Plan Commission/Zoning Board of AppealsMarch 3, 2015 Print
PLAN COMMISSION – ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE
TUESDAY, MARCH 03, 2015 – 7:15 PM
1. Roll Call Members:
Mr. Richard Fullmer, Jr. (Chairman) Mr. Robert Lube
Ms. Tina Grotzke Mr. Mark Benson
Mr. Crecencio Gonzalez Mr. Bryon Bednar
Mr. Michael Anderson
Mr. Marco Gutierrez
A. Roll Call
B. Approval of Minutes: February 3rd & February 10th, 2015
2. Chairman’s Comments
3. Action Items
A. Public Hearing-Case# 18228_V- 5315 Dansher Road. A public hearing published in the Chicago Tribune to grant a variance to reduce the rear yard setback to construct an accessory structure in the M-1 Zoning District.
B. Public Hearing-Case# 18232_V-5859 S. LaGrange Road. A public hearing published in the Chicago Tribune to grant a variance to reduce the perimeter landscaping a nonresidential property adjacent to a residential property in the B-3 Zoning District (Jack Phelan Dodge).
C. Public Hearing- Case# 18231_V- 6101 S. LaGrange Road. A public hearing published in the Chicago Tribune to grant a variance to reduce the perimeter landscaping in the B-2 Zoning District (Shell Gas Station).
4. Public Comment
5. Other Business
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, MARCH 3, 2015
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. Michael Anderson, Mr. Marco Gutierrez,
Mr. Mark Benson, Mr. Crecencio Gonzalez IV, Mr. Bryon Bednar.
ABSENT: Ms. Tina Grotzke
ALSO PRESENT: Atty. Peck, Zoning Admin. Ms.Clarke.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The first order of business was approval of the minutes of the February 3 and February 10, 2015 meetings. Mr. Gonzalez moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Mr. Benson and carried by Roll Call vote – 7/0/1.
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 #18228 V – 5315 DANSHER ROAD
Chairman Fullmer read the Notice of Public Hearing published in the Chicago Tribune to grant a variance to reduce the rear yard setback to construct an accessory structure in the M-1 Zoning District. Mr. Lube moved to open the Public Hearing in this matter, seconded by Mr. Benson and carried by unanimous voice vote. The Applicant, Michael Novak, was sworn in by Chairman Fullmer. Proof of Notice was received by the Building Department.
ZA Ms. Clarke presented the Staff report. She stated that Sokol & Co. also known as Solo Foods, provides food manufacturing, packaging and processing for retail and industrial markets. The company is headquartered in Dansher Park and has about 200 employees. They seek to install a piece of equipment called a chiller in the rear of their building which will encroach in the rear yard setback reducing the area from 21′ down to 13’5 – the machine will extend 7′ from the building. The chiller will be located in the rear SE corner of the building on existing concrete that was formerly employee parking prior to the building addition. By utilizing the existing concrete pad they can maintain green space on the south side of the building. There is no existing fence or guard rail between the properties but Sokol will screen the chiller on all four sides to protect the equipment. Staff recommends approval providing the equipment is fully enclosed.
The location of the chiller will not block truck access through the road. Ms. Clarke will discuss fire lane access with the Fire District. Mr. Lube suggested adding bollards for safety of the equipment along with screening. Mr. Novak stated that chillers are for heat exchangers and need exhaust and intake capability – also space needed for service and maintenance. The size of the unit is 19′ wide, 7′ high and 7’wide. The fence will extend beyond the chiller wall – at least two feet of space on each side is needed. The unit acts like a compressor the chiller turns on and turns off as needed and is not run on a daily basis; trucks near the rear of the building are running all day.
There were no comments from Interested Persons. Mr. Novak stated that the business has been in existence since 1895; they need this equipment to continue servicing customers and improving business growth. The Sokol Floor Plan was made part of the record as Petitioner’s Exhibit A. Mr. Gonzalez moved to close the Evidentiary Portion of the Public Hearing, seconded by Mr. Lube and carried by voice vote.
Mr. Lube moved to accept the variances with the conditions as stated re: size, screen enclosure and bollards, and fire district review of the roadway, seconded by Mr. Benson. Atty. Peck stated that this is a recommendation to approve a rear yard setback variance of 13.5 feet rather than the required 21 feet on the property commonly known as 5315 Dansher Road, in substantial compliance with Petitioner’s Exhibit A, which is the Sokol Floor Plan, P-100, with the following conditions: 1) that the area is fully screened on all four sides; 2) confirmation from the Fire District that there is no issue with regard to fire lanes and 3) that bollards are added to the screening. Motion carried by unanimous Roll Call vote – 7/0/1. Chairman Fullmer stated that this matter will come before the City Council at its Regular Meeting on March 25, 2015 at 7:30.
PUBLIC HEARING CASE # 18232 V – 5859 S. LAGRANGE ROAD
Chairman Fullmer read the Notice of Public Hearing published in the Chicago Tribune to grant a variance to reduce the perimeter landscaping on nonresidential property adjacent to a residential property in the B-3 Zoning District (Jack Phelan Dodge). Mr. Lube moved to open the Public Hearing in this matter, seconded by Mr. Bednar and carried by unanimous voice vote. The applicants, Bob Gudmundson and Ron Ambrose, consulting engineers, on behalf of Phelan Dodge, were sworn in by Chairman Fullmer. Proof of Notice was received by the Building Department.
ZA Ms. Clarke made the Staff presentation. Jack Phelan Dodge Dealership is seeking to expand their existing facility by 15,000 s.f. Along with that expansion some variances are required – to omit the landscape island for every 15 parking stalls in a row for the rear customer parking on the eastern perimeter of the property; to omit landscaping across 50% of the parking lot where it abuts residential use; and to reduce the required side yard setback from 13′ to 10′ based on the increased heights of the building. The large grassy area in the NE corner will be expanded into additional parking. Ideal school is to the east; condos to the north, south and west is all commercial. Ms. Clarke discussed the expansion with the condo board and the School Superintendent; they had no issues. Phelan plans major faÌ¤ade improvements, as pictured; also expansion in the rear to improve the service center and parts department. Parking is key to dealerships; they will have sufficient parking to meet their inventory and customer needs. Proposed employee parking is along the perimeter on the east abutting the school; they will replace the chain link fence there with a solid wood fence to screen the dealership from the school. Improvements to this site will help the overall LaGrange Corridor; streetscape and sidewalk improvements are planned along LaGrange Road by the City.
Ms. Clarke stated that this site falls within the requirements of the MWRD; they will install a new underground stormwater detention vault in the rear of the property that complies with all other requirements. Eng. Fitzgerald provided a letter reviewing general drainage issues. Customer stalls are 10×20′ – slightly larger than required – a preference by the dealership plus 3 ADA stalls for a total of 55. Inventory vehicles stalls are 9×18′. New pole mounted lights will be installed – LED with cut-off requirements. A new trash enclosure is planned and will be fully screened. Signage includes the two free-standing signs, per existing variations. Landscaping improvements along the perimeter will be discussed; 50% of the area is required to be landscaped abutting residential. A fence can be considered sufficient – the condos have no preference. After 2007 the City amended the Zoning Code to make new automobile dealerships a special use in the B-3 district. It makes sense to bring the zoning into compliance at this time. Further site plans will be discussed by Mr. Gudmundson. Staff recommends approval of the special use of the dealership and service facility.
Mr. Gudmundson discussed the parking areas, and described the small (in height) retaining wall with matching faÌ¤ade near LaGrange Road. The wall will begin at one foot high and gradually increase to 2.5 feet in height. The three existing curb cuts will remain on LaGrange Road. The underground vault at the rear of the building will drain south to the ditch. The entire parking lot will be repaved and striped. The north side faces residential – unit tops will be screened on all four sides. Engineering Plan, page C-3, shows the existing building within the dotted lines that will be retained but expanded in three directions (except South) increasing the FAR by 15,000 s.f. The south wall will be refaced and extended to the east. The north end of the building will be the service area with twin lanes entering the facility and exiting to the east. The west end is the showroom facing LaGrange Road. Three general areas of parking – customer and employee parking stalls are 10×20′ along the north wall of the building. The three ADA stalls are close to the entrance; product parking stalls are 9×18′ along the perimeter on the east and to the north and south; the underground vault will be under the east product parking area — total amount of 229 product parking stalls plus 55 customer stalls.
The north side has a 10′ setback, against residential; they will try to save the remaining trees plus the addition of perimeter landscaping. The east side is set back 5′; the entire lot will have curbs, gutters and drainage -certain heavy traffic service areas will utilize industrial-type asphalt pavement.
Sheet 5 shows the grading of the existing building and floor elevations. The showroom is two feet higher than the service area – the ground naturally rises to the north; they have taken advantage of this phenomenon; site water drains normally from north to south; the vault will drain into the East Ave. ditch channel. They will install the storm sewer routing water to a below-grade chamber, STORMTRAP, 3.5 feet below the pavement; this will provide one acre-foot detention for the 3.27 acre site – which is very good considering there is no drainage at present. They also discovered that the diameter of the current service pipe is sub-standard. The new building will be sprinkled; they will install an 8 water main connecting to the City’s 12 water main, by going under LaGrange Road using the auger and bore method with a casing pipe, to hook up with the City sewer. The color rendering shows the west side of the building faÌ¤ade, which is a significant improvement.
Page 2 – discussing signage – Signs will be relocated to the north end and south end of the property; the signs will be 20 feet high and 100 s.f.. He discussed saving the current trees and noted that car dealerships in general are not fond of trees as they obstruct the view of the product and present problems with bird droppings, etc. They discussed the long curb island on the north side adjacent to the building – Mr. Lube suggested shifting the customer parking stalls slightly about three feet to the east to make space for one curbed landscaped island roughly 7′ on the west side facing LaGrange Road and within customer view; after discussion, Mr. Gudmundson sees no problem in complying with this request. There will be no bodywork done at this facility. The car wash will remain.
Mr. Chuck Martin, with Custom Facilities, responded to questions from Board members – the faÌ¤ade is a combination of metal panels and EIFIS. Completion of the project should take approximately eight months. Mr. Anderson lives near this facility and noted that residents are annoyed by speaker volume on weekends; he asked to have the volume lowered. Mr. Lube stated that other car dealers have dispensed with outdoor loudspeakers in favor of hand-held I-phones to summon sales reps. Mr. Benson is concerned with photometrics – light requirements are being met. The electrical engineer has removed all light poles – only wall pack, down to .5 candle power; fixtures are recessed and have LED lights. The wall packs are full cut off and downlit with no spillover onto residential areas. Mr. Lube sought the condition to eliminate outside loud speakers and use only I-phones.
Mr. Benson addressed removing the chain link fence next to residential area; that fence is not on Phelan property; they are trying to preserve the trees. Ms. Clarke spoke to the condo association regarding the fence. The property manager stated that they would probably remove that fence if the dealership installs a new wooden privacy fence in its place; discussion on this topic will be ongoing. Mr. Benson also sought provision for bike racks. Per regulation, it would require racks for five bikes within 50 feet of the entrance. Both sales and service plan to remain open during renovation, per Mr. Gudmundson.
There were no comments from Interested Parties. The Petitioner stated that they are excited about the project; it will be a great addition to the community. Attorney Peck stated that the proposed improvements packet presented by Jack Phelan Chrysler will be marked as Petitioner’s Exhibit A for purposes of this hearing. Mr. Gonzalez moved to close the Evidentiary Portion of the hearing, seconded by Mr. Lube and carried by unanimous voice vote. Mr. Benson moved to approve a special use for a new car dealership, seconded by Mr. Lube and carried by unanimous voice vote.
Mr. Benson moved to approve the variances for landscape perimeter requirements, on the property commonly known as 5859 S. LaGrange Road, all in substantial conformity with Petitioner’s Exhibit A, with the following conditions: 1) installation of a curbed island with landscaping on the NW corner of the building by customer parking; 2) that there be no outdoor speaker system; and 3) install five bike racks, seconded by Mr. Lube, and carried by Roll Call vote – 7/0/1. Mr. Lube added discussion of the fence on the north side of the property – that will be addressed in the future. Chairman Fullmer stated that this matter will come before the City Council at its Regular Meeting on March 25, 2015.
(Whereupon Chairman Fullmer called a five-minute recess at 8:25 p.m.)
PUBLIC HEARING CASE # 18231 V – 6101 S. LAGRANGE ROAD
Chairman Fullmer read the Notice of Public Hearing published in the Chicago Tribune to grant a variance to reduce the perimeter landscaping in the B-2 Zoning District (Shell Gas Station). Mr. Gonzalez moved to open the Public Hearing in this matter, seconded by Mr. Lube and carried by unanimous voice vote. The Applicants, Michael Ryan and Ron Ambrose, were sworn in by Chairman Fullmer. Proof of Notice was received by the Building Department.
ZA Ms. Clarke made the Staff presentation: She stated that the existing gas station at the NE corner of Joliet Road and LaGrange Road is requesting several variances due to the partial taking of land by IDOT. This has impacted the parcel by eliminating four fueling stations and relocating the existing sign at the corner. This gas station has been in existence since at least 1977. The new plan proposes constructing two new free-standing signs and expanding the building by 155 s.f. The updated landscape plan focuses on clustering plant material in critical areas to make the most impact. Staff recommends approval of the variances subject to the name Countryside on the monument sign on LaGrange Road — identical to the pole sign on Joliet Road. The monument sign will be located 8 from the sidewalk. The landscape perimeter will be reduced to allow room for the refueling tanker to safely negotiate the driveway; the southern perimeter has been modified from 25′ down to 7’4 to make this possible. They have lost the two westernmost fuel stations; the front canopy will be reduced proportionately and a new canopy added for the new fuel stations in the rear. There are now only two road cuts — one on Joliet Road and one on Lagrange Road. Ms. Clarke stated that a barrier curb, 8-10 high, will occupy the center of LaGrange Road to the north possibly as far as the White Castle. The landscaping will incorporate plant groupings where possible. The car wash will be eliminated and the interior totally remodeled – it will be a more traditional retail gas station. Most of these issues are created due to the partial taking of land by IDOT causing hardships. These improvements will allow the gas station to continue as a viable business. They will also improve the lighting. Staff recommends approval with inclusion of the monument sign on LaGrange Road.
Mr. Lube stated that the two fuel pumps closest to LaGrange Road have been removed; the canopy will be modified accordingly. The new plan provides for pump access from the inside portion only. He suggested that the SE entrance/exit be made a pork chop with right turn only going onto LaGrange Road. He stated that during busy rush hour times the left turn lane will be blocked due to stacking cars for entry into the gas station. Mr. Lube objects to the removal of mature trees from the site and the tanker circulation.
Attorney Michael Ryan spoke on behalf of Shell. He stated that IDOT took 16′ wide on Joliet & LaGrange Road extending to almost 45′ wide on the corner – roughly 23% of the land area at the corner; that’s the reason for all the variations requested. Originally there were five dispensing stations with ten fuel pumps. The City Code requires a five foot landscaped perimeter around the property; since this cannot be done with the tanker circulation, they are providing more landscaping on an area basis than the Code requires.
The other variances are sign-related; both signs will be within City requirements. The pylon sign as proposed will have the Countryside name along the top, matching the decorative top cap as noted in the City Center. The monument sign will top out at 7’10 including the Countryside name. the setback is absolutely necessary for circulation issues. Fuel delivery is driving the size of the access in both areas; a pork chop configuration would be unworkable. The State already put in the new driveways; the median barrier may extend to LA Fitness; it will be impossible to make a left-hand turn.
The page labeled TR-1 shows the refueling tanker entering from LaGrange Road, filling the underground storage tanks, making the sharp turn to exit the property at Joliet Road. Discussion re: deliveries should be scheduled for off-hours; takes approximately one-half hour or more to fill the tanks; the station is a 24-hour operation. They did not contemplate relocating the underground tanks. Fueling takes place from the passenger side of the tanker only. The driveway is 46′ wide so there is room for automobile traffic to enter the gas station while the tanker is in the process of refueling; the traffic flow is tight. New pumps will be installed in the rear; the aim is to have the same amount of fueling station as before; they have accomplished that goal. The station will remain open during reconstruction; they will add curbing to the entire site.
Mr. Ambrose discussed the preservation of existing trees with removal of dead trees only. The roof line remains the same; the existing canopy will be cut back and the fascia redone. There will be two new restrooms inside the building; the car wash is eliminated and additional retail area added. Mr. Gutierrez asked about current number of trees – there are 8 trees at present; the new number will be 11 trees and various shrubs. The cashier station will be moved for better visibility; they are adding windows and doors to the building and providing a more open look. Discussion re: location of two bike racks on the east side either near the entryway or on the island – location to be determined by the Building Department. Mr. Lube asked whether any discussion took place to open a curb between Shell and White Castle? Mr. Ryan stated that neither party knew what IDOT was going to do. Addition of new pumps created cross easement access issues which were not resolved. Sidewalks will be provided around the entire corner area. Mr. Gonzalez moved to close the Evidentiary Portion of the hearing, seconded by Mr. Gutierrez and carried by unanimous voice vote.
Mr. Peck stated that Petitioner’s Exhibit A is the document labeled Site Plan for 6101 S. LaGrange Road. Mr. Benson moved to recommend approval with the conditions stated above, seconded by Mr. Bednar. Mr. Peck stated this is a recommendation to approve the following variances on the property commonly known as 6101 S. LaGrange Road and in substantial compliance with Petitioner’s Exhibit A – 1) permit a second free-standing sign on the subject property; 2) increase the height of the monument sign from 6′ to 7’10; 3) reduce the monument sign setback from 5′ to 8; 4) reduce the 5′ perimeter landscape requirements pursuant to Exhibit A; and 5) reduce the building setback for accessory structures from 25′ to 7’4 subject to the following conditions: 1) that the City of Countryside name is at the top of both free-standing signs; and 2) place two bike racks on the property subject to approval of the Building Department. Motion carried by Roll Call vote – 7/0/1. Chairman Fullmer stated that this matter will come before the City Council at its Regular Meeting on March 25, 2015.
ZA Ms. Clarke discussed current events: she stated that Cube Smart, 9801 W. 55th St. – the property sold last November. Many things were noted at that time. The current home is in deplorable condition; their deadline was March 2 to submit a permit for repair or demolition. They were utilizing the back of that home for storage of RVs. In researching the property that was never part of their approval; they have been so advised. They are thinking of tearing that home down and incorporating that parcel within the storage facility. The Penske Trucks that are visible on the property were never part of the ordinance; that is a separate business that requires a separate license; they have been made aware of that also. The trucks must either be stored in the rear or come in with a new application and site plan – the City is working with the new owners to address these issues.
Mr. Lube stated that the previous owners tried to get a variance to store RVs and older vehicles and they were denied – due to leakage of fluids and dumping old cars. They are storing those vehicles anyway; they need to come forward with a plan. No storage is permitted. The City Council denied their request for RV storage on the lot in 2001. They are being cited as part of the pre-sale. Ms. Clarke sent a lengthy zoning letter to them; they may be coming before the PC/ZBA.
The Local #150 new sign is beautiful – it is one color plus the flag – it is tastefully done. Mr. Lube stated that the bright LED indoor lights around business windows are a nuisance – Benny’s had theirs flashing – Ms. Clarke stated that they were sent a letter. The City should look into regulating them – during business hours only. The City Center signs need to be repaired – the panels are bad – they have not begun yet.
Russell’s Bar-B-Q – inquired about permits; they have been removing old equipment. They came in for a permit two weeks ago.
The burned-out bike shop is moving slowly; they came in for a demolition permit only. The owners want to repair it; the building looks gutted and is probably out of compliance. There are trailers and other odd buildings in the rear. Mr. Benson asked how does a building like that get condemned – a certain percentage, usually if 50% or more is damaged or if damages exceed the insurance; it is an eyesore. The demolition permit is good for one year; if no progress is made should time limits be put on the permit. Atty. Peck stated that they need to be actively pursuing the repair and rebuilding; if they are not diligently pursuing that goal, they will be issued a citation and brought before the adjudicator. If they refuse to do anything, the City can appear before the Circuit Court seeking an order to demolish the building.
Chairman Fullmer asked if Café Salsa is coming back in April. Ms. Clarke stated that Ray Manz wants to do a permanent structure – build an addition and will need a variance. He should submit new drawings; the building must be sprinkled. The matter will be republished for the benefit of residents.
Chariot Automotive — Paint Solutions on 5300 East Avenue, has a fenced-in yard where vehicles are stored. Code enforcement noticed a lot more vehicles back there. The owner approached Ms. Clarke and stated they are working with Chariot Auto who tows vehicles to their site and there is a 90-day turnover for title clearance when a car is towed. He was advised that the towing use is not approved – it is actually a special use. He submitted an application today and will petition for a towing use on that site. The current chain link fence is in disrepair and should be replaced with a solid wood privacy fence. Chariot Auto is utilizing the site even though he had no asphalt, only gravel; but the City Council approved the request without him having a paved lot.
There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Benson moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Anderson and carried by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman Fullmer declared the meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.
RICHARD FULLMER, JR., CHAIRMAN