ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE
FEBRUARY 17, 2004 AT 7:00 P.M.
CALL TO ORDER & ROLL CALL MEMBERS: CHAIRMAN RICHARD FULLMER, MR. ROBERT LUBE, MR. FRED FAHEY, MR. EDWARD ZIEMBA, MR. DANIEL MOSS, MR. STEVEN JASINSKI, MRS. CYNTHIA SCHULZ
DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN – PUBLIC WORKSHOP
1. Approval of Minutes – January 22, 2004.
2. Review Synthesis Report – Comprehensive Plan.
MINUTES OF A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE
PLANNING COMMISSION AND ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
OF THE CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE
HELD IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2004
Chairman Fullmer called the meeting to order at 7:12 p.m. Secretary Lube called the roll: the following members were present:
PRESENT:Chairman Richard Fullmer, Jr., Secretary Robert Lube, Mr. Fred Fahey, (7:40), Mr. Daniel Moss, Mr. Edward Ziemba, Mr. Steven Jasinski, Ms. Cynthia Schulz (7:55)
ALSO PRESENT:Mayor LeGant, Ald. Krzeminski, Ald. Fajdich, Ald. Michalczyk, Ald. Straza, Mr. Bresnahan – Chamber of Commerce, Comm. Development Officer Muenzer
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The first order of business was approval of the minutes of January 22, 2004. Motion and second from the floor, to approve minutes as presented. Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.
Mr. Muenzer stated that tonight’s meeting will include review of the Synthesis Report by TPAP, the firm retained by the City to develop a comprehensive plan. Development of a comprehensive plan is a yearlong process. We will discuss results of the citizen survey, demographics, assets and disadvantages, economic development programs, etc. This report is available at the City Clerk’s Office and also online on the City’s Website – countryside-il.org. He thanked residents for attending tonight’s meeting and introduced Tom Payne of TPAP.
Mr. Payne stated that the purpose of tonight’s meeting is to discuss results of the first phases of the planning process. Krista Kahle and Devine Lavigne will review community outreach, demographics, land use, zoning and transportation. Ms. Kahle stated that community outreach is a very important part of the planning process. TPAP has conducted four outreach components: held a community workshop in August, key person interviews provided more in-depth information from 23 individuals; the mini-workshop was held here at City Hall, and finally the community survey with 39 questions was sent to resident households.
Based on all community outreach activities, the main advantages presented thus far are: Convenient location and access to transportation received the most positive response; residential neighborhood/small town atmosphere with large lots and quality housing; lack of municipal property tax was mentioned repeatedly. Strong commercial base is another advantage along with excellent school and park systems. Drawbacks included Countryside Plaza, traffic congestion, (closure of Joliet Road), lack of a town center, tear down problems, affordable housing development. Tables and discussion are included in the back of the report.
Countryside is a built-out community so the character of the population has not changed much but is expected to increase in the next 20 years. Residential vacancy rate is very low; housing stock is stable; most residents fall into the median wage category for the area; work force is well-educated with predominantly white collar jobs and less manufacturing jobs. There are 3,000 residential units in Countryside with 2/3 owners and 1/3 renters. Median home values are just over $200,000; median rent $750. Median real estate tax in 1999 was $2,500. Median income is $46,000.
Mr. Lavigne discussed land use and potential redevelopment. TPAP has broken down commercial land use by function – retail, auto oriented (LaGrange Road); townhomes, apartments and condos scattered throughout the community – various land features including forest preserve, golf course and park districts, with very few vacant parcels available for development in the City. Zoning follows a common category and may need to be changed. Transportation network: arterial Roads such as LaGrange Road carries 31,000 cars per day; the other minor arterial roads – Joliet Road, Wolf Road, Willow Springs Road, East Avenue, Plainfield Road, Brainard Avenue –carry between 15,000-20,000 cars per day and serve a very local population. Three PACE bus routes serve the City; there is no Metra train station in the City.
Ms. Kahle stated that the results of the Community Survey are included in this report. Library services are lacking; volume and speed of traffic are seen as problems. Countryside Plaza was seen as the primary target for redevelopment effort. Recreational facilities (9 parks), several churches and community facilities provide adequate service to residents. Finally, after all input has been included and segments broken down – the key issues to be addressed include residential, industrial, commercial and business, transportation, parks / recreation, natural environment and administrative action. These areas will be developed further in the comprehensive plan.
Residents asked zoning questions regarding certain parcels that are listed as farmland and not R-1, other large parcels were discussed including the vacant property next to City Hall. No plans have been made for any parcels. Questions about creating additional parking for City residents at the Metra train station were left unanswered. Section 8 housing rumors and a nine-story senior housing facility were discussed. Ms. Kahle stated that the government is no longer building Section 8 housing. They discussed the difference between affordable housing and Section 8 housing.
There being no further business to discuss, motion and second from the floor, to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman Fullmer declared the meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
RICHARD FULLMER, JR., CHAIRMAN