ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE
MARCH 30, 2004 AT 6:30 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
1. Approval of Minutes – January 22, 2004 & February 17, 2004.
2. Comprehensive Plan – Vision Workshop.
MINUTES OF A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE
PLAN COMMISSION AND ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
OF THE CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE
HELD IN COUNCIL CHAMBERS ON TUESDAY, MARCH 30, 2004
Chairman Fullmer called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. He called the Roll; the following members were
PRESENT: Chairman Richard Fullmer, Jr., Mr. Fred Fahey, Mr. Edward Ziemba, Mr. Daniel Moss
ABSENT: Mr. Steven Jasinski, Ms. Cynthia Schulz, Mr. Robert Lube
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor LeGant, City Attorney Erik Peck, CDO Muenzer, Ald. Conrad, Ald. Michalczyk, Ald. Straza, Ald. Fajdich, City Treasurer Stoffels
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
First order of business was approval of the Special Meeting minutes of February 17, 2004 and January 22, 2004. Mr. Moss moved, seconded by Mr. Ziemba, to approve the minutes as presented. Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman Fullmer introduced Alderman Straza who made a brief statement that false rumors are circulating in the City regarding the 9.6 acres south of 57th St. There is no plan for Section 8 housing; it is a fallacy. No plans have ever been received by the City, whether commercial, industrial, or residential for that land. How the rumor got started is unknown but it is not true. No housing of any kind has been planned for that property in the past or for the future.
Chairman Fullmer introduced Mark Muenzer, CDO, who stated that this workshop will be conducted by the firm hired by the City to produce a comprehensive plan; that firm is URS-TPAP. They will be discussing long term and short term plans for Countryside; we would like everyone’s input, including commissioners. He introduced John Houseal and Devin Lavigne, who stated that the Comprehensive Plan is used as a guideline in determining future issues, such as the one discussed above, which is a land use decision. They are going through these community workshop exercises for several months to determine what the city wants and not be subject to the whims of developers in the future. We want to get a sense of vision – Where will the city be ten years from now – by way of private developments, public/private developments, and also what we do not want to see in Countryside. The next step is preparation of preliminary draft plans for discussion purposes.
Handouts were distributed with four questions; Mr. Houseal asked for three answers to each question. The first question: – List three new private sector projects or developments you would like to see undertaken. Question #2 – List the top three public/private projects or developments you would like to see take place. Participants spent a few minutes answering both questions; responses were listed for display.
The first item was renovate the existing bowling alley-rec center, improve appearance (faÌ¤ade) of Countryside Plaza, rejuvenate LaGrange Road, major stores or theater in the Plaza, more senior housing, new bakery shop, remove Suburban General (Willow Springs Road and 5th Ave. Cutoff); unsightly condition and spot zoning on 75th St. and 5th Ave. Cutoff, larger stores such as Menards or Carsons in the Plaza, more single family homes. There are 17 suggestions for private sector improvements.
Question #2, new water mains, sewers and curbs on 55th St. from LaGrange Road to East Ave., a new library, nostalgic lighting, streetscape beautification, additional trees, sports complex, recreation center, improve ingress/egress at the Plaza, better plans for vacant property, traffic circulation within the city, City should gain control of the Plaza – at present there are four owners. Better lighting along Joliet Road, Brainard and 55th St. A pool-health club / family facility complex, youth facility – sidewalks for pedestrian safety, connect park to golf course, better traffic enforcement in the Cutoff area, new civic complex (city hall, police department, library) campus approach, finally, open up Joliet Road, and a retaining wall on the east side of East Avenue. There are 18 suggestions for public/private sector improvements.
Question #3, what do you not want to see take place in the city. Responses included no low cost housing, no more industrial development, no additional stores until the vacant ones are filled. The Comprehensive plan must address affordable housing per state requirement; Countryside’s percentage is 32% affordable housing so there is no problem. Other responses were no more high rise buildings or multi-family dwellings, no more banks, no truck service center in the city, no more mobile home parks. Mayor LeGant asked Mr. Muenzer to investigate the 13 surrounding communities to determine their real estate tax charges needed to run the city. Mr. Houseal stated that the lack of municipal tax is an anomaly; it is a unique situation.
Participants were given oversized zoning maps of Countryside and told to pinpoint locations for facilities mentioned. Where on the map will that facility be placed within the next ten years. The audience was divided into three groups. Group One, consisting of commissioners provided for: 1) bowling alley-recreation facility, 2) Bokus property, 3) new faÌ¤ade for the plaza, 4) provide single family zoned homes for the 9.6 acres north of the Plaza, 5) work on reopening Joliet Road.
Group 2 listed: 1) new city hall and police department on this block, 2) family-recreation-sports center at Countryfest site, 3) library in the middle of the Plaza parking lot, 4) 55th Street infrastructure repairs, 5) improve LaGrange Road (streetscape) 6) live entertainment center (union hall?), 7) single family residences on the 9.6 acres north of the Plaza, 8) sound wall east of East Avenue.
Group 3 listed: 1) zoning on 5th Avenue Cutoff, 2) condo-office transitional zoning, near 75th, Willow Springs Road and 5th Avenue, 3) leave area residential – all big homes in the newly annexed area. Residents in the area want no more businesses.
Mr. Houseal thanked all participants for their time and effort. They will create a vision statement including all the information provided, do a write-up and present a preliminary plan with recommendations.
The next Special Meeting is set for Tuesday, April 13, 2004 at 7 p.m. to discuss zoning in the 5th Avenue Cutoff area.
There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Moss moved, seconded by Mr. Ziemba, to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman Fullmer declared the meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
RICHARD FULLMER, JR., CHAIRMAN