Committee of the Whole Minutes
VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING MINUTES
NOVEMBER 20, 1027
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Berman called the meeting to order.
In attendance: Mayor Dale Berman, Trustee Mark Gaffino, Trustee Mike Lowery, Trustee Laura Curtis, Trustee Mark Carroll, Trustee Tao Martinez, Trustee Mark Guethle, Village Clerk Lori Murray
Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steve Bosco, Finance Director Bill Hannah, Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth, Public Works Director John Laskowski, Village Attorney Kevin Drendel.
Mark Claypool – 2717 Berman Road, North Aurora – Mr. Claypool said he was informed a week ago from Village Code Enforcement that parking his motorhome in his driveway on a Tuesday was in violation of the Village Ordinance. The ordinance allows residents to have motorhomes in their driveways from Friday noon until Monday noon. Claypool said this works for traditional campers, however, as a retiree it does not. Claypool said that he has show dogs and hunting dogs and is gone during the week. He will bring his RV home on a Thursday, load it up and leave Friday morning and get home on Sunday or Monday. Mr. Claypool provided a printout of his fall schedule to the Board. He proposed keeping the ordinance as is, but for those who are not traditional campers, to allow a 24-hour time period for loading and unloading.
Gary Fuller, 2073 Westover Road, North Aurora, IL – Mr. Fuller said he recently bought an RV and didn’t know that the Village had rules about parking RVs at a residence. Fuller said that he is retired and the weekend limits do not always work. He wants to be a good neighbor and hopes the Village can work on accommodating situations such as his and Mr. Claypool.
Trustee Carroll asked if anyone complained about the RV being in his driveway or if it was random. Claypool said it was random. Carroll asked Mike Toth what the Tanner Trails HOA requires. Toth said he was not familiar with the Tanner Trails bylaws. Claypool said they moved into their home in April and there was nothing in the HOA rules at that time.
Toth said that in 2013 there was a 48-hour window which included the weekends and two 2-week periods throughout the year. In 2014 the 48-hour window was removed since the 48 hours plus the other allowed days would end up allowing an RV to be parked in a driveway for almost a week.
Trustee Curtis said that the village has rules in place for a reason. When you move into a traditional residential neighborhood there is an expectation that you won’t see large vehicles, RVs, boats, etc. It does become burdensome for those residents who don’t want to see large vehicles parked in their neighborhood.
Mayor Berman asked Staff to review the ordinance and come up with a solution to meet the requirements.
TRUSTEE COMMENTS - None
1. 111 Hettinger Lane Variance
Mike Toth said that this item was before the Plan Commission for a public hearing. The issue is that the floor area of the garage is larger than the floor area of the home and a variance has been requested. The Plan Commission voted to deny the variance.
Attorney Burt Brown, representing Mr. & Mrs. Coleman, owners of the property, addressed the Board. The property is a single family home which was built 40 years ago and sits between 2 pieces of industrial property. There are 5 houses on Hettinger Lane.
Brown said that Mr. Coleman suffers from a number of debilitating and life threatening conditions. He has spent over $35,000 building the garage. He did not get a variance or building permit due to his declining health and is now requesting a variance. The Colemans will be paying fines and other fees due to building the structure without a permit.
Carroll asked if the garage structure was out of compliance when the Colemans first applied for the variance. Toth explained that in 2014 the Village created text amendments that set forth the area requirement. At that time the detached building could not exceed 80% of the total square footage of the principal structure. In 2014, if the request would have come in, Mr. Coleman would have been able to build the garage by right, prior to August 18, 2014. The code then changed after that date, which would require Mr. Coleman to seek a variance.
Trustee Carroll said that Mr. Coleman was a contractor for 30 years and was aware that he would need to seek a variance. He knew what was required every step of the way but built the garage anyway. Carroll was concerned with the type of message this sends to other residents in the village.
Atty. Brown said that it doesn’t send a message because this property is very unique, being in the middle of an industrial area. Carroll said that this is a unique piece of property and that is when someone would seek a variance. He ignored the rules and built his garage anyway. Carroll said he has a real issue because it sends a terrible message. Atty. Brown said that Mr. Coleman is in adjudication at this time and he will pay a large penalty if the Village grants the variance.
Trustee Gaffino confirmed that even if the variance is approved, the adjudication process continues.
Trustee Curtis asked if we are a village with rules and ordinances or not and do we enforce the rules. This is a person who disrespected the ordinance and now the village is worrying about the health and adjudication.
Trustee Lowery said he was on the fence with this request. Had the homeowner come and properly asked for the variance it would have probably been granted. However, this sets a terrible precedent.
Trustee Carroll asked what would happen if the variance is not approved. Toth said the property would have to be brought into compliance which could be done in several ways. He could build an addition to the home and expand the footprint of the property or he could attach both structures.
Mayor Berman said it is something that needs to come before the board for a vote. It is clear that the board is not very pleased with the actions taken by the individual. It does not show good faith in the community. There is a way for him to pay a fine but he can also do some construction to make it conform.
2. Trustee Committee Structure
The number of committees would be reduced from 4 to 2. Each committee would have 3 trustees and the mayor. Proposal is to change the Public Facilities and Public Safety Committees and combining them into the Services Committee. The Finance Committee and the Development Committee would become the Operations Committee. One committee would take place on Board meeting nights, on the first Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. and the other committee meeting on the third Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. The Board was in favor of this change to the committee structure.
3. 2018 Annual Meeting Schedules
The schedule, as proposed, would include the addition of the new committee structure. There would be no meetings on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, President’s Day and Labor Day. Meetings will be rescheduled if needed.
4. Sign Text Amendment
Toth mentioned that the only big change would be the height of free standing signs to the business districts going from 10 feet to 20 feet. The Route 31 sign district has its own sign provisions so this would not apply to signs along the Route 31 corridor.
Toth noted that this was brought before the Plan Commission in September 2016 and the decision was made at the November 7th meeting to move forward. Some of their suggestions were noted in red on the document.
Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Carroll and seconded by Trustee Lowery. All in favor. Motion approved.
Lori J. Murray