Committee of the Whole Minutes
VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING MINUTES
JUNE 4, 2018
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, Police Chief David Fisher, Village Attorney Kevin Drendel, Jim Bibby of Rempe Sharpe.
AUDIENCE COMMENTS – None
TRUSTEE COMMENTS – None
1. Lincoln Valley on the Fox Development (Fox Valley Golf Course)
Mark Fields (D.R. Horton) – addressed the Board to discuss revisions and enhancements of the revised proposal.
Consultant team: Jerry Schain (Schain Banks, Attorneys at Law), Cemcon (site engineers), Gary Weber Associates (landscape architect), WBK Engineering (land planners).
Mark Fields of D.R. Horton noted that the site is located off of Route 25 east of the Fox River. The proposal is for an active adult community; a community that is providing an active lifestyle to a buyer who chooses to live in an environment with a large community center/place of destination. These buyers are looking for proximity to shopping, proximity to natural cultural attractions within the area, medical facilities and privacy of home ownership without the need to do seasonal day-to-day maintenance. There will be onsite activities, open space, club house, lakes and walking paths. These amenities drive this active adult community.
Adam Rack, WBK Engineering – Mr. Rack explained that the plan is proposed to have a mixture of R1A, R3 and R4. To the east, the plan is compatible with the existing R1. There is a strip of R3 to the south and proposing R4 on the southwest corner along Route 25. Rack noted that these are very compatible land uses with the existing zoning. The plan was a very straight grid configuration in the beginning. The street network is now very curvilinear which is more common to the Village. Water and drainage is a key component of the plan. Storm water detention areas are along Route 25 and are showcased as real amenities for the property. A single curb cut is located along Route 25 and another curb cut is proposed along Banbury.
There are three distinct neighborhoods in this plan. The proposal includes 149 single family units, 126 duplex units to the southeast quadrant of the property and 25 townhome units along Route 25. Sidewalks have been incorporated on both sides of the streets.
In terms of landscaping, the proposal is for an additional 1200 trees in addition to those trees that will be saved. Additional evergreen trees along the northeast and south buffers were added per the request by the Plan Commission. There are existing plantings in the 40-foot buffer along Banbury. Plantings that are saved will be maintained by the Village and DR Horton will supplement those plantings to provide a stronger buffer along Banbury on the common area behind the lots. A 30-foot buffer is proposed along the north, which is 30 feet from the development’s property line to the rear lot line of the buildings. This is an additional 30-foot setback.
Fields mentioned that there is further clarity on the actual community clubhouse at this time. The proposal includes a 6,000 s.f. clubhouse, guest parking, a proposed pool, outdoor space, pickle ball and bocce ball area, fitness area and warming kitchen. The plan will also provide extra screening and plantings for future homes that are located up against the clubhouse area.
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth provided a brief presentation at this time. Toth said that that this proposal is before the Board after weeks of discussion between the petitioner and Staff and that both parties feel comfortable with what has been proposed.
Last September, the petitioner presented a plan that included 400 units. The concept plan was well received by the board for 362 units. The plan before the board tonight is for 374. The additional 12 units are duplex units located in the southeast quadrant.
The Plan Commission had recommended approval of the petition, (Special use for the Planned Unit Development, map amendment and the subdivision plan). Staff recommended approval of the petition itself prior to the Plan Commission hearing.
One of the conditions of approval was to have an additional traffic study done. That was performed by KLOA, Inc. Javier Milan, Senior Consultant at KLOA explained the results of the traffic study. KLOA looked at additional counts over two separate days. They were performed on April 10th and 11th from the time of 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Peak hours are from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 am, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. The results were compared with the previous data and were within 2-10% of the original findings by D.R. Horton. Milan said that this difference is normal because there will be fluctuation. The trip generation and distribution also concurred with DR Horton’s findings. Milan noted that additional traffic can be accommodated without changing anything that is currently in place. The State reviewed the study and also concurred with the findings. They are in agreement with providing a left turn lane on Route 25.
Trustee Martinez asked Chief Fisher if he has estimated if the addition of this subdivision will affect the need for additional officers. Chief Fisher said he has not estimated the need for additional officers, but will evaluate it at a later time.
Toth said that the gross density for the development itself is 3.65 units per acre. Net density of 7.92 units per acre. Fifty percent of the development will be dedicated to open space, storm water detention and right of way (sidewalks and streets).
There were 8 conditions of the Plan Commission –
1. Additional Traffic Study – this has since been completed through KLOA
2. Additional evergreen trees in the buffer areas – Petitioner has agreed to this condition.
3. Tree Preservation Plan – this plan is in place. If any trees are removed or damaged, it will be replaced with a similar caliper.
4. Sussex Court widened to 33 feet - Petitioner agreed to this condition.
5. R1A setback of 5 feet to the R1 setback of 10 feet – petitioner has not agree to this request.
6. Distance between street lights must be provided and approved by the village engineer (petitioner created a street light exhibit). Street lights to be led
7. LED technology utilized – Petitioner has agreed that all lights in the subdivision will be LED.
8. Pud impact fee of $715 per unit - In this case the property is already annexed into the village and therefore it is not required. However, the developer has agreed to pay the $715 to the fire district.
Trustee Carroll asked, in terms of condition #3, why staff recommend that the PUD vary from what the existing ordinance is and eliminated the fine system. Toth said that they wanted to get away from the fine system and make sure any loss of tree vegetation is replaced with a similar caliper tree. Carroll asked if the trees that are removed need to be replaced in the same area or added to a berm somewhere else. Toth said it can be dispersed throughout the development. Trustee Gaffino said that is not a fair trade off, for example, to take down a 40-year old oak tree and replace it with 15 smaller trees. Gaffino said he likes the fine system. Operators will then pay more attention to the trees that are to be removed. Gaffino added that the beauty of this property is the trees. Carroll, Gaffino and Martinez all agreed that they would like to see something different for this condition.
Toth pointed out in the PUD/Map Amendment Agreement that would go before the Board, that section 5, Substitution Policy, allows for substation of duplexes for single family homes or townhomes for duplexes. There would be no increase in density, however.
Village Administrator Steve Bosco mentioned, in reference to item 8 of the Plan Commission conditions (fire impact fee), that the impact fee is not a general impact fee. It can only be used for the land for a future purchase or building of a fire station.
Carroll questioned the purpose of the substitution provisions. Mark Fields said that they cannot create the market. In PUDs, as the project progresses, will realize the demand is more single family or duplex or townhome products. This will allow flexibility of the builder without changing density.
Carroll asked Fields if in these types of developments there is an increase in the need for emergency/fire/police services. Fields said they have not done that type of study but have look at the fiscal impact studies, which have shown that the permitting and revenue generated through the new housing goes above and beyond in offsetting the increase.
Mike Kimble, 584 Hammer Lane, North Aurora – lives in the Banbury Ridge single family homes and likes the openness of the subdivision. His concern was with the side lot setbacks and the traffic study. Kimble said that Sharon Lane and Pine Creek are travelled a lot but did not believe they were in the traffic study. Other concerns noted were density and pricing. Kimble said he did not see any information showing that these homes would be able to sell for the high 300s.
Jane Beneke, 585 Hammer Lane, North Aurora, IL – asked if the homes would have basements. Fields stated that there will be a mix of standard, walk outs, look outs and slabs. Beneke asked if there would be a pool and an exercise room. Answer was yes. Beneke asked if decks would be added to the homes. Answer was that there are restrictions and the decks would be regulated by the zoning district. Fields said that there is not a lot of opportunity to make major expansions. Beneke asked if the replacement of the very old trees would be replaced with thin trees. Answer was they want to save as many of the mature trees as possible. Current proposal is to look at a replacement program. Beneke asked when DR Horton will be breaking ground. Fields said the desire is to start mass grading this fall and have a model open for spring.
Lynn Ducar, 373 Ridge Road, North Aurora - asked if the streets would tree lined. Answer was yes. Ducar asked about the width of the parkway. Answer was 11 feet. Ducar also noted her concern with the monotony of the duplexes.
James Lawhead, 604 Wingfoot, North Aurora – Lawhead noted that the density is not like those of the surrounding neighborhoods and that the community needs more starter homes rather than $400,000 homes. Lawhead said that some of the issues with drainage have been addressed but two culverts are on the north side and there is only one on the south side. The Fox Valley Park District is having a big issue with natural springs so they have ongoing issues of unearthed natural springs. The pond on hole #12 and #13 was removed but it was put there because the area floods on that property. Now that pond will be filled and will cause major issues. If there are issues with flooding in the future, who pays for that? Will there be warranties with the homes? .
Trustee Lowery said that style and atmosphere lends itself to allow for a more dense population. The individual buying the home will not want to mow their lawn. Lowery said he lives very close to this property and was concerned with density at one time but believes the whole purpose of this project does lend itself to more density than what we normally enjoy. Mayor Berman said this is not an R1 property and that it is a different environment which can’t be compared to a single family residence built on a 4-acre lot.
Jerry Kalita, 367 Ridge Road, North Aurora – concerned with the property being too dense. Kalita asked the developer how many trees have been marked and how many will be removed. Fields said he did not have a percentage yet. Trees have been tagged and evaluated for quality. Gary Weber Associates said that they are still evaluating and looking at final grades. There are several pockets throughout the property that will be saved. Approximately 800 trees have been looked at so far. Most of those trees are undesirable and DR Horton will be planting 1200 trees for the new development.
Ed Sweeney, 606 Spyglass Court, North Aurora – Sweeney said that everyone wants this plan to look great and the density is not a relevant conversation. This product is desperately needed, not just in North Aurora but in the entire community area. Diversity of housing is needed. Sweeney said that this is the highest and best use and applauded DR Horton for their changes.
Trustee Carroll said he agreed. When comparing density with other properties, we are not comparing apples to apples. There is limited targeted housing. There are people who no longer want to shovel their driveways or mow their lawns and do not want half-acre lots. To make that comparison is unfair. The tax revenue to the village will be huge. They are not going to use the schools and a lot of the services. They will use fire, police and other maintenance-type services. Carroll said he is very excited to see this development come to the village. It will add rooftops to the village. There have been complaints in the past from residents that the Village needs restaurants and businesses. That only happens when there are rooftops. This development will add this to bring those restaurants and businesses to the Village.
Mayor Berman said that Staff and DR Horton have done a great job addressing issues from previous meetings.
Toth said that he would like more feedback from the Board regarding the 5-foot vs 10-foot setbacks. The Board can discuss the tree preservation conditions regarding fines and replacement at the next meeting.
Trustee Curtis said appreciative of the builder’s development and presentation. Curtis added that she is all for approval of the concept and this will be a great fit for the Village. It is a great product and will not compete with other single family homes.
Trustee Gaffino said he agreed, adding that he has been in three different homes in the Village. Gaffino said he appreciates the concerns of the residents but said that this product is definitely needed.
Trustees Guethle and Martinez said they were both in favor of the project.
Bosco asked if the Plan Commission conditions should be left as is or changed. Gaffino suggested fines for the tree preservation plan. Bosco said that staff would come up with a combination of replacement and fees.
Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Gaffino and seconded by Trustee Lowery. All in favor. Motion approved.
Lori J. Murray