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Village Board Minutes


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village Board meeting was conducted live remotely
via telecommunications.

Mayor Berman called the meeting to order.


In attendance: Mayor Dale Berman, Trustee Laura Curtis, Trustee Mark Gaffino, 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.

PUBLIC HEARING – Aurora Boundary Agreement

AUDIENCE COMMENTS – None (all audience members speaking on Moose Lake Estates were asked to wait for an audience comment section under that discussion item.)



1. Village Board Minutes dated 12/07/2020 and Committee of the Whole Minutes dated 12/07/2020
2. Interim Bills List Dated 12/17/2020 in the Amount of $48,227.50
3. Bills List Dated 12/21/2020 in the Amount of $344,500.66

Motion for approval made by Trustee Lowery and seconded by Trustee Martinez. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Lowery – yes, Trustee Gaffino –yes, Trustee Carroll – yes, Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Martinez – yes, Trustee Curtis – yes. Motion approved (6-0).


Village Attorney Kevin Drendel said the first two items on the agenda are both related to Moose Lake Estates. He explained that the Annexation Agreement (the first item) would require two thirds of the board to vote in favor of it for approval, or 5 votes. The approval of the plat (the second item) would require a majority vote in favor of it for approval, or 4 votes. Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth briefly went over the timeline of these items coming before both the Board and the Plan Commission and explained the new conditions M/I Homes, the developer, had included in the annexation agreement that addressed the model home unit, third-car garage options, square foot minimums (one-story no less than 1,457 square feet and two-story no less than 1,695 square feet), and brick and wainscoting items. Audience comments were then opened regarding Moose Lake Estates.
Becky Damato, Moose Lake Estates HOA President – she referenced a presentation from a December 2, 2002 Village Board meeting made by Dave Bolger, the owner of Gladstone Builders (the original developer for Moose Lake Estates), who spoke to the Board of Gladstone’s vision for the subdivision. Damato said the original project is 73% complete and that the original annexation agreement was approved in part if not in whole based on the conceptual view Gladstone presented. She noted that M/I Homes has built in 23 Chicagoland communities and they have developments that are similar in size and style to those presently in Moose Lake Estates. Damato said when asked why M/I Homes was not building those models in Moose Lake Estates, they informed those were older models that had been retired and they were moving in a different direction, despite the fact Damato said those models are still being marketed. She said the models being proposed here would not blend in and would not add much value to the community. She asked the Village to hold the builder to the original commitment for Moose Lake Estates and to support the constituents in the community, not just the builder. She also asked that as HOA president she would like for the remaining lots to become part of the existing HOA and not a separate HOA.

Patrick Griffin, attorney for Moose Lake Estates HOA – he said a large part of his engagement in the process has been educating the Association. He said there was no question that the properties being talked about are in subject to the declaration and said the HOA’s goal is to work cooperatively with the developer. He said he said the annexation agreement being proposed was dangerous as it not being presented as minimum guidelines but as conditions and said he does not think it should be approved without acknowledging that this annexation agreement does not supersede private covenants.

Trustee Mark Carroll noted that both Damato and Attorney Griffin had said the Village could apply standards adopted by the Village in 2002 and asked on what authority they were relying on that as it was an oral argument that was not incorporated under the annexation agreement. He said he understood their frustration and heard a lot of opinion as to why the Village should deny the plat because it’s fair but said the Village needed some legal basis to deny the application and he has not heard that.

Attorney Griffin confirmed that the Village had no authority to deny the submitted plat by M/I Homes as it was consistent with the preliminary plat and but said the Village could do whatever it wanted with the Annexation Agreement and said it could request additional items in that agreement. He said the Village could impose new terms in the agreement and if the declarant did not like those terms then they did not have to enter into it either.

Trustee Curtis then asked about the relationship between the builder and the HOA and if the HOA proposed minimum requirements at this time would M/I Homes be subject to them. Attorney Drendel explained that the HOA covenants run with the land and are a private matter; the Village required them in the Annexation Agreement for the purpose of maintaining open spaces and retention areas, but beyond that the Village does not dictate the content and they stand apart from anything the Village does. He said had the original Annexation Agreement had dictated what had to be in those covenants there would be further discussion now, but that had not been done. Trustee Martinez said the original Annexation Agreement had been made 18 years ago and said he was under the impression the Board is set up to represent its constituents best interests and this is raising a lot of concern to him. Mayor Berman interjected that he felt this was getting away from the sequence set up for discussion and wanted anyone outside of the board with valid information to speak during this segment.

Vince Rosanova, attorney for M/I Homes – He said the Board was being asked to breach the annexation agreement with the landowner and said that the final plat up for approval is a mirror image of the original plat and must be approved as it is substantial conformance. He said the Board was being asked to vote in a way that violates the agreement along with Village code and state law and does not believe it is a fair or proper request. He said that those that were requesting for the plat to not be approved were in jeopardy of tortious interference with the contract.

He said the reason the Board was being asked to breach the Annexation Agreement and not approve the final plat was because some people believe that M/I Home are not big or expensive enough and he called such exclusionary zoning and said he was surprised by the comments in this regard. He said the market demands different housing types and that no one has stepped up to build 4,000 square foot homes in the subdivision because there is no demand for them. He said a former board member had said minimum square footage had been considered but ultimately not included. He said M/I Homes had incorporated several provisions that they are willing to be bound by. He also said that any attempt to modify the declaration infringes upon the developer’s rights and that the Village had no authority over it.

Mike Herlihy, 445 Sycamore Lane – he said Trustees had raised questions if the Board was able to address items of concern to residents and said that could be answered with a simple and emphatic yes. He said the drafts of the Annexation Agreement in paragraph 16 addressed certain architectural features that the Board had not yet discussed.

Patrick Griffin – He addressed Attorney Rosanova’s comment on tortious interference and said that the idea that someone who speaks out on behalf of their interests is going to be subject to lawsuit – noting that Illinois has the Citizen’s Participation Act which protects people’s rights to do that – is not in comport with the law. He also said Attorney Rosanova mentioned several times that the HOA was looking to amend the declaration and said they were not; they were looking to adopt rules and regulations consistent with the declaration. He brought up that Attorney Rosanova mentioned that he had not mentioned the caption in section 8.02 of the declaration titled Outbuildings and said that section 14.02 of the declaration says that captions, article and section headings are for convenience only. He said if you ignore the heading and read the simple plain language of section 8.02 it cannot get any clearer when it says there shall be no construction on any lot which results in a building or structure inconsistent with the general architectural design and aesthetics of the homes on the lot or remainder of homes on premises.

1. Approval of Ordinance Approving the Third Amendment to the Annexation Agreement for the Moose Lake Estates Subdivision

Trustee Curtis said what she is hearing and reading is that this does not appear to be an issue for the Board to intervene on but for the developer and HOA to hash out, and asked for clarification on who has the authority to create restrictions on façade. Attorney Drendel said that could be the subject of zoning, just as the Village sets maximum floor ratios and minimum lot widths and that could be something the Village looks to later. But it is not in place at this time and not a part of the current zoning code or the previous zoning code and also not a part of the annexation agreement or PUD (planned unit development) provisions. He said Attorney Griffin spoke about the covenants, which is a discussion between the HOA and the developer. He said the Annexation Agreement is subject to negotiation and the Village could attempt to negotiate different terms. He added there was no fall out on this item as it was strictly a matter of contract and noted that M/I Homes is not compelled to accept any provisions the Village may counter with.

Trustee Carroll said the process from start to finish has been locked up and the Village is being asked to clean up something from 18 years ago and said he does not like to be put into that position. He also said he does not like being threatened by an attorney, the citizens threatened or the Board threatened if they did not side a certain way. He said he does not like the tone that sets for someone who is supposed to be a partner moving forward in the Village. He said the people in Moose Lake Estates made an investment in their property, that mistakes were made along the way and he’s not sure what to do about it. He noted that M/I Homes can still pull building permits on lots in units 1 and 2 and build what they want subject to current zoning. He thinks that if M/I Homes wants to be a partner in this community then they need to go back and really make some true concessions and there is more they can do without the threat of litigation to North Aurora residents and Village. He said he understands the market is different and he sympathizes with Attorney Rosanova’s comments that no one has built a 4,000 square foot home in the last 10 years, but asked for something that both the HOA and the residents can live with. He said if this agreement were to pass the HOA still has recourse under their declaration to sue Gladstone to determine what minimum size should be.

Trutee Gaffino agreed with Trustee Carroll and said while the size does matter it’s the look of the home that matters most to him and said if 4,000 square foot homes weren’t the choice then the homes could be smaller but they still needed to blend in and be harmonious. He said that everyone here had to live with this stuff and that builders come and builders go. He said if he was the builder he’d want to have good will with the neighbors and there has to be some middle ground that could be reached. He commended Village Staff for all of their work they’d done and noted the Village put some skin in the game by offering to waive fees and that Staff and residents have all worked hard to find a compromise. He said it seems like the attitude of the developer is here it is and too bad if you don’t like it and he was not a fan of it.

Trustee Guethle said he has not had one person in town tell him they liked this project and he thought when it got sent back there would be negotiations with the developer. He said he’d like to see the builder do more for the people of North Aurora and said he’s not happy with the agreement as it stands no and he’d be voting no. Trustee Martinez concurred and said he’d also like to see more compromise from both ends.

Trustee Curtis said this was a big bag of nothing good the Village was handed and they’re trying to be fair with both sides. She said even if the Board did approve the agreement the HOA would still have some legal recourse to go back to the builder to hash it out. She said they all think it’s a bad idea and they all know it’s a bad project but noted the legalities of the plat.

Trustee Lowery said his position was that he was elected as trustee because constituents put their trust in his opinions and decisions and the outcry from the individuals who live in that community is loud and clear. He said he can’t agree to the situation as it exists right now and would like to see some dialogue between the HOA and developer to come to a mutual agreement. He also noted that if large homes aren’t in demand perhaps a smaller attractive home might be the answer. He said in good conscience he cannot vote for either item and has to vote according to the will of the people who put him in this office.

Mayor Berman said when the Village began developing it had always been about balance. He said he thinks the planning has done an admirable job of that. He noted in the 1950s there were a lot of 50 foot lots and in the 1960s there was tremendous growth and that rose to 80 feet. He said the Village had a good mix of homes of lower price and more expensive and wanted that balance so that all could enjoy the amenities of North Aurora. He said what M/I Homes proposed does not meet the Village requirements and the requirements of Moose Lake Estate homeowners. He said he believes negotiated, good quality homes for Moose Lake Estates could be proposed.

Motion for approval made by Trustee Curtis and seconded by Trustee Gaffino. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Lowery – no, Trustee Gaffino – no, Trustee Carroll – no, Trustee Guethle – no, Trustee Martinez – no, Trustee Curtis – no. Motion failed (0-6).

2. Approval of Ordinance Approving a Plat for Moose Lake Estates – Unit 3

Community & Economic Development Director Toth went over that Unit 3 has a toal of 36 lots and all are in compliance with E-3 Zoning. The only changes to the plat were ones requested by the Village to align with infrastructure.

Trustee Curtis commented that she did not think the Village had any reason not to approve this plat.

Motion for approval made by Trustee Curtis and seconded by Trustee Gaffino. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Lowery – no, Trustee Gaffino – no, Trustee Carroll – yes, Trustee Guethle – no, Trustee Martinez – no, Trustee Curtis – yes. Motion failed (2-4).

3. Approval of Ordinance Amending the North Aurora Code Section 5.08.350 To Decrease the Number of Class B Liquor Licenses Authorized in the Village Of North Aurora

Village Administrator Bosco explained that the business of Raimondo’s was changing owners and that the Village does not allow for the transference of licenses from one owner to another. This was a housekeeping ordinance to decrease the number of class B liquor licenses for the outgoing owner and then to increase for the new owner.

Motion for approval made by Trustee Lowery and seconded by Trustee Gaffino. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Lowery – yes, Trustee Gaffino –yes, Trustee Carroll – yes, Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Martinez – yes, Trustee Curtis – yes. Motion approved (6-0).

4. Approval of Ordinance Amending the North Aurora Code Section 5.08.350 To Increase the Number of Class B Liquor Licenses Authorized in the Village Of North Aurora

Motion for approval made by Trustee Curtis and seconded by Trustee Carroll. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Lowery – yes, Trustee Gaffino –yes, Trustee Carroll – yes, Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Martinez – yes, Trustee Curtis – yes. Motion approved (6-0).

5. Approval of Ordinance Approving a Jurisdictional Boundary Line Agreement with the City of Aurora

Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth said this was the subject of the public hearing earlier in the evening and had come before the board during the Committee of the Whole meeting on November 16. Since then a provision saying that both Aurora and North Aurora would act in good faith in regards to any potential economic incentive agreements and/or annexation of the flex area had been added. He said this was just to establish some table manners in the event of such. He said the City of Aurora was considering this item for final approval on their consent agenda tomorrow.

Motion for approval made by Trustee Curtis and seconded by Trustee Lowery. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Lowery – yes, Trustee Gaffino –yes, Trustee Carroll – yes, Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Martinez – yes, Trustee Curtis – yes. Motion approved (6-0).

6. Approval to Purchase Emergency Equipment Lighting and Installation for Police Patrol/Utility Vehicles from Miner Electronics Corp. in the Amount of $27,121.58

Motion for approval made by Trustee Lowery and seconded by Trustee Martinez. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Lowery – yes, Trustee Gaffino –yes, Trustee Carroll – yes, Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Martinez – yes, Trustee Curtis – yes. Motion approved (6-0).

VILLAGE PRESIDENT – Said with the Aurora Boundary Agreement approved the Village was now set on all boundary agreements for the next 20 years.
TRUSTEES COMMENTS – Trustee Gaffino wanted to commend Staff and Public Works for the lights at North Aurora Riverfront Park and said they have had a lot of compliments on those, as well as the silo.
Trustee Curtis requested Staff, given what had gone on with Moose Lake Estates and in other subdivisions who had a lack of uniformity, to take a look at zoning code and address ways to prevent this from happening again. Administrator Bosco said the issue had been raised by another trustee and he would have Staff go through the zoning and building codes in the next couple months to tighten them up. Mayor Berman added the Village has always relied on the developers and had good faith in them, but said it was time to do something.


1. Finance –None
2. Community Development – None
3. Police – Chief Fisher wished everyone a happy and healthy holiday.
4. Public Works – None


Motion to adjourn was made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Curtis. All in favor. Motion approved.

Respectfully Submitted,

Natalie F. Stevens
Deputy Village Clerk


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