Development Committee Minutes
VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2013
CALL TO ORDER
Trustee Guethle called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.
Committee Members in attendance: Trustee Mark Guethle Trustee Mark Gaffino; Trustee Laura Curtis
Staff in attendance: Mike Toth, Community and Economic Development Director; Steve Bosco, Village Administrator; Cindy Torraco, Exec. Assistant
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion made by Trustee Gaffino and seconded by Trustee Curtis to approve the August 21, 2013 Development Committee Minutes. All in Favor – Motion Approved
1. Discussion on Zoning Text Amendments pertaining to Utility Trailers
Toth noted that in trying to regulate utility trailers staff is proposing to amend the Zoning Ordinance to enforce utility trailers as recreational vehicles, rather than commercial vehicles. Toth stated that determining whether a trailer is used for recreational or commercial purposes can be challenging from an enforcement perspective. He noted the text amendment consisted of removing language from Chapter 13.12 with regard to the 48 hour rule and allowing recreational vehicles to be stored on the street.
Trustee Gaffino noted that the code states utility trailers and recreational vehicles have to be parked on a hard surface. Toth noted this is outlined in the Zoning Ordinance and pertains to the second part of the text amendments regarding driveways.
Trustee Curtis stated she would like to see a limit to the amount of trailers allowed per residence and sees no reason why anyone would need to keep more than two. Toth noted that staff can revisit the number of utility trailers that could be allowed.
Guethle was concerned about trailers blocking the view of traffic or being parked over the ROW.
Trustee Gaffino noted boats are usually out on the weekends, rather than parked on driveways during the allowed time, and utility trailers are more apt to be parked during the week. Bosco noted the Police will be enforcing any illegally parked trailers on the streets. Trustee Gaffino also noted if utility trailers are allowed in side and back yards, they would need to be parked on a hard surface and where do we go with this.
Toth noted this gets into the driveway issue, where a trailer has to be parked on a hard surface, however, if a residence does not have a third car garage, they are limited on the width of the driveway, and there would be no way to get the trailer to the side or back yard. Gaffino said the Village should have a green space ordinance. Toth noted this would be a substantial undertaking and staff could check out other communities. Trustee Gaffino also questioned the size of the trailer, noting some could be as large as 30 ft. and this could get obstructive.
Toth noted the driveway provisions were recently amended a couple months ago to allow properties developed with detached garages the ability to install a 20ft (max) driveway width. Toth stated that even 20ft is limiting when considering the storage of a recreational vehicle or trailer to the side or rear of the house. Further, parking is permitted in the side yard, but no less than 5 feet from the lot line. A set back provision has been included with regard to driveways to ensure this 5 ft. setback. The maximum width for driveways at the curb would remain at 20 feet, but allow for 30 feet within the confines of the property.
Trustee Curtis had concerns with how far back a slab could go in the side yard, noting if it went all the way to the backyard, it could be an eyesore. She did not see that this would be beneficial to property values in the neighborhood. Trustee Curtis noted that there is a width requirement and wants to see a length requirement.
Toth noted a lot of residences would not have the ability or the ample room required to do this. Trustee Curtis said she would like to see the length of a slab stop at 10 feet and not allow it to go into the back yard. Toth noted some residences already have a detached garage in the back yard, they have to be able to access the garage by a longer drive. Toth suggested the term “parking pad” be removed from the language.
Toth noted the zoning ordinance is very specific about variances and does not allow for a driveway variance, which is why staff is looking at a text amendment for this.
Bosco noted staff is trying to clean up these sections of the code to make it more enforceable and with a lack of a variance process we have to deal with this on a case by case basis. Toth noted the fees for the variance application is $200 and if fees are lowered, you will see more residents applying for variances. Trustee Gaffino noted we need to be able to enforce our code equally throughout the Village. Further, staff should review the fees for the variance process at the next Development Committee meeting.
Toth noted he received a TIF Grant Application from Mike Bracket for his business Pedal and Spoke for parking lot and landscape improvements. He also provided estimates for the work and is ready to move forward. Staff will have this on the COW meeting for discussion this Monday, September 23rd. Further, staff is looking to re-evaluate the TIF program and make it more open ended instead of having a strict deadline. Trustee Guethle said he is in favor of that and noted the Village needs to promote projects that have been completed to show what can be done using TIF funds. With regard to signs, it was noted that the TIF has its own sign guidelines and staff can revisit the sign ordinance with respect to a commercial district.
The CMAP grant for the Comprehensive Plan will be up for discussion at the next COW meeting on Monday. Staff will be looking for guidance from the Board to reevaluate the Comprehensive Plan, to include more economic development and add more specifics, where the previous comprehensive plan focused on non-motorized transportation. Staff noted that Rt. 31 has to be a priority when discussing the plan. Bosco noted Rt. 31 and State should be looked at for the focal point. Trustee Curtis asked if there was a way to acquire that corner where Sonny’s is at Rt. 31 and State St, stating she feels Rt. 31 needs an anchor to bring it all together. Bosco noted that this is where a Strategic Planning Session would come into play, with a facilitator leading a discussion of the goals of the board and opportunities available to the Village.
Bosco noted that the Water Tower painting is being brought to the COW meeting as well, so the board can discuss any change in design they may want to see. With the cost to repaint one water tower at $250,000 now is the time to make any changes to the design, with the other water towers needing to be repainted in the near future. The painting will be done in the spring, so there is some time for discussion.
Toth noted the Site Plan for the Opus One Town Centre project is going to the Plan Commission in October. This is for a warehouse of about 600,000 sq. ft. that is being proposed for the corner at Orchard Gateway just west of Randall Road.
Trustee Gaffino made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Trustee Curtis
All in Favor – Motion Approved
Meeting was adjourned at 9:25 a.m.