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Plan Commission Minutes

MARCH 7, 2023
Chairman Mike Brackett called the meeting to order.
In attendance: Chairman Mike Brackett, Commissioners Aaron Anderson, Anna Tuohy, Doug Botkin, Tom Lenkart, Mark Bozik and Alex Negro
Not in attendance: Commissioners Scott Branson, Richard Newell
Staff in attendance: Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth
Also in attendance: Village Attorney Kevin Drendel
1. Approval of Plan Commission Minutes dated November 1, 2022
Motion for approval was made by Commissioner Botkin and seconded by Commissioner Tuohy. All in favor.  Motion approved.
Chairman Mike Brackett opened the public hearing.
1. Petition #23-01 (400 Mitchell Road): The petitioner, Liberty Illinois, LP, requests the following actions in the O-R-I Office, Research and Light Industrial District:
a) Special Use – Planned Unit Development
b) Site Plan Approval
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth introduced Petition 23-01. Toth stated the subject property is located at 400 Mitchell Rd (Lot 1 and Lot 4 of Liberty Business Center), which consists of 40 acres of vacant land and situated north of Interstate 88 and west of Mitchell Rd.
The petitioner, Kelsey Perrin, Vice President for Prologis, introduced Brian Johnson from Pinnacle Engineering along with the other Prologis members in attendance. Perrin gave an overview of Prologis, which included being a global owner, operator, and developer of industrial real estate assets. In Chicago alone, Prologis has 83 million square feet and 374 buildings with a team of about 60 managing such sites and developments. Prologis currently has 2 million square feet of product under construction in the Chicago metropolitan area. Prologis acquired the 400 Mitchell site from Liberty in early 2020. The site access from Corporate Boulevard to the east and the visibility to I-88 are key components for future tenants. Brian Johnson from Pinnacle Engineering shared Lot 1 is approximately 33 acres and Lot 4 is approximately 7 acres. Lot 4 will be used for stormwater proposes. Johnson shared Lot 1 was mass graded about two decades by Liberty and utilities for water, storm and sanitary have already been installed on site. Johnson walked through the 400 Mitchell site plan, which included a single site access point located on the eastern portion of the property at the intersection of Mitchell Rd and Corporate Blvd. The site circulation will operate around the building like a typical industrial development.
Mike Toth stated the petitioner is requesting a special use – planned unit development (“PUD”) and site plan approval. The Zoning Ordinance requires any property over two acres in size or a multi-family product to be a PUD. A PUD is considered a special use. Toth shared the zoning checks out regarding the bulk regulations, landscaping, and parking. The petitioner has also provided standards for special use and for PUDs in the packet tonight. The one item to note is the plan meets parking regulations, but staff did allow the project to land bank parking spaces. Toth said in the conditions of approval section, the petitioner would have the ability to install parking spaces at any time or staff would have the authority to require parking spaces to be installed. Either process would require going through the building permit process. The subject property tonight is located in the Office Research and Light Industrial (ORI) district. The use is a warehouse distribution center, which is a permitted use per the ORI District. The site plan meets all the bulk regulations of the ORI District. Toth shared an aerial of the surrounding area and the extension of Corporate Boulevard, which was built around 2019. The Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2015 and suggests that the property ties into Corporate Boulevard. The site plan shows the site access is directly across from Corporate Blvd.
Chairman Brackett asked if the bulk of the traffic would come down Corporate Blvd from Farnsworth. Toth said the traffic report shows 45% of traffic using Corporate Blvd, 25% using Mitchell Rd south, and 30% using Mitchell Rd north. Toth said there is only one way into the site but the subject property does have a left and right turn out of the site.
Chairman Brackett asked if this is total traffic or only truck traffic. Michael Werthmann from KLOA shared this is the total traffic for the site and anticipate most truck traffic to use Corporate Blvd. However, during peak times, when it is difficult to make a left in from Corporate, trucks may go up to Bilter Road and come down Mitchell Road since its signalized intersection at that location. Werthmann said truck traffic is prohibited when going southbound over the I-88 Mitchell Road so trucks can’t really go south. Werthmann added the access drive will be aligned opposite of Corporate Blvd and there is already a left turn lane on Mitchell Rd serving this access drive as well as a curb cut so all items from a traffic standpoint are already installed.
Chairman Brackett asked if the development met all standards. Toth stated the petitioner included standards for special use and PUDs in their application. Toth also stated staff’s findings of fact outline any concerns or conditions regarding the development that must be met upon approval.
Chairman Mike Brackett closed the public hearing.
1. Petition #23-01 (400 Mitchell Road): The petitioner, Liberty Illinois, LP, requests the following actions in the O-R-I Office, Research and Light Industrial District:
c) Special Use – Planned Unit Development
d) Site Plan Approval
Commissioner Anna Tuohy asked if the traffic study findings for the intersection at Corporate Blvd and Mitchell Road required a four way stop and where the land banked parking stalls are located. Toth stated it appears the study shows a stop sign on Corporate Blvd and a stop sign out of the site, but no stop signs on Mitchell Rd. Toth said anything on the site plan with hatched lines over the parking stalls are the land banked spaces, which are located throughout the site. Commissioner Tuohy also asked about Lot 4. Toth shared it would be utilized for stormwater detention for the property and has an easement over it so regardless no development would be allowed. Commissioner Alex Negro and Commissioner Aaron Anderson had no comments.
Commissioner Tom Lenkart asked about the number of trailer parking spaces on site and if this site will have any truck and trailer issues like the site to the north had. Toth said the site to the north was not implemented as designed. The site was designed to circulate traffic around the building, but the property owner did not open the southern access gate, which restricted traffic access to the north access drive only. Staff has worked with the site management and the southern gate was taken down so the issue should be resolved. Toth said that the property also took on too many tenants for that facility but has since been resolved with one of the tenants moving to Naperville. Toth shared the subject property tonight has one access point and staff received confirmation from the Fire District that they were good with the concept and single access point. Commissioner Lenkart mentioned the site traffic should be required to use Corporate Blvd to alleviate truck traffic on other roads. Toth said the Village cannot require them to use only certain public roads.
Werthmann shared parking spaces for trucks are for storage, truck traffic is distributed throughout the day and there is not a real peak period, and most traffic is coming in during off peak periods. Werthmann also added that trucks will probably go north to Bilter Road so they can get to a signalized intersection to go left. Bilter Road is also an industrial route and most trucks will probably use Bilter Road instead of Butterfield Road to get to Farnsworth Avenue. Werthmann said the number of parking spaces does not equal truck movement. Commissioner Lenkart asked if this site is for a single tenant and a few questions regarding the landscape plan. Perrin said they are not sure at this point regarding a single or multi-tenant. Toth stated there is a tree line along the north end of the property and one of the conditions of approval mentions preserving the existing tree line. Commissioner Lenkart said he supports the development, but his biggest concern is traffic at the intersection going in and out of the site. Werthmann mentioned the site has been zoned like this for years and designed for such traffic. Werthmann added truck traffic doesn’t like to leave during peak periods and many of these similar facilities see truck traffic leave between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. or after 6:00 p.m.
Commissioner Doug Botkin asked if the facility will be secured with fencing. Perrin shared that will be determined by the tenant of the space. Toth said condition number seven in the staff report mentions any perimeter fencing shall be black, metallic, non-chain link construction and limited to eight feet in height. Commissioner Botkin asked if there is a minimum height for the fence. Toth said there is not.
Commissioner Mark Bozik asked if the plan they are presenting is asking for anything different compared to the one that was approved a few years ago. Commissioner Bozik also asked if the special use was only triggered due to the PUD being over 2 acres. Toth said there is a history of the property summarized in the staff report and properties to the north had everything installed before new Zoning Ordinance was adopted while the subject property had such utilities installed after. Toth shared the site plan and use have no deviations to the Zoning Ordinance. Commissioner Bozik asked what the overall height of the building is. Toth said the building is listed at just under 50 feet (49’11) to meet the bulk regulations of the ORI District.
Chairman Brackett summarized the key concern of traffic at the intersection along with staff’s 10 findings in the staff report.
Motion for approval of a Special Use for a Planned Unit Development with staff’s ten (10) conditions was made by Commissioner Bozik and seconded by Commissioner Tuohy with one (1) added staff condition:
• Outbound traffic from the site shall be under stop sign control.
Vote: Bozik – Yes, Botkin – Yes, Anderson – Yes, Tuohy – Yes, Negro – Yes, Lenkart – Yes, Brackett – Yes.  Motion approved.
Motion for Site Plan Approval was made by Commissioner Bozik and seconded by Commissioner Botkin. Vote: Bozik – Yes, Botkin – Yes, Anderson – Yes, Tuohy – Yes, Negro – Yes, Lenkart – Yes, Brackett – Yes.  Motion approved.
2. SPA #23-01 (320 Overland Drive): The petitioner, Opus Development Company, LLC, requests the following actions in the O-R-I Office, Research and Light Industrial District:
a) Site Plan Approval
Toth introduced SPA #23-01 which is located at 320 Overland Drive, which is the western portion of the old Valley Green Golf Course. The site consists of 27.34 acres and is located in the                  O-R-I Office Research and Light Industrial District as part of the Opus I-88 Corporate Park PUD. Toth shared the PUD was already approved in 2021 and went through public hearing on January 5, 2021 with the Plan Commission along with three Committee of the Whole meetings with the Village Board before the PUD Ordinance was approved on April 5, 2021. The Opus I-88 Corporate Park PUD consists of two phases. Phase one consists of Building A and B and Phase two consists of Building C. Opus is currently finishing up and near completion on Phase 1’s two buildings. Opus is looking to complete Building C and the PUD Ordinance mentions when Building C is ready for construction it requires the site plan approval by the Plan Commission and Village Board.
The petitioner Mike Robinson with Opus Development introduced Building C site plan and provided an overview of Opus company and operations. Opus is predominantly in the Midwest, has eight offices and their headquarters is out of Minneapolis, MN. Opus is a merchant builder where they look for land, get it ready for development, construct it, and then sell it. Robinson showed the site plan approved in 2021 with Phase 2, Building C on it. Robinson said the current site plan for Building C is almost exactly the same and is located where it was approved two years ago. Some small changes to the site plan include the secondary office moving from southwest corner to northwest corner, the future truck and car bypass lane on the plan will not be installed on Day 1 and only will be installed if Opus leases it to two tenants but based on the building of this size there is a 90% chance it will be occupied a single tenant. Robinson said the building to the east is over 500,000 square feet and was leased to one tenant (Ryder Logistics). Building A has two tenants, and the second tenant was just leased last week. Robinson continued and shared the bypass lane will be greened over and excess soil on site will be used to create a mound and will help buffer properties to the north and west. The landscape plan was shown as well as the building elevations, which match Building B elevations directly to the east. Robinson mentioned Trey Gallagher is also in attendance and is on the general contractor side if there are any construction related questions.
Toth shared the zoning and building specs both match much of the site approved back in 2021 with the exceptions Robinson mentioned. Toth said changes like the removal of a bypass lane and a raised grade will help improve the sites buffering for adjacent properties and will help match the landscape with the existing tree line. Many of the concerns back in 2021 were regarding the buffering between the residential properties to the north. Chairman Brackett asked how the grade will compare to Building B to the east. Toth mentioned the grade for Building C would be higher than Building B’s and act like a berm to some extent. Toth added the bypass lane to the north of Building B is gated off currently since it’s only a single tenant building and has no use.
Commissioner Bozik asked if the site plan would need to comeback in the future if the future occupant would need a bypass lane. Commissioner Bozik also asked if the Village has received any complaints from adjacent residents and property owners. Toth stated it depends on the tenant. If it is a single tenant, the bypass lane will not be built. Staff has not received any complaints regarding the other buildings, but some semi-trucks have ended up in the neighborhood to the north when trying to locate a building. Also, there is a gate that will be installed to prohibit trucks access onto Willow Way. The Village has a water sample station in that area and were working on where to locate the gate to allow access to the sample site before the gate is constructed.
Commissioner Botkin, Negro, Anderson, and Tuohy had no comments or questions.
Commissioner Lenkart asked why install the mound now instead of the bypass lane in case a multi-tenant utilizes the building. Robinson said the cross-deck configuration of the site to the east is very similar to what Building C will be so there is no need to install a bypass lane if the one to the east is not being utilized. Toth added the mound will be used as buffering with the possibility of hauling the dirt away in the future should a bypass lane need to be built. Toth also added Building B did discuss not having a bypass lane, but Opus ended up installing that bypass lane.
Motion for Site Plan Approval was made by Commissioner Tuohy and seconded by Commissioner Negro. Vote: Bozik – Yes, Botkin – Yes, Anderson – Yes, Tuohy – Yes, Negro – Yes, Lenkart – Yes, Brackett – Yes.  Motion approved.
Toth provided an update on the Dairy Barn project. Dairy Barn petitioner went out for bid for materials and bid came back quite high but is still looking at moving forward. If there is a substantial change to the project, it would need to come back for site plan approval.
Toth provided some insight on a possible site plan approval in the near future regarding a Ram Truck dealership. Toth shared the Jeep dealership about a half a decade ago was approved west of Target, but some private covenant agreement prevented them for moving forward and ended up walking away. In 2018, Riverfront bought the site on the north side of Orchard Gateway Blvd directly east of Sherwin-Williams. Riverfront is looking at potentially putting a standalone Ram Truck dealership at that location.
Chairman Brackett asked about the Hyundai Genesis building, PNC Bank building on Orchard, Woodman’s Addition, and the building north of Starbucks. Toth shared the Genesis project permit is issued and still moving forward. The old PNC Bank building is turning into a dental office and the old Chase Bank is turning into a medical office. Woodman’s addition was approved and is currently in the building permit review process and moving forward. Toth said the building north of Starbucks is Fortunato and had some supply chain issues but is moving forward. Commissioner Lenkart asked about a sidewalk piece on Hart Road that is hazardous and has been there for years. Toth said he will have staff look into it.
Motion to adjourn made by Commissioner Tuohy and seconded by Commissioner Lenkart.  All in favor.  Motion approved.
Respectfully Submitted,
Jessica Watkins
Village Clerk
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