Development Committee Minutes
VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016
CALL TO ORDER
Trustee Gaffino called the meeting to order at 8:20 a.m.
Committee Members in attendance: Trustee Mark Gaffino, Trustee Curtis. Staff in attendance: Steve Bosco, Village Administrator; Mike Toth, Community and Economic Development Director; Cindy Torraco, Exec. Assistant. Trustee Mark Guethle joined the meeting at 8:40 a.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion to approve the March 16, 2016 Development Committee Minutes made by Trustee Gaffino and seconded by Trustee Curtis. All in Favor – Motion Approved
1. TIF Façade Grant request in the amount of $12,028 for the property located at 111 S. Lincolnway.
Mike Toth gave overview of the TIF Façade Grant request for property on the east side of Rt. 31 between the BP gas station and the A&W restaurant. Toth introduced Joe Martinez, the property manager. Mr. Martinez noted there were three locations where the parking lot required sealing and restriping, in addition to painting the building and adding lighting to improve the façade and also for security. He noted there are four tenants on the property with two vacant locations. He noted that Coleman Closets business space was vacant and may be subdivided into three units. Toth noted that the TIF grant includes property that is not directly abutting Route 31, noting that improvements to the rear of the property was not only for aesthetics, but also security.
Steve Bosco stated the Committee would probably want to wait for Trustee Guethle to join the meeting before making their recommendation.
(Item Number 3 of the agenda was discussed next while waiting for Trustee Guethle to join meeting.)
2. Discussion of North Aurora Auto Mall Special Sign District (Petition #16-07). (Item No. 3 on the agenda was discussed prior to No. 2, pending Trustee Guethle joining the meeting.)
Toth noted staff has been working with Gerald Auto Group regarding signage for their buildings. He noted that the Village’s Sign Ordinance sets standards for industrial and commercial signs, and also includes special sign districts. Auto dealers could be added as a special sign district, as opposed to seeking a variance. Due to their geographic isolation, which is usually in an area with limited impact, but they do need as much visibility as possible both from Orchard Road and I-88, which would allow for a sign provision for their specific needs. The Plan Commission did recommend approval of amending the Sign Ordinance with conditions.
Curtis questioned the potential for large freestanding signs that could be oriented towards I-88. Staff explained that freestanding signs would be limited to twenty (20) feet in height on Orchard Road and ten (10) within the remainder of the auto mall. Any height above that would require a variance.
Trustee Guethle joined the meeting at 8:40 a.m. and Toth brought him up to speed on what was being discussed.
Bosco noted that if there were interest in auto dealerships locating outside the auto mall, we could then extend boundaries of a special sign district. Bosco questioned the Committee if they thought this should be the case, where we would extend the provisions beyond the Auto mall boundaries. Toth recommended that these provisions could be amended at a later time.
Toth stated Chrysler dealership had an interest in the location by Towne Centre, out of the Auto Mall boundaries. He noted that they have to do off-site storage because they are required to keep a certain amount of inventory on site, however they currently don’t have enough space. Bosco noted Gerald Auto Group owns all but one of the two spots at the Auto Mall.
Toth noted that he learned that working with auto groups brings up a number of signage requirements, noting the need a variety of signs for one dealership, including the manufacturer’s information, the franchisee name on the building, service center signs, etc. a lot of signage is required for this type of use.
3 Discussion of stationary food vendors and mobile food vendors. (item No. 2 on the agenda)
Staff has had a lot of inquiries about mobile food trucks and was approached by a food vendor looking to have a stationary food truck parked on the Sherwin Williams property. This would be a retro-fitted utility or recreational trailer that would have kitchen appliances for preparing the food. They plan to leave the trailer on the property 24 hours a day, and open daily to serve food. Toth noted his report included background information from other municipalities, and noted that a lot of cities have embraced food trucks, usually in larger cities. When looking at other municipalities, we noted there are a lot of provisions, such as not blocking any parking spaces, whether bathrooms need to be provided, etc. Sycamore allows permanent food trucks, as long as they have a valid peddler’s license. The difference between mobile and stationary vendors, is that the mobile food trucks will come, park and stay anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours or more. Staff is seeking feedback and direction from the Committee on how to respond to mobile and stationary food truck inquiries.
Toth noted they are just looking to open one food truck at the Sherwin Williams location. Bosco noted that this could mean 24 hours a day, for several months straight, which could mean spring, summer and fall. Trustee Curtis commented that she wouldn’t mind seeing mobile food trucks, but would not want to see a permanent structure, and would want to be sure they had the option to move to other locations. She also does not want to over-regulate them. Trustee Curtis stated she does not like the idea of a trailer park full of these permanent structures. She also asked how sales tax would be collected. Bosco stated the state requires that they track their sales.
Bosco noted staff is looking at opportunities for River Front Park and with the limited space, mobile food trucks might be an option.
Trustee Gaffino stated he would not want to see any stationary food trucks allowed, and noted Sugar Grove has a taco trailer by the mini golf, but he would be good with allowing mobile food trucks. Further, was concerned if they would remain in the same spot each day, or move to different locations.
Toth noted that staff is looking for feedback on what the Committee would like to see, regarding limiting length of time they can be parked. Trustee Guethle noted he would be okay with a couple hours during lunch time. Trustee Gaffino was concerned about mobile food trucks setting up across from brick and mortar restaurants, and noted it was something to think about. Toth said a lot of communities regulate their locations by zoning and he has noticed that the mobile food trucks gravitate to industrial areas. Business owners in industrial areas have asked when North Aurora is going to get more restaurants in these areas.
Toth stated that when he looks at language of other communities, he takes into consideration whether the provision are enforceable based on our staff and time. He wants to be sure that the language makes sense with regard to being able to enforce it.
Bosco noted we can just focus on mobile food trucks at this point, and they would need to abide by the County’s health department regulations.
Trustee Curtis noted a mobile food truck is a business with less overhead. Food trucks don’t have the same dining experience and amenities as a brick and mortar restaurant.
The Committee recommended bring this back for discussion at the Committee of the Whole, with regard to mobile food trucks, noting they were not in favor a permanent food trucks being kept in one location. Bosco noted we may look at exceptions for festivals, regarding parking overnight, would have to see how provisions would apply.
4. Discussion of proposed fencing materials text amendment (Petition #16-08).
Toth stated that the Plan Commission discussed fencing material in commercial and industrial districts. The concern was with the Opus West property fence, adjacent to J. C. Penney store. The Plan Commission looked at limiting the type of materials that can be used for commercial and industrial properties.
Staff worked with the Plan Commission to come up with new language but enforcing fencing materials can be a bit tricky. Staff is asking the Development Committee what their thoughts are about fencing on industrial and commercial properties. Toth noted that when a development comes in as a P.U.D. the site plan review allows for consideration on a case-by-case basis. When Opus first came in, the fencing material was not taken into consideration in the P.U.D. A site plan review requirement of the Opus east building was that any type of fencing has to be decorative. Toth questioned whether the Village wants to prohibit chain link fencing in industrial and commercial zoning, when chain link is used for functional purposes and for security issues. There may be repercussions if we prohibit chain link or barb wire.
Toth noted the Zoning Ordinance allows fencing to be placed in the all areas of a property, but is restricted by height. He noted that at one time it was proposed that chain link fencing be eliminated for residential and the Plan Commission said no, that it should be up to the home owner to choose.
Bosco asked if the Committee felt chain link fencing should be banned along a commercial corridor, or allowed along the side of the building, but not along the main corridor. Then you get into whether you want to regulate the entire industrial property and not just the portion facing the commercial corridor. Trustee Guethle suggested using restrictions and requiring two different types of fencing. Bosco added that the Plan Commission was pretty adamant about not allowing chain link fencing in commercial areas. Toth noted that industrial properties sometime require this type of fencing, noting that when Opus first came in, and discussed fencing as part of the site development process, they mentioned requirements for fencing due to homeland security requirements. Opus is a bit of an anomaly as it is an industrial use next to commercial zoning. Once the landscaping matures on the Opus property, the fence will be less noticeable.
Bosco referenced Elk Grove Village’s policy that requires any fencing adjacent to a R.O.W. or viewed by the public should be painted black. Trustee Gaffino suggested there are coatings for chain link that can be made either brown or green to blend into the landscape. Trustee Guethle commented that we may not want to have a bunch of restrictions over fencing requirements for a business.
Toth noted the wording may have to be somewhat specific and asked the Committee what their thoughts were about design requirements for the locations listed in his report, noting these are all main routes through the Village. Toth added regulations could specify earth tones based on the color of the building to be compatible. Toth also noted fences are prohibited in front and corner side-yards and any fencing would have to meet setback requirements.
Bosco noted the only future industrial area that is adjacent to commercial properties would be next to Oberweis and along Route 31. Trustee Curtis stated she would like to ban fencing on Route 31, noting it has enough problems. Gaffino commented on the car lot on Route 31, stating the wooden fence does not look good there. Bosco noted staff will bring this back to the Committee of the Whole for discussion and to get more feedback on whether to regulate fencing in both commercial and industrial zoning areas.
Trustee Gaffino asked when the Marathon gas station building was scheduled to be demolished. Toth noted they has a meeting tomorrow with the contractor and will know more then. Further information can be provided in the Village Administrator’s Friday report.
Trustee Gaffino also noted that there are about four or five buildings for sale on Route 31. Toth noted staff can keep eye on pricing on properties to see if the board has any interest, and also can reach out to property owner and discuss T.I.F. opportunities.
Bosco stated that Jim Bibby would be providing a radius diagram for the Elleby Court parking issue and the Fire District is looking to see that the fire trucks can get through. Staff has been looking for historical data regarding the tree that the island was built around and when the tree died and was removed. Staff is looking at different options to either ban parking or cut the median back. Rempe-Sharpe Engineers will provide estimates on both options for the next board meeting.
Bosco noted a new restaurant looking to go in at the Clock Tower plaza and will be looking for a liquor license. The restaurant looks promising and staff noted that the owner was one of the partners from the Open Range restaurant in Batavia. They are looking to open a restaurant, and not just a bar, and it will be on the order of a Buffalo Wild Wings, with entertainment such as a golf simulator to provide more of a family oriented entertainment experience.
Motion to Adjourn by Trustee Gaffino, second by Trustee Curtis
All in Favor - Meeting Adjourned
Exec. Assistant/Deputy Clerk