Village of North Aurora | Crossroads on the Fox

Plan Commission Minutes

CALL TO ORDER – 7:00 pm
Chairman Brackett called the meeting to order.

In attendance: Chairman Mike Brackett, Co-Chairman Jennifer Duncan, Commissioners Mark Bozik, Connie Holbrook, Mark Rivecco, Ed Sweeny and Aaron Anderson. Commissioner Lenkart arrived at 7:07 pm. Not in attendance: Commissioner Mark Carroll. 

Commissioner Sweeney noted a correction to the July 17th Minutes. He noted that he had called the meeting to order since Chairman Brackett had arrived late for that meeting. Motion to approve the Minutes with that correction made by Commissioner Rivecco and seconded by Commissioner Holbrook. All in favor. Motion approved.

a. Subdivision Ordinance Amendment : Section 16.12.190.C.8 (Parkway
Trees) (VONA)
Public Works Superintendent Mike Glock addressed the Commission on the need for a variety of parkway trees in the Village. Glock had provided a list of the types of trees recommended, which would all be parkway and salt tolerant. Currently, 40% of the parkway trees in the Village are Ash trees. 

(Commissioner Lenkart arrived at 7:07 pm.)

Motion made by Commissioner Rivecco and seconded by Commissioner Sweeney to approve the amendment to the subdivision ordinance in regard to the substitution of parkway trees. All in favor. Motion approved.

a. 12-001: West Side of Orchard Road, north of Tanner Road, Rezoning from ER
to B2 and R4, approval of a Planned Unit Development (Zepelak) 

Chairman Brackett opened the public hearing. 

Atty. John Philipchuck (123 Water Street, Naperville, IL) was in attendance, representing the Stanley L. Zepelak Trust. Stan and Jean Zepelak were present. The application before the commission was an annexation of the property which would come in with an ER Zoning. The request is for the property to be zoned with a flex zoning, similar to that of the Mango Creek property. The property would be split by a connector road between Deerpath and Orchard roads. The Zepelaks are requesting the property be annexed to the Village. Atty. Philipchuck said that the desire is for some sort of residential use on the north side of the connector road. There is no particular user, but the Zepelaks have thought about a potential elderly development or assisted living development. In the event they are able to find someone who would want higher density development, it would be considered. Basic zoning was requested. Since the property is to be annexed, it comes in with a default zoning and the ER is not desirable. Therefore the request was for B2 and R4 potential.

Lisa Quigley, 3S714 Deerpath – Asked what the process is for zoning. Buening stated that the public hearing is held tonight on the zoning change and the PUD. If the Plan Commission completes the hearing and makes a recommendation, they would vote on that and it would be forwarded to the Village Board. The next step at the Board would be a public hearing on the actual annexation agreement which most likely would not happen until September. The Village Board would review the annexation at a public hearing and then vote on the annexation, rezoning and the related ordinance. Quigley asked if the new zoning code is on the Village Website or if it is forthcoming. Buening said that there is a new zoning ordinance. Quigley asked if the rezoning for this property would be according to the old or new code. Buening said under both. The new zoning code will replace the old zoning code so the property would be subject to the new zoning ordinance. The new code incorporates site development standards and landscape standards. Two districts have been added and two districts have been deleted. Buening added that a lot of the old ordinance is incorporated into the new one. Quigley asked if a traffic study had been done on Deerpath that would encompass the already planned communities that have not been built. Buening said that the Village has not but the county has done a traffic study and that is why they want the connector road built, in order to relieve some of the traffic on Deerpath. Quigley asked if the north parcel is planned for residential and the south parcel commercial. Buening said that was correct. Quigley stated that Buening was quoted in the paper as saying that he is looking for assisted living or senior housing in the proposed area. Quigley asked if that could be accomplished with an R3 rating instead of an R4. Buening said that his quote in the paper stated what the petitioner was considering as possible uses for the property and they are requesting the R4 zoning. Quigley said that B2 general commercial, per the Village code, (17.36.030 part A) states that “the B2 General Commercial District is designated to accommodate high rate oriented uses and other uses that serve a larger market area. This should be located along major traffic corridors and near the central area of the village.” Quigley asked the Commission if they consider Deerpath the central area of the Village. 

(Commissioner Bozik left the meeting)

Chairman Brackett said that the center of the Village has moved west over the years. Commissioner Sweeney said it is not fixed and is a changing characteristic based on where the businesses develop. Sweeney said there is no argument as to whether it is appropriate for commercial to be built there because it is a major corridor. Shifting of the businesses is going that way and no one is prepared to say what point the center of the Village is right now.

Quigley said that attached to the back of the petition was a map showing her property being annexed, including her entire subdivision. This was dated December of 2011. 
Buening said that what Quigley was referring to was the Plat of Annexation. There is a bolder line that surrounds the property in question and the darker line is the current village limits. The property that would be annexed not be Ms. Quigley’s property. Buening said that statutorily the Village would not be able to annex her property without her permission since it is not surrounded on all four sides. 

Julie Boer, 3S701 Deerpath Road – Ms. Boer said that the farm field surrounds her house and she had not heard about the annexation. Boer said a letter had been sent to her home while on vacation and was no longer at the post office. Boer asked where the connector road would be from Deerpath to Orchard Roads. Buening said it would start at Orchard Road just south of the farm access and go northwest and intersect at Deerpath Road just south of Boer’s property. Boer asked how far south of her property. Buening said it would be at a distance from 50 to 10 feet. Boer noted that since her family has lived in their house, there have been 40 accidents into their fence. 

Buening said it is a township road, but once it is annexed and becomes developed there would be intersection improvements and a turn lane. Boer said this would decrease their property values and asked if the road could be moved. Buening said that they have discussed this with the county and that location is the only location that will accommodate the traffic safely and provide access based on county requirements. 

Mike Covelli (Deerpath Road) – asked about the purpose of the road in terms of traffic. Buening said the County believes the road will bring some relief from traffic off of Orchard Road. The roadway and intersection at Orchard will allow access to the property on the east side of Orchard as well. In order to have that as a signalized intersection for their development, this roadway was required by the county. It will not be a signalized intersection. Covelli said he thinks this will create more traffic on Deerpath Road. 

Lisa Quigley noted his concern that the residents were not given adequate notice. Quigley said that the notice she received only talked about rezoning and that the residents should have time to absorb this and to respond. Quigley said that the petition was lacking in notice. It did not talk about the road, the widening of the road or the variances being granted. Quigley added that residents should be given notice to anything that will be developed in this location. 

Quigley stated that there have been many accidents on Deerpath since she has lived in her home (1990). Quigley presented to the Commissioner a list of the accidents (more than 40 accidents over the last 10 years). Two of the accidents were nearly fatal. Quigley said that this is a major problem and putting a road in that location will be fatal. 

Chairman Brackett informed Quigley that she can talk to the County now regarding her concerns and does not have to wait on the Village. Quigley said that Deerpath should stay residential and businesses should stay on Orchard.

Quigley urged the commission to reconsider having such a broad zoning as R4 and consider R3. For Business consider B1 instead of B2 and limit it to along Orchard Road. 

Quigley said she is concerned with traffic on Deerpath, access to her own driveway, dangerous accidents if the road is developed. Quigley suggested an updated traffic study be done. Quigley also asked the Plan Commission to postpone their decision. 

David Fitzgerald, 1534 Patterson, North Aurora, IL – Agreed with most of what Atty. Philipchuck had to say, but disagreed that the introduction of multi-family dwellings in this area would be compatible. This would be used as a buffer and the increased traffic is a negative. Fitzgerald said that it would have made it easier for everyone if a site plan was put together based on the zoning that is being required, showing where commercial and multi-family will be assembled. 

Jason Leffel, 1641 W. Mooseheart Road, North Aurora, IL
Mr. Leffel said that a lot of the commercial property that is developed on Orchard Road is either vacant or very low density. The opportunity to take a look at rezoning at this time is premature, but have to consider that the taxes for the people in the Mirador Community are the highest single tax rates in North Aurora. If an R4 rating is put in place for that area with the potential for high density, it will reduce the tax base in the city since it will reduce the home values. Leffel said he was concerned with the R4 rating. In reference to the new road, Leffel asked the Commission to consider that in October 2010, where that road will terminate into Orchard Road, there was a fatal accident. Deerpath, where the other entrance would exist, is also at a turn which would limit the line of sight. Leffel requested the Commission look at the information that the County put together and hear the aspects of the study to understand how that road will benefit the Village. Leffel also requested the Commission look at B2 zoning and if that is the right zoning for the area. Look at what is going to be the impact when additional turn lanes are added and take over the 80 foot right-of-way which is people’s front yards. Leffel requested a traffic study to determine if the road is needed.

Jessica Tinayo (owner of vacant property at Mirador – Lot 100). Suggested commercial only along Orchard Road since it is the main corridor. Commercial is not needed on Deerpath Road. If there is higher density allowed, would request a buffer between that and the homes that will face Mooseheart. 

Atty. Philipchuck said that one is not always privy to what goes on in government. Mr. Zepelak was surprised to find out that a road would be required through the middle of his property. The County has professional traffic engineers who have studied the road and decisions have already been made by the County. They have looked at all of the traffic patterns and the subdivisions and are looking into the future. There are four houses along Deerpath Road, but there is a greater good for the Village that the Plan Commission has to take into account. 

An annexation agreement has been entered into with Mango Creek and that annexation agreement mandated that the road go in on Mr. Zepelak’s property. It is planned and set forth in legal documents that bind the Village. 

In terms of commercial only on Orchard Road, it will be oriented that way but when looking at the configuration of the land and where Deerpath Road is in relation to it, there is only 665 feet of depth between Orchard Road and Deerpath, so parking will be up in front of the stores and therefore the store buildings will be pushed back. Philipchuck said there is plenty of room to buffer. 

Philipchuck said that the Village needs rooftops. To have multi-family in this location makes sense. Single family generate more trips out of a detached single family, not multi-family or senior housing. Adequate buffers will be put in place in addition to a roadway separation. 

Philipchuck said that the amount of accidents is tragic, but impaired drivers will have an accident on a straight road. The road being curved is not a fair argument. 

Chairman Brackett closed the public portion of the meeting.

b. 12-001: West Side of Orchard Road, north of Tanner Road, Rezoning from ER
to B2 and R4, approval of a Planned Unit Development (Zepelak)

Commissioner Duncan – In terms of R4 vs R3, Duncan said she did not see much of a difference and will both allow for multi-family. Buening said there is not a significant difference. The R4 allows for some higher density. 

Chairman Brackett said that Atty Philipchuck had stated at the beginning of the hearing that residential would be north of the proposed road and then later said that maybe commercial would go north of the road. Brackett asked for clarification. Philipchuck noted the flex zoning, which was done in Mango Creek. While the base underlying zoning will be B2 and R4, cannot take the R4 south of the connector road but have ability to take commercial north of the connector road. 

Buening explained that Mango Creek is the development the Village approved a year ago on the east side of Orchard Road directly across from this property.

Duncan noted that R4 allows for a number of commercial uses as a special use. 

Brackett asked about the buffer of green space that will be used. Buening said that it will depend on the development. For outlots, the buffer is normally 150-200 feet. For a larger development, 600 feet is the minimum and many are closer to 900 feet. Philipchuck said there is 665 feet along Tanner Road. Buening said that the Annexation Agreement requires a 50-foot buffer between the right-of-way and the nearest part of where the development would occur. 

Commissioner Rivecco asked if there is notice given to nearby residents of site plan reviews. Buening said that is not the case at this time. Rivecco said he is not comfortable with that. Buening said it can be added as a recommendation. 

Rivecco said that on page 3, additional special uses include outdoor storage and auto body shops, however Exhibit C excludes those. Buening said that Exhibit C would govern.
Commissioner Sweeney said that this is an awkward land use situation. It is clear that there will be no big box and will be similar to the Sorrentino property that butts up to Oak Street. Sweeney said he does see the area appropriate as a multi-family buffer zone but would require buffering for adjacent properties. Sweeney said it is important for the developer to understand that a lower density multi-family proposal would all that would be considered by him. Sweeney stated that Deerpath Road has more traffic because it is no longer a country road and there is no control over that change. The Plan Commission will consider what is going to work for everyone.

Commissioner Holbrook asked if the connector road will go through whether the Village wants it or not. Buening said that was correct. Holbrook said that the last proposal for senior housing in the village fell through. Philipchuck said that the population is aging and there will be a need in the future. It is a good transition area so multi-family in the area makes sense. Holbrook asked if the developer was considering apartment buildings or condos and if so, how dense. Philipchuck said that the developer is restricted by the zoning district. Holbrook said she was concerned and would not want apartment buildings and there is already a huge condo complex to the east of that on the corner of Randall and Orchard. Holbrook said she would be agreeable to senior housing and duplexes. Holbrook then asked what the urgency is for changing the zoning at this time. Philipchuck said that Mr. Zepelak would like to try to market the property. 
Holbrook suggested waiting until next month so that residents can have more of an opportunity to review and because it appeared that some residents may not have received notice in time.

Philipchuck said that notice was sent with a registered return receipt. The post office only holds these items for so long and then they are returned to the Village. Signs were posted on every road describing what would be happening and those signs were up for almost a month. Philipchuck said that they are here to provide answers to questions this evening so that there is understanding. To delay it any further, would not be an advantage. Explanations have been made as to agreements already made about the road. Adequate notice was set forth and met all the statutory requirements. Philipchuck said that Commissioner Rivecco’s suggestion for additional notice for site plan time is a great idea. 

Buening noted that in regard to senior housing, when the complex was proposed off of Randall Road, the proponent showed a study that showed the senior housing is suitable for the area. That particular project failed due to the developer’s financial issues and not that it wasn’t feasible.

Commissioner Lenkart asked if there would be any traffic controls on Deerpath. Buening said that would be determined as part of a development approval. It would probably make sense to at least have a three-way stop control, but that would be determined by a traffic study. Some kind of traffic controls would be necessary as it develops. Lenkart asked if the County would be responsible for policing the road. Buening said that any property annexed by the Village would be Village’s jurisdiction. 

Lenkart suggested all B2 along the south or only along Orchard and not Mooseheart. 

Commissioner Anderson asked, in regard to the connector road, if the exact location is determined at this point and time. Buening said yes. It is permanent unless the County has a different opinion in terms of the alignment. 

Connector Road – set and will not change. 

Commissioner Sweeney said that the Plan Commission has complete control as far as what happens since there is a site plan review. What is being proposed is a conceptual plan for the property. It is not an automatic license to put up high density since it has to come back to the Plan Commission. Sweeney said the property is suitable for all of the uses suggested. The Plan Commission has made it clear that high density is not favored. The Village wants to make conditions right for something to develop there. The big issue is the road and that has already been decided by the County. 

Chairman Brackett noted the following items of concern by the plan commission:
1. notice to residents 
2. sensitivity to density, buffers
3. B2 along Mooseheart Road and prefer it be along Orchard Road with Buffering (Lenkart) 

Lenkart asked if B2 is moved north of connector road that it can only be along Orchard. Buening said would need to be defined specifically. 

Commissioner Anderson suggested making a recommendation to modify the annexation agreement for the B2 to the south of the connector Road with the residential portion to encompass the balance of the property. In the future, they could always petition for a change of zoning. Eliminate the flex zoning. Buening said would have to amend the annexation agreement language by saying it is R4 but the property owners may come back to petition to rezone at a future date. 

Buening noted that in terms of the annexation, the Deer Oaks Subdivision was invited to annex into the Village a few years ago but they refused and elected to remain unincorporated. 

1. Is there currently an error in the existing zoning district which proposed
amendment will correct? 
Anderson - no, Rivecco – yes Duncan – yes, Holbrook – yes, Lenkart – yes, Sweeney – no.

2. Are there changed or changing conditions in the applicable area of the
amendment or in the village generally that make the proposed amendment reasonably necessary to the promotion of the public health, safety or general welfare? 
Sweeney – yes, Anderson - yes, Rivecco - yes, Duncan - , yes, Lenkart - yes, Holbrook - yes

3. Is the proposed use compatible with existing uses of property within the general
area of the property in question? 
Lenkart – yes, Holbrook – yes, Duncan – yes, Rivecco – yes, Sweeney- yes, Anderson – yes,

4. Is the proposed zoning classification of the property compatible within the general
area of the property in question 
Duncan- yes, Holbrook – yes, Anderson – yes, Sweeney – yes, Rivecco – yes, Lenkart – yes. 
5. Is the property in question unsuitable for the uses permitted under the existing
zoning classification
Rivecco – no, Sweeney – yes, Duncan – yes, Anderson – yes, Holbrook – yes, Lenkart – yes.

6. Is the trend of development if any in the general area of the property in question
compatible with the proposed zoning classification
Duncan - yes, Holbrook – yes, Lenkart – yes, Anderson – yes, Sweeney – yes, Rivecco – yes.

Motion made by Commissioner Rivecco and seconded by Commissioner Sweeny to approve the annexation and rezoning from ER to B2 and R4 for the west side of Orchard Road, North of Tanner Road and approval of a Planned Unit Development with the staff recommendations and requirements and in addition that public notice be provided for any site plan approvals or reviews and that the discussion of the flex zoning be removed and the ability to petition for further zoning changes as required in the future. Roll Call Vote: Rivecco – yes, Sweeney – yes, Holbrook – yes, Duncan – yes, Lenkart – yes, Anderson – yes. Motion approved. 

Buening said this will probably go before the Village Board sometime in September. 

Scott Buening reported on the following:

41 S. Randall Special Use (batting facility) – tabled at the Village Board meeting.

98 S. Randall Road Rezoning –approved by the Village Board

216 S. Butterfield –special use amendment for Asphalt Plant - approved.

Zoning Ordinance - reviewed by committee and was moved forward without any objections. Will be placed on the August 20th agenda. If adopted, will have a January 1st effective date.

All commissioners up for reappointment were reappointed by Mayor Berman.

Aaron Anderson was appointed as the newest Plan Commissioner.

River Valley Recycling – business closed.

Village Administrator Wes Kornowske submitted his resignation effective August 23drd. He is taking a position as director of operations for a shipping company in Green Bay. Buening then noted that this would be his last Plan Commission as he has accepted a position with the City of Batavia. 

A new Village Administrator will not be hired at this time. Police Chief Dave Summer will be in place temporarily until the position is filled. 

Motion to adjourn made by Commissioner Duncan and seconded by Commissioner Holbrook. All in favor. Motion approved.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lori J. Murray
Village Clerk 

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