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Plan Commission Minutes

FEBRUARY 1, 2022

Chairman Mike Brackett called the meeting to order.

In attendance: Chairman Mike Brackett, Commissioners, Aaron Anderson, Anna Tuohy, Scott Branson, Tom Lenkart, Richard Newell, Alexander Negro, Mark Bozik, and Doug Botkin

Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steve Bosco, Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth and Planner David Hansen

Not in attendance: Kevin Drendel, Village Attorney


1. Approval of Plan Commission Minutes dated December 7, 2021
Motion for approval made by Commissioner Lenkart and seconded by Commissioner Bozik. All in favor. Motion approved.


1. Petition #22-01 (Amendment to Chapter 13.12 of the Zoning Ordinance): Amendment to Title 17 of the North Aurora Municipal Code (Zoning Ordinance) relative to recreational vehicles.

Chairman Mike Brackett called the public hearing to order.

Chairman Mike Brackett opened the public hearing for public comment. No Comment.

David Hansen introduced Petition #22-01, a text amendment to Chapter 13.12 of the Zoning Ordinance that relates to recreational vehicles. Hansen explained the process of a text amendment and that Chapter 13 pertains to parking design and regulations, which includes commercial and recreational vehicles. Hansen read the code’s definition for recreational vehicles which includes campers, motor homes, boats (and other watercraft), pop-up campers and utility trailers. Hansen stated a resident at the November 15, 2021 Board meeting asked the Board to look into extending the hours for recreational vehicles on a residential premise. The Board discussed recreational vehicles at the December 6, 2021 Village Board Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting where they suggested moving the code’s hours for recreational vehicles from Friday Noon to Monday Noon to Thursday 6pm to Monday Noon. Hansen mentioned the other changes in the ordinance were for clarity purposes. This included adding no recreational vehicle should be parked or stored on or over the public right of way, defining front building elevation in regards to the current code’s one recreational vehicles limit of storing a recreational vehicle outside a permanent structure, and moving the current language for the code’s no vehicle limit for recreational vehicles if they are in a fully enclosed permanent structure to an individual bullet point. Mike Toth added text amendments for recreational vehicles were also made in 2013 and 2014 and the changes Hansen mentioned above were reviewed by the Village Board at the December 20, 2021 COW meeting and they were amenable to them. Toth mentioned we are here tonight since a text amendment and public hearing needs to go through Plan Commission since this section is in the zoning ordinance.

Chairman Brackett asked if section C is referring to a permanent structure for multiple vehicles and not just for a tent for one recreational vehicle parked next to the owner’s house. Toth added one can have a tent to cover a recreational vehicle on a lot, but it would count towards the limit of one that are allowable outside a fully enclosed permanent structure. Toth reemphasized the code mentions one can only have one recreational vehicle on their property at a time regardless if it be stored on the front, side or back of a property, but if it is in a garage there is no limit. Chairman Brackett asked if the resident was asking for additional time. Toth said they asked to have it longer than the current time period or have a more flexible 24 to 48 hour period. Toth explained the code enforcement perspective on how it would be hard to enforce if it was on a flexible period since the code currently allows a recreational vehicle to be on site for three out of the seven days in a week. Toth shared the Board was split between keeping it as-is while some thought it was over regulating recreational vehicles to begin with.

Commissioner Tuohy mentioned she has a personal interest in this as a current recreational vehicle owner and wrote a letter to the Village Board since she has a motor home and had some of the same issues the resident shared with the Board. Commissioner Tuohy stated a motor home is completely different from the other vehicles listed in the recreational vehicle definition since it’s an actual full vehicle and has different maintenance needs. Commissioner Tuohy recommends to move motor homes out of the definition to its own category and also mentioned the current weekly time frame now doesn’t make sense since most recreational vehicles are gone on the weekend. Commissioner Tuohy proposed to extend the time to Monday to 6pm and also mentioned the two week periods, as they exist, do not make a lot of sense since many motor home owners prep their vehicle in March (for Spring Break) and wait until the end of October to winterize them. Commissioner Tuohy also said the current temporary house guest’s policy doesn’t make a lot of sense since it is a strange time frame to regulate. Tuohy also said that no one wants a driveway to be a recreational vehicle storage and believes there needs to be a code of some sort to prevent that, but the way the code is written now it is out of touch.

Commissioner Branson proposed extending the code to Tuesday for the Monday holidays and asked why house guests can park it on site for two weeks at any time throughout the year, but a recreational vehicle owner cannot do the same. Toth mentioned the Village would need to specifically list holidays should the Village pursue that. Commissioner Branson asked if house guests are there for two months can they reapply for permit. Toth said they would contact our department and make note of it. Toth said it’s a rare occasion and the Village has not had to ask guests to move their vehicle for being there for an extended period of time.

Commissioner Tuohy asked again why are all recreational vehicles lumped into a group together when a motor home and utility trailer are completely different mechanically. Steve Bosco shared the Village Board has said in the past, the reason all are in one category is to prevent compartmentalizing them to where a resident can have one of each instead of one total recreational vehicle. Chairman Brackett asked Commissioner Tuohy since winterizing is different for motor homes what two week time frames make the most sense compared to the current code’s two week periods (April 15-30 and October 1-15). Commissioner Tuohy mentioned March 15-30 to October 15-30 may make more sense. Chairman Brackett stated it makes sense to have a recreational vehicle code so there is a mechanism to make the recreational vehicle leave. Bosco shared the Village Board talked about hours, dates, and how restrictive the ordinance should be and ended up with consensus of extending the time to Thursday 6pm for more prep, but extending it to Tuesday makes it only one day of enforcement. Bosco mentioned we have heard retirees like to take theirs out during the week so it is all over the map when someone is prepping theirs. Toth mentioned it is difficult to enforce movable objects.

Commissioner Andersen shared the ordinance needs to be enforceable, but also understands that the current hours and dates don’t seem to be in line with recreational vehicle owners. Commissioner Andersen asked Commissioner Tuohy how many days it takes to prep a motor home. Commissioner Tuohy mentioned one to two days typically. Commissioner Andersen proposed making motorhomes as separate category. Toth shared it was written with a weekend exemption and 48 hour time period allowance, but was changed in 2013 since it is hard to track and enforce so the 48 hour was removed and set time periods were added so it’s easier to track for code enforcement. Bosco mentioned other Villages are all over the place as well where they allow one recreational vehicle, no recreational vehicles or have as many recreational vehicles as they want and can store them at home any time.

Commissioner Botkin said one universal policy makes sense instead of having it broken out. Botkin mentioned the City of Geneva has one 24 hour period. Botkin mentioned having regulations of some sort are needed to prevent it from having a recreational vehicle on site all the time. Botkin asked what front yard means in this context. Toth mentioned it refers to front of the dwelling and yard means the setback area at the front of the property. Toth mentioned owners must park on hard surface, which is specified in section E of the current code.

Commissioner Newell asked if there is a permit to extend the time frame if a resident knows it will be there until a Tuesday. Toth mentioned there is no permit, but in the past if someone would call and ask the Village would work with them, but the Village is trying to enforce the ordinance more actively now. Toth stated staff get complaints for the vehicles being there and from the owners saying the time frame is too restrictive.

Commissioner Negro asked about HOA regulations and what supersedes what. Bosco mentioned HOA in most cases can be more restrictive, but it falls back to who is stricter on the item. Commissioner Negro was okay with extending hours to Tuesday for holidays as long as the holidays are defined for North Aurora.

Commissioner Bozik mentioned the code appears to focusing on summer activities more than winter so that should also be taken into consideration. Commissioner Bozik proposed 72 hour limit of some sort for recreational vehicles. Bozik asked what is considered a public right of way. Toth mentioned a street or a sidewalk. Bozik asked if someone wanted to park it overnight to leave early in the morning it appears that isn’t allowed. Toth mentioned in 2013 the ROW language was probably taken out for that reason. Bozik said he understands the sidewalk component for safety purposes, but the street portion is a little restrictive. Toth shared road right of way usually isn’t built to accommodate the width of two trailers on the road. Bozik mentioned based off the number of complaints something is needed, but try to mitigate restrictions as much as possible.

Commissioner Lenkart said extending the hours could cause more issues since it appears many residents don’t like seeing vehicles already. Lenkart asked if there is a way code enforcement wise to enforce a 24 or 48 hour time period. Toth mentioned code enforcement isn’t here on weekend and many complaints drive when staff first hear about the issue. Bosco mentioned the resident came to the board meeting said 11% of homeowners have a recreational vehicle, which if true would mean there are about 600 homes in the Village would have recreational vehicles. Trying to document each 24 hour limit would be very difficult to regulate especially since the Village has one code enforcement officer. Some communities have hour limits, but are probably not enforced until complaints are made and the process starts. Lenkart asked how it’s enforced currently. Toth mentioned the code enforcement officer documents it and issues a notification the first time around. Since it is documented there is record of it and a repeat violator would start getting a fine if it is not moved. Commissioner Lenkart asked what a fully enclosed permanent structure is defined as. Toth stated it would be a garage or an accessory building and there is a limit on the number of accessory buildings on a property so owners can’t have a plethora of permanent structures on their property.

Chairman Mike Brackett closed the public hearing.


1. Petition #22-01 (Amendment to Chapter 13.12 of the Zoning Ordinance): Amendment to Title 17 of the North Aurora Municipal Code (Zoning Ordinance) relative to recreational vehicles.

Chairman Brackett summarized the conversation. Commissioner Andersen mentioned letting the Village Board decide the provisions since they probably would have the same discussion as the Plan Commission did if they haven’t already. Bosco mentioned this discussion was very similar to the Village Board’s and that this discussion with the Plan Commission was required by code. Bosco explained usually an item like this goes to the Plan Commission first as a workshop, but since the issue was brought up at a Board meeting, staff brought the item to the Village Board to explain the current code and how it is enforced, which turned into a conversation about what should be changed. Bosco mentioned the two week window was brought up at the Board discussion and they would be willing to look into changing that. Chairman Brackett mentioned it makes sense to move the two week dates up to early April or even March and move them back to the end of October. Commissioner Botkin mentioned the weekend and holidays exception could be difficult based on school systems and who views what holiday as an actual holiday. Commissioner Botkin proposed adding a certain number of hours and having a five-day window of their choosing since the enforcement is largely complaint driven. Commissioner Lenkart proposed some time on Thursday to Monday at X since it could be enforced.

Toth said since the language in memo covers changes moving the time to Thursday to 6pm, clarifies the number of recreational vehicles allowed on a residential premise, what an enclosed structure is and the ROW provision. The Plan Commission can add in whatever they would like, but it might make the most sense at this point to provide the Village Board the draft minutes of this meeting and assemble a list of the ideas discussed. Toth summarized the Plan Commission’s thoughts, which included a 24 to 72 hour reciprocity period, regulating motorhomes separately, moving around the two week exception windows, holiday exemptions, and moving recreational vehicle allowance to Tuesday or Monday at 6pm. Toth said staff can provide these bullet points along with the draft minutes to the Village Board for review. Commissioner Tuohy wanted to add to the comments that more people are working from home so it is just not retirees who may be coming in and out during the week. Commissioner Tuohy also asked the Village Board to look into removing the temporary house guest provision since it is outdated and hard to enforce.

Motion for approval to pass along the Plan Commission comments for Chapter 13.12 of the Zoning Ordinance relative to recreational vehicles to Village Board was made by Commissioner Lenkart and seconded by Commissioner Newell. Vote: Lenkart – Yes, Newell – Yes, Tuohy – Yes, Negro – Yes, Branson – Yes, Bozik – Yes, Botkin – Yes, Anderson – Yes, Brackett – Yes. Motion approved.


Mike Toth asked the Plan Commission is they’d be amenable to distribution of electronic packets only. Toth explained the time and resources needed to create and distribute paper copies and also mentioned that a Village employee was injured delivering paper copies. Toth added that paper copies can be made at someone’s request. The Plan Commission stated that larger plans are nice to have as they are legible. Toth mentioned that the electronic copies can be zoomed in on, but if someone wants a larger copy, it can be made available.

Toth mentioned potential upcoming public hearings – the Seasons at North Aurora multifamily residential development and the Fairview Gardens industrial project.

Toth stated the Village Board approved the text amendments pertaining to solar panels, as recommended by the Plan Commission.

Motion to adjourn made by Commissioner Anderson and seconded by Commissioner Bozik. All in favor. Motion approved.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jessica Watkins
Village Clerk

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