Minutes of the Joint Meeting of the Gurnee Zoning Board of Appeals - January 28, 2009


The meeting was called to order at 7:45 P.M.
Plan Commission Members Present:       Chairman James Sula, David Nordentoft, Richard McFarlane,
            Gwen Broughton, Patrick Drennan
Plan Commission Members Absent:        Sara Salmons, Stephen Park
Zoning Board Members Present: Chairman Tom Hood, Edwin Paff, Don Wilson, John Spadaro, Jerry Kolar,
                                                            Denise Smith                                            
Zoning Board Members Absent:              Mike Deimler
Other Officials Present:                          Bryan Winter, Village Attorney; David Ziegler, Community Development Director; Tracy Velkover, Planning Manager; Molly Bacon, Associate Planner; Ryan Mentkowski, Associate Planner
Approval of Joint Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals Workshop Meeting Minutes (ZBA only) for October 28, 2008.
Mr. Paff made a motion, seconded by Mr. Kolar to approve the Joint Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals Workshop Meeting Minutes for October 28, 2008.
Roll Call
Ayes:                Paff, Wilson, Spadaro, Kolar, Smith, Hood
Nays:                None
Abstain:            None
Motion Carried: 6-0-0
Public Hearing: Temporary Outdoor Storage Containers regulations
Associate Planner Ryan Mentkowski stated that a Public hearing is being heldfor the temporary outdoor storage containers.   He stated that on September 17th of last year we had a joint workshop session to go over possible restriction for these containers. He stated that the result of the workshop was an understanding that the following restrictions would apply to temporary outdoor storage containers when stored on a residentially zoned or used property. 
Mr. Mentkowski stated that staff first proposed a slightly modified definition for temporary outdoor storage containers. He stated that as it stands right now the definition addresses that an outdoor storage container is for use in a non-residential district. He stated this revision would strike that one out and add some additional language to the definition based on what we heard from both commissions at the last meeting. He stated that this definition would then be placed in Article 2, which is the definition section of the zoning code, similar to what we did with commercial vehicles and it would address both residential and non-residential temporary outdoor storage containers.
Mr. Mentkowski stated that specifically related to the restrictions staff, created restrictions for all residential zoning districts, including single family, two family and multi-family residential. He stated that we would require detailed requirements for applications. He stated that a couple examples include, name, contact information, approval of property owner of record, the delivery and removal dates of containers, and the size of containers, etc.  He then stated that the size would be restricted to 8 feet in width, 16 feet in length, 9 feet in height and setbacks would be 5 feet from the property lines. He then stated that there was a requirement for a 10-foot setback from principal buildings unless the Fire Department approved it and then the Fire department could reduce that set back to 5 feet. He stated for visual conflict locations, like the right of way, obstructed view of pedestrian, sight triangle would be restricted from placing the containers. He stated that as far as consecutive days allowed on the property, as proposed right now you could have the container on the property for 30 days and that if you applied to the zoning administrator, you could be permitted an extension of 14 days. He stated that placement would be limited to two times per year, per calendar year on the property. He stated that uses within the containers such as home occupation or storing or selling of merchandise stored within the containers would not be allowed. He than stated the container would be exempt from the duration restrictions of 30 days and the number of times of year allowed on the property, if it is associated with an active building permit that has been approved by the Community Development Department.
Mr. Mentkowski stated the third thing staff broke out was the requirements that apply only to single family and two family property. He stated that in single family and two family you could have no more than one container on the property at any one time, whether it is stacked or whatever. He stated that staff is proposing some specific restrictions specifically that the container can only be placed on a driveway constructed of an approved dustless surface, such as asphalt, brick pavers or concrete and other locational restrictions.
Mr. Mentkowski then stated that temporary outdoor storage containers when in a multi-family district or property, can only be placed upon a parking lot of approved hard dustless surface, generally asphalt or concrete providing the placement of the container does not impede the flow of traffic or occupy off street parking or loading spaces required per the provisions of Article 10 of the zoning ordinance. He stated there are some additional locational requirements, where landscape areas or open space cannot be used.  He stated that those are the restrictions that have been proposed for the temporary outdoor storage containers.
Mr. Mentkowski stated that he wanted to run through a couple of areas that staff did follow-up research based on some outstanding questions or discussion points from the meeting. He stated that regarding restricting the number of units on multi-family zoned used properties that the ordinance does not contain a specific restriction. He stated the number of units is not restricted because staff did not receive comprehensive direction from the commissions at the last joint meeting that a specific number of units per development should be required. He stated based on Attorney Winter’s discussion of the Naperville ordinance, and no negative feedback, the Naperville ordinance was used as a template for the language for the multi-family containers. He stated that the language is similar to the language for the commercial vehicles. 
Mr. Mentkowski stated that staff recommends that there not be a specific restriction in the ordinance that required approval from the homeowners association, but instead recommend that a disclaimer be put on our permits within our department that states that the applicant needs to check with the homeowners association to ensure that the container does not violate any of the association or property rules. He stated that this is similar to the methodology the department uses for fences at this time.
Mr. Mentkowski stated that another discussion point was possible exemption language for major and minor building permits. He stated that because the department does not have major and minor building permits defined separately, they should not be utilized as an exemption tool unless the commissions wanted to define a minor or major permit.
Mr. Mentkowski stated that the commissions previously discussed the restriction for hazardous waste, flammable or toxic materials, requiring portable smoke detectors in each unit, requiring a safety latch, and the concern of container burn time. He stated that staff had discussed all of these points with our Fire Marshall, and after discussing with the Fire Chief, he did not have concern and did not recommend that these items are placed into the ordinance. He stated that the Fire Marshall stated to staff that the prohibition of hazardous waste, flammable and toxic materials within the containers are not administrable because the fire department does not have the ability to go in and check each and every container. He stated that he checked two of the actual container companies and they already provide restrictions on placing those types of materials in the units.  He stated that the Fire Marshall stated to staff that smoke detector and safety latch were not necessary features. He also stated that
Fire Marshall stated that the burn time for the containers would not be a concern as long as the setbacks of the proposed containers were met.
Mr. Mentkowski formally noted that staff has not received any formal protests against this text amendment at this time. He stated that the only person he spoke with was the manager at 1-800 Packrat who offered similar products for rent. He stated that Mr. Mical did not give any opinion whether he was for or against the ordinance and wanted to give his opinion because he keeps track of all the ordinances for his clients so he knows where they can be placed in each community.
Chairman Sula thanked Mr. Mentkowski and asked for any other comments from the Plan Commission or Zoning Board.
Mr. Paff asked about the report where it talks about the materials for the principal use and if you had a home business that would not be the principal use. He then asked If you needed temporary storage for materials other than your furniture, say something related to your home business, could you put them in there? He then asked if you were painting a room and you had to move everything out, could you put it in there? He asked if this was prohibited by this rule proposed. 
Mr. Mentkowski asked Mr. Paff to ask the question again because he could not hear what was asked.
Mr. Paff stated that it says materials related to the principle use of the building so if it’s a house, isn’t that the materials related to living there? He then asked what about business property?
Attorney Winter responded that if the question is if you also had a home occupation and you wanted to store that painting material previously described in the container, his interpretation is that this would be consistent with that (principal) use of the house as long it’s a legal use of the house.
Chairman Sula asked if there were any other questions or comments.
Chairman Sula opened the floor to the public.
Village Attorney Winter swears in Al Mical of 1-800 Packrat, 5506 Centerpoint Court, Gurnee, IL.
Mr. Michael identifies he spoke with Mr. Mentkowski yesterday. 
Mr. Mical stated that he does work with restoration people, people moving, long-term storage, short-term storage so there are a lot of different segments that this temporary storage fits. He stated that the majority of people that they deal with will not keep the container on their property longer than 30 days. He stated that most people only have the containers on the property for about 14 days and anything over 30 days, the storage units are brought back to the warehouse. He suggested the commission think about certain occasions when the container would be allowed to be parked on the street because they do a fair amount of business for fire restoration projects where the driveways are full of scrap. He stated they might want to look at an ordinance that allows for 72 hours maximum on the street but would have to go through the fire department. He stated his company does not put the units on the side of buildings or behind the homes, they are very sensitive to the neighborhoods because people see these everyday. He stated that they basically tell their customers 30 days is max and we have a 40,0000 sq foot warehouse that they have access to as well. He stated that he thought this probably applies to PODS as well, as they are a competition and we follow the same guidelines.
Chairman Sula thanked Mr. Mical and closed the floor to the public.
Chairman Sula asked for any other additional questions or concerns from members of the commission or board.
Mr. Wilson asked if restricting the number of units on a multi family zoned property matters because in an apartment building it probably would not happen anyway?
Chairman Sula stated that we are silent on the number of units that can be stored on a multi-family zoned or used property. He stated the attitude is lets go ahead and allow them and that if it proves to be a problem then the restrictions can be readdressed later.  
Mr. McFarlane stated that as long as we have the time restriction we should be ok.
Chairman Sula stated that the staff did a great job in capturing the Commissions comments and pulling this together. He stated that this was a new thing for them and he felt that everyone did a great job.
Mr. Paff asked if the issue of having a storage unit placed on the street is addressed in the proposed language.
Chairman Sula stated overnight parking is not allowed on the street as a general ordinance but thought that there is the ability to talk to the Police Department and get temporary permission. He asked staff if that provision could be utilized.
Planning Manager Tracy Velkover stated the zoning ordinance only applies to private property and that we would need to look at some ordinance change to the municipal code about that specific thing, if we did want to take a look at allowing storage units on the streets. She stated that if that became an issue in the future we could look at that or if that is necessary at this point we could look at it.
Community Development Director David Ziegler added that we often have requests for open dumpsters for restoration projects and we typically have not allowed them to be placed in the right of way as they are an impediment to the movement of traffic and could be considered dangerous. He stated that ideally we would have them placed on a driveway and if in a circumstance where the driveway was being utilized for contractors or other building materials we could probably allow them to be parked on the lawn for a short duration. He stated that this could be something we could use as a possible compromise in those types of unique situations. He stated that we really would prefer not having the containers in the right of way.
Mr. Paff asked if the language as presented allows for that provision presented by Mr. Ziegler? 
Chairman Sula stated if you are talking about the open dumpsters, those are not covered at all by these provisions.
Mr. Ziegler stated that he thought we could do something similar for the containers within the same parameters and we could make an exception for some specific unique circumstance as that. He stated that typically those structures are being heavily renovated and a lot of construction happening on the structure itself so a little bit of disruption on the lawn is going to be a pretty small factor in comparison to what is going on with the rest of the house.
Attorney Winter stated that the one thing that provides a typical problem with the roadways, is that there is a lot of regulation. He stated that the uniform traffic manual applies in terms of reflective surfaces, whether you would have to barricade it, so generally speaking the right of way would not typically be a desired location, because it is intended for the travel way and now you are placing a stationary item there. He stated that it is much like interruptions due to construction and you see all the barricades that are placed and that he did not see a deficiency in not to address that in what you are considering tonight.
Chairman Sula asked for any other questions or comments.
Mr. Wilson made motion, seconded by Mr. Paff, to forward a favorable recommendation approve the ordinance for the temporary outdoor storage containers with the amended definition of a temporary outdoor storage unit, with the disclaimer regarding the homeowners association on the permit, without the exact definitions of major and minor building permits for exemption purposes, and to not include the restriction of hazardous waste, flammable or toxic materials as part of the ordinance.
Mr. Mentkowski requested clarification that the motion added the requirement for the homeowner’s association approval letter. 
Mr. Wilson stated that the disclaimer would be placed on the permit itself and not in the ordinance.
Mr. Sula and Mr. Wilson both clarified that the ordinance is being accepted as presented.
Roll call for Zoning Board.
Ayes:              Hood, Paff, Wilson, Spadaro, Kolar, Smith
Nays:                None
Abstain:           None
Motion Carried: 6-0-0
Mr. Nordentoft made a motion, seconded by Mr. McFarlane, to forward a favorable recommendation for the temporary outdoor storage text amendment as submitted as it does meet the standards for text amendments.
Roll call for Plan Commission.
Ayes:                Sula, Nordentoft, McFarlane, Broughton, Drennan
Nays:                None
Abstain:            None
Motion Carried: 5-0-0
Meeting adjourned at 8:08 PM.
Respectfully submitted,
Joanne Havenhill