No Meeting Agenda


Chairman Fullmer called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Secretary Lube called the roll; the following members were

PRESENT: Chairman, Richard Fullmer, Jr., Mr. Joe Jones, Secretary Robert Lube, Mr. Frank O’Brien, Mr. Edward Ziemba, Mr. Fred Fahey, Mr. Daniel Moss

ALSO PRESENT: City Attorney Erik Peck, Ald. Kuehn, Ald. Krzeminski, Economic Development Officer Muenzer, Bldg. Comm. Krautstrunk


The first order of business was approval of the Minutes of February 4, 2003. Mr. Jones moved, seconded by Mr. O’Brien, to approve the minutes as presented. Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.


Chairman Fullmer read the Notice of Public Hearing to consider a variance to Section 8-5-7, Chapter 10 of the Municipal Code for the City of Countryside in order to allow a double-faced ground sign with an electronic message center at 600 Plainfield Road. The applicant is White Way Sign Company, 1317 N. Clybourn St, Chicago, IL 60601. The owner is Oak Brook Bank, 1400 16th Street, Oak Brook, IL 60521. Dave Thometz, representing White Way Sign Co, was sworn in by Chairman Fullmer and testified as follows: His company obtained the permit to install the sign six months ago. After the sign went into operation, the bank was advised that it was in violation of City Ordinance. The Code states that no flashing signs are allowed. The Bank is seeking a variation to operate the sign since it is in place; the sign has a standard programming card installed; it is not supposed to flash, scintillate or spell; it should really have a Venetian blind effect – gently move in a wave motion. The wrong program was installed.

Chairman Fullmer noted that the message is 50% or more of the total sign; it was supposed to be white on a black background – but it has red and green colors; the length of time the message is shown on the board. He stated that the Amerimark sign has the date, time, temperature, stock market and bank information – hours, CD rates, interest rates. Mr. Thometz stated that the sign can be programmed to whatever length of time is desired; it is done by inserting a computer card. Mr. Lube stated that the majority of the sign is a reader board. The City must regulate signage; the present ordinance does not allow flashing, animated signs, chaser lights, or colors that conflict with traffic signals; using red and green colors; signs including pictures, designs, illustrations under letters, etc.

Becky McPartlin, representing Oak Brook Bank, stated that the original plans were submitted and approved by the Board in October 2002. The bank has spent $70,000 on this sign and would not have done so if the Board opposed it in October. The permit issued is in compliance with the City sign ordinance in all other respects, size, height, etc. The only problem is the flashing action. Mr. Thometz stated that they were not aware of the problem and will program the sign accordingly. It will not flash or scintillate; a simpler program will be installed. Ms. McPartlin stated that the sign will be brought into compliance. Duration and message will be adjusted; all colors will be removed and the sign will remain black and white only.

Chairman Fullmer suggested that this matter be continued to next month so that Board members may consider an ordinance regulating reader signs. This sign introduces issues not encountered before; electronic message signs in the City are in black and white only. Ms. McPartlin asked whether the bank can continue to use the sign with the adjustments. Mr. Thometz stated that the color discs can be removed; that is no problem. The sign will be reprogrammed for the message.

Jennifer Orton, branch manager, stated that the message board is changed every five minutes. Ms. McPartlin stated that all other City signs change their messages at 5,10, or 20 second intervals and Oak Brook Bank is relegated to five minutes; that is not right. Amerimark’s sign scrolls and flashes; they would appreciate changing the message more than once every five minutes. That notification came from Mr. Bailey; she reviewed all signs in Countryside and they change every 5-10 seconds.

Mr. Peck stated that the sign is in compliance and is not prohibited; the only problem is the flashing aspect and the changing colors. Board members allowed the Bank to continue using the sign without the flashing and without color, in black and white only. Mr. Peck stated that restricting the sign to time, temperature, color, length of signals is something that will be brought up at a later date; they may make a recommendation to the City Council for a Zoning Code amendment to accomplish this. Mr. Peck suggested that tonight the Board may make a recommendation to use the sign, restricting the colors to black and white, with change of message every five or ten seconds. Ms. McPartlin stated that the colors are black and amber, but the amber will be changed to white.

Mr. Peck suggested that Mr. Krautstrunk publish notice for next month’s meeting to discuss this issue and make a recommendation to the City Council. Motion made by Mr. Jones, seconded by Mr. Fahey, to approve Petitioner’s Exhibit A, which is the description of the sign by White Way Sign Company with the recommendation to approve the variance to Section 8-5-7 to permit the construction and use of a double-faced sign with an electronic message center on the property commonly known as 600 Plainfield Road, all in substantial conformity with Petitioner’s Exhibit A, as well as permitting the bank to change the message every five seconds and the colors to be black and white. Motion carried by Roll Call vote – Mr. Lube abstained; Chairman Fullmer opposed the motion – 5/1/1. Mr. Peck stated that this recommendation will come before the City Council on March 26.

Ms. McPartlin stated that the change to black and white will take two weeks to accomplish. Chairman Fullmer asked Board members to review the signs in the City prior to the next Board meeting and make recommendations as to timing of messages. Resident Steve Jasinski asked Board members to consider minimizing height and overall size of signs when considering the proposed ordinance.


Chairman Fullmer read the Notice of Public Hearing to consider Section 10-5A-1, Chapter 10 of the Municipal Code in order to rezone current R-1 to proposed B-1 in order to erect a new “Café Salsa” restaurant at the property commonly known as 6510 Joliet Road. The applicant is Countryside Restaurant Corporation, D/B/A Café Salsa; Restaurant owners are J. Ray and Patricia H. Manz, 7930 Deerview Court, Burr Ridge, IL 60525. The property owner is George Angelillo, 8 Mockingbird Lane, Oak Brook, IL 60523.

Mr. Manz presented site plans for the proposed restaurant. His present establishment on 55th St. and LaGrange Road has outgrown it’s customer base; he has parking for 54 cars and a patio in the back. It is a family-owned business that is generally busy until 9:30 and then has lesser business until 11:30. p.m. There are no late-night issues; they have good relations with neighbors; there have been no complaints The current lot does not allow for expansion; his business has grown and he would like to purchase the three lots at 6510 Joliet Road and build a new building on two lots with 75 parking spaces; the rear of the third lot would be used for storm water retention. Mr. Krautstrunk stated that the Code requires one parking space for every 200 square feet.

The size of the present restaurant is 4,700 square feet; the proposed restaurant will be 6,400 square feet; the patio will remain the same at 300-400 square feet but it will be enclosed and screened, with space for ten tables. The patio is the L-shaped addition facing southwest. The layout is identical to the present one except that the patio will surround the bar. They have provided a few more tables, more booths and larger kitchen area; they intend to do increase the catering aspect; their business has expanded in all areas. From the back of the restaurant patio to the south property line is 125 feet.

Mr. Krautstrunk stated that a privacy fence eight feet high is required between commercial and residential properties. Mr. Manz provided the Board with copies of the site plans for the restaurant. The storm water on the active lots will drain to the front; the land will be built up 11 feet and slope the water to the front. After further discussion, Board members agreed that more details are needed. The City engineer must approve the topographic study, and provide a letter of recommendation on any plans submitted. The only matter before the Board tonight is changing the zoning from R-1 to B-1; all other details regarding the greenbelt and handicap parking will be discussed after more specific plans are submitted.

Resident Donna Suffoco, 6530 Joliet Road, lives just west of the subject property. She is very concerned with runoff. When Heet Engineering was built, runoff from that property for the past ten years has demolished their garage; they have lost half of their backyard as well. They are also concerned about the noise factor. Mr. Manz stated there will be no bands on the patio; no live entertainment; they are a family restaurant and close by 12:30 on Friday and Saturday nights during the summer months; earlier during the week. Rich Grazio asked if there will be a wall on the east side. Mr. Manz stated that the wall will be across the back. Residents interested in a list of permitted businesses in the B-1 district may request a copy from the Clerk’s Office.

Mr. Jones moved, seconded by Mr. O’Brien, to approve the rezoning from R-1 to B-1 to build a new Café Salsa restaurant at the property known as 6510 Joliet Road. Motion carried by Roll Call vote; Mr. Lube opposed – 6/1. Mr. Peck stated that this matter will come before the City Council at its next Regular Meeting on March 26, 2003 for final approval for the rezoning portion only The greenbelt issue must be addressed at a later time.


Mr. Jones would like Mr. Muenzer to meet with the PC/ZBA and provide his opinion regarding the overall plan for the City. Mr. Peck stated that Mr. Muenzer is searching for a consultant group to devise a master plan for the City; that matter should be on the agenda in the next month or two.

Mr. Moss asked whether any action has been taken regarding Home Depot and their business plan for renting tools and heavy mobile equipment. Mr. Krautstrunk stated that they are under three special ordinances, none of which is for heavy equipment; they would be in violation of the City Ordinance. Ald. Kuehn stated that they are planning to rent construction equipment. Krautstrunk stated that they would have to come in for a re-hearing before this Board.

Chairman Fullmer discovered that the PC/ZBA has a budget. The State of Illinois is enacting a Local Planning Technical Assistance Act which will enable to the City to apply for funds to assist in preparing a cohesive plan for the City.

The University of Illinois, Chicago Circle Campus, has an on-line Planning Commissioner’s class that would be beneficial to all members of this Board. It is a four-week class which can be completed at home. There is homework involved. Cost of the class is $450; he suggested that 2-3 people attend each year. Within the next 2-3 years he expects every member of this Board to achieve certification. The $1,500 budget will cover three people this year and three next year. He will provide further information next month.

The City Council denied the application of Corrib Construction; their intent was to change R-1 to B-1 to comply with density. He urged Board members to read the information in their Code Book and become familiar with it.


There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Moss moved, seconded by Mr. O’Brien, to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried by unanimous voice vote. Chairman Fullmer declared the meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.