PLAN COMMISSION/ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE
JULY 12, 2005 AT 7:30 P.M.
ROLL CALL MEMBERS: CHAIRMAN RICHARD FULLMER, JR., MS. TINA GROTZKE, MR. ROBERT LUBE, MR. STEVEN JASINSKI, MR. DANIEL MOSS, MRS. CYNTHIA SCHULZ, MR. FRANK THULLEN, MR. RICHARD TOTH, MR. EDWARD ZIEMBA
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: DATE: JUNE 7, 2005
1. TO CONSIDER A RE-SUBDIVISION OF 5704 SOUTH CATHERINE AVENUE INTO 2 LOTS AND A VARIANCE TO SECTION 10-5A-4 (A) OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF THE CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE, TO PERMIT EACH LOT AN ESTABLISHED BUILDING LINE OF 74 FEET INSTEAD OF THE REQUIRED 100 FEET. THE NAME OF THE APPLICANTS ARE WAYNE AND JUDY STRAZA, LOCATED AT 5704 CATHERINE AVENUE, COUNTRYSIDE, IL 60525.
2. CONTINUATION – CONSIDERATION TO REVIEW THE SIGN ORDINANCE AS ALLOWED BY SECTION 8-5-3 OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF THE CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE.
3. TO CONSIDER A VARIANCE OF SECTION 8-5-9-B OF CHAPTER 8 OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF THE CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE, IN ORDER TO INCREASE THE PERMITTED 100 SQUARE FEET OF A FREE STANDING SIGN TO 129 SQUARE FEET OF A FREE STANDING SIGN. THE APPLICANT IS AMERISIGN GROUP (LAGRANGE HIGHLANDS SHOPPING CENTER), THE PROPERTY IS COMMONLY KNOWN AS 1408 WEST 55TH STREET, COUNTRYSIDE, IL 60525.
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, JULY 12, 2005
Chairman Fullmer called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Secretary Lube called the Roll; the following members were present:
PRESENT: Chairman Richard Fullmer, Jr., Secretary Robert Lube, Mr. Edward Ziemba, Mr. Frank Thullen,Mr. Steven Jasinski, Ms. Cynthia Schulz, Ms. Tina Grotzke, Mr. Richard Toth
ABSENT: Mr. Daniel Moss
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor LeGant, Ald. Conrad, Ald. Michalczyk, Ald. Straza, Ald. Von Drasek, Ald. Pondelicek, Ald. Smetana, CDD Muenzer, Attorney Erik Peck
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The first order of business is approval of the minutes of June 7, 2005. Mr. Lube moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Mr. Toth and carried unanimously.
Chairman Fullmer read the Notice of Public Hearing to consider a re-subdivision of 5704 South Catherine Avenue into two lots and a variance to Section 10-5A-4(A) of the Municipal Code to permit each lot an established building line of 74 feet instead of the required 100 feet. The Applicants are Wayne and Judy Straza, 5704 Catherine Ave., Countryside, IL 60525. Mr. Lube moved to open the evidentiary portion of the hearing, seconded by Mr. Toth and carried unanimously. The applicants and all interested parties were sworn en masse by Chairman Fullmer.
Mr. Straza presented a map of the proposed subdivision prepared and certified by Shomig Realty, as submitted to the PC/ZBA for review.It is a petition for subdivision of the property at 5704 Catherine into two parcels of 74 feet frontage each, rather than the required 100 feet frontage. Both lots will be zoned R-1 single-family residence; the square footage of each lot is over 24,000 square feet, 4,000 sf over the required 20,000 square feet in area. Most of the adjacent lots, which are zoned R-1, do not comply withthe 100 foot frontage or do not comply with the 20,000 square foot requirement. Properties on the east side are 65 foot lots, which also do not comply. He believes that denying the variance would be an economic hardship and deprive him of the best use of the property.
CDD Mr. Muenzer recommended approval for many of the reasons just mentioned. The proposed lots would be 24,000 square feet. The contiguous properties to the east do not have the required frontage – all three do not meet the 20,000 sf requirement. Properties to the west and north are zoned R-1 and do meet all requirements. Mr. Straza noted that in 1997-98 Ryan Builders was allowed to erect nine homes on 3.5 acres of land that was zoned R-1. The lots were 65′ wide and later rezoned to R-3. Board members are concerned about setting precedent with the square foot variation and frontage inconsistencies. They question whether an exception should be made in this case with property lines of 74×300 feet. Most lots on the block are 65×135 feet.
Chairman Fullmer referred to the Code Book dated October 2000and read aloud – — every one-family detached dwelling hereafter erected shall be located on a lot having an area not less than 20,000 square feet and a width at the established building line of not less than 100 feet. He does not believe that the PC/ZBA should deviate from that standard. Mr. Muenzer stated that is why there are variances; every situation is unique.
Chairman Fullmer invited audience participation in the discussion. Resident Robert Smith, 5713 S. Catherine, stated that a petition has been circulated; he read portions of the statement to the Board and presented the document with 100 signatures opposed to the proposed subdivision. It read in part — We feel strongly that rezoning would not be in the best interest of the community. If rezoning is permitted, a precedent will be set for the future. We urge you to do what is best for the City and not what is best for Ald. Straza. Another petition was circulated referring to the cancelled meeting of June 7, 2005 regarding the same zoning variance. Chairman Fullmer explained that the hearing was not held due to lack of proper notice published in Suburban Life. There was not sufficient time to mail out a re-notice. Residents did appear and were told that the meeting was postponed. Residents were not advised by Ald. Straza that the meeting was postponed. He does not believe there is an financial hardship to Mr. Straza. Attorney Peck accepted into evidence the petition addressed to Chairman Fullmer and the PC/ZBA in opposition to the proposed variance and re-subdivision.
Mrs. Driscoll, 5703 Catherine, stated that Mr. Straza did not tell residents about the postponed hearing date. Some residents refused to sign the petition. Most people needed no persuasion to sign the petition. Mr. Straza stated he is addressing this body as a citizen of Countryside and not as an elected official. Ed Krzeminski, 6929 Lorraine Dr. provided some past history and detailed instances where similar situations have been brought before the PC/ZBA and denied. Other petitions were denied if they did not meet all criteria; this petition is no different; it is a substandard half-acre lot.
Mr. Driscoll, 5703 Catherine, agreed that allowing this variance would promote a domino effect and open all other similarly situated lots up for subdivision. One hundred people signed the petition in opposition to this proposal. Mike Slinkman, 5737 Kensington, abuts the subject property on the SW corner and is in favor of the project. The guiding principle should be what is the best for the community; the property is over 20,000 square feet. New construction brings increased property values. John Kasock, 5845 Kensington and Sharon Scroggins, 6030 Kensington, both opposed the proposal stating that every lot will seek the same relief if this passes. Jeff Garcia andRon Novak opposed and asked whether a new street will be formed.
Mr. Straza stated that the proposed two lots will have a driveway for each home; there will be no side access leading to the rear. Harry Marvin, 5719 Catherine, asked how half the lot can be sold. Attorney Peck discussed the plat of re-subdivision; if it is approved by City Council, it is recorded with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Chairman Fullmer stated that Mr. Straza has the right to petition the Board for re-subdivision. The new parcel would have its own tax ID number.
Bill Johnson, 5549 Madison, Diane Katsianis, 5550 Ashland, are also opposed to the proposal and believe it is detrimental to the neighborhood to divide 100 foot frontage. Attorney Peck stated that there are six requirements necessary to allow a variance. George Mrozek, 1102 W. 55 Pl., opposed subdivision on the principle of added stress toinfrastructure. Chairman Fullmer entertained a motion to close the evidentiary portion of the hearing. Mr. Lube moved, seconded by Ms. Grotzke, to close the hearing, carried by unanimous Roll Call vote – 8/0/1.
Attorney Peck stated that the recommendation is to deny the petitioner’s variance to permit two lots with 74 feet of front yard line instead of the required 100 feet front yard line based on Petitioner’s failure to meet conditions for the variance pursuant to Section 10-12-4-2 of the Zoning Code. Mr. Jasinski moved to deny the petition for the variance, seconded by Mr. Toth and carried by unanimous Roll Call vote – 8/0/1.
Attorney Peck stated that the recommendation is to deny the Plat of Re-subdivision based upon petitioner’s failure to meet the Zoning Code requirements for R-1 Zoning District. Mr. Toth moved to deny the Plat of Re-subvdivision, seconded by Ms. Grotzke and carried by unanimous Roll Call vote – 8/0/1.
Chairman Fullmer stated that this recommendation will come before the City Council at its Regular Meeting on July 27, 2005. Mr. Straza thanked the Board for its time.
Chairman Fullmer called a five-minute recess after which time the following took place.
Chairman Fullmer read the Notice of Public Hearing to consider a variance of Section 8-5-9-Bof Chapter 8 of the Municipal Code in order to increase the permitted 100 square feet of a free-standing sign to 129 square feet of a free-standing sign. The applicant is Amerisign Group (LaGrange Highlands Shopping Center); the property is commonly known as 1408 W. 55 St. Countryside. Contact person, Laura Tinoco, was sworn by Chairman Fullmer. Ms. Grotzke moved to open the evidentiary portion of the hearing, seconded by Mr. Toth and carried by unanimous voice vote.
Ms. Tinoco represents the owner; she proposed removing two existing signs, which total 400 feet and replace them with one free-standing sign 129 square feet. Mr. Muenzer recommended approval; these two parcels contain three signs. The amount of signage will actually decrease and the amount of square footage on the property will be reduced substantially. The property will benefit aesthetically by removal of the existing pole sign, which is damaged, and removal of the monument sign atop the building. Chairman Fullmer is concerned about the clearance from the sign to the ground. Mr. Lube suggested adding a flower box underneath the sign as an added safety feature. Ms. Tinoco agreed and stated that the sign will have a plastic face and illuminated internally. The entire area will benefit from the change. Mr. Jasinski moved to close the evidentiary portion of the hearing, seconded by Mr. Lube and carried unanimously.
Attorney Peck entered into evidence Petitioner’s Exhibit A, which is a photo of the sign, with the additional 4 x 7 feet sign underneath it. The recommendation is to approve a variance to Section 8-5-9-B to permit a free-standing sign of 129 square feet, which is 29 square feet in excess of the permitted 100 feet on the property commonly known as 1408 W. 55th St. all in substantial compliance with Petitioner’s ExhibitA with the conditions that petitioner remove the monument sign on the roof and the free-standing pole sign, and that the petitioner add a flower bed under the sign to discourage anybody from walking under the sign. Mr. Lube moved to approve the variance noted above, seconded by Ms. Grotzke and carried by unanimous Roll Call vote – 8/0/1.
Chairman Fullmer read the Notice for Continuation to consider review of the Sign Ordinance as allowed by Section 8-5-3 of the Municipal Code. The question tonight is whether to allow time and temperature signs as part of the EVM signs. Attorney Peck reviewed the changes made in the Sign Ordinance. Clarification is sought tonight whether time and temperature signs should be made special uses or be prohibited. After discussion it was agreed to make time/temperature signs a special use. Ms. Grotzke moved to approve time/temperature signs as a special use, seconded by Mr. Thullen and carried by Roll Call vote – 8/0/1.
Mr. Muenzer stated that work has stopped at the Snyder & Skrine Subdivision because receipt of the three new grading plans did not match the original grading plan which had been approved for the entire subdivision. The engineer stated that would affect retention of water and change the entire plan. Developers re-submit grading plans for those three parcels and supply a utility location plan as well.
Mr. Muenzer stated that the Landscape Ordinance will be on the August agenda; he asked Board members to review that as well as the entire document Chapter 5 Sign Ordinance.
There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Toth moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ms. Schulz and carried by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman Fullmer declared the meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
RICHARD FULLMER JR., CHAIRMAN