PLAN COMMISSION – ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 – 7:30 P.M.
ROLL CALL MEMBERS: MR. RICHARD FULLMER, JR. (CHAIRMAN), MS. TINA GROTZKE, MR. ROBERT LUBE, MR. RICHARD TOTH, MR. CHARLES STOUB, MR. MARK BENSON, MR. CRECENCIO GONZALEZ, MR. BRYON BEDNAR, MR. MICHAEL ANDERSON
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
September 10, 2012
1. PUBLIC HEARING 1: Public hearing notice for the proposed special use requests was published in the September 13, 2012 edition of The Doings Newspaper.
PROPOSAL OF SPECIAL USE CONSIDERATIONS:
CONSIDERATION OF A SPECIAL USE TO SECTION 10-6A-2 SPECIAL USES, TO ESTABLISH TO A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION – THE CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION OR CONDUCTING OF ANY FINANCIAL INSTITUTION INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, BANKS, SAVINGS AND LOANS, CREDIT UNIONS, MORTGAGE COMPANIES AND INVESTMENT COMPANIES.
CONSIDERATION OF A SPECIAL USE TO SECTION 10-8C-3 SPECIAL USES, TO ESTABLISH A TITLEMAX OF ILLINOIS BUSINESS, A BUSINESS IN WHICH LESS THAN FIFTY PERCENT (50%) OF ITS INCOME IS DERIVED FROM SALES WHICH GENERATE A RETAILERS’ OCCUPATION TAX OR SERVICE OCCUPATION TAX FOR THE CITY.
AT THE REAL ESTATE COMMONLY KNOWN AS 5321 SOUTH LAGRANGE ROAD, COUNTRYSIDE, IL 60525. THE APPLICANT IS TITLEMAX OF ILLINOIS, BEING REPRESENTED BY MR. JEFF CERMAK. THE APPLICANT’S ADDRESS IS 15 BULL STREET, SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, 31401. THE PROPERTY IS OWNED BY THE SCHRAMKO REALTY HOLDINGS, III, LLC. THE PROPERTY OWNER’S ADDRESS IS 113 GARFIELD STREET, SUITE 200, HINSDALE, IL, 60521.
2. PUBLIC HEARING 2: Public hearing notice for the Salt Creek Butterfly Farm business review is not required.
AYEAR END REVIEW OF THE SALT CREEK BUTTERFLY FARM AT 10545 74TH STREET, COUNTRYSIDE, IL 60525. THE BUSINESS OWNER IS MS. LORI STRALOW-HARRIS; THE PROPERTY OWNER IS THE DOUBLE J RIDING SCHOOL, LOCATED AT 10545 74TH 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, OCTOBER 2, 2012
Chairman Fullmer called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Secretary Lube called the Roll of Members physically present:
PRESENT: Chairman Richard Fullmer, Jr., Secretary Robert Lube, Mr. Charles Stoub, Mr. Michael Anderson, Mr. Richard Toth, Mr. Mark Benson, Mr. Crecencio Gonzalez IV, Mr. Bryon Bednar.
ABSENT: Ms. Tina Grotzke.
ALSO PRESENT: Ald. Jasinski, Atty. Peck, CDP Swanson.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The first order of business was approval of the minutes of September 10, 2012. Mr. Gonzalez moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Mr. Toth and carried unanimously.
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 RE: 5321 S. LA GRANGE ROAD
Chairman Fullmer read the Public Hearing notice for the proposed special use requests published in the September 13, 2012 edition of The Doings Newspaper.
At the real estate commonly known as 5321 South LaGrange Road, Countryside, IL 60525. The applicant is TITLEMAX OF ILLINOIS, represented by Mr. Jeff Cermak. The applicant’s address is 15 Bull Street, Savannah, Georgia, 31401. The property is owned by the Schramko Realty Holdings, III, LLC. The property owner’s address is 113 Garfield Street, Suite 200, Hinsdale, IL 60521.
Mr. Stoub moved to open the Public Hearing in this matter, seconded by Mr. Gonzalez and carried unanimously. Both gentlemen were sworn in by Chairman Fullmer. CDP Mr. Swanson made the Staff presentation: He stated that the subject property is zoned B-1 Retail at 5321 S. LaGrange Road and is located along the special LaGrange Road Arterial Overlay District ARC, that dictates land use along LaGrange Road. The applicant seeks to lease 2,453 s.f.; the sales square footage is 1,314 s.f. The applicant also seeks two special use considerations – 1) to permit a financial institution within the B-1 retail zoning commercial district, and 2) to permit a business in which less than 50% of its income is derived from sales. TitleMax does not meet the 100% sales tax threshold and must apply for the second special use. The property is located at the SE corner of Plainfield Road and LaGrange Road. The aerial view of the property shows its exact location – as a gateway into the community.
The proposed site plan reveals TitleMax occupying the space utilized by the former Al’s Beef and Nancy’s Pizza located within the Countryside Commons. The business is considered a financial institution that makes small loans to customers secured by their motor vehicle title.
The City’s Comprehensive Plan designates the intersection of Plainfield and LaGrange Roads serving as a gateway into the community. The highest and best uses of the land should be promoted at that location. Countryside Commons is a visually attractive building and any use of its space should be maximized with the highest and best use of the land. The business will employ four people and expects 40-50 customers daily. Hours of operation are Mon-Fri 9 am to 7 pm; Sat. 10 am to 4 pm. The PC/ZBA has the authority to place certain conditions on the business including hours of operation and the PILOT fee – payment in lieu of tax – assessment fee on an annual basis. The applicant provided sign elevations that the business would utilize at the Countryside location.
Mr. Jeff Cermak of TitleMax stated that the business has 900 stores throughout 12 states. They are a consumer installment loans secured by car title. Their service area is approximately a two-mile radius from the community. Customers reach all levels of the economic scale; they are regulated by the State of Illinois. Their maximum loan is $10,000 but company policy is a limit of $4,000. They are currently expanding in Illinois and have about 25 locations in the state – including Glen Ellyn, St. Charles, Plainfield and Rolling Meadows to name a few. They provide a service that is basically absent – not provided by local banks — a small, short-term loan.
Mr. Stoub asked for their reaction to the PILOT fee. Mr. Swanson stated that he and Mr. Drazner met with Mr. Schramko and Mr. Cermak and explained the PILOT fee in detail. They were made fully aware of the situation. Mr. Bednar asked about the daily customers – will there be a steady flow or a certain rush hour period. Mr. Cermak stated that most traffic will involve customers making payments – 5 minute stops throughout the day. Mr. Lube agrees with the best and highest use of the property; this does not fit the bill. He recalled the Chase Bank application which was denied for the same reason. He does not want to set a precedent. Mr. Gonzalez asked about the percentage of loan defaulters; does the company repossess the vehicle? Mr. Cermak stated it is a very low percentage of customers; in the rare case of repossession, the car is not brought to the office. Each customer can potentially bring in ten more so they try to never repossess cars; it is detrimental to the company. He doesn’t have the exact statistic on repossessions. He stated that many contractors are customers; the majority of loans are paid off in six months.
Chairman Fullmer asked about the interest rate. Mr. Cermak stated it is higher than the bank; some customers have credit problems; banks do not want to make small loans. Mr. Cermak is aware of the PILOT fee.
Atty. Peck asked if there are any other services such as check cashing or money transmissions? No, 100% consumer installment loans. Mr. Peck is concerned with security measures or daily deposits of cash. They accept cash payments but do not keep large sums of money on the premises. Mr. Cermak stated they do not keep late hours, basically a daytime operation. They don’t anticipate any problems.
Comments from interested persons – Maribel Reyes, 10103 W. Plainfield Road, Countryside, Illinois asked about where the customers will be coming from. Mr. Cermak stated that 90% of the business comes from within a two-mile radius. It is a convenience business; the company is very conscious of its role in the community and strives to provide a professional image.
Mr. Cermak stated that they will absorb vacant space in the City. They are here to provide a service to customers that are not currently offered. They serve every type of demographic. He hopes the Board concurs that this is a good use.
Mr. Benson wishes they had more information re: interest rates, etc. He doesn’t like to see residents taken advantage of or losing their cars. He doesn’t believe it is a good fit for the community plus the arterial overlay district is a concern. Mr. Stoub also believes that it is not a good fit for the community. Mr. Gonzalez moved to close the evidentiary portion of the Public Hearing, seconded by Mr. Toth and carried unanimously.
Mr. Benson moved to deny the special use to permit the operation of a Title Max of Illinois, a consumer installment loan business, a financial institution on the property commonly known as 5321 S. LaGrange Road and to deny a special use to a business in which less than 50% of its income is derived from sales, seconded by Mr. Bednar and carried by Roll Call vote – 8/0/1. Chairman Fullmer stated that this recommendation will go before the City Council at its Regular Meeting on October 24, 2012.
PUBLIC HEARING RE: SALT CREEK BUTTERFLY FARM
Chairman Fullmer stated that a Public Hearing for the Salt Creek Butterfly Farm business review is not required.
A year-end review of the Salt Creek Butterfly Farm at 10545 – 74thSt., Countryside, IL 60525 – the business owner is Ms. Lori Stralow Harris. The property owner is the Double J Riding School, 10545 – 74thSt., Countryside, IL.
CPD Mr. Swanson provided an update regarding the business. As part of the approval process, Ms. Harris was required to appear before the PC/ZBA after the conclusion of the business’ inaugural year. Ms. Harris will provide the year end analysis of her business. Ms. Harris provided board members with photos of the butterfly tent.
Ms. Harris stated it was a hot summer and she has second thoughts about not having electricity – but all in all it was a successful year. The heat had a detrimental effect on the butterflies as well; however she released about 100 Monarch butterflies. Many children signed up for a second session; most parents were very happy with the program. She was able to make many connections for next year.
Chairman Fullmer asked about the traffic and washroom facilities – how did those issues work themselves out. Mr. Swanson never received one call about traffic or any complaints. Washrooms included the Port-O-Let that had to be relocated further down the hill with no problems. The tent is coming down and will be put up again next year; it will be inspected by the Building Commissioner. She provided photos to the Board.
She does charge a fee for groups. Mr. Gonzalez asked whether there was any health or first aid issues – there were none. She had 115 students – 50 were core camp kids – others just came to story hours with parents or grandparents.
Ms. Ganz, who lives in the area, reported no problems but heard very nice reports about the school program. Chairman Fullmer offered his congratulations and good luck for the next year.
OLD AND NEW BUSINESS
Mr. Swanson has a sign variation request from Famous Footwear at Salem Square – a wall sign. Caribou Coffee signs are up at the Jewel Store; they will open tomorrow. There may be an item for the Countryside City Center.
There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Lube moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Stoub and carried by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman Fullmer declared the meeting adjourned at 8:12 p.m.
RICHARD FULLMER, JR., CHAIRMAN