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, DECEMBER 6, 2011
Chairman Fullmer called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Secretary Lube called the Roll of Members physically present:
PRESENT: Chairman Richard Fullmer, Jr., Secretary Robert Lube, Mr. Mark Benson, Mr. Charles Stoub, Mr. Daniel Moss, Mr. Richard Toth.
ABSENT: Ms. Tina Grotzke, Mr. Crecencio Gonzalez.
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor Krzeminski, Ald. Pondelicek, Ald. Jasinski, Atty. Erik Peck, CDP Swanson.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The first order of business was approval of the minutes of the October 19, 2011 and November 1, 2011 meetings. 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: 6911 SUNSET AVENUE
Chairman Fullmer stated that a Public hearing notice is not required. This is a building variance for consideration to Section 8-3-1 E-10 – Regulations of permitted fences (patio and deck privacy fences) to permit a patio and deck privacy fence which does not meet the 50% permeability requirement to both light and air – at the real estate commonly known as 6911 Sunset Avenue.
The Applicant is the property owner, Mr. Ed Drager. Atty. Tom Smith represents Mr. Drager and Dominick D’Orio, son-in-law of the owner, living on the premises. Chairman Fullmer swore in both gentlemen. Mr. Moss moved to open the Public Hearing in this matter, seconded by Mr. Stoub and carried by unanimous voice vote. Mr. Swanson stated that since this is a building-related variance, public notice is not required.
Mr. Swanson made the Staff presentation – the current zoning classification for 6911 Sunset Avenue is R-1 single family; estimated acreage is .46. The consideration is to permit construction of a privacy fence for the existing patio of 0% permeability rather than 50% permeability to light and air. The zoning map reveals the subject property immediately adjacent to the Cook County Forest Preserve on the east; the remaining three sides are surrounded by R-1 single-family residences. The aerial photo reveals basically the same situation. The applicant was issued a building permit to remodel his home within the Code. Upon re-inspection it was noted that the applicant constructed a fence which was not part of the original building permit application. Total length of the fence is 88 feet; photos of the fence were displayed. The City Code requires that patio and deck privacy fencing must provide at least 50% permeability to light and air; this fence has 0% permeability. The fence is to the east of the building, against the forest preserve. The owner has two small dogs; this fence will protect the animals against intrusion by coyotes, foxes and other wild animals. Photos of the animals and the location of the fence were viewed. Construction follows the same footprint as the original wood deck.
Attorney Smith stated that this is basically a privacy and safety issue for Mr. D’Orio’s family and pets. There is a walking path approximately 150 feet to the rear of the property, which generates extensive foot traffic. Mr. D’Orio has two teen-age daughters; he is concerned with people being able to look into the bedroom windows. Mr. D’Orio also has two small Yorkies, weighing 5 pounds and 3 pounds, which are vulnerable to attack by other animals and raptors. The neighbors on either side have no objection to the fence.
Chairman Fullmer stated there are 3-4 different elevations on the fence Mr. D’Orio replaced the deck with new boards; the old ones were rotted out; the original supports were used. Mr. Benson asked about adapting the commercial ordinance to fit this situation since the rear yard faces a wilderness / uninhabited area. Mr. Stoub also reviewed the area and stated that the fence ties in nicely with the house. Mr. Moss objects to the after the fact approach to the fence. Mr. Lube noted that since it backs up to the forest preserve, it is tolerable. He noted the height difference; the Code limits the fence to 4′ and this fence is 6′ in certain areas. Chairman Fullmer is concerned with the proper permitting aspect; the fence blends in beautifully with the house; air flow is not affecting neighbors. Mr. Swanson stated that a specific Code change would be necessary for approving a fence for this type of property. Mr. Peck suggested that if the Board approves this fence, it could be conditioned on the fact that Mr. D’Orio must apply for a fence permit and pay the applicable fines.
Chairman Fullmer asked for questions from interested parties; there were none. Mr. Smith made a closing statement and apologized for not following proper procedures and requested that the variance be granted. Mr. Toth moved to close the evidentiary portion of the Public Hearing in this matter, seconded by Mr. Lube and carried unanimously.
Mr. Moss moved to grant the variance including following proper procedures and payment of fines, seconded by Mr.Toth. Chairman Fullmer sought to include a letter of approval from neighbors to the south and north of the subject property. Mr. Moss agreed with the amendment. Mr. Peck stated that this will be a recommendation to grant a building variance to section 8-3-1 E-10 to permit an already-built six-foot high fence which provides 0% permeability to both light and air, instead of the required 50%, on the property commonly known as 6911 Sunset Avenue in compliance with Petitioner’s Exhibits A, B, C, and D, (photos provided with the application) subject to the following conditions: that the applicant file with the Building Department for a fence permit and pay the fees and fines associated with it, and that a letter from the neighbors to the north and to the south be submitted to the Building Department stating that they have no objection to the fence as constructed. Motion carried by Roll Call vote – 5/1/2 — Mr. Benson objected. Chairman Fullmer stated that this matter will come before the City Council at it’s regular meeting on December 14, 2011.
PUBLIC HEARING RE: 6150 LA GRANGE ROAD
Chairman Fullmer read the Public Hearing notice for the 6150 LaGrange Road application, published on November 17, 2011 in The Doings Newspaper.
Consideration of a Planned Unit Development (PUD) to construct a Chase Bank and Multi-tenant commercial building to portions of the City of Countryside, IL Municipal Code (Zoning Ordinance) including but not limited to:
To consider a plat of resubdivision of Lot 14 in School Trustees Subdivision pursuant to Section 9-2-3 and 9-2-4, Chapter 9 of the Municipal Code;
Consideration of the following Special Uses:
To consider a special use pursuant to Section 10-6C-2 of the Municipal Code to permit the operation of a financial institution;
To consider a special use pursuant to Section 10-8C-3 B of the Municipal Code to permit the operation of a business in which less than 50% of its income generates a sales tax;
To consider a special use pursuant to Section 10-6C-2 of the Municipal Code to permit the operation of a drive-through facility;
To consider a special use pursuant to Section 10-6C-2 of the Municipal Code to permit the operation of an outdoor dining facility for a restaurant;
Consideration of the following variances:
To consider a variance to Section 10-10-3 F of the Municipal Code to allow parking stalls in the front yard setbacks along both LaGrange and Joliet Roads;
To consider a variance to Section 10-10-5 B to allow stacking for 6 cars at the retail drive through facility instead of the required 10-car minimum stacking;
To consider a variance to Section 10-10-5 B to allow for aggregate stacking of 16 cars at the bank drive-through facility instead of the required 40-car minimum stacking requirement;
To consider a variance to Section 8-5-9 H-1 to allow a ten-foot tall monument sign with 67.33 square feet of surface area on each side instead of the required maximum surface area of 65 square feet per side of the sign and six-foot maximum height;
To consider a variance to Section 10-15-3-5C to allow for the elimination of parkway trees because IDOT controls these rights-of-way and will not permit such plantings;
To consider a variance to Section 10-15-3-5F to allow for the reduction in size of 7 of the 12 parking lot islands from 180 square feet to 150 square feet;
To consider a variance to Section 10-15-3-SF 6A to allow for a 5-foot landscape setback across the adjoining parcels or right-of-way along 40% of the developer’s lot frontage instead of the required 100%;
To consider a variance to Section 10-15-3-SF-7B to allow for a 3′ high landscape screen along 39% of the lot frontage across from non-residential parcels instead of the required 75% screening requirement;
The applicant is Nex Gen Devco, L.L.C., Attention Mr. Lee Winter, 1300 East Woodfield Road, Suite 150, Schaumburg, IL 60173. The property owner is Ms. Delores M. Leverson, as trustee, whose address is c/o Faloon & Kelley, Ltd., Attention Terry Faloon, 5 South Sixth Avenue, LaGrange, IL 60525.
Mr. Toth moved to open the Public Hearing in this matter, seconded by Mr. Benson and carried by unanimous voice vote. The applicants were sworn in by Chairman Fullmer en masse. The required proofs of Notice have been received by the Building Department.
Mr. Bryan Swanson made the Staff presentation:
the current zoning classification is Service and Wholesale; estimated acreage is 1.71 acres. The applicants have requested a PUD – planned unit development to construct a Chase Bank and a multi-tenant commercial building on the property commonly known as 6150 LaGrange Road. The PUD would be very specific to this property and may govern the architectural style, hours of operation, signage, landscaping, etc. The property is located on the northwest corner of LaGrange Road and Joliet Road, along the City’s main commercial corridor. The aerial view reveals the BMW Motorcycle Dealership containing huge amounts of right-of-way. The parcel is deceptive and appears larger than it actually is.
The applicant’s PUD proposes two options: — Option A – A Chase Bank on .74 acres (4,264 s.f.) with re-subdivision of the property into two lots. Lot 1 consists of .99 acres and a 8,960 s.f. retail building with a drive through. Option B mirrors the subdivision and lot size but provides a 9,590 s,f, retail building without a drive through. Lot 2 is the Chase Bank in both options. City Engineer Fitzgerald has reviewed the preliminary plat of re-subdivision site plan and made minor comments. The applicant is proposing no change in the Joliet Road ingress / egress. They propose a right-in-right-out ingress / egress onto LaGrange Road.
Regarding Special Uses in the B-3 service district, banks and drive-throughs are only allowed by special use approval. The overlay district covers all of LaGrange Road and prohibits businesses wherein 50% or less of its income is derived from sales. An outdoor dining facility along with the retail building also requires a special use.
Regarding variances – parking stalls are not allowed in front yard setbacks; this property has two front yards. A portion of the parking stalls falls within that setback. The City Code requires stacking of 10 cars at all times for drive-through lanes. The applicant proposes stacking for six cars. The bank has four drive through lanes; the Code requires 40 car stacking ability. The city code allows for a six-foot tall monument sign on LaGrange Road and a surface area of 65 s.f. per side; the applicant requests a 10-foot sign with a 67.33 s.f. surface area. The applicant seeks to plant parkway trees in the ROW – IDOT will not allow such plantings. Parking lot islands must be 180 s.f.; the applicant is proposing 150 s.f. Landscape frontage requested is 40%, the landscape ordinance calls for 100%. The final variance is to allow a 3′ high landscape screen across 39% of frontage; the Code calls for 75% of frontage be screened. Mr. Fitzgerald reviewed the traffic study and provided comments. The Chase Bank and the retail building will be brick. The monument sign will highlight Route 66 and welcome visitors to the City. Mr. Swanson stated that conditions or restrictions placed on the PUD may include an in lieu fee on the square footage of the bank facility, hours of operation on the drive-through, architectural design and landscape design standards.
Mr. David L. Shaw, attorney for petitioner, praised Mr. Swanson for his assistance and for his excellent presentation tonight. The various professionals present tonight will each make a brief presentation. Mr. Shaw will provide an overview. This high-profile corner has many access issues and right-of-way issues. He stated that if the City enforced all its code requirements, there would be nothing left to develop. He believes that the Chase site and retail is appropriate for this location. Chase will consider a fee in lieu of sales tax. Although this property is in the TIF district, the applicant is not requesting any financial incentive. They believe the site will attract new business and provide additional stimulus for the entire area.
Mr. Brad Prischman, civil engineer for the petitioner, discussed the site plan – using the two existing access points to the site. Full access from Joliet Road will remain; LaGrange Road access will be modified to a right-in southbound and right-out northbound only. IDOT plans to install a barrier along the center median of LaGrange Road. There will be two-way access throughout the site; there is full cross access on both properties. The property is much smaller than it looks; there is 60 feet between the property line and the curb — taken by IDOT. Mr. Lee Winter of Nex Gen stated that both buildings will be built simultaneously. Mr. Prischman stated that parking stalls will be 9×20′. They will provide full storm water detention over the entire site.
Mr. Tim Meseck, architect for Chase Bank, addressed the stacking issue. Four drive-thru lanes oriented at the back of the building will work to avoid traffic conflicts – with full two-way access to the east and south; the rear access is one-way traffic. Although the code requires 10-car stacking, Chase claims that 2-3 cars is sufficient stacking for each lane. The lane nearest the building will have a sealed drawer; the next lane will be a vacuum tube; the third lane may be a vacuum tube or ATM; the fourth lane is an ATM. Two drive-through tellers work that area; total transaction time is two minutes. Saturday is the peak day when they expect 60 cars per hour in the drive-through lanes; they cannot envision the need for 40 cars stacking ever.
Ms. Wendy Schulenberg, principal landscape architect, stated there is a significant increase in green space over the present. The southern edge which is now parking area, will be returned to grass. The parking islands will each have a shade tree as well as under plantings. The north edge will have a row of shade trees, hedges and ground cover as well as trees on the west side. The trash area and the monument sign area will be screened; there will be a mixture of plantings using evergreen shrubs, perennials and shade trees. The outdoor dining area will be planned when the tenant is known.
Mr. Javier Millan, KLOA, traffic consultant discussed the traffic study, approved by IDOT, and noted the two main access areas previously discussed. Trip generation for bank and coffee shop sites are found to be existing traffic temporarily diverted – to get in and get out of the area. Peak traffic hours in this area are 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. There is stacking for 6-7 vehicles behind the coffee shop; traffic volume can be accommodated by the existing roadway network.
Mr. Jeffrey Miller, architect for the multi-tenant portion of the property, stated that the entire development will maintain a coordinated appearance; he provided a sample material board for review. They will use the same brick as the Chase Bank, same stone color and masonry products; landscaping will be consistent throughout. The shared monument sign will be made of the same materials. The variance they seek for the sign includes a Route 66 portion and signage Welcome to Countryside — that gives the sign some distinction. The multi-tenant building will be 18 feet tall, single story with a band on the top. Discussion re: rear doors open to traffic in the drive-through lane – providing for a dangerous situation for workers emptying trash, etc. The doors are too close to the rear driveway (22 feet wide). Mr. Benson suggested introducing ballards or adding mirrors on the corner edges of the building. The introduction of a walkway or safe zone is essential. Board members commented on the plainness of the multi-tenant building – it needs towers or some other tie-in with the bank building.
Mr. Terry Pastorino, project manager, stated that Chase picked this site for the bank; traffic on the main thoroughfares is paramount. Chase only has three facilities in this area, two of them are in-store grocery facilities. The stand-alone facilities will provide privacy and more services for customers, personal banker, safety deposit boxes, mortgage assistance, investment banking. Lobby hours will be from 9-6 daily and 9-3 Saturdays. The drive-up facility will be open from 8 am to 6 pm Mon-Thur; 8 am to 7 pm Friday; and 9-3 on Saturday, closed on Sunday. Chase will provide economic impact to Countryside with an increased tax base; they will have a staff of 16 employees total; the nearest branch is 2.5 miles away. Chase’s investment in this project is $2.5 million of which $1.3 million is for construction. There is no free-standing facility in the area. The other three Chase facilities will remain open.
Mr. Lee Winter, Nex Gen Devco, thanked the City and Bryan Swanson in particular for his invaluable assistance. This is a very good retail location but presents challenges in land planning and configuration. The blandness of the retail building will be eliminated. Chase Bank has agreed to pay the fee in lieu based upon the City’s formula. There are 70,000 vehicles daily traveling the main arteries; this is a benign plan considering that half the traffic in the system is pass-by traffic; this facility will not increase the traffic but merely divert a good portion to either facility. Chase will provide additional green space and an underground drainage system. They are not seeking any financial assistance from the City. He thanked the Board members for their time.
Chairman Fullmer asked how consistent is this location with the City’s comprehensive plan for the area. Mr. Winter stated that a bank is a retail operation- dispensing financial services – by selling and providing services. Chairman Fullmer stated that sales tax generated by a bank and a coffee shop is minimal. Mr. Winter stated they have a number of national retailers for the multi-tenant building, between 4-5, depending on size – from 1,700 s.f. to 3,500 s.f. The retail building footprint is 70 feet deep and 128 feet from north to south. Mr. Shaw stated that the fee in lieu is based on a formula calculated by the Finance Director based on comparable retail uses; the bank is willing to pay that amount. The City will be getting the retail revenues they seek without additional traffic plus having the stability of a financial institution.
Chairman Fullmer asked Mr. Swanson as City Planner how this project lends itself to the City’s Comprehensive Plan and the overlay zone. Mr. Swanson stated that the land use plan along LaGrange Road promotes the highest and best use of the properties as sales tax producers. All businesses along LaGrange Road should provide the community with sales tax to preserve and protect the community. The overlay district or special zoning district for LaGrange Road was created to further attempt to promote the highest and best use of properties along LaGrange Road. The City must garner as much sales tax as possible from LaGrange Road. Mr. Lube stated that a bank is not the highest and best possible use of that corner; the City should protect that property and all property along LaGrange Road. Mr. Moss stated that the exact opposite is having nothing on the land. The City gets nothing from empty buildings. Chairman Fullmer surveyed other banks in town and found they were able to meet the parking and stacking requirements. This corner is not the best place for a bank. Mr. Benson stated that the new development across LaGrange Road will be the focal point of the City; he is not sure a bank is the best use for this land.
Chairman Fullmer sought comments from interested persons. Former Mayor Robert Conrad, 5318 Catherine Ave., stated that this is a great opportunity for the City. Joliet Road and LaGrange Road is in the TIF District; he asked Board members not to jump into new developments quickly just because businesses are closed. That corner should be something special. There are three Chase Banks within two miles of this facility. There are at least 9 or 10 banks within the boundaries of the City of Countryside – do we really need another bank in the area? It is a beautiful building, but don’t let that make your decision for you. We don’t need another financial institution in the City of Countryside. Thanks for the opportunity to speak.
Mr. Shaw made a closing statement; he asked how the fee in lieu differs from sales tax revenue generation. Mr. Swanson stated that the Finance Director formulates the surrounding land uses and computes the taxes they produce monthly into the square footage analysis – would the sales tax from the bank be the same as the sales tax generated from a car dealership. Attorney Peck stated that there is a difference between the two – a straight retail tax will be a catalyst for other development, which will also bring in sales tax for the City The City is seeking a catalyst where there will be more retail sales tax driven from whatever business goes in there. Mr. Shaw believes that the bank will be beneficial for the City. An institution like Chase will attract other businesses. Chase will make a substantial investment in the community – it is a difficult site to work within a restricted area; limited retailers can adapt to this configuration. Chase can come back and address the architecture and stacking issues to eliminate the number of variances. Mr. Toth moved to close the evidentiary portion of the Public Hearing, seconded by Mr. Stoub and carried by Roll Call vote – 6/0/2.
Mr. Benson moved to deny the PUD as presented, to construct a Chase Bank and multi-tenant building on the northwest corner of Joliet Road and LaGrange Road commonly known as 6150 LaGrange Road, seconded by Mr. Toth and carried by unanimous Roll Call vote – 6/0/2. Chairman Fullmer stated that this matter will come before the City Council at its regular meeting on December 14, 2011.
The applicants, Mayor Krzeminski and Ald. Jasinski left the meeting room at 9:35 p.m.
Chairman Fullmer suggested that the remainder of the agenda re: text amendments be continued to the next hearing on December 22, 2011. Mr. Swanson stated that a potential tenant wishes to lease in the Plaza; the City budget allows for a second meeting in the month of December. The notice was published for December 22, 2011. The business name is Formally Modern Tuxedo – it is a tuxedo rental business but they also sell clothing and tuxedos – it is a 50/50 sales/service business.
Victoria Ganz wishes to discuss the accessory buildings on 5thAvenue Cutofff on lots over one acre in size. Atty. Peck stated that public notice will be posted. He suggested that she meet with Mr. Swanson to discuss the matter prior to the City Council taking action.
Mr. Swanson stated that the January meeting will feature a butterfly farm that wants to share space with the Double J riding school.
Chairman Fullmer moved to continue the text amendments to the December 22 meeting, seconded by Mr. Lube and carried by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman Fullmer moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Benson and carried by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman Fullmer declared the meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
RICHARD FULLMER, JR., CHAIRMAN