Village of North Aurora | Crossroads on the Fox

Development Committee Minutes


Trustee Guethle called the meeting to order.

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

Motion made by Trustee Gaffino and seconded by Trustee Curtis to approve the February 19, 2014 Development Committee Minutes. All in Favor – Motion Approved

Bill Slaker stated that he agreed with the thirty-six (36) inch height in the vision triangles.


1. Discussion on text amendments relative to Chapter 12 of the Zoning Ordinance ‘Site Development Standards’

Toth proceeded to review the sections of Chapter 12 of the Zoning Ordinance with regard to changes staff is recommending to the site development standards, mostly relative to single family residences.

Toth noted the reason for reviewing this is to make the standards more clear so that residents can better understand it. It was noted that references throughout the chapter were not consistent - sheds as an example. Toth noted that currently the code is saying different things depending on the definition, illustrations or text throughout the chapter.

Toth noted these amendments have gone before the Plan Commission twice and the Village attorney has also reviewed these with staff. The next step would be a public hearing before the Plan Commission in August followed by approval by the Village Board at the second meeting in August.

The Committee discussed the standards for tents including allowed size and the length of time tents can be kept up. Trustee Gaffino felt that 14 days was too long to allow a tent to be up and felt 7 days would be sufficient. Toth also outlined the limits set for tent setbacks. Bosco noted a lot of village’s require a permit to put up a tent.

A. Accessory Buildings - Toth pointed out the changes made to this section. The Committee discussed the size and number of sheds allowed. Trustee Gaffino stating he would like to see a limit on the number of sheds allowed, noting concern with the effect on drainage when multiple sheds are constructed in a backyard. Toth noted that the wording had been cleaned up in this section, along with the formatting of the text. Toth noted that he also amended the definition of building height to include all buildings. Further, an accessory building cannot be larger than 80% of the footprint of the primary building. Height was kept the same, as the accessory building cannot be higher than the predominant building. Trustee Guethle asked about a house with an attached garage and Toth noted that a new attached structure added to a building still has to meet the setbacks which most likely would not be able to be done because it would end up being too close to the property line.

Trustee Gaffino asked if we could add the number of accessory buildings that would be allowed to the standards. Toth noted staff could look into limiting the number of accessory buildings.

B. Arbors - Toth noted that this was removed as arbors or trellis are basically landscaping items

C. Fences - Toth noted fence permits are required as usual and the content was just cleaned up for ease of understanding.

D. Mechanical Equipment in business and industrial districts - Staff cleaned up this section and Toth noted it didn’t make sense to regulate residential districts. Further, screening is required for HVAC in business and industrial districts.

E. Outdoor Storage and display - This is pretty straight forward and Toth noted Plan Commissioner Mark Bozik had some good comments on this with regard to fire safety and access for emergencies.

F. Small wind energy / solar energy panels - Toth noted no changes were made to small energy / solar energy as there is not a lot of demand for this so it wasn’t addressed. Gaffino thought the only issue may be wind turbines on a roof and noting we want to screen HVAC but what about wind turbines? Gaffino noted he was all for them but how would we regulate them? Toth noted that the code limits these to non-residential.

G. Permitted Encroachments - Toth noted he went through this section and got rid of section numbers. He noted there have not been any complaints about locations of air conditioners in a side yard.

Arbors – remove, as these are landscaping and shouldn’t need to be regulated in the code.

Balconies - should not be allowed in side yards. Bosco noted that a resident could still apply for a variance if their property backed to vacant land or the street and they wanted to add a balcony. Toth noted he wasn’t sure if variances would allow for that and would have to look at that in the future.

Compost piles - changed to compost bins in order to regulate the structure itself.

Decks – changed to allow decks in side and rear yards with limitations as to the setbacks.

Eaves – Gaffino asked about eaves and drainage. Toth noted the 18 inch easement from the house would still have the drainage within the easements and setbacks, and would not drain into the neighbor’s yard. Committee discussed downspouts and drainage, noting residents have issues with neighbor’s drainage coming into their yards. Toth said this could be addressed by adding downspouts separate from eaves.

Fire Escapes – remove.

Firewood Storage – Toth noted a front porch is not within the setback, so firewood can be stored on the front porch, but not in the front yard. Side yard storage becomes an issue with animals and insects.

Pergolas – this is an architectural element, considered accessory structure if attached to the house. If unattached, it must be at least 50% open sided.

Playground equipment – allow in rear yard within 5 ft setback.

Porches – allow in front or side yard, have to be unenclosed and must meet setback requirements.

Trash receptacles – no further than 3 feet from principal structure, no corner side yard or front yard.

Tennis, Athletic Courts – already allowed in rear yard, allow fence 10 feet high to contain athletic equipment.

Toth noted that this will go forward for a public hearing before the Plan Commission in August, and then be presented to the Village Board at the 2nd meeting in August.

Toth said he wanted to thank the Development Committee, Plan Commission and the Village Board to allow staff to work to create a balance between requirements and resident’s demands. Clarification of the code allows staff to address their workload and daily activities more efficiently. Toth said he appreciates the confidence the committee has in staff.


Trustee Gaffino asked for an update on the Dunkin Donuts, Toth noted they are moving along. Toth noted a Sleepy’s mattress store is coming in at the Towne Center outbuilding, by the Verizon store. Trustee Guethle asked if Opus has come forward with any possible tenants yet. Bosco noted this brings up the issue of incentives. Bosco noted the strategic plan will address economic development strategy. Trustee Gaffino asked if the majority of incentives being asked for 5 years ago has let up. Toth replied no, and that these days, developers ask as a common practice, figuring it doesn’t hurt to ask.



Trustee Gaffino made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Trustee Curtis

All in Favor – Motion Approved
Meeting was adjourned at 10:55 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Cindy Torraco
Executive Assistant

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