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Plan Commission Minutes

FEBRUARY 4, 2020

Chairman Mike Brackett called the meeting to order.

In attendance: Chairman Mike Brackett, Co-chairman Jennifer Duncan, Commissioners Anna Tuohy, Aaron Anderson, Tom Lenkart, Connie Holbrook, Mark Bozik and Doug Botkin.

Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steve Bosco and Community and Economic Development Director Mike Toth.

1. Approval of Plan Commission Minutes dated January 7, 2020
Motion for approval made by Commissioner Lenkart and seconded by Commissioner Holbrook. All in favor. Motion approved.

1. Petition #20-02 (125 S. Grant Street): The petitioner, Aurora Packing, Inc., requests the
following actions in the I-3 Central Industrial District:

a. Approval of a Special Use for a Planned Unit Development with deviations pursuant to Section 5.3 of the North Aurora Zoning Ordinance.
b. Site Plan Approval.
c. Approval of a Plat of Consolidation pursuant to the Subdivision Ordinance.

Mike Toth stated that this item went before the Village Board at a Committee of the Whole meeting on October 21, 2019.

Those planning to speak were sworn in at this time.

Representing Aurora Packing, John Whitehouse (engineer and land surveyor with Engineering Enterprises in Sugar Grove). Also in attendance were Kathy West (Attorney for Aurora Packing), Dan Russo (architect and construction manager consultant with ESI), Don Olsen (ESI), Dan Friggy (ESI), Don Zeko (facilities manager at Aurora Packing) and Don Tanis (CFO with Aurora Packing).

Attorney Kathy West provided evidence of the publication and notices. Notice of the public hearing was published in the Daily Herald on January 14, 2020. Notices were mailed to property owners within 250 feet of the Aurora Packing property on January 10th and six notice signs were posted on the property on January 17, 2020. All notifications were done in accordance with village code.

Mr. Whitehouse stated that the plan for the project is to reconfigure the inside of the Winco Plastics building into a refrigeration and dry warehouse facility. Aurora Packing will also construct a new facility between the existing and the Winco building, keeping the existing facility in operation during the construction of the facility. On day one of the new facility the operations will switch. The old building will be torn down and where the new building sits, will be the new employee parking facility.

Don Tanis stated that the project will be a $75 million project. Aurora Packing currently employs 300 employees and is looking to increase that to 450 employees with the new facility.

Dan Zeko stated that they are currently operating at a 12-hour shift. With the new facility, they are looking to cut back to 8 hour shifts. The new equipment it will be more economic friendly. The facility will be aesthetically pleasing and more environmentally friendly with the upgraded water treatment system. Whitehouse said there were discussions with the water department and public works staff since the village was concerned that there could be a significant increase on water usage. Whitehouse said that with the new equipment, the water consumption would only increase by 10%.

Don Olsen stated that the building will be a steel framed metal structure and skinned with insulated metal panels which will make the building highly efficient. The office area will be a combination of masonry, stone, split face and architectural metal panels.
Dan Russo noted that the Winco building will be turned into a cold storage/finished goods/freezer and dry storage area.
Whitehouse stated that the petitioner is proposing a resubdivision of the property. It currently consists of 14 separate parcels. It will then be a 2-lot subdivision. The lot of the south half would be the production facility and then there is an orphaned lot #2, which will be vacant and restored with topsoil and grass. There will be 303 parking spaces. Code requires 293. There are a significant number of loading docks, more than what is required. Aurora Packing will be replacing 400 feet of watermain at the request of the water department and public works.
Manual traffic counts were done. South Grant Street has 800 cars northbound and 700 cars southbound. Of those southbound cars, about 100 of those go into Aurora Packing. There are 199 cars that leave that north entrance each day with 40 headed north on Grant street and the rest turn right to go to the signal at Route 25.
Aurora Packing will encourage all truck traffic to use the south entrance.
Toth summarized the actual requests:
-Special Use for the Planned Unit Development with deviations – The use itself is a permitted use in the I-3 District. However, Section 17.54 of the Zoning Ordinance requires any non-residential development greater than two acres be a PUD.
-Setback interpretation – There is no actual building setback deviation required at this time, but wanted to memorialize them in the PUD ordinance.
-Landscaping – One of the deviations is the landscaping trees. The Zoning Ordinance requires 336 trees. The plan provided showed 220 trees. Staff found the proposed landscape plan sufficient for the property.
-Easement encroachment – A portion of the Aurora Packing building encroaches into a village easement. Aurora Packing is looking for approval to construct a portion of the building in that easement.
-ADA Parking – Aurora Packing will get approval from the village to use a portion of the property that belongs to the village for ADA parking spaces. A condition was placed by the village that there would be eight ADA spaces at all times.
-Site Plan approval – Any new industrial development or any addition that is greater than 25% of the total area requires site plan approval.
There were no questions are comments from the audience or petitioner.
Chairman Brackett closed the public hearing at this time.
Co-Chairman Jennifer Duncan said she liked the idea of having trucks enter at the southern entrance. Duncan also noted that all of the best management practices for the water will be a great improvement.

Commissioner Holbrook said she liked the plan and looks forward to seeing the improvements.

Commissioner Bozik said the existing aerial shows about 50 trailers. The new plan shows spots for about 10 trailers. Bozik asked how they will manage the trailers with the new facility. Don Zeko said that many of the trailers currently on site are dry storage trailers. The new facility will allow for storage inside and therefore they will be able to get rid of a lot of those trailers. With the new cold storage, will also be able to warehouse more. Bozik asked about plans for parking during construction. Whitehouse said they are exploring the property to the south of the interstate for a possible staging and employee parking area.

Bozik said that for the renderings, the trailers are parked on the east side of the building by the tracks and in the summer it has a significant odor. Bozik asked if there are any plans to improve that situation. Answer was that they would be repurposing the existing truck garage area so that trucks are able to back up inside the building. Bozik asked if there are any improvements planned for the intersection at Route 25. Answer was no.

Commissioner Botkin asked if the village-owned property where the eight parking spaces will be located are maintained by the village. Mike Toth said that is maintained by the business owner.

Commissioner Lenkart asked what direction trucks would travel if there were to be improvements to the intersection at Grant and Route 25. Toth said there would be a detour plan at that time. Lenkart asked if 330 parking spaces would be enough for 450 employees. Whitehouse said yes and that a lot of people are carpooling and are being dropped off for work.

Commissioner Tuohy asked if this project is financed and ready to begin. Answer was yes. Tuohy asked about the timeline for hiring the additional 150 employees. Whitehouse said it will be over the next 1 – 2 years.

Chairman Brackett said that since Aurora Packing is going to include less than the required number of trees on their property, why not have them plant some trees on the two pieces of property that are planned to be only grass. Toth said that the provision requires that the trees be on site which is the 12.6 acres.

The Plan Commission was in favor of moving forward.

1. Petition #20-02 (125 S. Grant Street): The petitioner, Aurora Packing, Inc., requests the
following actions in the I-3 Central Industrial District:

a. Approval of a Special Use for a Planned Unit Development with deviations pursuant to Section 5.3 of the North Aurora Zoning Ordinance – The petitioner asked that the word “shall” be removed. Toth said they could change this to read that “truck access shall be encouraged to utilize the south entrance.” The Plan Commission agreed. Motion made by Commissioner Bozik and seconded by Commissioner Duncan to approve the special use contingent on the recommendations by staff. All in favor. Motion approved (7-0).

b. Site Plan Approval – Motion for approval made by Commissioner Lenkart and seconded by Commissioner Duncan. All in favor. Motion approved (7-0)

c. Approval of a Plat of Consolidation pursuant to the Subdivision Ordinance – All in favor.



Motion to adjourn made by Commissioner Lenkart and seconded by Commissioner Duncan. All in favor. Motion approved.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lori J. Murray
Village Clerk

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