TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2015 – 7:15 PM

1. Roll Call Members:

Mr. Richard Fullmer, Jr. (Chairman)

Ms. Tina Grotzke

Mr. Crecencio Gonzalez

Mr. Marco Gutierrez

Mr. Robert Lube

Mr. Mark Benson

Mr. Bryon Bednar

Mr. Michael Anderson


A. Roll Call

B. Approval of Minutes: None

2. Chairman’s Comments

3. Action Items

a. Public Hearing-Case# 18223_SU & V- 1415 W. 55TH STREET STE 104. A public hearing published in the Chicago Tribune to grant a Special Use Permit to permit a massage therapy office in the Limited Office Space District. A variance to grant a massage therapy office as a primary business instead of secondary to a business as defined in the business districts.

4. Public Comment

5. Other Business

6. Adjournment





Chairman Fullmer called the meeting to order at 7:15 p.m. Secretary Lube called the Roll of Members physically present:

PRESENT: Chairman Richard Fullmer, Jr., Secretary Robert Lube Mr. Mark Benson, Ms. Tina Grotzke, Mr. Crecencio Gonzalez IV, Mr. Bryon Bednar.

ABSENT: Mr.Marco Gutierrez, Mr. Michael Anderson

ALSO PRESENT: Atty. Peck, Zoning Admin. Ms Clarke, Ald. Musillami.

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 – Case # 18223-SU & V – 1415 W. 55thStreet, Suite #104

Chairman Fullmer read the public hearing notice published in the Chicago Tribune to grant a Special Use Permit to permit a massage therapy office in the Limited Office Space District – with a variance to grant a massage therapy office as a primary business instead of being secondary to a business as defined in the business districts.

Mr. Gonzalez moved to Open the Public Hearing in this matter, seconded by Mr. Lube and carried by unanimous voice vote. The applicants were sworn in by Chairman Fullmer. Proofs of Notice have been received by the Building Department.

Ms. Clarke made the Staff presentation. She stated that the applicant seeks a special use to allow Leslie Dorn to co-operate a massage therapy business as a primary business in the office complex at 1415 W. 55thSt. along with Dr. Diane Leamy, Ph.D. and Dr.Theresa Risolo, clinical psychologist. Since 2008, massage therapy was a permitted use as long as it was secondary to another business, such as nail salon, health club, etc. In 2013, City Council amended the zoning code to make massage parlors a special use as long as they were secondary to a primary use. The uniqueness of these three individuals is that they currently share office space and do refer clients to each other as needed. They would like to continue that complementary business by co-locating in the office complex with each individual having her own office space but working together and referring clients when needed within the same industry. There have been no new requests for this service.

The office complex hosts other businesses – an attorney and tax accountant. This office space has been vacant since May 2014; the former tenant was Chicago Title. Review of the photographs shows the common office area layout with individual offices, a small counter area and one bathroom. Each applicant has been operating their own business for some time; they are seeking expanded space. This location will work for them and they seek to have massage therapy as part of the business mix. All three businesses will occupy the same office space.

Dr. Leamy stated that she is aware of problems with massage therapy in the past not only in Countryside but elsewhere. She and Dr. Risolo formed a professional affiliation with Leslie Dorn because they found it a benefit to their practice. Dr. Leamy has a MSW degree, Master’s in Public Health, and Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work. She has been a school Social Worker at Pleasantdale School for ten years and has continuing professional contact with the LaGrange School District, Western Springs and Hinsdale. She has spoken a number of times at Lyons Township High School and was a keynote speaker in 2012. Her practice focuses on neuroscience and psychotherapy.

In 2012, Dr. Risolo asked Ms. Dorn to join them in their office and it has been a wonderful professional association. They often treat patients with chronic pain; people with anxiety and depression often have physical pain. They found themselves referring people to Ms. Dorn. Ms. Dorn also referred patients who wanted to discuss their problems during a massage to a therapist – so it has been a mutually beneficial association. Ms. Dorn is very professional and is a wonderful addition to their office. For three female professionals it is a safety issue as well – especially during evening hours – a very supportive environment. They are currently located in Western Springs and wish to remain in the immediate area. The new facility is a great way to get additional space, improve the office and not disrupt clients. She fully vouches for Leslie Dorn’s character and hopes that some arrangement can be made to allow them to have an office practice in Countryside. She believes they would definitely be an asset to the community.

Dr. Leamy has a statement from Dr. Risolo who could not be present due to the blizzard conditions in Massachusetts; it is not possible for her to travel here tonight. She is happy to answer any questions.

Chairman Fullmer stated that as the City Code reads today – massage therapy must be a secondary business to a primary business. With two doctors and a massage therapist, down the road if one doctor leaves the office for whatever reason, there would be a history of the business and the remaining tenants would be co-equal partners. He is not in favor of having massage therapy as a primary business due to past problems; he would like to keep it as secondary for the present and permit a special use in the future after developing a business history.

Ms. Leslie Dorn is the sole proprietor of Potter Healing Hands – therapeutic massage. She is a licensed massage therapist in the State of Illinois. She has been Board Certified for therapeutic massage and body work for the past ten years. Part of being Board Certified includes 750 hours of education, 250 hours of clinical professional experience to stay current with CPR Certification and uphold the high current standards of ethics and professionalism. The State of Illinois currently requires 600 hours of education in a clinical environment. She began in 2003 and went through a 770-hour program, which was above and beyond what Illinois required at that time. She graduated in 2005 with 284 hours. To remain current with the state license and Board Certification she takes continuing education courses and over the years this has included over 1,000 hours of education, much of it hands-on, and also in ethics and professionalism. She has worked in a variety of settings, such as a spa, chiropractor’s office, hospice, corporate chair massage and is the sole proprietor of her own business for the past three years, based with Dr. Leamy and Dr. Risolo. All emails and phone calls coming into the office are screened – asking who referred the caller. She does not accept last-minute clients; everyone must have an appointment for safety reasons. When working with a new client, she makes sure that a colleague is present in the office prior to scheduling the appointment. Her referral base comes from other clients and professionals. She has an ad in the local school calendar; she has a static website for informational purposes only. She appreciates the opportunity to speak and is happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Lube stated that the request is for massage therapy to be a primary business. By allowing massage but not making it a primary business, that allows the City ordinance to remain as is – without granting a special use. Ms. Clarke stated that they will be three independent businesses each given their own business license – so they are viewed as three independent primary businesses.

Attorney Peck stated that they are three separate businesses – there are two options: the Board could say the massage therapy business is a permitted use in the O office zoning district, or it could be tied into the other two businesses; although they are not under one corporate name, they are in the same office. It puts more of a burden on the massage therapy because if they are tied in together, if one of those doctors leaves, the therapist is left with an incomplete Special Use. She would have to come back before the Board to request an ordinance change to the Special Use or some other variance. It appears that she wants to tie into the other businesses specifically. It should be kept as a secondary use in that office. Mr. Lube agrees to that approach because granting it as a primary business sets a precedent.

Dr. Leamy sought clarification – the massage therapy would be a secondary use to the psychotherapy practice. Mr. Peck stated that the primary purpose of the office is psycho-therapy; massage therapy is a secondary use to that purpose. There are three independent contractors in one office unit that will be viewed together. If one doctor leaves the burden is on the therapist to return before the Board, provide the past business history with no fee charged for rehearing and then make it a primary use. The ordinance will be tied specifically to these individuals.

Chairman Fullmer stated that in the City’s past history another masseuse with specific qualifications came in, but when she left, she was replaced by a less desirable person. To protect the City, the business will be established under this umbrella. If there is a change there will be no fee charged to return before the Board to request a special use.

Ms. Dorn understands the City’s reluctance. She originally worked at a spa and was required to go to outcalls – at people’s houses or hotels and never felt safe doing that. That’s why she stopped working there and always sought an office situation. Mr. Gonzalez asked whether any individuals are members of the BBB – none are members but would be willing to join if necessary. Ms. Grotzke asked how long they’ve been in Western Springs. Dr. Leamy has been there since 2006. Mr. Bednar asked whether they needed a larger facility. Dr. Leamy stated that originally there were five professionals working together;one has retired so they are downsizing. Ms. Dorn is not a masseuse but a massage therapist – there is a huge difference between the two – much more education. There will be no other massage therapist working at this office. Mr. Lube asked whether they get referrals from doctors and hospitals. Dr. Leamy does not advertise; she gets referrals from schools and from psychiatrists – she is very busy.

There were no questions from interested parties; there was no closing statement from the applicant. Mr. Gonzalez moved to close the evidentiary portion of the Public Hearing, seconded by Mr. Lube and carried by unanimous voice vote.

Ms. Grotzke moved to approve the special use to permit a massage therapy office in conjunction with two psychotherapy businesses in the office on the property commonly known as 1415 W. 55thSt., Suite #104, with the condition that the special use will be revoked if one of the doctors leaves and the applicant will be required to appear before the PC/ZBA, at no additional charge to the applicant, to amend the ordinance, seconded by Mr. Lube 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 February 11, 2015.


There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Lube moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Benson and carried by unanimous voice vote.

Chairman Fullmer declared the meeting adjourned at 7:57 p.m.