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Plan Commission Minutes

JANUARY 5, 2021

Chairman Brackett called the meeting to order.

In attendance: Chairman Mike Brackett, Commissioners, Anna Tuohy, Mark Bozik, Tom Lenkart, Doug Botkin and Connie Holbrook

Not in attendance: Commissioners Jennifer Duncan and Aaron Anderson

Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steve Bosco, Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth and Information Technology Manager Dave Arndt

Also in attendance: Kevin Drendel, Village Attorney

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


1. Petition #21-01 (314 Kingswood Dr. & 200 Overland Dr.): The petitioner, Josh Bauer – OPUS Development Company, LLC, requests the following actions on the subject properties:

1) Map Amendment to establish the O-R-I Office, Research and Light Industrial Zoning District (Golf Course Property)
2) Special Use – Planned Unit Development with deviations to the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances
3) Site Plan Approval
4) Preliminary Final Plat

Josh Bauer, Opus Development Company, stated that their company has a strong development focus on industrial projects, while also focusing on office, retail, and multi-family. Opus is headquartered out of Minneapolis, MN and has seven offices, which are located mostly in the Midwest. They are a full service company which means they are able to minimize their outsourcing while keeping as much of the development process in house. Bauer stated that Opus Development has already completed two projects in North Aurora. In 2014, they developed a 604,565 SF warehouse located at 1200 Orchard Gateway Blvd. The current tenant is Midwest Warehouse. In 2016, they developed a 452,133 SF warehouse at 1100 Orchard Gateway Blvd. and Glanbia Performance Nutrition is the current tenant.

Bauer stated that the proposed project will consist of three (3) buildings that will be completed in two phases. The development will be constructed over two (2) separate parcels. The 7-acre parcel located at the southern tip of the proposed development is currently vacant and owned as access land by Euclid Beverage. The second parcel composed of 59-acres is currently being used as Valley Green Golf Course. Incorporating the smaller parcel owned by Euclid Beverage allows for access off of Overland, making the site much more accessible.
The site will consist of three (3) separate buildings. As shown on the concept site plan, the buildings have been located further back on the lots in order to create a desirable buffer of 625 feet between the new construction and the residences to the north. The construction will be broken down into two (2) phases. The first phase will consist of Building A (104,978 SF) just north of Overland Drive and Building B (543,638 SF). The second phase will consist of Building C (408,195 SF), which will be subject to future site plan review and approval. Bauer stated that the primary access drive off of Overland Drive is 29’ wide, which will allow for three (3) lanes, making transportation flow easier to get in and out of the development. Building A will have a dedicated access drive off Overland Drive for construction traffic. Subject to easement approval from ComEd, the developer intends on installing a paved access road for emergency vehicles only at the northeast corner, connecting to Kingswood Drive. On Building A, the loading docks will be located on the north side of the building in order to screen them from Overland Drive. A total of eight (8) parkway trees will be planted along Overland Drive. The larger square footage of Building B was designed in order to attract institutional tenants. The footprint is designed for a single tenant, but can accommodate for two. Bauer stated that numerous evergreen trees will be planted along the north side of the building in order to provide screening for the residential district to the north. The ponds will be planted with native plants, which will help deter geese and filter the water runoff. The future Building C will be similar to Building B and allow for two tenants if necessary. The evergreen tree screening will continue along in front of Building C, to provide that landscaping buffer.

Luay Aboona, KLOA, Inc., presented the traffic study that was completed for the proposed development. Access to the development will be provided by Overland Drive. There are two (2) intersections along Airport Road, which are controlled by stop signs. The study showed that traffic should operate normally at the different intersections. There will obviously be an increase in traffic, but that increase should stay within the acceptable limits. Aboona stated that a majority of the increase in traffic will occur at the intersection of IL Route 31 and Airport Road, but the traffic will continue to flow adequately. It will not cause traffic to extend beyond the access drive that serves the North Aurora Police Station. The study also showed that a majority of the truck traffic will be oriented to/from the south on IL Route 31.

Matthew Etcheson, Opus Development Company, presented the building elevations for the proposed development. Building A will be constructed of precast concrete panels. The color scheme will consist of mostly whites and greys to create a modern appearance. There will be two (2) building entrances. The office areas will allow for natural light through glazing and precast walls. The building will be 39’ high. The elevations for Building B are complimentary to that of Building A. It will also be constructed of precast concrete panels with the same color scheme. Etcheson stated that the office footprint will be larger than in Building A, and will also provide the same natural light aesthetic. The building height is 43’.

Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth stated that the Village has attempted to apply for grants for the intersection at Airport Road and IL Route 31 and it is a capital improvement project for the TIF. Toth stated that the applicant is requesting to rezone the current property from the R-1 Single Family Residence District to the the O-R-I (Office, Research and Light Industrial) District. The proposed use would be classified as warehousing, storage, or distribution facilities. The Comprehensive Plan actually calls for the Valley Green Golf Course to be Office / Research so the proposed change does meet the plan. The applicant is also requesting a special use to allow a Planned Unit Development with deviations to the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances. Toth stated that per zoning ordinance, any non-residential parcel over 2 acres or more is to be a Planned Unit Development. The planned development does meet all bulk requirements for the designated zoning district, with one exception to the lot width of Building B. The access point off Overland Drive does not meet the minimum lot width per code. The applicant is also requesting site plan approval and final plat approval. Toth stated that staff is recommending approval with twelve (12) conditions included.

Mike Brackett then opened the public hearing for any questions or comments.
Bruce Goldsmith, Dykema Gossett PLLC, stated that he represents the Slaker family in North Aurora. Goldsmith asked if a condition could be put in place that would permit access to the east so that the Slaker property would have full access to Overland Drive, which would allow them to have the ability to develop their property. The best approach is to take the access point where it meets at Willow Way and possibly extend it to the Slaker property to the east if it were to be developed.


1. Petition #21-01 (314 Kingswood Dr. & 200 Overland Dr.): The petitioner, Josh Bauer – OPUS Development Company, LLC, requests the following actions on the subject properties:

1) Map Amendment to establish the O-R-I Office, Research and Light Industrial Zoning District (Golf Course Property)
2) Special Use – Planned Unit Development with deviations to the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances
3) Site Plan Approval
4) Preliminary Final Plat

Commissioner Tuohy asked how the emergency vehicle access road will be restricted. Toth responded that the developer has been in contact with the Fire District. Bauer responded that they will have some kind of breakaway at the access point to prevent regular traffic from using the emergency only route. Brackett stated that during the presentation it was mentioned the access road would go into Kingswood Drive and in the staff report it states the access road would go into Willow Way. Toth responded that it goes into Willow Way and when you take a left, you would be on Kingswood. Tuohy asked what the hours of operation will be. Bauer responded that since the buildings are speculative at this point, they do not have specific tenants currently. Most tenants for this particular use prefer to have 24-hour access, but that does not mean that trucks would be entering and exiting at all hours of the day. Toth responded that it is about working with the future tenants and the developer to establish an expectation of what is tolerable for this type of use. Tuohy responded that when trucks are making noise while backing up in the middle of the night, it could be a potential problem for the nearby residences. Tuohy asked if the landscaping in front of the buildings will provide enough screening for the residences to the north. Toth responded that the developer will be installing numerous evergreen trees which will help create a fuller and more natural barrier for the neighboring residences. Tuohy asked how Bruce Goldsmith’s condition will be handled in regards to obtaining full access to Overland Drive from the Slaker property. Toth responded that at this time there is not a development proposal for the Slaker property. There are no structures that would prohibit the potential for full access to Overland Drive since it is a fairly open area. Goldsmith responded that they are requesting a condition that would allow the potential developer for the Slaker property to connect to the bypass road. Bauer responded that conceptually making this particular condition is concerning on their end since they do not know anything about the future development that could possibly go on the Slaker property. Bauer also stated that they may increase the footprint of Building B, depending on what tenant goes in there. If they decided to expand the building to the west, then it would interfere with the access point in question. Bauer stated they are willing to work with Goldsmith when the time is right. Brackett asked if the property that was the railroad is considered Slaker property as well. Goldsmith responded that it is. He asked that their proposed condition be considered as it will be beneficial for the Slaker property. Brackett responded that he agreed. Tuohy stated she had no further questions.

Commissioner Holbrook stated that she used to live on Princeton Drive and one of the reasons they purchased the home was because of the open green land. She is concerned that the proposed warehouses will affect the home values of the neighboring residences and also stated that North Aurora has enough warehouse facilities.

Commissioner Bozik asked how the excessive traffic flow will be handled off the access point at Overland Drive, since that is near the access point for the Euclid Beverage trucks as well. Bozik also asked how access to Building C will be provided. Toth responded that there is a cross access easement included with Buildings B & C. Aboona responded that the frequency of traffic in and out will not be overly excessive and there will be no sight interruptions. Bozik asked how many truck trips are anticipated daily. Aboona responded that with all three (3) buildings, they anticipate 344 truck movements throughout the day. Bozik asked if the developer would be completing any off-site improvements for Overland Drive since there will be excessive wear and tear on the road. Toth responded that it was brought up to the Public Works Department and there were no apparent concerns. He stated that Euclid Beverage has four (4) separate entrances into their facility which should help alleviate excessive truck flow at Overland Drive. Bozik asked what the elevation difference is between Kingswood Drive and the finished floor of Building B. Bozik stated that he is concerned about the building towering over the residences on Kingswood Drive. Jason Snyder, Jacob & Hefner Associates, stated that at the emergency access drive off of Kingswood, it is 698 feet above sea level. The finished floor of Building B is 694 feet above sea level. Bozik stated he had no further questions.

Commissioner Lenkart asked if the proposed height of Building A and Building B includes the rooftop mechanical equipment as well. Snyder responded that the height measurement is to the top of the parapet wall and does not include the mechanical equipment. Lenkart asked if there will be any screening for the mechanical units since they will be visible from the houses to the north. Snyder responded that there is currently not a plan for screening. Toth responded that screening is required but a site perspective is required in order to determine how visible the equipment will be. Lenkart stated that this requirement should be included in the comments to the Trustees. He asked if anyone remembers how tall the My Place Hotel building is. Toth responded it was around 50’ tall. Lenkart asked how tall the other Opus buildings are that were built off of Randall Road. Bauer responded they are 36’ tall and with the mechanical equipment they are probably around 42’. Lenkart stated that a chain link fence was added to the parking lot for the Midwest Warehouse property and many people were not happy with that style of fence. He stated it appears too cheap and other materials should be considered. Brackett asked if the ordinance was changed prior to the Glanbia property being built since they have an iron fence. Toth responded that he tried to have the ordinance changed but it was not supported. He stated that a condition was originally established which required a decorative fence to be installed, but unfortunately there was miscommunication and a chain link fence was installed instead. Toth asked if there was actual fencing being proposed at this time. Bauer responded that either fencing or landscape screening will be installed. He stated at this time they are planning for the landscaping screening, unless a potential tenant requests to have a fence installed for security purposes. Lenkart asked if a condition could be put in place that would require the developer to get approval for the proposed fence prior to installation. Toth responded that fencing could be included as a site plan approval. It would not be a public hearing, but rather be presented to the Plan Commission and Village Board for approval. Bauer asked that if and when a tenant does seek fence approval, the Village considers economic circumstances so that the fence in its entirety does not have to be decorative. Lenkart asked if a replacement plan can be incorporated into the PUD for the landscaping so that when spring comes around and half the trees are dead, the developer will be required to replace them. Toth responded that this would fall under code enforcement, so staff can work with the developer if any landscaping does not survive and needs to be replaced. Lenkart asked if a berm can be added to the northern edge of the property and then incorporate trees on top of them. Bauer responded that they did look into incorporating a berm, but with the detention area and ComEd lines, there was not enough room and the sanitary easement creates a restriction as well. Lenkart asked if it will be the tenant’s responsibility to ensure the noise level is kept to a minimum during off hours. Toth responded that in the past, it has been easiest to work with the Property Management company if any issues arise. Lenkart asked if all trucks will exit east on Airport Road, rather than head west and try and make a 90 degree turn. Toth responded that a portion of Alder Drive was widened and improvements were completed in order to obtain better access to Randall Road. Lenkart responded that trucks will be trying to complete S-turns at the 90 degree intersections, so staff may want to consider improving those intersections down the road. Lenkart asked Aboona if he stated that there will be an estimated 344 or 244 daily truck activities per the traffic report. Aboona responded that for all three (3) buildings, there will be 344 daily truck activities. Lenkart responded that will be a lot of trucks within an hourly basis. The average semi is 75’ and this could create congestion delays in traffic, especially at peak hours between 2:30 – 3:30 PM. Lenkart suggested working with the State to adjust the traffic signal wait time at the intersection of Airport Road and IL Route 31. Lenkart stated that he would support putting a curb cut in by the Slaker’s property in order to appease the request of Bruce Goldsmith to allow for future access to the property. Lenkart stated he had no further questions.

Commissioner Botkin stated he had no further questions. All concerns have been addressed.

Chairman Brackett stated that most of his questions have been addressed. Brackett stated he agrees it is important to be sensitive to the Slaker property to the north and we should consider access to it now rather than later.

Toth summarized the concerns brought up during the discussion, which included replacing any dead landscaping, site plan approval for future fencing, screening of rooftop mechanical units, and looking into the best course of action for access to the Slaker property. Village Administrator Bosco asked Village Attorney Drendel if the Village can automatically grant access and approval for one property for a different property owner. Drendel responded that there are some issues with the request which will need further clarification. He stated that it should be considered whether or not allowing access to the Slaker property would be beneficial to Opus Development Group. There are private issues as well as public issues that would need to be sorted out. Drendel stated at this time he was not prepared to give a definitive response. Bosco responded that this item should be a talking point when being presented to the Village Board. Toth responded that the conditions previously mentioned and the Slaker property access will be brought up as a talking point at the next Committee of the Whole meeting. Between now and then, discussions will be made with the property owners and legal representation to determine the best course of action for all parties. Drendel stated that it does have an impact on future planning so it is a fair question to be discussed. Lenkart asked if the request should be tabled for another month in order to sort through all the unanswered questions. Toth responded that the request will be presented next at the Committee of the Whole for discussion purposes. These concerns can be addressed in the meantime before it officially goes to Village Board for approval. Lenkart asked if the dumpsters will be screened at the loading docks. Toth responded that it is a general code requirement so all dumpsters will be screened.

Motion for approval of a Map Amendment to establish the O-R-I Office, Research and Light Industrial Zoning District on the 314 Kingswood Drive property made by Commissioner Botkin and seconded by Commissioner Lenkart. Vote: Holbrook – No, Lenkart – Yes, Bozik – Yes, Tuohy – Yes, Brackett – Yes, Botkin – Yes. Motion approved.

Motion for approval of a Special Use – Planned Unit Development with deviations to the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances including (15) conditions and discussion of eastern access to the Slaker property made by Commissioner Lenkart and seconded by Commissioner Bozik. Vote: Holbrook – No, Lenkart – Yes, Bozik – Yes, Tuohy – Yes, Brackett – Yes, Botkin – Yes. Motion approved.

Motion for approval of Site Plan Approval made by Commissioner Lenkart and seconded by Commissioner Tuohy. Vote: Holbrook – No, Lenkart – Yes, Bozik – Yes, Tuohy – Yes, Brackett – Yes, Botkin – Yes. Motion approved.

Motion for approval of the Preliminary Plat of Subdivision for Valley Green Subdivision made by Commissioner Bozik and seconded by Commissioner Tuohy. Vote: Holbrook – No, Lenkart – Yes, Bozik – Yes, Tuohy – Yes, Brackett – Yes, Botkin – Yes. Motion approved.



Toth stated that final consideration was approved by Village Board for 307 Banbury Road (Chapelstreet Church) and 145 S Lincoln Way (PharmaCann). Mike Sorrentino will be applying for site plan approval for his development off of Randall Road by the storage facilities. There have also been discussions about potentially developing Lots 1 & 2 of Orchard Commons, which may include a gas station and quick service restaurants. Lenkart & Brackett stated it would be nice to see development on the east side of Orchard Road across the street from Hardware. Toth responded that he is in constant contact with the owner, Continental Properties. They are having issues that are access related since the curb cuts are defined by the intergovernmental agreement with KDOT for Orchard Road and Oak Street. Staff has been working with KDOT to get additional access to the property.

Motion to adjourn made by Commissioner Botkin. All in favor. Motion approved.

Respectfully Submitted,

Natalie Stevens
Deputy Village Clerk

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