Village of North Aurora | Crossroads on the Fox

Village Board Minutes

MARCH 18, 2013

CALL TO ORDER – 7:00 pm
Mayor Berman called the meeting to order.


In attendance: Mayor Dale Berman, Trustee Chris Faber, Trustee Mark Guethle, Trustee Mark Gaffino, Trustee Laura Curtis, Trustee Vince Mancini, Village Clerk Lori Murray.

Staff in attendance: Interim Village Administrator and Police Chief Dave Summer, Finance Director Bill Hannah, Community and Economic Development Director Mike Toth, Water Superintendent Paul Young, Public Works Superintendent Mike Glock, Village Attorney Kevin Drendel, Village Engineer Jim Bibby (Rempe-Sharpe).


1. North Aurora Towne Centre Annexation Agreement PUD Amendment
Mayor Berman opened the public hearing. Community and Economic Development Director Mike Toth noted that the petition was before the Plan Commission at the March 5th meeting. The original request was for the use standards listed in the packet and to allow all I-1 uses (permitted or special) as permitted uses. Staff originally recommended approval of that petition. The Plan Commission had concerns regarding some of the land uses. Toth said the petitioner has come back and negotiated some other amendments to the actual Plan Commission recommendation. One of the use standards that was discussed at the Plan Commission meeting was the building height. The I-1 district allows for 35 feet. The original request was for the I-2 district height which is 50 feet. The PUD agreement allows for 45 feet. Today’s request by the petitioner is for 46 feet to accommodate internal clearance for the building itself. Toth noted that the petition went to the Plan Commission for the PUD Amendment and has not gone through committee.

Jerry Callaghan of Freeborn & Peters, 311 S. Wacker, Chicago, IL - Callaghan stated that the petitioner has two requests. The first is the hearing on the amendment to the annexation agreement from 2005 which covers 325 acres. The amendment is for 63 acres (four lots in the eastern part of the North Aurora Towne Center – Lots 1, 3 and 4 of a resubdivision which occurred several years ago and Lot 18 of the original subdivision). The second request is to amend the PUD ordinance. The petitioner asked to leave in place what was approved in 2005 and add industrial uses. The Plan Commission made some recommendations as far as how these uses should be characterized and there are only 2 uses that are of concern to the petitioner. One is food production and sales which the Plan Commission recommended as a special use and petitioner would like as a permitted use. The other is freight terminal which the Plan Commission recommended as a special use and the petitioner requested as a permitted use. Callaghan said that freight terminal is not defined and the difficulty is that warehousing, storage and distribution facility is a permitted use. With freight terminal not being defined, there may be too much confusion as to whether it is a freight terminal or a distribution facility.

Bob Brownson of the McVickers Group stated that there are two major things that happened to the retail world. First, the big box stores figured they did not have to have stores in the suburbs 4 to 5 miles apart. Second, mid-sized retailers were being crushed by the recession and the Amazons of the world. Brownson said that unfortunately for North Aurora, every retailer imaginable can be found in Batavia and Geneva. The petitioner did not believe there will ever be a sufficient number of retailers for phase 2. There is sufficient acreage on phase 1 that will develop over time but will not be able to use 90 acres of retail. The only economically feasible development possibility for this site is multi-family or industrial. Multi-family is not desirable for most municipalities because it is a tax cost since the uses outweigh the taxes it brings in and does not generate long term jobs. Brownson said that the property would be ideal for industrial. Brownson added that the Village’s 2006 Comprehensive Plan already recommended light industrial for the site.

Brownson said that the Plan Commission wanted to limit the building height to 36 feet and a special use to be requested if there is a need to exceed the 36 feet. Brownson said that in order to design a building that is the most modern up to date building, would need to accommodate up to 36 feet interior clear height, 4 feet of steel framing work inside the building, an additional 2 feet of roof drainage grading and up to 4 feet of parapets to cover up roof equipment. That adds to an additional 10 feet beyond the clear internal height which comes to 46 feet. Brownson said that a special use request can take 2 to 3 months and if a site is not ready, a potential business will find a new location.

Christine Choi of Avison Young – Choi said that a 46-foot building height would be the most efficient use for the building. Within the local market, competing sites in Aurora, North Aurora can all support a 46-foot height building. Without this height clearance, the site would be at a competitive disadvantage. Across the street, south of I-88, the Hyundai Building is at 46 feet. Liberty Property Trust is marketing two sites in North Aurora at a 46-foot building height. The 46 feet would allow a 20% greater efficiency for the use of the building since it allows the tenants to go six high instead of five high in terms of their racking. It also would be more green by going vertical instead of using more land. Choi said the Fortune 500 companies require these higher clear heights for additional efficiency and flexibility. On a national market perspective, the nearest regional geographic market competitor is Indianapolis. Over 2/3 of their modern distribution space has been 46-foot building height. Other major market such as northern New Jersey and Dallas are building at this 46-foot building height. In northern New Jersey, 95% of their new construction has a 46-foot building height.

Callaghan said that the petitioner is proposing the Village Board approve the amendment to the annexation agreement and the PUD ordinance to authorize these uses and the standards that have been put into an exhibit. Callaghan added that this does not mean that once it is approved, that someone can come in and apply for a permit and build a building. The annexation agreement and the PUD ordinance, both require site plan approval.

Mayor Berman said that there have been requests for greater building heights and there is a need. In terms of food production, the Village has one packing plant and was not sure the Village needed another. Callaghan said that meat packing is not a use that is allowed in the I-1 zoning.
Trustee Guethle asked what types of companies come in for 800,000 s.f. buildings. Choi said E-Commerce sectors are growing. Gaffino asked about the number of employees and jobs that would be created for a million square foot user. Brownson said this would depend on whether there is a million square foot user or a 400,000 s.f. user.

There were no further questions. Mayor Berman closed the public hearing.

1. Approval of Village Board Minutes dated March 4, 2013
Motion for approval made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Gaffino. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Faber – yes, Trustee Gaffino – yes, Trustee Curtis – yes, Trustee Mancini – yes. Motion approved (5-0).

1. Approval of Towne Centre Annexation Agreement PUD Amendment
Motion for approval made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Curtis.

Trustee Faber said he did not see the amendment in the Board packet and asked what the Board was voting on. Toth said since there were so many outlying requests, there was no amendment in the packet. The Board would be voting on the petitioner’s request which is the 4th column in the board report and the use standards from the Plan Commission.

Trustees Mancini and Faber said they would like to have seen the ordinance.

Faber said that within the PUD the petitioner is allowed to go to a 45-foot building height. Mancini asked what the Plan Commission’s concern was with the one extra foot. Toth said that the Plan Commission was focusing more on the zoning rather than the underlying PUD agreement.

Faber said he understands the concern with freight use due to the traffic and the fact that it will not bring in a lot of jobs or sales tax to the Village. Mancini asked if there is any status on the traffic at Hansen and Orchard Gateway. Bibby said the critical course is the pm peak hour which is 4:30 pm to 6 pm. Projected trip generation from the development under I-1 zoning would span from 7 am to 4 pm. Bibby said that it is projected that a warrant would be met for signalization in 6 to 7 years with or without this development. Mancini said from a safety concern would want to move that time frame up if possible. Gaffino mentioned the on ramp at Orchard at 7:00 am is very busy and it would be a nightmare to also have to deal with trucks. Bibby said Staff has discussed this and already looking at signalization.

Atty. Drendel said that once the Board decides on the two issues, Staff will come back with an ordinance at the first meeting in April. The Board did not have a problem with the building height and would discuss the food uses.

Mancini said he did not believe there was an area further away from residential that would accommodate food use. Toth said the property is bound by industrial uses to the east. There is a lot of buffering with the wetlands to the north and the ComEd easement.

Trustee Mancini asked if Target was notified in order to get their thoughts. Dave Summer said that his attempts to contact someone at Target were not met.

Trustee Gaffino said he was fine with the changes and wants to get something built there to attract business and provide jobs. Mancini said he did not think the Village would be getting retail as was hoped and that it is time to move on.

Trustee Faber asked about residential. Callaghan said that if the petitioner comes in with a user on lots 3 and 4, the residential goes away.

Atty. Drendel said that the annexation agreement amendment needs to be approved first and then the PUD Agreement at the next agenda.

Trustee Guethle withdrew his original Motion and then made a motion to table the item until further review at the next meeting. Seconded by Trustee Curtis. Voice vote – yes – unanimous.

2. Approval of Resolution Opposing any Reduction of Funds by the State from the
Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF)
Finance Director Bill Hannah said that recent reports say the State is proposing to cap income tax revenue distributed to municipalities from the Local Government Distributive Fund. Estimates are that there will be $192,000 loss of revenues next fiscal year. Motion for approval made by Trustee Mancini and seconded by Trustee Curtis. Mayor Berman said this is important to the Village and every community in the state. The Metra West Council of Government is very much against this attempted action. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Mancini – yes, Trustee Gaffino – yes, Trustee Curtis – yes, Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Faber – yes. Motion approved (5-0).

3. Approval of Budget Amendment #2 for FY 2012-13
Regarding Public Works staffing, the direction is to create a temporary part-time position into a full time position due to couple of employees being off for various reasons. This would allow the Village to bring someone on full time prior to anyone leaving. This is a temporary authorization that would be revisited once there is separation of an employee from the Public Works department in the future. Motion for approval made by Trustee Faber and seconded by Trustee Mancini.

Mayor Berman said he did not see the benefit and asked what this will do for the Village. Summer said that if the Village is down two workers and needs 80 hours worth of work to be done, that 80 hours of work goes undone. With a part time employee, can get 32 hours of that work done. By having the part time position go full time, can start making a dent in some of the tasks that need to get done and be pro-active of some of the things the Village needs done in the future as well as meet guidelines and needs of the community. Trustee Guethle asked if this would be for a one year period. Summer said it is a variable date. Hannah added that the Village will bring on a full time employee before getting a resignation or retirement from another employee. Trustee Gaffino asked if the part time employee will get benefits or if the employee will be hourly. Summer said the employee would be hourly, no benefits and would be paid at step one of laborer. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Faber – yes, Trustee Guethle - yes, Trustee Gaffino - yes, Trustee Curtis - yes, Trustee Mancini - yes. Motion approved (5-0).

4. Approval of the hiring of a Temporary Public Works Laborer
Dave Summer asked for the same conditions set forth in the last part time laborer. Budget for 15 weeks not to exceed $10,000 at the hourly rate of $19.24/hr, 32 hours a week. Motion for approval made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Faber. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Faber – yes, Trustee Gaffino – yes, Trustee Curtis – yes, Trustee Mancini – yes. Motion approved (5-0).

5. Approval of Bill List dated 3/18/13 in the amount of $117,256.38
Motion for approval made by Trustee Gaffino and seconded by Trustee Guethle. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Gaffino – yes, Trustee Curtis – yes, Trustee Mancini – yes, Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Faber – yes. Motion approved (5-0).


Dave Summer noted that regarding the traffic stacking at Orchard Road at I-88, will not wait for a development to try and find a fix. Summer said he has directed Mike Glock and Jim Bibby to work with Kane County to find a solution.

Trustee Curtis asked if there was any word regarding the Route 25 and Banbury Road issue (speeding and site issues). Summer said the study will be done by April.


A. Finance – None
B. Community Development - None
C. Police - None
D. Public Works – None
E. Water - None

Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Gaffino. All in favor. Motion approved.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lori J. Murray
Village Clerk

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Village of North Aurora
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