A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE
PLAN COMMISSION/ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE
JUNE 15, 2004 AT 7:00 PM.
ROLL CALLMEMBERS: CHAIRMAN RICHARD FULLMER, JR., MS. TINA GROTZKE, MR. STEVEN JASINSKI, MR. ROBERT LUBE, MR. DANIEL MOSS, MS. CYNTHIA SCHULZ, MR. FRANK THULLEN, MR. RICHARD TOTH, MR. EDWARD ZIEMBA
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN – PLAN COMMISSION WORKSHOP
1.APPROVAL OF MINUTES – MARCH 30, 2004
2.REVIEW COMPREHENSIVE PLAN – SUBAREA PLANS REPORT
MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING
OF THE PLAN COMMISSION AND ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
OF THE CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE
HELD IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS ON TUESDAY, June 15, 2004
Chairman Fullmer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Secretary Lube called the Roll; the following members were
PRESENT: Chairman Richard Fullmer, Jr., Mr. Robert Lube, Mr. Edward Ziemba, Mr. Daniel Moss, Mr. Steven Jasinski, Ms. Tina Grotzke, Mr. Richard Toth, Mr. Frank Thullen
ABSENT: Ms. Cynthia Schulz
ALSO PRESENT: Ald. Krzeminski, City Attorney Erik Peck, CDO Muenzer, Ald. Michalczyk, Ald. Fajdich
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
First order of business was approval of the Special Meeting minutes of March 30, 2004. Mr. Jasinski moved, seconded by Mr. Ziemba, to approve the minutes as presented. Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.
REVIEW COMPREHENSIVE PLAN – SUB AREA PLANS REPORT
Mr. Muenzer introduced John Houseal and Devin Lavigne of URS/TPAP who will discuss the sub areas including City Hall area, Plainfield Road/55th St., LaGrange Road, Joliet Road, recently annexed areas and Dansher Park. Committee members each have a copy of their report. He stressed that much of this information is preliminary.
Mr. Lavigne discussed the City Hall sub area, extending from East Avenue west to 6th Avenue with overlap on the north into Dansher Park with 56th St. as a southern boundary. On the Countryside map he identified specific redevelopment sites, such as the partially vacant building including Pepe’s Restaurant, which only occupies 20% of the building. They recommend commercial redevelopment for that site. Improvements are needed, including parking and landscaping. The second site is the vacant Enterprise car rental building as well as two residential homes on the south side of 55th St. that are sandwiched between commercial uses. The final site is the vacant lot next door to City Hall. He also identified three other minor sites with definite possibilities. Committee members questioned certain aspects of the presentation. Mr. Houseal stated that the comprehensive plan pinpoints land use designation and identifies places that should be commercial redevelopment, multi-family redevelopment, industrial redevelopment or retail and restaurant. They recommend improvement of 55th street along its entire length.
Mr. Lavigne turned to sub area 2, Dansher Park with two redevelopment opportunities, the empty parcel along Dansher Road – parking is a problem during business hours; there is not enough for employees and customers. They recommend some type of centralized public parking facility for the entire park. The second site is a triangular parking lot, about one acre, too remote to provide for community parking.
The park is well-maintained, attractive industrial park for its size; occupancy rate is very high; this sub area should be prioritized as a viable industrial park well into the future. They recommend parkway landscaping throughout as noted on the map in green. Some curbs and gutters are needed.
Mr. Lavigne discussed sub area 3; Plainfield Road – 55th St. Two re-development opportunity sites are Salem Square and Breen’s Cleaners. Both areas were discussed relative to their potential and recommendations for minor improvements; additional landscaping should be considered. Identify areas of missing sidewalks and fill in gaps.
Mr. Houseal discussed LaGrange Road as the primary mixed-use commercial corridor, which is the key economic engine for the city. This area has seven redevelopment sites identified as the vacant area behind Holiday Inn; a portion or all of the site is an excellent location for single family detached, or attached, like town homes or even condominium buildings. They recommend access from 61st St. rather than from Joliet Road. This could be an effective residential redevelopment area.
The LaGrange Motel is incompatible with its surroundings; that should be a target priority redevelopment site. Vacant land to the north of Countryside Plaza should be earmarked for residential use, single family and condos, not to expand the plaza. The businesses (Quick Lube) on the east side of LaGrange Road should be acquired for additional commercial auto use. The Countryside Motel is a large, deep site, which could accommodate a viable commercial use on the corner of 57th and LaGrange with plenty of parking in the rear. Madison Avenue site on 57th St. is targeted for residential homes; that is the best use of that land. Countryside Plaza should become a better multi-tenant shopping center. The northern and western portions of the site should come up to speed with redevelopment at the south end. The three owners need to agree upon the access point to facilitate traffic. Parking is more than adequate for current use; it will still be adequate if very large tenants or superstores enter the picture.
Mr. Houseal had high marks for the McDonald’s Restaurant, Jeep dealership and Clark Gas Station as examples of very nice commercial sites with adequate screening/ landscaping. Cross-access to businesses minimizes congestion, i.e., White Castle and surrounding area. This use should be encouraged. They also recommend continuous 3′ hedges along LaGrange Road and parking areas. Shade trees planted throughout the corridor would enhance the appearance of the road. Redevelopment potential of the west side of LaGrange Road hinges on closing the alley near Plainfield and 55th St. and realigning parking. Welcome signage should be introduced.
The next sub area, Joliet Road, is being promoted as a Route 66 historic theme for this corridor. The prime redevelopment sites are the Wishing Well Motel site, some single family homes, vacant office building next to the Sprint building and State Bank of Countryside, vacant lot on the east side. Other minor site improvements are needed at the Score Tennis/Fitness Club and Rolling Lanes Bowling Alley. Right of way improvements are also needed, identified by green dots on the map. Tone’s Roadhouse parking lot reconfiguration and landscaping is needed. Remote vehicular storage facility should not be fronted along commercial corridors. Those sites are too valuable.
The newly annexed 5th Avenue Cutoff rural area lies between two major highways; it is very unique sub area. Priority redevelopment sites include The Mood, adjacent to residential homes to the north; a restaurant or commercial service would be appropriate. Immediately to the north on Willow Springs Road is the hardware store. The Suburban General Construction site is inappropriate for its location. That site would serve well for restaurant or retail. The Stanley Luke farm(horse farm) is surrounded by single-family homes; people generally are satisfied with the use but increased intensification of that use is not desired. Dr. Kessel on the corner of Prescott and 5th Avenue is another unusual use that fits in well with the community. Parking lot landscaping at the three large buildings should include the 3′ hedges around the perimeter. The 5th Avenue Cutoff area is unique to the city and should be maintained.
The area of Willow Springs frontage road should remain single family; residents asked about buffer zones or transitional zoning for homes on Prescott. The area should be targeted for residential use. Mr. Houseal concluded his presentation and reiterated that these plans are strictly preliminary. He invited questions and/or comments from the audience. The next step is to prepare preliminary goals and objectives for the comprehensive plan; they will then produce the vision statement that came from the workshop that was conducted. They will present the preliminary citywide transportation plan; citywide community facilities plan and the citywide land use plan at the next meeting, which should take place in 2-3 months. Chairman Fullmer and Mr. Muenzer thanked both gentlemen for their in-depth presentation.
Motion and second from the floor to adjourn the meeting; motion carried by unanimous voice vote. Chairman Fullmer declared the meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
RICHARD FULLMER, JR., CHAIRMAN