WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2006 – 7:00 P.M.




Possible amendment to the City Zoning Ordinance regarding continuance of use. Sec.10-2-5 Minimum Lot Area and Dimension – Exceptions


Mary Ann O’Hara, Vice-President/Project Manager and John Weis, Project Architect






After the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, Mayor LeGant called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. City Clerk Herberts called the Roll which was as follows:

PRESENT: Mayor Carl LeGant, Aldermen Robert Conrad, Michael Smetana, Karen Michalczyk, John Von Drasek, Robert Pondelicek

ABSENT: Ald. Wayne Straza

ALSO PRESENT: City Clerk Herberts, City Treasurer Stoffels, City Attorney Erik Peck, City Admin. Bailey, Police Chief Swanson, City Engineer Fitzgerald, Supt. DPW Fullar, ESDA Coord. Norman, Rec. Director Wilson, Police/Fire Bd. Member Jasinski, Fin. Director Filinovich, BMA Hudson


Possible amendment to the City Zoning Ordinance regarding continuance of use – Section 10-2-5 Minimum Lot Area and Dimension – Exceptions

City Attorney Erik Peck presented the recommendation made by the PC/ZBA at the hearing on August 22, 2006, regarding minimum lot area dimensions. At present the City Code requires that any lot of record not meeting minimum requirements must apply for a variance unless it was a lot of record prior to 1960 and is currently owned by the original owner. The recommendation from the PC/ZBA is to remove the requirement that the original owner of record must still own the lot. The recommendation is that any lot of record that does not meet minimum lot dimensions or requirements upon annexation into the City will be considered a buildable lot for purposes of the zoning that it currently resides in. If it is R-1, it would be a buildable lot in R-1. The recommendation was to extend this requirement to the entire City, not just one particular zoning code area. All other requirements remain the same. Ald. Von Drasek moved to concur with the recommendation, seconded by Ald. Michalczyk and carried unanimously 5/0/1.

Clerk Herberts declared that this will be known as ORDINANCE 06-39-O.


Mary Ann O’Hara, Vice President, Project Manager FGM Architects, and John Weis, Project Architect, addressed Council members and discussed their conclusions. The agenda packet relates to the screen presentation. This is an informal presentation — comments and recommendations from the Council are welcome. The process began when Department Heads polled staff re: space needs via questionnaire. FGM interviewed Department Heads and senior staff; all City departments were involved. After gathering all the information, programs were created that identified existing space, followed by projection of requirements for the year 2030.

Results identified an immediate need of 15,388 square feet for City Hall functions, and in 2030 a need for 15,806 sq. ft. The Police Department occupies 7,959 sq. ft.; immediate needs require 20,021; in 2030 20,185 sq. ft. The existing building is 17,637 sq. ft. with an immediate need of 35,409, and in the year 2030, 36,991 sq. ft. It is obvious that there is not much difference between the immediate need and the year 2030 need. For purposes of this study the year 2030 square footages were utilized. The present building cannot support the square footage needed in the year 2030.

It is very difficult to upgrade an existing building to meet certain structural requirements. In the case of the Police Department, reinforcement must be built into the structure so that in the event of a disaster the Police Department could continue to function. These requirements are fairly new and did not exist at the time this building was constructed. They concluded that remodeling of this building for the Police Department would not be advisable. The building is not large enough and does not meet Code requirements for essential structures, even if this building were solely used by the Police Department.

The existing square footage in this building would easily support City Hall functions in the year 2030. An addition of 600 square feet would be needed to supplement Council Chamber function, including a coatroom, kitchenette and Council workroom area. Every inch of this building is included in determination of square footage. Renovation of this building includes on the lower level — the gun range is a good spot for archive storage; the present archive storage is a good spot for a new mechanical room. Mechanical systems need to be upgraded. Exercise and locker facilities could become the bonus community room.

On the first level, Council Chambers and Executive Session room remains the same with the 600-foot addition tacked onto the front for chamber support spaces. The Clerk’s office will grow into what is now the Police Department with Finance coming into certain areas of the Police Department. The public lobby remains much the same as it exists today.

The second floor Building Department moves to where Finance is currently with Planning across the hall; Recreation moves to where the Police Department is. Shared conference rooms are made available as well. In this scenario no site acquisition is involved. Renovation costs will be slightly lower than construction costs.

The existing site to the north can accommodate a new police station large enough to meet the 2030 year needs. Police can remain functioning in this building until the new structure is completed.

John Weis stated that renovating this building has physical advantages; the original mechanical systems should be upgraded. The existing stairs meet current codes however the elevator and stair treads may not meet current ADA requirements.

Bathrooms must be reconfigured to also meet ADA requirements. Some exterior windows and doors may need to be relocated due to the new floor plan to provide better access into the building. Any unforeseen existing conditions may increase change orders during construction.

Ms. O’Hara stated that some disadvantages of remodeling an existing building are that the footprint limits optimal functioning of the building; some functional compromise is involved. The counter would remain and the public still would need to go up and down stairs to do business with other departments. That limits the ability to create a new circulation pattern and lobby concept throughout the building.

They propose a new one-story police station on the corner of 55th and East Avenue with visitor parking In front, employee parking to the side and secured vehicle parking in the rear. The acreage is sufficient to handle the one-story police station; the annex could remain with a renovated City Hall. Council noted very little discussion of a Civic Center complex. Admin. Bailey stated that the focus of this study was the space needs of the City operation; tonight’s meeting is to develop that type of discussion about what Council wants to see in addition to the basic needs of the City operation.

Question arose having a smaller footprint and building a two-story police station. Ms. O’Hara responded that having everything on one level is the best case scenario for prisoner transport and other functions of the police department. When a site is large enough to accommodate one story, a basement could anticipate future growth; vertical circulation (elevator and stairwells) add to the cost. The cost estimate for the new police station and renovating City Hall, including design and construction contingency, plus soft costs, including architects and engineers’ fees, legal fees all add to the total anticipated project costs, onto which is then added furniture, fixtures, equipment, etc. When you look at the totals, they are soup to nuts cost estimates, not just hard construction costs. The new police station cost is $6.3-6.9 million. City Hall renovation cost is $4.6-5.1 million for a grand total of $10.9-12 million.

The second scenario involves everyone being located in a single structure on the corner of 55th and East Ave. Pictured is an L-shaped building with the police station facing 55th St. and the City Hall wing facing East Ave. Visitor parking for City Hall is in front of the building; visitor parking for police is in front of the building; secure vehicle parking to the rear of the police with a large employee lot on East Ave. for both City Hall and police employees. In this scenario the Annex will need to be demolished to accommodate parking. Existing City Hall could remain with an adaptive re-use such as a community center or cyber library The cost of building a new City Hall would be higher than renovation — between $11.3-12.3 million – those are project costs, not hard construction costs. Other options involve property that the City does not currently own.

Council members discussed the scope of this project; they agreed that this analysis is a basic step necessary for determining space requirements of all departments. Ald. Conrad stated that the YMCA is looking for a new home; he spoke to Greg Johnson; they are very interested in partnering with the City in this area. Might the City be amenable to discuss joint opportunities with the YMCA; many of their recreation programs could work very well with City programs. It would be worthwhile for everyone to discuss these joint possibilities. If partnering with another agency a clean slate area-wise is needed and it will probably be a multistory building.

Ald. Von Drasek suggested other proposals involving various municipal buildings located within the City. Ald. Michalczyk inquired as to the possibility of grants to cover any of these structures – Ms. O’Hara stated that grant money might be available for security systems for the police station, but in public buildings not much is available for actual construction. Community centers might be an exception.

Mr. Bailey asked Staff present to make comments or suggestions. Police Chief Swanson agreed that some type of civic building would be good for the community. Ald. Smetana would like to incorporate senior activities into the mix. Chief Swanson stated that the basic infrastructure is established to make Wi Fi possible throughout the City. At the very least there should be a computer room in the library. Ms. O’Hara asked what components make up a civic center. Ald. Smetana included a Senior meeting room, a kids meeting room, something for the general population — gymnasium, meeting rooms, small classrooms for 20-30 people; larger classrooms for ceramics, art or woodworking class. Ald. Smetana thanked the presenters for their valuable information. Ald. Conrad invited FGM to attend the Recreation Committee meeting next Tuesday.

Whatever the footprint ends up being, it does not appear there will be enough space to accommodate parking.


Mayor LeGant stated that at a meeting last night with South Lyons Sanitary District, they asked the City’s help in solving the 9th Avenue problem – from Plainfield Road to 55th St. SLSD asked if the City would consider waiving the cost of permits and street opening fees. They will approach local banks to ask for consideration in financing for all the parcels involved. One problem that needs immediate attention is putting a clean out at the property line and going from there to the 15 existing main, across the street. On 9th Avenue everybody is across the street. There are problems with parking lot water and roof water from Dansher Park going into the storm sewer. Those property owners have been identified and asked to take other courses of action. SLSD will contact every parcel owner involved, provide an engineer’s estimate, and go out for bids; they plan to award the project to one contractor if the City approves waiving the cost of bonds, etc., both for City streets and parkways. Several unknown factors exist in the streets which cannot be determined until they are opened. Presently each open cut requires a street opening bond of $7,500. If the City waives that requirement, substantial project savings can be realized. SLSD will be responsible for all repairs within the public right-of-way. The bid w ill be awarded to one contractor; a performance bond is required to assure proper street repairs. All work will be done in the public right-of-way. This is only the first phase of a pilot project with the Sanitary District. They need an immediate response to move this project forward; they may even begin this year. He cautioned that the streets will be open cut.

Ald. Smetana moved to waive the street opening fees for the SLSD project, seconded by Ald. Pondelicek and carried by unanimous Roll Call vote – 5/0/1. Mayor LeGant will inform the Sanitary District about the vote taken tonight.


Comment by Treasurer Stoffels regarding a new neighbor who removed two 200-year-old trees. He suggested that the City adopt an Ordinance that a resident cannot take down healthy trees without permission from the City Council. These trees were on private property. Council members argued that the City cannot tell a homeowner what to do on his own property. Ald. Von Drasek believes there should be more protection for trees on a new construction sites. Two years after construction the City is called to take down a tree because it is dead or dying. Mr. Hudson will research the subject and advise Council.


There being no further business to discuss, Ald. Von Drasek moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ald. Michalczyk and carried unanimously.

Mayor LeGant declared the meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.