February 5, 2008Print
PLAN COMMISSION - ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE
FEBRUARY 5, 2008 7:30 PM
ROLL CALL MEMBERS: MR. RICHARD FULLMER, JR. (CHAIRMAN), MS. TINA GROTZKE, MR. ROBERT LUBE, MR. DANIEL MOSS, MR. RICHARD TOTH, MR. CHARLES STOUB, MR. CRECENCIO GONZALEZ, MR. JIM JASINSKI
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: January 08, 2008
5452 LaGrange Road (HACIENDA COCULA)
1. Case Number: V17 “020508”
A CONSTRUCTION NECESSITATED VARIANCE(S) TO THE CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE MUNICIPAL CODE:
SECTION 10-6A-4 “A” TO PERMIT A FRONT YARD SETBACK OF APPROXIMATELY NINETEEN FEET SIX INCHES (19’6”), INSTEAD OF THE REQUIRED TWENTY FIVE FEET (25’)
TO ALLOW A FIVE FOOT SIX INCH (5’ 6”) ENCROACHMENT BY THE VESTIBULE, AND
TO ALLOW A TWO FOOT SIX (2’ 6”) INCH ENCROACHMENT BY THE CANOPY (WHICH IS ALLOWED TO OBSTRUCT THREE FEET (3’) INTO THE REQUIRED FRONT YARD – SECTION 10-2-4-5).
2. Case Number: V18 “020508”
SECTION 10-10-5 “B” TO ALLOW A REDUCTION IN THE NUMBER OF PARKING SPACES PROVIDED DETERMINED BY SECTION(S) 10-10-2: “B” AND 10-10-3: “B”.
AT THE REAL ESTATE COMMONLY KNOWN AS 5452 LAGRANGE ROAD (HACIENDA COCULA), COUNTRYSIDE, IL 60525, THE APPLICANT IS ROMOULDO CAMARENA; WHOSE ADDRESS IS 2200 SOUTH CALIFORNIA AVENUE, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 60643; BEING REPRESENTED BY WILLIAM O’HARA; WHOSE ADDRESS IS 200 WEST SUPERIOR STREET, SUITE 200, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 60610
PUBLIC HEARING: Text Amendments – Continued from the JANUARY 08, 2008 PC-ZBA meeting
1. TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS TO PORTIONS OF THE ZONING CODE REGARDING OFF STREET PARKING, SPECIFICALLY SECTIONS 10-10-3 (OFF-STREET PARKING) AND 10-10-4 (LOCATION OF ACCESSORY OFF- STREET PARKING FACILITIES).
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE PLAN COMMISSION AND ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
FOR THE CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE, IL
HELD IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2008
Chairman Fullmer called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Secretary Lube called the Roll of members who were physically present:
PRESENT: Chairman Richard Fullmer, Jr., Secretary Robert Lube, Mr. Daniel Moss, Mr. Jim Jasinski, Mr. Charles Stoub, Mr. Crecencio Gonzalez IV, Ms. Tina Grotzke, Mr. Richard Toth
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor Conrad, Atty. Erik Peck, Ald. Pondelicek, CDD Onderdonk, MBA Hudson, CDP Swanson, Ald. Smetana
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The first order of business was approval of the minutes of the January 8, 2008 meeting. Mr. Toth moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Mr. Stoub and carried unanimously.
Chairman Fullmer stated the Rules of Proceeding for the hearing before the Plan Commission – Zoning Board of Appeals will follow a strict order of presentation. A sign-in sheet for interested persons is located at the podium. This hearing is being recorded. Please silence all cell phones and pagers.
PUBLIC HEARING – RE: 5452 LAGRANGE ROAD
Chairman Fullmer read the Notice of Public Hearing in Case # V 17 “020508” -- 5452 LaGrange Road, Hacienda Cocula, re: construction necessitated variances to the City of Countryside Municipal Code: Section 10-6A-4 “A” to permit a front yard setback of approximately 19’6” instead of the required 25 feet, to allow a 5’6” encroachment by the vestibule, and to allow a 2’6” encroachment by the canopy (which is allowed to obstruct three feet into the required front yard) – Section 10-2-4-5.
Case # V18 “020508” – Section 10—10-5 “B” to allow a reduction in the number of parking spaces provided determined by Sections 10-10-2 “B” and 10-10-3 “B”, at the real estate commonly known as 5452 LaGrange Road (Hacienda Cocula), Countryside, IL 60525. The Applicant is Romouldo Camarena, 2200 South California Ave., Chicago, IL 60608, represented by William O’Hara, 200 W. Superior St., Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60610. Ms. Grotzke moved to Open the Public Hearing in this matter, seconded by Mr. Toth and carried by unanimous voice vote. Chairman Fullmer swore in both individuals.
The Building Department has received the required Proof of Notice.
Mr. Swanson presented the Staff Report stating that current zoning on the subject property at 5452 LaGrange Road is B-1. The applicant is requesting two construction -necessitated variances. The applicant began construction without benefit of a permit; work was stopped by the Building Department. The applicant then submitted drawings for a vestibule conforming to the setbacks, however, subsequent construction did not follow the submitted plans. The front wall was moved forward five feet extending the vestibule and canopy into the required front yard. The applicant is now requesting variances to the front yard setback requirements and parking requirements, which were triggered by the increased floor space of the building. Board members were shown an overview of the properties in question, front elevation and side elevation of the subject property.
Mr. Hudson noted that Mr. Camarena is the owner of several contiguous properties including Chantilly Banquets, Komb’s Restaurant, Pizza Pizza, nail salon, currency exchange, palm reader and Hacienda Cocula, with parking to the west along Madison Avenue. Because of single ownership, these parcels are being discussed as a group. Parking must be provided another parcel In order to meet parking assignments. Existing buildings get to use their quota of parking first; any excess may then be used for the new building. All of these parcels are included in the parking analysis rather than just the parcel with the single restaurant on it. Mr. Swanson described the front elevation and side elevation showing the vestibule and the canopy extending 5’6” into the front yard setback. Encroachment by the canopy is 2’6” beyond the allowed three foot obstruction permitted in the required front yard.
The second variance is a reduction in parking spaces from 212 to 204, due to the increase in building size. Adjacent properties are utilizing shared parking spaces as the parking pool for those properties. The Building Department has asked for details of which parking spaces go with which tenants to avoid future confusion. Landscaping and additional safety features for the large rear parking lot have improved the site at the cost of additional spaces. The applicant proposes making physical changes to the curb (depth) of the front of the building to meet the parking requirements. Mr. Swanson stated that the current parking assignments are Chantilly Banquets – 161 spaces; Hacienda Cocula – 17; palm reader – 2; nail salon – 2; Kombs Restaurant – 15; currency exchange – 2; and pizzeria– 5.
Mr. William O’Hara, architect, explained to the Board that the correct plans were submitted to the City which were in compliance with required setbacks. They came in for a separate permit to build the canopy and vestibule on July 20. After that time the contractor in charge of the front masonry work had some creative ideas he passed on to the owner, who was not knowledgeable regarding setback requirements. The owner allowed the work to be completed before discussing it with the architect. As a result the addition must be brought into compliance; the sidewalk area must be opened and, ramps installed for handicap accessibility and the vestibule moved back so that the front of the building is in line with adjacent properties.
Board members had a lengthy discussion re: each of these conditions. Footings and piers were not inspected or approved by the City. Independent inspection was done and Mr. O’Hara will provide a structural engineering report to Mr. Hudson. The 3x8’ sliding window used for exterior viewing of the kitchen area will be changed to a fixed pane window. The exterior vestibule must be relocated back into the existing building within the required setback. The canopy and six support pillars may remain and will create a covered sidewalk; they will correct the grade difference and fix the curb. Individual Board members contributed their opinion on each phase of the project. The bottom line is work was done without approval. The applicant must be assessed an appropriate penalty for an after-the-fact variance. Mr. O’ara HaHara estimates that demolition and reconstruction of the vestibule within the building will cost approximately $30,000- $60,000. New permits will be required for the new vestibule.
Chairman Fullmer asked for comments from interested parties. Mr. Steve Smith, 5440 Madison Avenue, questioned the possibility of a car hitting one of the six columns. Mr. O’Hara responded that parking blocks and the solid concrete block columns with rebars are very substantial and capable of withstanding such an assault. Mr. O’Hara had no closing statement.
Chairman Fullmer asked Board members to consider assessing penalties against the owner. This will put builders on notice that this conduct will not be tolerated. The entire project began without permits, then plans were submitted but the subsequent structure was not inspected and the plans ignored. These variances were necessitated by their actions. In addition, Mr. Hudson stated that the applicant has paid $5,000 to appear before this Board tonight for the two after-the-fact variances. After lengthy discussion, Board members agreed that due to the utter disregard of all rules and regulations, the petitioner should be assessed a penalty of $30,000 for Code violations.
Ms. Grotzke moved, seconded by Mr. Stoub, to recommend approval of a variance to Section 10-2-4-5 of the City Code to permit a 2’6” encroachment for a canopy on the property commonly known as 5452 LaGrange Road subject to the following conditions:
1) removal of the exterior vestibule;
2) change sidewalk grade to comply with ADA accessibility requirements;
3) obtain necessary permits to construct a new vestibule inside the building parallel with the front of the existing building;
4) structural analysis re: footings/piers provided by petitioner to the Building Comm.
5) install a fixed-pane window on the south side in place of the sliding glass window;
6) penalty for Code violations assessed in the amount of $30,000.
Motion carried by unanimous Roll Call vote – 8/0.
Mr. O’Hara discussed parking space assignments; of the 161 spaces, six handicapped spaces are located in front of Chantilly. Handicap spaces are also provided in the front and the rear of adjacent stores. Cocula has 17 spaces, pizzeria has 5 spaces. Question arose in the event of sale of a parcel, should the number of parking spaces remain with the parcel as a permanent record; at present they all enjoy shared parking. That is a major issue with shared parking under one ownership. If the Board approves the variance as described and make the parking plan a condition of approval, this will help solving many issues of shared parking in the City, according to Mr. Hudson. Attorney Peck suggested that the Board may make the variance conditioned upon single ownership of the property; in the future if the property is sold, that variance for parking requirements will be lost. Mr. Peck stated that a future owner, his attorney and the title company would be put on notice; any title search would disclose that variance which would cease to exist if sole ownership ends. A new variance would be needed to continue to do business.
Mr. Camarena stated that Chantilly Banquets is for sale; there is an agreement with Komb’s for a portion of the parking lot. Mr. Hudson would like to review the agreement; Mr. Peck stated the parties may enter into a long-term lease for additional parking spaces. The parking agreement benefits all tenants, according to Mr. O’Hara.
Mr. Steve Smith, 5440 Madison Ave., is a 27-year resident who lives behind the parking lot. When the banquet hall has a large event, the parking lot is completely full; there is no parking for the rest of the tenants. Cars park on his street as well. Mr. O’Hara in his closing statement stated that the variance may help alleviate the problem; parking may be more evenly balanced between the other facilities. Mr. Moss moved to close the evidentiary portion of the hearing, seconded by Mr. Toth and carried unanimously.
Mr. Peck provided language recommending approval of a variance to the parking requirements to permit 204 parking spaces rather than 212 parking spaces upon the property commonly known as 5452 LaGrange Road (and other addresses) for the contiguous properties including Komb’s Restaurant, nail salon, currency exchange, palm reader, Hacienda Cocula, pizzeria and banquet hall in conformity with Petitioner’s Exhibit A which is a copy of the parking plan as provided by the petitioner; upon the condition that the parking variation is permitted as long as there is continuous single entity /person ownership of all the parcels and all costs associated with regard to recording the ordinance to put prospective purchasers on notice is to be paid by the petitioner. Mr. Moss moved to adopt the above language, seconded by Mr. Toth and carried by unanimous Roll Call vote – 8/0.
Chairman Fullmer stated that these recommendations will come before the City Council at its Regular Meeting of February 27, 2008.
(Whereupon a brief recess was had.)
PUBLIC HEARING RE: TEXT AMENDMENTS
Chairman Fullmer read the Notice of Public Hearing continued from the January 8, 2008 meeting, to consider amendments to portions of the Zoning Code regarding off-street parking, specifically Sections 10-10-3 (Off-street Parking) and 10-10-4 (location of accessory off-street parking facilities).
Mr. Hudson stated that Staff took this action in response to the Commission’s request to return with a draft ordinance for consideration. Many thanks to Comm. Gonzalez for his assistance in this matter. The proposed draft ordinance and an executive summary of the proposed amendments to Section 10-10-3 are included in the Board packet.
Highlights of the Draft Ordinance are as follows:
A maximum of two commercial vehicles per dwelling unit.
Exterior/ unenclosed parking or storage is regulated; interior or enclosed parking is not.
Modified commercial vehicles are no longer regulated as a class; ;regulations have been reworked to address the objectionable attributes/conditions.
Commercial Lettering/graphics/signage –
Up to 2 square feet per vehicle is not regulated.
Between 2 and 20 square feet /vehicle requires permit for exterior/unenclosed parking.
Over 20 square feet may not be stored in an exterior/unenclosed location.
Shipping containers & dumpsters are added to the list of regulated items.
Unenclosed or open storage of materials, equipment, tools on vehicles that are exterior and unenclosed is prohibited.
Permits and day passes are available in certain circumstances. Seven separate categories are noted:
Vehicle weight permit – a “D” plate vehicle that would qualify for a “B” plate.
Commercial vehicle signage permit – for vehicles between 2-20 sf of signage.
Day Pass – includes RVs, motor homes, etc.
Small Watercraft Permit – exterior and unenclosed storage for watercrafts 14’ or less
Temporary Permit – 4 individual 10-day permits for RVs, motor homes, etc.
Emergency Permit - response to disaster or catastrophic event
Building Permit – Construction vehicles associated with completion of project.
Four-Hour Time Limit – for business purposes – may be extended with day pass.
Board members discussed all portions the above amendments in detail and suggested various changes. All numbers shown herein are fluid; this is a draft only. Chairman Fullmer opened the discussion to audience participation. Ald. Smetana asked what necessitates a debate on the RV issue. Why is the Board revisiting this topic? He believes that many people find RVs objectionable. It makes no sense to apply for a permit; that does not make an RV less objectionable. This ordinance will be very difficult to enforce; there are too many variables involved. Few residents complain about looking at RVs sitting in a driveway; if the owner paid for a permit, does that mean the resident cannot complain about it. Mr. Lube stated that during previous reviews of this issue only 18 people out of the entire City complained; Ald. Smetana brings up an interesting point.
Ed Pilarski, 10735 Maplewood Road, stated that the ordinance is being jammed down residents’ throats; was this advertised in the newspapers or online that this ordinance was being discussed tonight. He agreed that 10 % of residents do the complaining; the other 90% do not. The original notice was published in October; it has been continued since that time. Jackie Palade, 10735 Forestview Road, stated that rather than trying to regulate these matters, the City should investigate blight issues. Larry Clanser, 7061 Sunset, stated that in his Ward some cars have been up on blocks for the past 5-6 years and room additions not completed for 15 years; where is Code Enforcement in those cases? This ordinance takes a step backwards; who’s going to keep track of it.
Ken Kuehn has been at six or seven meetings on this subject. The October meeting was published by Ordinance number but no description relating to commercial vehicles.
A meeting of this type should be posted three days prior; this was not done. The last meeting was not posted either. Mr. Kuehn was a past Alderman and at that time the City reviewed the issue and came up with a pretty good ordinance. The real problem is lack of enforcement of current rules; the City cannot police these problems; trucks come in at night when no one is present. The Council put a lot of effort into the previous rules; they should be enforced; we should not be going backwards. Ald. Smetana asked what a permit accomplishes. It does not resolve the issue. Other speakers agreed that the City should enforce present laws. There is one complaint and 6,000 residents.
Chairman Fullmer stated that since the Board cannot come to a consensus, this matter should be placed on the November ballot and let the residents decide. Board members agreed. Chairman Fullmer moved to direct the City attorney to draft wording for a possible referendum to be placed on the November ballot, seconded by Mr. Stoub and carried unanimously. Information should be included in the City Newsletter as well.
Mr. Onderdonk discussed a professional educational program sponsored by the U of I at Chicago. Please see him for sign-up to a self-directed Internet course; the City has funds set aside for continuing education purposes.
The Mobil station at 55th & LaGrange has requested a hearing for substantial upgrading of their facility including installation of a car wash (with possible rezoning to B-2). The City Council may direct the Lyons Twp. Project back to the PC-ZBA next month.
There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Moss moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Lube and carried by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman Fullmer declared the meeting adjourned at 10:35 p.m.
RICHARD FULLMER, JR., CHAIRMAN