commissioner Kulovany moved that Council direct staff to refer to the Plan Commission for Review and Consideration of Zoning Text Amendments regulating Adult use of Cannabis Businesses consistent with Specific Parameters.  Commissioner Hosé seconded the motion. 

Summary: This directs staff to refer to the Plan Commission for review and consideration zoning text amendments regulation adult use cannabis businesses consistent with specific parameters.

Commissioner Kulovany spoke to the potential for this item to fill the Village's budget gap for this year and part of next year.  He took a wait and see approach on this matter due to his concerns about armed robbery, whether police would have to be increased for enforcement purposes and whether staff would have to be increased to monitor regulation. He had concerns about increased teen usage. However, after reviewing the information from other municipalities and speaking with the police chief on the topic, there were no negative impacts to those communities.

Commissioner Kulovany provided additional evidentiary information on what other communities' data found as well as his own research on this topic.  Comments in support and opposition followed. 

Votes:  Yea:  Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Kulovany, Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt; Mayor Barnett Nays: Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Walus, Commissioner Gray

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried with a 4-3 vote.

10.  First Reading

RES 2020-8627 -   A. Resolution: Establish an Amended Policy of the Village Council with regard to Fee Waivers

Village Manager Dave Fieldman reported that this matter will be heard at a Plan Commission public hearing in November and will return to Council in December. 

Community Development Director Stan Popovich recalled that in 2015 the Village's Historic Preservation program was examined, reviewed and updated by the Architectural Design Review Board (ADRB) and the Ad hoc Subcommittee on Historic Preservation.  One of the few outstanding recommendations that came from those committees was to waive the building permit fee for historic landmarked properties, contributing or significant properties in the historic district, and those properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Per staff, a total of 29 properties would qualify.  Staff recommended waiving those fees. 

Commissioner Kulovany was in support of waiving the fee and explained the small financial incentive that a homeowner would receive if participating in the historic preservation program.  The program encouraged property owners to update/maintain their older homes. 

Mayor Barnett echoed the positive comments.

ORD 2020-8673 -   B. Ordinance:  Rezone Certain Property located at 5117 Fairview Avenue

Mr. Popovich explained that this agenda item and the following agenda item pertained to a planned unit development and a rezoning for 5117 Fairview Avenue. The site was located on the overhead with staff explaining that the current site was a vacant gas station with a free-standing canopy with four curb-cuts. Petitioners were seeking to construct a three-story, 18-unit, multi-family building on the site with the four curb cuts reduced to one cut on Second Street. The Petitioner was seeking setback relief on both the Second Avenue and Fairview property lines, and some east property line. Parking and green space were noted.  Elevations followed.  Building materials included brick veneer on the first floor with fiber cement siding on the upper floors.  Architectural details followed.  The project fell into the Fairview Focus Area within the Village's Comprehensive Plan (Catalyst Site E5).  Parking and school donations for the project were required and estimated at $137,000 in donations. The Planning Commission found that the requirements and the approval criteria under the planned unit development were met as was the zoning criteria. 

ORD 2020-8672 -   C. Ordinance:  Amend Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois to Designate the Property at 5117 Fairview Avenue as a Planned Unit Development #62 and Authorize an 18-Unit Multi-Family Residential Development

Commissioner Gray shared comments that were positive about this project. 

Commissioner Earl was not comfortable with the footprint of the building due to its close proximity to the southwest corner where sight lines were reduced and the area was dense.  Also, the water that came off the lot was the same impervious coverage and would flow onto Second Street.  If it made water matters worse, she was not supportive and believed additional stormwater storage was necessary, possibly by the parking lot.  Commissioner Earl supported the building but wanted some resolution to her concerns, as did Commissioner Walus and Mayor Barnett.

Other positive comments followed from Commissioner Hosé.

Mr. Fieldman shared his positive experience working with the petitioner on this building and incorporating features from the Village's Design Guidelines. Mr. Fieldman believed the petitioner could come up with some compromise and address the concerns raised. He offered to meet with the petitioner to address those concerns.

11.  Manager's Report

INF 2020-8588 -   A. Information:  2019-2021 Long Range Plan Update

Mr. Fieldman recalled that staff provided a complete draft of the long range plan update to the Village Council.  Staff met individually with four council members who had questions/comments about the plan.  In summary, a couple of changes were identified which could be made to the long range plan.  However, the plan being presented tonight did not change and the version would appear with the proposed FY20-21 budget to come out on October 23rd unless there was objections received by Council tonight.  Positive comments followed.  No additional changes were voiced.

12.  Attorney's Reports

Pursuant to Section 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code, the following were presented for Village  Council consideration:   1. An ordinance rezoning certain property located at 5117 Fairview Avenue 2.  An ordinance amending the zoning ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois to designate the property at 5117 Fairview Avenue as planned unit development #62 and authorize an 18-unit multi-family residential development

13. Council Member Reports

Commissioner Gray reminded commissioners of a time when COVID was not around and the importance of continuing to practice safe distancing. 

Commissioner Earl mentioned a personal incident that happened to her and reminded the public to check the batteries in their smoke alarms.  She also stressed the importance of social distancing and wearing masks during the pandemic. 

Commissioner Hosé reminded the public to view videos for Fire Week as well as voting information on the village's web site. 

Commissioner Kulovany mentioned some guidelines put out by the State's Board of Health as it relates to Halloween. 

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt announced that the YMCA Gala will be placed on-line. 

Commissioner Walus announced that Halloween window painting in the village will be taking place on Saturday, October 24, 2020 and donations are being accepted.  Painting hours will be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 

Mayor Barnett closed by thanking his fellow commissioners for their agreeable nature with regard to the various topics that had to be addressed during the months of the pandemic.  

14. Adjournment

Mayor Barnett asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. 

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.  

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:14 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

Megan Miles

Village Clerk