VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING MINUTES
February 1, 2021
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village Board meeting was conducted live remotely
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Gaffino called the meeting to order.
In attendance: Mayor Mark Gaffino, Trustee Mark Carroll, Trustee Laura Curtis, Trustee Mark Guethle, Trustee Mike Lowery, Trustee Tao Martinez, Trustee Carolyn Salazar
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, Administrative Analyst Dave Hansen
TRUSTEE COMMENTS – None
AUDIENCE COMMENTS – See below
1. Petition #21-01: Opus I-88 Corporate Park (Valley Green Golf Course)
Discussion: Administrator Bosco gave an overview of the Valley Green Golf Course/Opus development proposal which has been previously discussed with a public hearing during the Plan Commission meeting in January, where the proposal received a recommendation for approval by the Commission. Administrator Bosco prompted the Board for feedback. Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth introduced Opus Development Company representative Josh Bauer, Senior Manager.
The proposed development is slated for the 59 acre Valley Green Golf Course along with an adjacent 7 acre parcel currently owned by Euclid Beverage. Mr. Bauer introduced the development team on the call, Mike Yungerman, Senior Vice President and General Manager; Mike Robinson, Senior Director and Matthew Etcheson, AIA, LEED BD+C, Manager. Also in attendance is KLOA’s Luay Aboona to answer questions about the Traffic Impact Study. Mr. Bauer stated the concept includes three buildings, set to develop at different phases, with the access to the Euclid Beverage property to the south, an access road will be built. To the North of the development is a residential area, at its most narrow point, there will be a 625’ buffer between the North face of the building and the residential area. Trustee Curtis questioned why the North side of the building will have a loading dock, to which Mr. Bauer stated that the buildings are cross dock buildings, they are large institutional buildings and docks are required on both sides of the building. Trustee Martinez asked what the hours of operation will be for the buildings. Mr. Bauer stated that they do not know what tenants will be in the buildings, therefore they do not know what the hours of operations will be, however 24 hours access is available.
Phase 1: Building “A” 104,000 sf rear load, loading docks on North side of building with a dedicated access road to the building. Building can accommodate up to two tenants. 32’ clear height, 260’ depth. Single pitch roof, draining at truck dock. Building “A” is part of the Tollway Park of Commerce, the intention is to stay consistent with the current aesthetic. The building’s color scheme is a modern, muted white and grey.
Building “B” 543,000 sf cross dock building. Class A warehouse 36’ height, 480’ depth. The roof is double pitched with its’ highest point at 43’ depositing into internal drains. The space is suitable for up to two users. The building has the potential to expand to 1,000,000 sf. by encompassing the land reserved for Building “C” upon approval from the Plan Commission and Village Board. Landscaping with heavy emphasis on the north end of the building with evergreen trees. Landscaping will encompass the building. The color scheme compliments building “A” with a similar white and grey pallet.
Phase 2: Building “C” 408,000 sf cross dock building. Phase 2 will need approval from both the Plan Commission and Village Board prior to construction.
Landscaping: Pine trees will be planted, Mr. Bauer believes the trees will be at least six feet when planted. Mayor Gaffino mentioned that the plantings as they appear on the plan will likely not be enough to act as a buffer between the site and the residential area. Trustees Carroll expressed interest in fencing/barrier wall on the north side of the project, Mr. Bauer said there isn’t ample room to install a fence. Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth commented that any plans for a fence/barrier installation would have to go before both the Plan Commission and the Village Board.
Traffic: The majority of truck traffic will be from I-88, Northbound on Rte. 31, West on Airport Rd, North on Overland Dr.
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth introduces the four Village of North Aurora Approval Requests:
• Rezone the golf course property form the R-1 Single Family Residence District to the O-R-I Office, Research and Light Industrial Zoning District
• Zoning request is aligned with the comprehensive plan
• Requested O-R-I Zoning is consistent with the properties to the south
• Special Use to allow a Planned Unit Development with deviations to the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances
• Deviations included are number of landscape trees, lot width for lot 2, the orientation of the loading dock, sanitary sewer extension
• Site Plan Approval
• Preliminary Final Plat
Community & Economic Development Director Mr. Toth discussed the Village of North Aurora Conditions of Approval:
• Site plan review (non-public hearing) shall be obtained from the Plan commission and Village Boar prior to building permit issuance for Building “C”
• A separate building permit shall be required for each guardhouse so the Village may work with the petitioner to validate the optimal location of each guardhouse in order to avoid any potential impact on site circulation.
• All business activities shall be conducted completely within the confines of the buildings.
• A photometric plan shall be submitted and approved by the Village prior to building permit issuance.
• Any tree of good quality larger than six inches in diameter when measured twelve inches above the ground which are not located within fifteen feet of or within a building footprint, within the road footprint or in those areas listed Section 16.12.010.C.3a of the Subdivision Ordinance shall be tagged by the petitioner and evaluated by the Village for preservation.
• The hedge of trees and shrubs currently located along the north property line of the golf course shall be preserved to the greatest extent possible to maintain natural landscape buffering.
• Trustee Curtis asked about the possibility of adding some type of barrier as seen between residential areas and expressways. Mike Toth explained the approach to the landscaped buffing was an aesthetic and natural one, Trustee Curtis expressed her concern for property values and suggests further discussion.
• Vehicular access shall be limited to Overland Drive with the restricted emergency access at Willow Way.
• All motor vehicles, including trucks, shall be prohibited from parking or idling in any area designated as a truck or car bypass lane.
• On-site management shall effectively monitor and regulate all on-site trucking activities in order to minimize any light, sound or odor emissions.
• Construction traffic shall be limited to Overland Drive with the restricted emergency access at Willow Way.
• Construction traffic shall not impede on the ability of the Village and Fire Protection District to provide emergency services
• All dumpsters located on the subject property shall be screened per Section 14.11.A of the Zoning Ordinance
• Installation of sidewalk on Overland Dr.
• Any dead landscaping shall be removed and replaced within a timely manner
• Approval for any fencing must be given by the Plan Commission and Village Board
• Any rooftop heating or cooling element that can be seen by any adjacent property shall be screened by an architectural element and be six feet away from any supporting wall to allow access for fire department.
• Village shall open dialog regarding cross access between 314 Kingswood Dr. property and the twenty-four acre property located directly to the east owned by the Slaker family
Trustee Guethle gave positive feedback on the plan and working with Opus.
Trustee Carroll expressed concern for the hours of operations. He would like to see conditions placed restricting times when loading and unloading can be done. Mayor Gaffino suggested the possibility of only restricting access on the north side of the building, closest to the residential area. Trustee Carroll suggested adding a restriction to the hours of operation that can be removed if necessary, Trustee Martinez supported that suggestion. Opus representative Mr. Bauer explained that restrictions regarding hours will hinder the leasing of the properties. Trustee Martinez suggested instead of time/access restrictions being enforced, the Board considers a noise ordinance instead. Mike Toth pointed out that all business is to be done within the building as per the Conditions of Approval, minimizing disturbances outside of the buildings. Mr. Toth also pointed out there are sound requirement in the Village Code.
Bruce Goldsmith-Attorney representing the Slaker family, who owns the property directly east of the proposed Opus site. Mr. Goldsmith spoke about the Slaker family property’s inability to access a service road due to the positioning of the property. While the property has access to Rte. 31, there is restricted truck access. Mr. Goldsmith contended that the proposed structure, specifically if both buildings “B” and “C” combine, will further impede the ability to utilize the access road that is part of the Opus proposal, therefore diminishing the value of the Slaker Family property. Village of North Aurora Attorney Kevin Drendel contended that the access road that is in question will be a private road, therefore an issue between two private parties. Mr. Drendel stated that in order for the Village to impose conditions on Opus to allow the Slaker property to utilize the private road, the condition would need to be something uniquely and specifically attributed to a burden caused by the development. He stated that in this case that is not applicable because the Slaker property had no prior access to a public road, other than Rte. 31, prior to this proposed development, therefore changing nothing.
Trustee Martinez supported the idea that the Opus proposal is not infringing on the Slaker family property.
Trustee Carroll likes the project and does not believe the proposal infringes on the Slaker family property.
Trustee Guethle likes the project
Trustee Lowery likes the project however has concerns about the north end of the project along residential areas. He believes that the matter between Opus and the Slaker family property is a private one.
Mayor Gaffino was in agreement with Trustee comments, his biggest concern is along the residential, north side of the project and having enough landscaping.
Mike Toth appreciated the feedback from the Board and will review the comments. Administrator Bosco furthers that Village staff will review the feedback and will present again to the Committee of the Whole.
2. New Tax Incrementing Finance District (TIF)
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth referred to the current three TIF districts – Route 31, Sperry and North Lincolnway – and noted that while there are some properties within the districts generating positive TIF increments, many are below base value and generate $0 increment. The amount of increment generated is less than originally anticipated. The plan would combine all three current TIF districts, excluding the area south of I-88 which will then expire at its natural 2025 date, as well as select additional parcels.
Finance Director Bill Hannah explained that should nothing be done in the next five years and the twenty-three year life of the current TIF districts be allowed to expire, projections estimate that the district will generate approximately $3,000,000. If the districts are renewed with the “Unified TIF” plan the estimates are $2,200,000. Trustee Curtis asked what the benefit would be if the projections are a loss. Director Hannah explained that creating the “United TIF” would then renew the twenty-three year life of the district, therefore lengthening the duration for owners to utilize the TIF.
Village Administrator Bosco added that the additional time added to the TIF district can attract new developers. Mayor Gaffino asked what the process of letting the current districts expire would be. Mr. Hannah explained that the districts will begin to expire in 2024 with the Rte. 31 district and the others will follow in subsequent years.
Trustee Guethle said he would like to see the TIF district continue.
Trustee Lowery asked if extending the length of the TIF district will generate more revenue. Mr. Hannah explained that he thinks that there is a short term impact where the return of some increment to other taxing bodies, in the long term there will be expanded opportunity for development. Trustee Lowery would like to see the “United TIF” move forward.
Trustee Carroll asked what happens to the money that is currently in the fund. Finance Director Hannah explained that the current Rte. 31 district will continue to exist and that funds would be funneled into the Route 31 TIF district and that based on the boundaries of the proposed new TIF district and the old TIF district there will be opportunities to use those funds indifferent areas. Director Hannah said there would be additional flexibility based on the boundaries. Administrator Bosco added that any undeveloped properties in the new TIF would generate new taxes for the next 19 years and said that properties that are underperforming will start generating increment.
The next stop of the process is to discuss the timeline with the TIF consultant and the United TIF District will be brought for approval to the board in the near future.
3. Naming of Silo
Village Administrator Steve Bosco spoke of the silo project that had been completed in late 2020 and the suggestion made at the January 18, 2021 Village Board Meeting by Trustee Guethle to dedicate the silo under the name “Berman Tower”. Mr. Bosco said a resolution would need to be passed for historical records and formal approval. He asks for discussion on the issue, which will then later be presented to the board as a resolution.
Discussion: Trustee Guethle said he would like to see the silo named “Berman Tower”. Trustee Lowery asked if there would be a plaque installed with the name of the silo. Administrator Bosco said, per a land agreement, there is a plaque thanking Harner’s for their contribution to the project. A separate plaque is intended to be that will provide information about the project and list the Village Board and all will be installed in spring 2021. If the name is decided upon, it will have the approved name as well. Trustee Lowery is in favor of having the name of the silo reflect Mayor Berman’s contribution to the execution of the project, Trustees Guethle and Curtis agree. Trustee Martinez said that the name dedication is the least the Village can do for Mayor Berman. Mayor Gaffino agreed with the sentiment stating that Mayor Berman has given at least forty years to the Village, Trustee Salazar said it would be a fitting tribute to Mayor Berman.
Administrator Bosco will bring the resolution before the Village Board at the next meeting.
4. Waste Hauler RFP
Village Administrator Bosco explained that there is currently a five year agreement with Waste Management which is due to expire at the end of May 2021. In the fall the Services Committee directed staff to conduct a formal request for proposal process which resulted in five companies submitting responses. Currently the Village is on a one day waste collection schedule, in order to open opportunities for smaller waste collection companies to submit proposals, the collection schedule was expanded to three days within the business week. The committee also requested three types of pricing programs:
• Waste collection stickers, waste disposal toter rental option and two clean-up days
• Waste collection sticker, waste disposal toter rental option and one free clean-up day
• Waste collection sticker, waste disposal toter rental option and one free clean-up day along with two weeks in the spring with free yard waste pick up
The proposals submitted were from Waste Management, Flood Brothers, Groot, Lake Shore Recycling and SBC Waste. Administrator Bosco explained that based on a one can a week metric, Groot has the lowest waste collection sticker price, second lowest waste disposal toter prices but marginally higher than our current Waste Management bulk item price because an additional sticker is required. Administrator Bosco said his intention is to discern whether or not to come before the Board with a five year contract from either of these companies.
Discussion: Trustee Curtis questioned why Waste Management is pricing themselves out of the consideration, she said that their submitting proposal is not competitive with the other four companies. Trustee Curtis went on to say that Groot, pricing wise, is the best choice. Trustee Lowery, based on his calculations of various scenarios, said that Groot is the best financial choice. Administrator Bosco pointed out that while Groot has the second highest bulk item pricing, it should be taken in to account how often the average resident puts bulk items out for collection when garbage amnesty days exist.
Trustee Guethle asked where Groot is based, where their trucks come from. Josh Molnar, on behalf of Groot answered that Groot has been operating out of the Chicagoland area for over one hundred years, and service over eighty communities including nearby, West Chicago, Aurora, Naperville and Oswego. The Groot barn is out of Aurora. Trustee Guethle asked if Groot can pick up the North Aurora waste in one day, Mr. Molnar said that they proposed to pick-up over three days, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Trustee Guethle confirms with Administrator Bosco that currently Waste Management picks up on one day, Friday. Trustee Guethle asked what would happen in the event a holiday occurred on a pick-up day, Administrator Bosco said in that event, the pick-up days would be pushed back by a day. Trustee Curtis offered support for the program despite the three day pick up due to the cost savings. Trustee Carroll points out that to each individual resident, their trash collection day will occur on the same day each week.
Trustee Guethle asked if the yard waste will be picked up in the same fashion as Waste Management. Administrator Bosco confirms yes. Trustee Guethle asked if the free two weeks of yard waste in the spring is limited to bagged leaves or if bundles of sticks will be included. Groot representative Josh Mulnar confirmed that bundled yard waste was included. Trustee Carroll asked if there is a large demand for yard waste pick up in the spring. Administrator Bosco explained that in regard to the spring yard waste pick-up, the Village’s leaf program ends in November, leaving the leaves that fall late for the spring. Mayor Gaffino stated that he thinks this would promote yard clean up if there is no cost incurred in the spring for late falling leaves.
Trustee Guethle asked if there was a possibility for two bulk pick up days to which Administrator Bosco explained that the second bulk pick up day was the tradeoff for two weeks of yard waste cleanup. Trustee Carroll asked if the Village could do a spring leaf pick up, Administrator Bosco said he would speak to Public Works Director John Laskowski about that possibility.
Trustee Salazar thought that the cost savings in waste stickers will be beneficial because that is how the majority of residents dispose of their waste and she doesn’t think having one free bulk trash pickup day will be too impactful because she believes that most people will save the bulk items for the free removal day. Administrator Bosco commented that every year the Village fields a lot of phone calls about when free bulk waste removal day is, Mayor Gaffino stated that in the past there was only one free day as opposed to the two currently, he thinks that the two free yard waste weeks will be a benefit to residents. Administrator Bosco mentioned that some communities outsource yard waste/leaf pickup, some communities charge residents for that service on their water bill.
Mayor Gaffino asked what the transition process would be if a new waste removal company was contracted. Administrator Bosco said that the new company would honor the existing company’s stickers for up to a month, Village Analyst Dave Hansen confirmed that the new company would honor the stickers for twenty eight days or they could be sold back to Waste Management for up to thirty days. Waste disposal toters would be picked up by Waste Management within a few days of transition, while the new company would have delivered the toters prior to the last day of Waste Management service. Trustee Carroll asked if Groot would provide recycling toters, Administrator Bosco confirmed.
The Trustees were in agreement that they would like to move forward with Groot and the Alternate #2 option of waste collection sticker, waste disposal toter rental option and one free bulk item pick up day along with two weeks in the spring with free yard waste pick up.
Mayor Gaffino commended Dave Hansen and Administrator Bosco on their work with the proposals.
EXECUTIVE SESSION – None
Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Lowery and seconded by Trustee Curtis. All in favor. Motion approved.