Development Committee Minutes
VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2014
CALL TO ORDER
Trustee Guethle called the meeting to order.
Committee Members in attendance: Trustee Mark Guethle Trustee Mark Gaffino; Trustee Laura Curtis; Staff in attendance: Steve Bosco, Village Administrator; Mike Toth, Community and Economic Development Director; Cindy Torraco, Exec. Assistant
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion made by Trustee Gaffino and seconded by Trustee Curtis to approve the November 11, 2014 Development Committee Minutes. All in Favor – Motion Approved
1. Discussion on Tattoo Parlors
Toth stated he had been approached by a business owner looking to open a Tattoo parlor in Orchard Commerce, by the new Dunkin Donuts. To start the discussion, Toth wanted to discuss the perception of tattoo parlors in general, noting that they are becoming more prevalent in the mainstream and the stigma of only bikers and gangs is changing. Toth noted the business owner was here today to provide any answers the Committee may have and noted the business he is looking to open is more of an artistic use.
Tattoo parlors are allowed as a special use in the I-1 and I-2 zoning districts. Toth noted that with regard to our standards of a special use, it would be hard to deny based on the use conducted inside the facility, and standards usually reflect the use outside the building.
Several other communities were consulted for legal information pertaining to Tattoo parlor uses. Toth noted this discussion was similar to discussions held last year pertaining to massage parlors and medical marijuana, noting they are regulated by the State of Illinois, as are tattoo parlors.
Trustee Curtis noted she doesn’t want to see North Aurora devalued by having certain businesses such as a tattoo parlor, noting it is along a school bus route that drives past this development on the way to school every day. She doesn’t think this is the type of business that should be so prominent for public view, noting it may be better suited in the I-1 or I-2 district. Trustee Guethle said he used to feel this way, but now feels tattoos are more acceptable in society. He asked where the closest tattoo parlor is to North Aurora and Toth noted there are a couple in close proximity in Aurora and Batavia. Bosco added that there was a tattoo parlor that the Police Chief had mentioned in the Staff meeting, noting it was well run and the owner was a former police officer. Trustee Gaffino added that he has friends who have tattoos and that tattoos used to have a criminal association, but that is changing, however, he wants to be sure that North Aurora is known for being a family-friendly community. Trustee Curtis noted she just doesn’t want to see a tattoo parlor out in the commercial district, same as medical marijuana. Bosco noted that the Village did allow tattoo parlors in 2006 as a special use in the B-2 District and the most recent zoning ordinance amendment changed that, along with a number of other changes that the Board may have not wanted. All four of the other towns contacted have them in commercial districts.
Toth noted that as a special use, we have to look at the standards, which are regulated by state statute, and the use is provided within the building, adding that the issue with creating a special use is that it is hard to deny based on the business and this could open the Village up for legal issues, per recent case law.
The business owner, Ramiro Guillen, said he understands the stereotypes and stated this is not what he wants for his business. In addition to the tattoos he noted he wanted to help local artists by offering an art gallery and stated there would be no tattoos being done during an art gallery showing. Further he noted he would let the other tenants know ahead of time when he would be having art gallery events. Trustee Guethle asked about his hours of operation. Mr. Guillen noted they would be doing tattoos from noon to 9:00 pm but could be flexible on the time. Further he spoke with the property owner and the other tenants and no one has an issue with him opening a tattoo parlor in the building.
Trustee Gaffino voiced his concern that if this particular business was allowed, we would have to allow other tattoo parlors and what would prevent a shady business from coming in? Bosco noted we could make it a special use and look at each on a case-by-case basis.
Toth commented that if we look at allowing tattoo parlors we may want to mirror the previous zoning in B-2 since this is more commercial, rather than B-3 along Route 31 which is adjacent to residential. Orchard Commerce is B2 PUD and this could be a permitted use in the PUD with a very specific set of standards.
Trustee Curtis questioned why tattoo parlors and medical marijuana types of businesses are even looking at North Aurora. Trustee Guethle noted that the medical marijuana businesses are looking to locate anywhere they can in Illinois based on the limited number of licenses. As for tattoo parlors, Mr. Guillen responded that he has worked as a graphic designer for the owner of Orchard Commerce and had actually done the architectural rendering of the building and felt it would be great to open his business in the building he helped design. Further he noted he has clients from Chicago, Elgin and as far away as Iowa and stated the I-88 tollway access is a big reason he looked in North Aurora. He also stated he does not want a big tattoo parlor sign either, noting he is looking to attract customers who are looking for an artistic experience along with customers who are able to pay for that experience. Toth agreed that what makes North Aurora attractive to businesses is the I-88 access and he sees it from an economic development point of view in that uses that draw from the region help put North Aurora on the map.
Trustee Guethle asked if the tattoo artists are licensed. Mr. Guillen replied that there would be himself, and a couple tattoo artists, as well as a cosmetic tattoo artist who does cosmetic tattoos and they would all be required to be certified per federal regulations regarding blood borne pathogens. Toth read an excerpt regarding standards from the state tattoo regulations.
Bosco noted that he and Mike had mapped out a time-line and there is time to post a public hearing notice for a Plan Commission meeting to allow the Plan Commission to review the use and zoning for tattoo parlors. Trustee Guethle agreed this would allow further review of tattoo parlors in commercial districts. Trustee Gaffino reiterated his concern about opening up this to allow any tattoo business and said he is in favor of each business coming in as a separate special use. Bosco added we can amend the PUD for the one special use which wouldn’t allow for tattoo parlors in other areas.
Toth noted that this is good timing in regards to the comprehensive plan and stated he didn’t think the Zoning Ordinance mirrors the Board’s culture based on the past 17 amendments that have been made and he will continue looking and focusing on the B-2 district.
Toth noted he reached out to corporate but has no other information regarding the National Tire and battery store closing in Towne Centre.
Toth said the new restaurant that is coming to the previous Golden Egg restaurant location is still waiting for a sanitary sewer permit. Toth also mentioned the potential restaurant in Orchard Commons may potentially brew beer on site.
Toth noted the industrial buildings at both Opus and Liberty projects have had interest and he expects to see both buildings filling with tenants in 2015, adding the Opus buildings turned out nice.
The Marathon on Lincolnway was given until March 1, 2015 to either obtaining zoning approvals or vacate the site. They are finishing remediation of the site and Toth has been in contact with the attorney for the Trust who owns the property. Bosco noted he had not yet informed Toth, someone had come in to the Village Hall at the end of the day yesterday to report that the remediation has been complete.
Trustee Curtis asked about the Randall Highlands HOA and Toth noted Attorney Drendel is working on drafting an agreement.
Toth noted Teska is working on landscape plans for Smoketree, in order to improve the streetscape there.
Trustee Gaffino asked about truckers who have been parking at the old bowling alley site. Toth noted staff is aware and he has Code Enforcement working on an inventory, in addition Chief Summer is also aware of the problem.
Trustee Guethle asked about the property just south of the Dunkin Donuts on Orchard Road. Toth noted Jay Schutte bought the property and wants to build a restaurant there but no specific plans yet.
Toth noted the previous Walmart property is being marketed. It is owned by U. S. Bank and they have been paying off some of the recapture fees. There has been some discussion on mixed use but the majority will be commercial. There is a lot of opportunity on Orchard Road for commercial, so this looks to be headed in the right direction.
Bosco thanked the committee members for submitting their surveys with regard to the logo/motto project and reminded them that the interviews with Rule 29 have been set up for Thursday, December 18, 2014.
Trustee Gaffino made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Trustee Curtis
All in Favor – Motion Approved
Meeting was adjourned at 9:30 a.m.