VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING MINUTES
DECEMBER 21, 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 Laura Curtis, Trustee Mike Lowery, Trustee Mark Guethle, Trustee Mark Carroll, Trustee Martinez.
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. 12 John Street (Share and Care) TIF Façade Application
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth explained that Share and Care had applied for a TIF Façade Grant Program in which the Village provides up to a 50% match, maximum of $20,000, for improvement projects in the TIF Area. Share and Care was looking to improve their north entranceway and had already submitted the application along with two required bids and been approved for a building permit. They were seeking a$12,216 from the Village to complete the project.
All Village trustees expressed approval of the project and Trustee Carroll added it was nice to see businesses taking advantage of the program.
This item will be on the next Village Board meeting, January 4, 2021, for approval.
2. Petition #20-08: 307 Banbury Road Special Use
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth explained that Chapelstreet Church, formerly Cornerstone Church, at 307 Banbury Road, is looking to add approximately 3,000 square feet to their existing building, which requires a special use permit for the expansion and because the extensions greater than 25% of the existing square footage also triggers a site plan approval. The petition went before the Plan Commission who unanimously recommended it for approval with the condition to provide one shade tree at the north and south end of the easternmost parking aisle. Director Toth said two members from the public logged on to ask questions about parking and the screening of HVAC during the Public Hearing and both of their questions were satisfied by the Village and the petioner.
Patty Bernard of Rosanova and Whitaker, Ltd. and representing Chapelstreet Church, explained more in detail the plans for the expansion. She noted the current church building is 6,000 square feet on a 2.19 acre lot and the addition would be 3,000 square feet, which would be built primarily on top of an existing basketball court. The addition would be connected to the existing building and constructed of similar materials and appearance with the goal to match the existing church as much as possible. The original section of church would undergo about 5,000 square feet in renovations and the new addition would include new youth ministry classrooms, which she clarified were not for daycare, a kid’s area, flex room, and storage space. She said the church has an agreement with Schneider Elementary School across the street for overflow parking and they would be looking to see that agreement in place with the changes. The church currently has 61 parking spaces (60 required) and the expansion would see a new total of 70 parking spaces.
Trustee Curtis said the proposal looked great and she thought it would be a great addition to the neighborhood and other trustees echoed the same. Trustee Gaffino asked about the comments made about the parking and HVAC and Director Toth said the HVAC equipment is required to have a 10 foot setback and is currently more than double that at 25 feet.
The special use and site plan approval will be put on the January 4, 2021 Village Board agenda for approval.
3. Petition #20-09: 161 S. Lincolnway Special Use
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth explained that Verilife, the cannabis dispensary at 161 South Lincolnway, was looking to expand their business 3,500 square feet into existing space in their building to address demand. He said they have a right to conduct business in their current space but the expansion would require a special use approval. The Plan Commission reviewed the special use application at their December 1, 2020 board meeting and unanimously approved of it with the conditions added by Village Staff that included gating off the garbage enclosure, specifying no accumulation of refuse and that the property owner would regulate traffic on site.
Katriina McGuire of Thompson Coburn spoke on behalf of Pharmacann and said this change was to better serve customers and operate more efficiently. She introduced Bill McMenamy of Pharmacann, who went into further detail about the business and the expansion. McMenamy said the expansion would give them an opportunity to better serve existing patients and customers and said they have made tremendous improvements since recreational cannabis sales became available on January 1, 2020. He explained the use of technology to better streamline the process; which has patients and customers order ahead of time on a digital platform and reserve a time to come in to pick up their items. Payment is done in person and they also have an app that generates a custom QR code for buyers to quickly and easily pay once they are at the dispensary. The expansion would expand the dispensary’s product vault and create a location for the processing of online orders as well as create a dedicated break/lunch room for employees, a general manager’s office and increase the point of sale (POS) terminals from five to ten to allow them to be more efficient. McMenamy said the expansion would also allow them to shift their floor design for the POS from an L-shape to a straight line that will create a more cohesive experience.
Trustee Curtis asked if there had been any more recent complaints of parking and traffic from both public and the other tenants in the building and Director Toth said they had not. She followed up with concerns that once the business expanded and COVID-19 ends that similar parking issues that occurred in January 2020 would return and wanted to make sure the business would be respectful of adjacent businesses. McMenamy said Pharamcann has gotten better and accepted feedback from tenants and well as the community and they have made improvements to make their processing system very efficient. He noted that the average transaction has remained similar to what they were in January and said hopefully the lack of complaints are a reflection of the effort they have put in and will continue to do, adding that they wanted to be a good neighbor to the community.
Trustee Martinez said he appreciated the comment about wanting to be a good neighbor and their effort to streamline the process. Trustee Gaffino asked if given the Staff recommendations if garbage had been an issue now, noting it had been one to start. Director Toth said the dumpster closure did not originally have gates and they were being added now. He noted the traffic was a general note issue and he had traveled there several times to monitor and observed multiple open parking spaces. The monitoring of the parking lot at this time would fall on the property owner rather than the business and that way if there was an issue the Village would have someone to fall back on.
The special use will be put on the January 4, 2021 Village Board agenda for approval.
Motion to adjourn to Executive Session was made by Trustee Carroll and seconded by Trustee Curtis.
Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Curtis. All in favor. Motion approved.
Natalie F. Stevens
Deputy Village Clerk