VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING MINUTES
Monday, April 5, 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 Mike Lowery, Trustee Mark Guethle, Trustee Mark Carroll, 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.
AUDIENCE COMMENTS – None
TRUSTEE COMMENTS – None
1. Website Redesign Update
Administrator Bosco explained that several months ago, Village staff began the process of updating the Village website. Bosco introduced Executive Assistant Natalie Stevens, who has headed up the project.
Stevens displayed screen comparisons of the current website display and the new updated website aesthetic. She pointed out a few of the updates such as the use of the Village colors and less cluttered home page.
Stevens explained that a major change is in the calendar. The new calendar is modeled after Outlook and is easier to browse.
The new site incorporates an accordion/collapsible style to eliminate lengthy scrolling.
Additional changes have made the site more cohesive and user friendly for the consumer as well as easily maintained by staff.
Trustees commented that they were very pleased with the outcome of the updated site look.
2. TIF Redevelopment Plan Draft Report
Administrator Bosco explained that in order to adhere to the timeline of the process of incorporating a new TIF District the TIF Redevelopment Plan will need to be completed by April 9th. Administrator Bosco brought the Draft Report before the Board for any final questions or discussion.
Trustee Lowery asked to confirm that the TIF boundaries are the same as previously discussed, to which Administrator Bosco confirmed.
Trustee Salazar complimented the plan.
Administrator Bosco commented that the TIF district was developed with the Comprehensive Plan as a focus.
3. Humane Pet Sales
Administrator Bosco explained that Naperville has recently passed and Aurora is currently looking at a Humane Pet Sale ordinance.
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth explained that Naperville is limiting the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits to sources other than puppy mills.
Director Toth explained that the Village does not currently have any pet stores that sell cats, dogs or rabbits.
Trustee Carroll asked if pet sales are currently permitted in the Village, to which Director Toth answered yes, it falls under the general retail category as a permitted use.
Discussion was had in regard to whether or not the Village could implement making chipping an animal mandatory.
Trustee Martinez asked how this ordinance might apply to social media sales. Director Toth stated that this wouldn’t apply to social media transactions, only retail sales.
Trustee Lowery stated that he was in favor of implementing a similar ordinance to the one that Naperville passed.
Trustee Guethle said he was in favor of the ordinance and taking a proactive stance to stave off businesses that may want to move in to North Aurora after Naperville and Aurora pass their similar ordinances.
Trustee Salazar agreed with being proactive with an Ordinance.
4. Ground Floor Area Minimums
Administrator Bosco reminded the Board that this Ordinance was brought to light last year with Moose Lake Estates when residents and Board members asked if there were or could be ground floor minimum square footage requirements for estate zoning districts.
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth explained that the Village currently does not have ground floor area minimums. Currently some minimum building sizes have been regulated through HOA bylaws.
Staff researched and found four communities in the surrounding area that had minimum building sizes for residential zoning districts included in their zoning ordinances. Minimum building sizes were regulated as ground floor area minimums in those communities. Three of the four communities have ground floor area minimums for estate zoning districts; Aurora, Montgomery and Sugar Grove.
Definitions of ground floor area differ. Some include, while others exclude, areas such as cellars, basements, open porches, breezeways, garages, and other spaces that are not frequently used.
Director Toth went on to explain the different estate districts in North Aurora and their relative lot size. He compared the estate district ground floor area minimum requirements of Aurora, Montgomery and Sugar grove and how they related to estate districts in the Village. He also exhibited the residential zoning requirements of multiple surrounding municipalities for additional reference.
Director Toth explained that the same presentation was given to the Plan Commission on March 2, 2021 at which the Plan Commission found no compelling reason to start requiring minimum ground floor areas.
Trustee Martinez commented that he liked the way that some of the cities broke the size of the residences by structure levels.
Trustee Lowery asked if there is a formula that could be developed that could implemented that took in to account lot size and other homes in the subdivision. Director Toth explained that that concept will be difficult to accomplish but is possible.
Trustee Salazar suggested that limitations may deter future developers from interest.
Trustee Guethle felt the need to set standards.
Trustee Carroll agreed with Trustee Guethle in setting standards for future development.
There was discussion with general agreement that a minimum standard should be set, and how to accomplish that. The consensus was a desire to develop a formula that could be applied Village wide and would encompass lot size, square footage and average size of the houses in the existing individual subdivisions.
5. Budget Follow Up
Administrator Bosco reminded that Board that the Budget was brought to the Board in March and is on target to be brought to the Board for approval on May 3, 2021.
Director Hannah stated that a few minor adjustments have been made and will be presented at the next public hearing for the agenda.
EXECUTIVE SESSION – None
Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Carroll and seconded by Trustee Lowery. All in favor. Motion approved.