ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
Thursday, January 20, 2011- 6:00 p.m.
Chamber Room – Countryside City Hall
1. Call to order.
2. Roll Call: Ald. Sean McDermott, Chairman, Ald. Michael Smetana, Ald. Karen Michalczyk, Treasurer Steven Jasinski, Adm. Gail Paul
3. Approval of Minutes – December 29, 2010
4. Other Business
5. Adjourn to Executive Session under Sec. 2Ac to discuss real estate.
COUNTRYSIDE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2011 – 6:00 P. M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS – CITY HALL
Ald. McDermott, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
PRESENT: Alderman Sean McDermott, Chairman, City Admin. Gail Paul,Ald. Karen Michalczyk,
ABSENT: Ald. Michael Smetana, Treas. Steven Jasinski
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor Conrad, Clerk Sweeney, Ald. Pondelicek, Ald. Von Drasek,
Approval of Minutes
The first order of business was approval of the Minutes of December 29, 2010. Ms. Paul moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Ald. McDermott and carried by unanimous voice vote.
City Admin. Paul moved to adjourn into Executive Session under Section 2Ac of the Open Meetings act for the purpose of discussing real estate; seconded by Ald. Michalczyk and carried by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman McDermott declared the meeting recessed at 6:02 p.m.
* * * * *
The Regular Economic Development Committee meeting returned to Open Session with the same members present at 6:58 p.m.
Ald. Von Drasek received a call from Bruce Schwartz regarding the outdoor staircase. The staircase was not repaired and the barricade was down because something was being moved upstairs. The crux of the matter is a å_ difference between residential and commercial stringers. Mr. Schwartz is willing to sign an agreement that if an office is ever contemplated for the upstairs, he will remove the present staircase and build a new one. He will also apply an adhesive material to make the steps less slippery. He upgraded the building for $50,000. It is a residential apartment above a business Ald. Von Drasek asked that the City Council revisit that issue and put it to a vote.
Ald. McDermott stated that he must abide by the Code and the Council agreed. After further discussion re: pros and cons of the issue, Ald. Michalczyk stated that a ruling was to be received from the State of Illinois Central Committee. City. Admin Paul stated that the ruling was received and confirmed Steve Tisinai’s opinion.
Ald. Von Drasek stated that this is a case of a life-long resident, far exceeding all other rules in rehabbing the building and in an excess of zeal constructing a new stairwell.
There is no public traffic using those stairs, only the residents. Why is there a difference between residential and commercial anyway? Other requestors have asked for far greater lenience than Mr. Schwartz. Ald. McDermott does not wish to risk the health and safety of residents. The residential Code allows for steeper steps; that’s why it should have been built for commercial. Unfortunately the engineer never consulted the City when building the new staircase. Ald. Von Drasek stated that this is not the message the City wishes to project – it is not business friendly.
Mayor Conrad stated that the PC/ZBA follows the Rules and the City Council tends to bend the Codes to accommodate certain individuals. Ald. McDermott stated that Codes are there to protect life and safety of residents and should be followed to the letter of the law. Ald. Von Drasek agrees but flexibility is needed and there is always a gray area.
Mayor Conrad suggested that Mr. Schwartz provide the letter discussed above including all the protections he will provide and bring the matter before the City Council. for another vote. The City will be held harmless and a permanent gate in place across the staircase with a chain and a sign. Ald. Von Drasek may also bring this up at a City Council meeting as Old Business.
Ald. Michalczyk moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ald. McDermott and carried unanimously.
Ald. McDermott declared the meeting adjourned at 7:08 p.m.