VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING MINUTES
OCTOBER 19, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village Board meeting was conducted live remotely
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 Guethle, Trustee Mark Carroll
Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steve Bosco, Finance Director Bill Hannah, Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth, Village Attorney Kevin Drendel, Public Works Director John Laskowski, Police Chief Dave Fisher.
AUDIENCE COMMENTS – None
TRUSTEE COMMENTS – None
1. Petition 20-06: Orchard Commons PUD Amendment
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth explained this item was regarding the development of a new restaurant, Fortunato Fish and Oyster, in lot 3 of the Orchard Commons PUD, and this discussion was for the allowance of a restaurant on that lot, which back in 2015 was approved for a microbrewery. This item came before Plan Commission earlier in October and they were in favor of moving forward with conditions on both the roof sign and cross access between adjacent lots.
Parker Grabowski, the owner of both Hardware and Turf Room in North Aurora, presented to the board details of his newest planned restaurant. He said the building was being designed after Frank Lloyd Wright’s “falling waters” and there would be cement projectiles and glass squares to emulate that look throughout the design. The restaurant is being presented as northern Italian heavy on seafood and would have a live seafood counter at the bar and is being geared towards the 21+ crowd, although 30% of the restaurant will be dedicated to family dining. Grabowski said the building both design wise, which will be incorporating a 1930s, 1940s theme, and food wise is not like anything in the area and will have options that aren’t even available in Chicago. Compared to other restaurants he has built in North Aurora, Grabowski said the construction here would be more straightforward and he estimates it taking between 5-6 months. He also accounted for parking between Hardware and Fortunato and believes there are more than enough spaces to accommodate both restaurants.
Trustee Guethle said he thought the plans looked awesome and wished Grabowski luck, and Trustee Lowery said it would be a great addition to our community. Trustee Martinez added he loved the idea of a seafood restaurant and agreed with Grabowski that there were not many options in the area.
2. Moose Lake Estates Unit III Annexation Amendment
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth explained that M/I Homes is looking to purchase all of the Moose Lake Estates Unit 3 lots and the remaining lots in Units 1 and 2, and noted that Moose Lake Estates is governed by an annexation agreement. M/I Homes would be looking to complete the subdivision and have the requirements and obligations in the annexation agreement clarified and in some cases extended due to the upcoming deadline.
Vince Rosanova, a petitioner on behalf of M/I Homes, said the company has been in the Chicagoland area for about 12 years and has worked on projects near the Village in Warrenville, Geneva and Naperville. He provided further background on Moose Lake Estates and noted the previous developer pulled out in 2010 after building about 180 homes. There are currently 32 lots in units 1 and 2 and 36 lots in unit 3 for a total of 68 home sites that M/I would be looking to develop and complete the subdivision.
Trustee Gaffino asked whether the homes M/I was planning would fit in with the existing subdivision. Rosanova said they would be providing a total of nine models, including a ranch option that he felt would be very popular, and noted that the designs would reflect current market trends, as the homes currently in Moose Lake Estates were built back in the early 2000s and that consumer tastes have changed since then. He said the feel would be complementary to what is already in place. Trustee Carroll inquired about the square footage of the homes and Rosanova said their designs would be a little smaller than current homes. He said the ranch option would be about 1,500 square feet and the two-story homes would range up to about 3,000 square feet.
Trustee Guethle said he thinks it will be a good addition and likes the idea of completing the subdivision.
3. TIF District Presentation
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth provided an overview on the Village’s three TIF districts, being Route 31, North Licolnway and Sperry, and how the funds generated by them are used for redevelopment, public infrastructure improvements and rehabilitating properties, as well now demolition.
He explained that while each TIF district is generating funds the overall amount is less than anticipated. TIFs run for 23 years and the first TIF district, Route 31, was created in 2002 with an expiration of 2025. Director Toth also noted that there have been challenges to the future of TIF districts and they are under constant scrutiny.
With that in mind, Staff, along with Teska & Associates, ran through different scenarios of either extending the TIF districts upon their deadline or dissolving them prior to and creating a unified TIF district that would combine all three. Director Toth said ultimately the best goal would be to create a unified TIF district that would add in several additional portions to the district, while the current TIF district on Route 31 south of 88 would remain separate and expire naturally in 2025. Doing so would allow the Village to spread those TIF funds to all properties in the district and would also not require taxing bodies and state legislation to sign off on it, like the extension would.
Trustee Guethle said he liked the appeal of condensing it all to one TIF district and that it would work well for the community. Mayor Berman said the unified district has great potential for the Village and commended all those involved for the work put into the plan.
EXECUTIVE SESSION – None
Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Lowery. All in favor. Motion approved.
Natalie F. Stevens
Deputy Village Clerk