Thursday, August 25, 2011 – 5:30 p.m.
Chamber Room – Countryside City Hall

I. Call to order.

2. Roll Call: Ald. Sean McDermott, Chairman, Ald. James Jasinski, Ald. Bob Pondelicek, Treasurer Steven Jasinski, Adm. Gail Paul

3. Approval of Minutes – August 3, 2011.

4. Presentation of preliminary site plan and traffic study for the City Center development.

5. Consideration of the Letter of Intent from Hooters to purchase an improved lot within the development.

6. Consideration of a tax sharing agreement with the Holiday Inn.

7. Consideration of a tax sharing agreement with Ettleson Hyundai.

8. Other business.

9. Adjournment.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2011 – 5:30 P. M.

Ald. Sean McDermott, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. He called the Roll of those physically present:

PRESENT: Ald. Sean McDermott, Chairman, City Admin. Gail Paul,Ald. Robert Pondelicek, Ald. James Jasinski, Treas. Steve Jasinski.

ALSO PRESENT: Mayor Krzeminski, Clerk Sweeney, City Atty. Peck, Ald. Michalczyk, Ald. Von Drasek, Ald. Straza, City Eng. Fitzgerald, Fin. Dir. Drazner, Asst. Admin. Peterson, Police Bd. Member Burdett.

Approval of Minutes

The first order of business was approval of the Minutes of August 3, 2011. Ald. Pondelicek moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Ald. Jasinski and carried by unanimous voice vote.

Presentation of Preliminary Site Plan and Traffic Study for The City Center Development

City Engineer Fitzgerald introduced Zachary McConnell of the Lakota Group, who will present various site plans and Michael Workman, traffic engineer, to discuss the traffic-related issues.

Mr. McConnell presented the four concepts planners have developed for the City Center. Concept A1 brings the buildings closer to LaGrange Road and provides parking in the rear. There is potential for a 12,000 s.f. restaurant on Joliet Road with a 3,000 s.f. patio space with proximity to the detention pond. Building exposure is maximized along the perimeter.

Concept A2 uses the same configuration on the NW corner. The only change is the restaurant at Joliet Road is pushed back; this provides for additional parking — from 90 to 99 spaces. The patio space remains the same. The Rider’s Edge (Harley) area is included in every concept – a 200×160′ striped, asphalt area that will be used for parking in the summer. An internal roadway is proposed connecting all parcels to the north end, and a single walkway for ease of pedestrian circulation between structures will end at LaGrange Road.

Concept A3 is similar to A1 on the south. In the NW corner the commercial parcels have been pushed back. Roadway access is still the same – right in and right out – south of the light at Bally’s. All parking is visible from LaGrange Road. Parking has been split at the north end with parking both in front and back.

Concept A4 – once again the south end remains the same. The three out-parcels north of the detention area remain the same. At the signal in front of Bally’s, they provided a full intersection connecting into the site. That affects placement of Parcel A, pushing it more into the corner with the parking spread out. Bally’s parking may be affected but there is an opportunity to replace that parking in the NE corner and then make a connection to the existing Bally’s parking lot on the north end. That concludes the presentation. Detention is in the optimal location since it is closer to the storm water outlet. The irregularly-shaped detention is the best use for the land.

Mike Workman, KLOA, stated they are in the process of conducting the traffic study for the site. He described access to the site via the various plans. All of the site plans provide very excellent access to the site – a critical feature in getting traffic in and out. They propose the signalized access drive on Joliet Road, a right-in and right-out on Joliet, the full access at 60th Place and also the right-in and right-out further north – providing patrons many exit options especially during peak hours – it distributes traffic over many different access drives. There are two alternatives re: the signalized access at Bally. They believe the site would operate well without the signal; southbound traffic would only have to cross the northbound flow and turn left into the development; there is sufficient stacking to get that traffic in. The signal will serve traffic to and from the north. The advantage of having the traffic signal is to provide flexibility for future Bally cross-access to the signal.

Mr. Burdett commented that the Bally signal seems beneficial for customers of Countryside Plaza – it is a straight across shot into the Plaza, plus emergency vehicles have a way in from that direction. Ms. Paul stated that the City owns the front 50 feet of property – we could acquire additional property – that is desirable down the line but we can’t hold up development to work with Bally; that is the only concern. It can be designed for later accommodation into the plan. Atty. Peck stated that the City could ask them to move their sign – it might be a financial benefit for them. The City may be able to acquire an easement that would enlarge the access in that area. He estimated a 2-3 month time frame. This land is for a public road; there is no question that the City can take that property.

City Eng. Fitzgerald summarized the options; he agrees it is an advantage to have the traffic signal lined up with the Plaza exit. IDOT approved all the site plan entrances in a conceptual format. If the City includes these improvements, IDOT will compel the City to complete the entire other side; that would include working with the Simon Group regarding dual left lane exits since they have a huge stacking problem coming out of the Plaza. The geometry will change on the east side of the road; IDOT will compel updating to the entire signal at one time; that could complicate timing. He suggested saving that for Phase 2 and stop the road at the north right-in and right-out drive as the end of Phase 1.The engineering objectives needed to meet Harley’s schedule starting October 1, 2011 are:

1) indication from the EDC whether pursuing the signal is definite.

  1. indication from the EDC on placement of the buildings as shown.
  2. Wet bottom detention with an aerator – a $250,000 add on versus a dry bottom – which will not have the same impact sitting on the deck.
  3. Placement of the sidewalk on one side of the road as indicated.
  4. Using the decorative lights (as on LaGrange Road) through the main thoroughfare traversing the site. Parking lot lights would also be black but of a more standard commercial design.
  5. Finally, creation of an ad hoc committee.

Ald. Von Drasek stated that the Simon Group was to reconfigure the intersection in their agreement. Ms. Paul stated that the redevelopment agreement provided them a tax incentive to complete certain modifications; they completed most of them except for the dual turn lanes. The agreement expired and the City never paid them anything. There are three owners of the Plaza. It would be a great advantage to the business owners in the Plaza. All improvements are TIF eligible. Ald. Straza noted that Simon Group is expanding other shopping malls in Illinois; they should be held accountable for this one. Ald. Von Drasek stated that most of the stores in the Plaza are rented. Six years ago it was a ghost town; a lot has happened in six years. There was a time with many vacancies -that is no longer true. Having access and coming in with that traffic signal is a huge advantage to the stores in the Plaza and the new City Center as well; let’s get it done.

Ald. Straza suggested that the City write a position paper advising residents of how much time and effort by City staff has gone into the development of these site plans. All the time and planning, discussion, meetings, etc. with two different developers and the many thousands of hours spent to get the City to this stage of the development. Ald. McDermott agreed that at the appropriate time a historical explanation of the project should be undertaken.

Mr. Fitzgerald stated that plans were submitted by Simon, but then IDOT came out with additional improvements to the intersection and delayed matters. Simon knew the City was working on this development and may be waiting possibly to coordinate with everyone else. Mr. Workman did an intersection design study of the area, but there were right-of-way issues involved. Coordination with Simon would be done on the second phase of development.

Chairman McDermott stated that the EDC consensus favors the front placement of buildings near LaGrange Road. The aerator and wet bottom pond was approved as well as a sidewalk with placement on one side of the road. Discussion re: bike path vs. sidewalk – Committee agreed to a sidewalk and decorative streetscape matching lights. Ms. Paul addressed the ad hoc committee – this comprehensive development should have standards set for all of the end users. The Chairman should appoint an ad hoc committee of 3-5 people that would work with the land planner and Mr. Fitzgerald to create the standards that can be brought back to the EDC. It is important to get resident and/or business input, CBA — and return to the EDC for approval. Committee members were in agreement and congratulated Mr. Fitzgerald on doing a great job.

Consideration of Letter of Intent from Hooters to Purchase an Improved Lot Within the Development

Ms. Paul stated that the City Council approved selling 1 å_ acres for $1,075,000 – now raised to $1,125,000 to accommodate a broker’s commission. She now seeks EDC approval in concept with direction to staff re: finalizing the agreement with Hooters. Mr. Sal Melilli has been interested in the site for over one year. Hooters’ is excited about the configuration; the city should tell the story; this is not an overnight project; it is important to recognize how long it took to get to this stage. Hooters is very flexible; they want to be in this marketplace; this will be a flagship for the town. Their location is at the northerly end of the development; the cross-easements, parking, the traffic light are all beneficial. Hooters’ is a neighborhood restaurant; they’ve been in business 27 years; they never lost a license and are responsible corporate citizens. They close by midnight or 1 am at the latest; they also do merchandising – proud to sponsor charity events. Ald. McDermott thanked Hooters for its patience in this endeavor. Mr. Melilli stated that Gail Paul has been fabulous to work with. He is excited to be here and promises to be a great asset to the community; they want to partner with the City.

Consideration of a Tax Sharing Agreement with Holiday Inn.

The City is in receipt of a letter from Mr. Lenoch of Holiday Inn re: the $1.6 million in capital improvements. Their letter appears to ask for all of it back but it is clear that the City will only rebate 50% of the hotel tax collected or $800,000 cap. She suggested a ten-year term, to which the committee agreed and to make the agreement transferable if they sell the property, to which the committee did not agree. Ald. McDermott noted the committee agreed to 50% of the improvements for a ten-year term, with $800,000 cap, whichever occurs first.

Treas. Jasinski suggested re: the transfer, that the City have the right to refuse who it is sold to so that it doesn’t become something undesirable. From a business standpoint, the non-transferability may prevent them from selling the business – just food for thought. Ald. McDermott stated that the amount would be roughly $90,000 per year from the Hotel/Motel Fund – committee agreed.

Consideration of a Tax sharing Agreement with Ettleson Hyundai

Ms. Paul stated that Mr. Ettleson relocated to 6420 Joliet Road. Staff worked hard to keep Mr. Ettleson in Countryside; he was able to get the former Acura Dealership – the location looks great and he was able to retain his business. He is seeking a tax sharing agreement similar to Jack Phelan, which is a rebate of 50% of the taxes over a term up to a limit of 50% of the capital improvements. As improvements occur, the city receives invoices verified by the finance director. Mr. Ettleson has provided Exhibit B, Schedule of Improvements. Items with an asterisk were completed for the opening. Several have not been completed, the total expenditures amount to $2,741,000. He is requesting 50% rebate of $1,370,500. Ms. Paul recommended considering a set term. The Phelan agreement had a very low base for a brand new business. Mr. Ettleson’s situation is different due to the relocation; he was generating significant sales tax dollars; they agreed that there should be consideration setting the base at 5.

Mr. Ettleson recited a history of his decision to move to the Acura location. Hyundai corporate was very disappointed in the new location. There are some very expensive improvements required by Hyundai. He is seeking reimbursement from taxes for projected improvements. Based on Hyundai’s growth and products coming in the future, he believes tax revenue from Hyundai will be growing substantially.

Ald. McDermott stated that the committee is not prepared to come to any agreement tonight. There is a commitment among the City Council to do something; let’s keep the conversation open.

Although Mr. Ettleson signed a five-year lease with the owner, he believes they will outgrow that location; three acres will not be large enough. He is renting parking spaces at present. The location is great. Ald. McDermott thanked him for appearing tonight.

Ald. Von Drasek asked Mr. Drazner to elaborate on the NFP email received today. Mr. Drazner stated that a NFP organization surveyed 16 municipal sites in the LaGrange area and gave Countryside a rating of 28% out of 100 – pretty low. They allowed a few weeks to make changes to the City’s Website – much new information was added and upon retaking the survey the City’s score jumped to 80% out of 100 – the City came in first with the biggest improvement and the highest score out of the 16 communities – it pays to update the Website.

Mayor Krzeminski advised that there will be a celebration this Sunday at 12 noon at the Local #150 Hall, with 150 returning veterans from Afghanistan, and their families present to welcome them home. The City was invited; many organizations will be present; the police department will participate. Fire Chief Kevin Burke and the Helmets to Home group will be participating; it is a very worthwhile event recognizing our returning veterans.

Ald. Pondelicek moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ald. Jasinski and carried unanimously.

Chairman McDermott declared the meeting adjourned at 6:25 p.m.