VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
PLAN COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
NOVEMBER 6, 2018
CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Brackett called the meeting to order.
In attendance: Chairman Mike Brackett, Commissioners Connie Holbrook, Tom Lenkart, Anna Tuohy and Mark Rivecco. Not in attendance: Commissioners Doug Botkin, Mark Bozik, Jennifer Duncan and Aaron Anderson.
Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steve Bosco, Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth, Village Clerk Lori Murray.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
1. Approval of Plan Commission Minutes dated September 4, 2018
Motion for approval made by Commissioner Tuohy and seconded by Commissioner Rivecco. All in favor. Motion approved.
1. Petition #18-12 (111 N River Road) The petitioner requests a Special Use to allow Outdoor Storage in the I-1 Limited Industrial District, pursuant to Section 17.9.2 of the North Aurora Zoning Ordinance.
(This petition has been formally withdrawn by the petitioner)
2. Petition #18-11 The Village of North Aurora requests a text amendment to Title 17 of the North Aurora Municipal Code (Zoning Ordinance) amending provisions relative to solar energy collection panels.
Chairman Brackett called the meeting to order. There were no public comments or questions. Brackett then closed the public portion of the hearing.
1. Petition #18-11 The Village of North Aurora requests a text amendment to Title 17 of
the North Aurora Municipal Code (Zoning Ordinance) amending provisions relative to solar energy collection panels.
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth said that there are provisions in the Village zoning ordinance that regulate solar collection panels. It limits placement to the roof and does not allow them to be placed on the front façade of the house. In addition, the solar panels cannot cover more than 25% of the rooftop area. There have been a lot of state and federal programs that have incentivized residents to enter into a net metering program where they can hire contractors that will submit applications on their behalf to get grants for the actual equipment to put on their roof and they will apply for net metering. Once they have the equipment installed they can put power back into the grid with ComEd.
Toth said that the issue is that the Village has had a lot of these come in but the Village’s zoning ordinance is too strict to allow the solar panels. Toth said he is looking to amend the zoning ordinance to keep in line the original intent of solar collection panel ordinances. That would be to regulate it so it does not have a visual impact on neighborhoods. Toth said he spoke with Pete Iosue of Teska and came up with the provisions which will keep the regulation of the front façade and limit impact of adjacent rights-of-ways. Provisions already allow for solar panels to face a neighboring property. Toth said he would also want to eliminate the 25% rule.
Commissioner Holbrook said she is a big proponent for allowing the solar panels.
Commissioner Lenkart asked what the elevation change would be. Toth said it would be no more than 30 degrees off the roof pitch.
Commissioner Lenkart asked about maintenance of the solar panels. Toth said that Provision 8 of the ordinance could be modified to include structural and aesthetic provision.
Commissioner Tuohy noted her concern with seeing the panels from her home, especially if the solar panels covered more than 25% of the roof. Tuohy asked if a resident can have a solar farm in their back yard. Toth said that the Village does not allow solar farms.
Commissioner Rivecco said he was in favor of the provisions and likes the addition of the aesthetic requirements.
Lenkart asked about solar shingles and what would happen with high winds and having them replaced. Toth said that the industry has decided they are not cost effective at this time and no one is willing to put them up just yet.
Chairman Brackett asked if the neighboring communities allow these solar panels. Toth said he believed that Aurora allows it on any of the facades but did not look at other communities.
Motion made by Commissioner Lenkart and seconded by Commissioner Holbrook for approval of the changes and to include in provision 8 that there be conditions for maintaining the solar panels or shingles. All in favor. Motion approved.
PLAN COMMMISSIONER COMMENTS AND PROJECT UPDATES
-Commissioner Rivecco asked when the road from John to Marvo would be completed. Village Administrator Steve Bosco said that they are doing some grading and landscaping and hopefully the street will be paved next week.
-Steve Bosco stated that the Village will be marketing the property for the old activity center location for a mixed-use location.
-The Village finished demolition of the building located at 24 Monroe. Bosco said the Village had a study done on the feasibility for that corner. The Comprehensive Plan and Staff said that the best use would be a mixed use to make it successful. The 2-acre site on the corner was determined to be more than enough to sustain a mixed use multi-story building.
Motion to adjourn made by Commissioner Rivecco and seconded by Commissioner Lenkart. All in favor. Motion approved.
Lori J. Murray