VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
PLAN COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
September 6, 2022
CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Mike Brackett called the meeting to order.
In attendance: Chairman Mike Brackett, Commissioners Aaron Anderson, Anna Tuohy, Scott Branson, Richard Newell, Doug Botkin, Tom Lenkart, Mark Bozik and Alex Negro
Staff in attendance: Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth and Planner David Hansen
Also in attendance: Village Attorney Kevin Drendel
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
1. Approval of Plan Commission Minutes dated July 5, 2022
Motion for approval was made by Commissioner Bozik and seconded by Commissioner Newell. All in favor. Motion approved.
1. Site Plan Approval (SPA 22-01) – Lot 101 of Randall Crossing
Community and Economic Development Director Mike Toth introduced Site Plan Approval (SPA) 22-01. The petitioner is requesting site plan approval for Lot 101 of Randall Crossing. It is the southeast corner of Comiskey Ave and Orchard Rd. The development is slated for a restaurant with a drive thru facility. This site is part of the Randall Crossing and Randall Highlands PUD, which was approved in 2005. The PUD mentions restaurants with a drive thru facility are a permitted use. Toth added site plan review is required for any multi-family, townhouse, commercial, and industrial development for which a site plan has not already been approved. Since there are no standards for special use for this use the Plan Commission has the opportunity to take a look at the site plan and make any comments they deem necessary. Toth introduced Mike Mann, the prospective business owner.
Mann shared he is a resident of Oswego, IL and has been for over 20 years. Mann said two years ago he decided to get into the restaurant business. Over past two years, he has built two restaurants side-by-side, which are 113 Main and the Dairy Barn located in downtown Oswego. Both restaurants have been successful so far. Mann mentioned he happened to drive past this site when passing through North Aurora and noticed the property was for sale. Mann said this location looks to be a good location for a second Dairy Barn and would be called Dairy Barn North Aurora. Mann shared the site plan, which has an approximately 3,500 square foot building with 60-70 person outdoor seating area available as well as a menu that includes burgers, hotdogs, BBQ, and ice cream. Ice cream selection would include sundaes, malts and specialty shakes as well as adult shakes/slushies. Mann explained the traffic configurations, parking, and renderings for the site. Mann shared the building will look like a barn with a gambrel style roof with a stone façade making it look like its sitting on a foundation to mimic a traditional Wisconsin dairy barn look. The indoor seating area will seat approximately 80 to 90 people and will include a drive thru.
Toth shared staff completed a zoning review for the submittal and it meets the Zoning Ordinance and PUD requirements. Both the indoor and outdoor areas have been computed and the plan meets the parking amount required by code. Chairman Brackett asked if the department had any concerns regarding the site plan. Toth said there are no concerns.
Commissioner Aaron Andersen asked if there was a drive thru at the site in Oswego. Mann said there is not a drive thru since the lot is 10,000 square feet and the building was 6,000 square feet and had to build the building with a zero setback at the lot line. Commissioner Andersen asked how does the drive thru interact with the outdoor seating space. Mann said with the liquor licenses component there will be a railing and no openings coming out of the outdoor seating area to the parking lot, which should prevent kids from running off the patio into the parking lot. Toth confirmed such barriers are required per the liquor code.
Commissioner Mark Bozik had no questions, but suggested dressing up the south elevation since it looks a little plain and faces a residential area. Mann shared there will be a few rooftop units on grade in that location and is working with the landscape architect to dress up and add some barnyard elements such as a fake grain bin, auger, or other components to try to hide the units appropriately. Toth said the Village can add a condition as part of the ordinance that mentions dressing up the south elevation and re-review the plan internally when plans are submitted to ensure the condition is met. Commissioners Tuohy, Negro, Branson, Newell, Lenkart and Botkin had no comments regarding the site plan or submittal. Chairman Brackett asked if this was the business owner’s restaurant or a franchise and what the project timeline is. Mann mentioned they are looking into the numbers still, but the intent is once Dairy Barn gets to three restaurants he would like to franchise. Mann said it takes about three months to get the numbers and if all goes well hopes to break ground sometime in early spring 2023.
Motion for Site Plan Approval for SPA 22-01 with the added condition that the south building elevation include additional façade dressing was made by Commissioner Tuohy and seconded by Commissioner Anderson. Vote: Tuohy – Yes, Anderson – Yes, Brackett – Yes, Branson – Yes, Bozik – Yes, Lenkart – Yes, Negro – Yes, Newell – Yes, Botkin- Yes. Motion approved.
2. The Village of North Aurora requests a text amendment to Title 16 of the North Aurora Municipal Code (Subdivision Ordinance) relative to parkway tree species.
Planner David Hansen introduced the text amendment request to Title 16 of the North Aurora Municipal Code (Subdivision Ordinance) relative to parkway tree species. Hansen said periodically the Village will amend the tree species list located in 16.12.190 Landscaping and Trees in the Municipal Code. Per Code, the Plan Commission must approve the list of trees allowed for planting in the parkways. Attached to the Plan Commission packet is the ordinance approved at the August 1, 2022 Village Board meeting by the Village Board, so if the Plan Commission goes forward and approves this item tonight the ordinance will go into effect immediately.
Hansen mentioned the parkway trees species list is reviewed each year to continually diversify the parkway trees, ensure there are no invasive species being planted, and allow the Village and its residents a larger selection to choose from. Hansen shared this year’s changes, which included the elimination of the following trees: Norway Maple, Street Keeper Honey Locust, and Japanese Zelkova and the proposed additions include: New Horizon Elm, Frontier Elm, Princeton Elm, and Prairie Elm. Hansen mentioned the trees are being removed from the list because the Norway Maple has been classified as an invasive species, the Street Keeper Honey Locust produces pods that are a nuisance and clog sewer inlets and the Japanese Zelkova is only supposed to be planted in the spring and has limited availability. Hansen shared the four new tree species additions are identified as species recommended by arborists or arbor societies and add biodiversity to the list.
Chairman Bracket asked if any commissioners had any opposition for removing the three tree species and adding the other four species. Commissioner Botkin asked if the new elm varieties are resistant to diseases. Toth said that is the intent and that the Village is always looking to biodiversity the tree species to mitigate any decimation to a specific species. Commissioner Lenkart asked if the tree species currently exist would be removed or is the change only regarding future trees. Toth said there is no intent to remove existing trees but these changes focus on what trees are planted in the parkway going forward. Toth asked the Plan Commission if they wanted to have authority over subdivision ordinance amendments. Toth said this item was brought to the Plan Commission a few years ago and there was support to keep it. The Plan Commission confirmed their desire to maintain authority over Subdivision Ordinance text amendments. The code mentions any text amendment for the subdivision ordinance requires Plan Commission approval. Chairman Brackett said there is no need to change it as of now and to leave it as is. Commissioner Tuohy asked if the tree species list was reviewed annually. Hansen said the Village does an annual review of the species before it starts the parkway tree replacement program, which is typically picked out and planted in the fall.
Motion for approval was made by Commissioner Anderson and seconded by Commissioner Tuohy. Vote: Anderson – Yes, Tuohy – Yes, Brackett – Yes, Branson – Yes, Bozik – Yes, Lenkart – Yes, Negro – Yes, Newell – Yes, Botkin- Yes. Motion approved.
OLD BUSINESS – None
PLAN COMMISSIONER COMMENTS AND PROJECT UPDATES
Toth provided an update on Petition 22-04 (Special Use for the Recreational Cannabis Dispensary located at 2080 West Orchard Road). Toth mentioned the petition was approved by the Village Board. Toth added the petitioner did give a more comprehensive overview and presentation after getting a failed recommendation from the Plan Commission. The building, for the dispensary, is 4,200 square foot commercial space and is located on the corner of Orchard Rd and Oak St, which was approved as part of the Orchard Acres PUD. The Orchard Acres development is part of the Orchard Commons area, which includes Hardware, Fortunato, Starbucks, Taco Bell, and the quick service restaurant. The recreational and medical cannabis dispensary, Pharmacann d.b.a. Verilife, at 161 S. Lincolnway will be moving to this new location since per state law can’t use their licenses at two different addresses. Chairman Brackett asked if Verilife had a timeline. Toth said the shell permit for the building is close to being issued, but haven’t received any build out plans regarding the dispensary. Commissioner Botkin asked what the status on Casey’s is. Toth mentioned the access road planned between Casey’s and property owner to the south appears to be the holdup, but is still moving forward.
Motion to adjourn made by Commissioner Botkin and seconded by Commissioner Tuohy. All in favor. Motion approved.