PLAN COMMISSION/ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE
AUGUST 2, 2005 AT 7:30 P.M.
ROLL CALL MEMBERS: CHAIRMAN RICHARD FULLMER JR., MS. TINA GROTZKE, MR. ROBERT LUBE, MR. STEVEN JASINSKI, MR. DANIEL MOSS, MRS. CYNTHIA SCHULZ, MR. FRANK THULLEN, MR. RICHARD TOTH, MR. EDWARD ZIEMBA
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: DATE: JULY 12, 2005
1. CONTINUATION – CONSIDERATION TO REVIEW THE SIGN ORDINANCE AS ALLOWED BY SECTION 8-5-3 OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF THE CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE.
2. CONSIDERATION FOR PROPOSED RULES FOR THE CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE PLAN COMMISSION/ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS PUBLIC HEARINGS.
3. CONSIDERATION FOR A PROPOSED LANDSCAPING ORDINANCE.
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, AUGUST 2, 2005
Chairman Fullmer called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Secretary Lube called the Roll; the following members were present:
PRESENT: Chairman Richard Fullmer, Jr., Secretary Robert Lube, Mr. Edward Ziemba, Mr. Frank Thullen, Mr. Steven Jasinski, Mr. Daniel Moss, Mr. Richard Toth,
ABSENT: Ms. Tina Grotzke, Ms. Cynthia Schulz
ALSO PRESENT: Ald. Michalczyk, Ald. Straza, Ald. Pondelicek, CDD Muenzer, Attorney Erik Peck
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The first order of business was approval of the minutes of July 12, 2005. Mr. Toth moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Mr. Ziemba and carried unanimously.
Chairman Fullmer read the Agenda items – continuation to consider review of the Sign Ordinance as allowed by Section 8-5-3 of the Municipal Code. Last month Board members received the Sign Ordinance and approved the time/temperature reader signs as a Special Use. There were no other comments regarding the Ordinance. Mr. Ziemba moved to approve the revised Sign Ordinance, with modifications to the current Code, as presented tonight, seconded by Mr. Toth and carried by unanimous Roll Call vote – 7/0/2.This matter will come before the City Council at its next meeting on 8-24-05.
Chairman Fullmer read the second Agenda item — Consideration of the Proposed Rules for the City of Countryside Plan Commission – Zoning Board of Appeals Public Hearings. Attorney Peck discussed the General Provisions and the reason for adopting these Rules, which will apply in the event that there is an objection to the hearing; it gives the City a stronger argument to bring before the Circuit Court and the Appellate Court. Prior to one year ago any review before the Circuit Court would entail an entirely new hearing. A recent Supreme Court Ruling noted that future Special Use Hearings will be reviewed based on the record of the PC/ZBA, so there is no second chance to present all the evidence. The Court will review based solely upon what was transcribed and what was presented at the PC/ZBA Hearing. The Proposed Rules are In response to that circumstance. It should be noted that for consistency the new rules will apply to both Special Use and Variance Hearings. Mr. Peck stated that these Rules are not in Ordinance form and should be adopted but maybe amended by the PC/ZBA at any time. Copies of the Rules will be given to Applicants and will be posted on the City’s Web site.
Mr. Muenzer stated that the major change regards the opening and closing of testimony portion of the hearing. After closing the Board will either enter upon its deliberations, announce its decision, continue the hearing, or adjourn the hearing.
Mr. Jasinski questioned the Open Meetings Act regarding discussions of matters online. Attorney Peck stated that as long as no voting or setting of City policy is involved, communication is allowed. A violation of the Open Meetings Act would involve three or more people discussing City policy. Merely discussing issues via the Internet does not constitute a violation of the Open Meetings Act.
Mr. Lube moved to adopt the Proposed Rules for the City of Countryside PC/ZBA Public Hearings, seconded by Mr. Ziemba and carried by unanimous voice vote – 7/0/2.
Chairman Fullmer noted that the final Agenda item is Consideration of the Proposed Landscape Ordinance. Mr. Muenzer introduced Devin Lavigne of Houseal & Lavigne Associates, who worked on the Comprehensive Plan which is now displayed on the back wall of the Chambers in map form and text. He is very familiar with and worked on the Countryside project for 1å_ years. He completed a similar Landscape Ordinance for Hammond, IN – which has an auto-oriented commercial corridor similar to Countryside. Mr. Lavigne highlighted the key components of the ordinance stating that they identified and reviewed landscape ordinances for 37 different communities with special concentration on six communities that were similar in population, future development, and had a strong automobile dealership base. They drafted the ordinance and identified appropriate plant species for the area and provided graphics and illustrations incorporating the more difficult requirements of the ordinance. They tested the requirements with sample sites. Now the review and revision process is ongoing; the next step is adoption of the ordinance.
Section One is the Purpose Statement which sets the requirements; landscape can improve the appearance of the community and enhance public well-being. Section Two contains nine definitions including what is a parkway – which needs some revision. The Third Section is Applicability – defining what property this ordinance will apply to. Typically it is for commercial property; residential property is generally exempt. The auto dealerships may have requirements to screen their showrooms from roadway traffic. Section Four- Approvals and Procedures – there are three separate references in the City Code which are vague and mention appropriate screening or appropriate landscaping, with no specific direction given; the result is inconsistent appearance. This section provides very specific and strict requirements. Section Five, Design and Development Requirements – identify parkway landscaping, perimeter landscaping, parking areas, auto dealerships. The final section deals with appropriate plant species for the Chicago land area based on language from the Schaumburg Ordinance. Additional considerations include implementation as part of the City Code; Code Enforcement including installation and maintenance of vegetation is addressed.
Mr. Jasinski questioned the dealership portion – provision is made for a landscape island every 50 parking space. The area used to store inventory is not considered a parking lot. Storage lots are exempt from that requirement but should be screened from view. Mr. Muenzer stated that the City applied to the State yesterday for a $2 million grant for LaGrange Road Streetscape Plan that will put many of these area in the public right of way from Joliet Road to 55th St.Mr. Lavigne suggested defining auto dealerships as the principal location of the dealership.
Mr. Jasinski complimented Mr. Muenzer on an excellent job -adding uniformity – the City has addressed the number one complaint of residents — the unsightly or hodge-podge appearance of the commercial areas. Mr. Lavigne noted that parkway definitions, perimeter landscaping, berming, ground cover in the parkway – need to be further defined; ground cover should be 75% grass – 25% alternative ground cover, such as ivy in shaded areas and corners to prevent washout and provide variety. Board members agreed that the flowers look good on LaGrange Road. If the grant is funded, then the parkway on LaGrange Road will be City responsibility.
Mr. Muenzer discussed the applicability of parkway landscaping to residential property. He believes that it should apply only to commercial / industrial property, at least initially, and not to single-family residential parkway areas. It if becomes an issue in the future, it may be included in the ordinance. Mr. Moss suggested gathering guidelines as a good reference for home owners to follow. Mr. Lavigne stated that there is a great handbook for tear-down development called Community First which is being used in Naperville; it is full of photos and example of different techniques for implementation.
Mr. Lavigne prepared four pages of sketches that illustrate some of the more difficult guidelines and principles; they were provided in an early submission to the City, but Mr. Muenzer was also provided with a copy tonight. Mr. Muenzer stated that revisions and adjustments are needed prior to adoption. Ideally the ordinance should be in place by Spring. This puts additional monitoring responsibility on the CDD Staff, including more extensive plan review to an outside source, which will add fees on to the property owner. All agreed that the Panda Express landscaping plan is an excellent example. Mr. Muenzer and Mr. Lavigne will complete revisions and resubmit the ordinance back to the PC/ZBA in September, to then be adopted by the City Council, after ample review. Chairman Fullmer asked how this ordinance will affect the company’s bottom line. Mr. Lavigne will attempt to respond. Mr. Muenzer noted that the landscaping at BP Amoco will run between $9-10,000. Mr. Jasinski moved to continue this matter to the September meeting, seconded by Mr. Lube and carried by unanimous voice vote. Chairman Fullmer asked Mr. Lavigne to return to the September meeting.
Board members discussed the status of other businesses in the City. The banners on LaGrange Road look really nice. Countryside Plaza is coming along.
The Cityscape is undergoing dramatic transformation.
There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Toth moved, seconded by Mr. Ziemba, to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman Fullmer declared the meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.