City of Countryside
Landscape and Architectural Design Ad Hoc Committee
Monday, December 12, 2011 7:00 P.M. Chamber Room

I. Call meeting to order.

II. Roll call.

Alderman Sean McDermott – Chairman

Mark Burdett – Resident – Ward 1

Pat Schwartz – Resident – Ward 2

Mary Jo Ramicone – Resident – Ward 3

Marc LaCroix – CBA President

Sharon Peterson – Assistant City Administrator

III. Approval of Minutes – November 17, 2011

IV. Continued Discussion on Landscape and Architectural Design.

V. Discussion on Projected Dates for the Steering Committee to Regroup/Discuss the Design Standards.

Week of December 12th:Committee Review Meeting

December 12th-January 1st:Preliminary Design Standards Report

Week of January 2nd:Committee Review Meeting

January 6th-16th:Final Design Standards Report

VI. Other Committee Business.

VII. Adjournment.




December 12, 2011 7:00 PM


Meeting was called to order at 7:04 pm. Upon roll call the following were present:

Sean McDermott, Chairman

Mark Burdett – Resident Ward 1

Pat Schwartz – Resident Ward 2

Mary Jo Ramicone – Resident Ward 3

Sharon Peterson – Assistant City Administrator

Members Absent:

Marc LaCroix – CBA President

Also present:

Bryan Swanson, Community Development Planner, Zac McConnell, The Lakota Group Daniel Grove, The Lakota Group


The November 17, 2011 minutes were approved.


Zac McConnell presented Draft 2 of the Countryside’s City Center Design Standards Manual. Mr. McConnell told the group that the content in the final version will be what the developers build. The committee needs to think about what they can live with. Mr. McConnell referred to page 13; Vehicular Circulation and Street Lights samples. He explained that the interior parking lot lights will be black, and the basic shoe-box type of parking lot light. On the outskirts of the development, the lights will be the standard decorative light pole; similar to that used in the Streetscape project. Chairman McDermott asked about lower lighting, and Mr. McConnell said that they could continue the palate for the street fixtures from the Streetscape project. The Committee was in agreement on continuing the theme.

Mr. McConnell reviewed page 15; Landscape Standards. The Landscape Ordinance calls for these requirements and the Draft Manual reinforces what is required. Pat Schwartz questioned the height requirement for the shrubs and asked who would be monitoring if the shrubs were over three feet; Mrs. Schwartz also inquired about the types of landscaping, can we determine what types of plantings are used. Mr. Grove said that the City can give suggestions on the types of plants to use as well as the height to not exceed three feet. City staff would have to monitor the height and contact property owners if the plantings become too tall.

The Committee reviewed the Business and Site Signage section of the Draft Manual on pages 18 through 21. On pages 20 and 21, there is language for Temporary Signs. The language for the Temporary Signage needs to be updated. Ms. Peterson will provide the correct language to The Lakota Group. Also included in this language, is the whip type banners/signs, these are currently allowed per the City Code, but the Committee could change the language in the manual to not allow them in the Countryside City Center, and be more restrictive. Mr. Grove explained to the Committee that if they choose to do nothing, then what is currently allowed by City Code will be what is allowed in the new development. Mr. Grove went on to say that the Committee can also put in language that gives more guidance on the temporary banners and signs; such as how long they can stay up, height, and so on. Page 21 of the Draft Manual addresses Directional / Way-finding Signage. Mr. McConnell said that the City can be flexible with this, but not too flexible, because the businesses will advertise on each way-finding sign throughout the City. Chairman McDermott inquired about the parking in the development; if the parking is going to be behind the businesses, would there still be a drive-thru for the businesses. Mr. Grove said that as of now, all the potential tenants would like to have drive thrus.

Mr. McConnell asked the Committee their thoughts on typical corporate architecture; the type where if a business closes and another business takes over, customers will still be able to tell what the original user was, because of how distinct the building is. Mr. Burdett said that the Committee cannot make a decision on a standalone building when the Committee does not know what business will be in the building. Mr. Burdett feels that if the Committee is too restrictive, we will end up hurting ourselves in the long run. Chairman McDermott said that the Committee needs to set overall standards and everyone has to follow them. Mr. Grove said that if the Committee sets the bar too high, the City may lose potential tenants. Chairman McDermott went on to give the example of the McDonald’s in Hinsdale, the Village of Hinsdale held the developer and the project up to a higher standard and McDonald’s complied with it; the City needs to stick to the strict requirements. Mary Jo Ramicone questioned being so strict; can the City afford to be so strict in the current economy. Chairman McDermott stated that it is a delicate balance.

Mr. McConnell asked that all Committee members get their comments to Sharon Peterson by noon on Wednesday, December 21st. Ms. Peterson will then compile all the comments and email them to Mr. McConnell and Mr. Grove by the end of business day on the 21st.


Mr. McConnell presented four Monument Sign Concepts to the Committee.

a. Streetscape Concept with the Clocktower.

b. Prairie Style Architecture.

c. Art Deco Style.

d. Route 66 theme.

After discussion, it was determined that Mr. McConnell and Mr. Grove will bring back to the Committee another monument sign rendering; a combination of Concept A and Concept B.

Three Fencing Concepts were presented to the Committee.

a. Black iron fence with no top rail.

b. Black iron fence with an arched theme.

c. Black iron fence with a standard two railed decorative theme.

After discussion it was determined that Concept C was the choice for fencing.

Four paving concepts were presented to the Committee. Chairman McDermott asked about incorporating permeability into the paving and the costs associated with it. Mary Jo Ramicone asked about brick pavers versus stamped concrete; with the cost to install and the lifetime of either one, which is the better choice. Mr. Grove said that with the initial cost, the stamped concrete is cheaper; however, with wear and tear, the lifespan of brick pavers is typically 60 to 80 years. Should the color of the pavers match the coloring of the monument sign, or should they compliment the monument sign. Mr. Grove said that at the next meeting they will come back with a couple of refined options with the colors varied to compliment and to match.

Mark Burdett asked about adding on lighting the crosswalks throughout the development. If pedestrians are going to be walking around the development, the City should be proactive versus reactive.


There being no further recreation business, the meeting adjourned at 8:18 pm.

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Dated Sean McDermott, Chair