Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Gurnee Plan Commission - March 2, 2011

Village of Gurnee

Plan Commission Minutes

March 2, 2011

 
 
The meeting was called to order at 7:31 P.M.
 
Plan Commission Members Present:       Chairman James Sula, Stephen Park, David Nordentoft, Richard McFarlane, Patrick Drennan, Gwen Broughton, Sharon Salmons
 
Plan Commission Members Absent:        None
 
Other Officials Present:                          Bryan Winter, Village Attorney; David Ziegler, Community Development Director; Tracy Velkover, Planning Manager; Molly Booth, Associate Planner; Ryan Mentkowski, Associate Planner
 
 
1. Approval of Plan Commission Meeting Minutes for February 16, 2011
Mr. Park made a motion, seconded by Ms. Salmons, to approve the Plan Commission Meeting Minutes for February 16, 2011.
 
Roll Call
Ayes:                Sula, Park, Nordentoft, McFarlane, Drennan, Broughton, Salmons
Nays:                None
Abstain:            None
Motion Carried: 7-0-0
 
2.   Public Hearing: Special Use Permit for Michael Cavanaugh
Ms. Booth stated the petitioner, Michael Cavanaugh, is requesting approval of a Special Use for a law office in the existing 1,771 sq. ft. single family residence at 4017 Old Grand. She stated the petitioner is represented by his agent, Daniel Robison, with Daniel Robison Architects. She stated as part of the proposed Special Use, the existing residence will be remodeled into a law office for two attorneys noting the site improvements that include removing a portion of the existing garage, renovating the exterior façade of the existing residence, installation of an accessibility ramp, new landscaping, and paving a new (7) seven stall parking lot. She stated in addition, a Minor Exception to the Sign Ordinance has been requested to reduce the required 8-inch letter and number height for a proposed (ground) sign.
 
Chairman Sula stated this is a Public Hearing, and asked for anyone from the petitioner or members of the general public who intend to either give testimony or ask questions to stand and be sworn in by the Village Attorney.
 
Mr. Cavanaugh introduced Mr. Robison from Daniel Robison Architects.
 
Mr. Robison stated this property is at the east end of Old Grand Avenue where it meets Grand Avenue, and is the peninsula property. He stated the building is approximately a 1,200 square foot ranch which will be converted into law offices. He stated the 2-car garage will be slightly reduced in size to obtain the required parking in the side yard as well as have the required 5-foot buffer to allow for landscaping as a buffer yard. He stated there will be landscaping around the building, the building foundations and ramp as well as landscaping to screen the parking lot and the enclosed dumpster. He noted there was a detail on the dumpster enclosure within the packet provided to the Commission.
 
Mr. Robison stated the plan is relatively simple on the inside noting the following: the living room space will be converted to waiting and reception area; the kitchen will be converted to a break-room;  the (2) two bedrooms will be converted to (2) two offices; the existing bathroom will be reworked into an accessible bathroom; a separate entrance will be provided into the slightly lower level garage for a conference room and 2nd accessible bathroom, and storage; and the basement to be used for additional file storage.  
 
Mr. Robison stated the current exterior is dated and in need of repairs and noted the concept of the exterior is to replace the siding, roofing, facet, soffit and gutters. He stated the exterior will be done in prairie style to include a little larger overhang on the roof providing an updated appearance as well as being energy efficient.
 
Chairman Sula asked Mr. Robison to provide what he is requesting as far as the signage.
 
Mr. Robison replied the 2-faced wood sign with painted letters will be located at the end of the property and in a traditional style.
 
Chairman Sula asked Mr. Robison if he was asking for a variance on the height of the letters on the sign.
 
Mr. Robison replied he was not aware of this.
 
Ms. Booth stated yes, a Minor Exception on the height of the letters in the sign is being requested and noted that it is a Minor Exception to reduce the 8-inch letter and number height requirement for the sign copy area.
 
Chairman Sula asked Ms. Booth what the Plan actually calls for.
 
Ms. Booth replied it is varying inches for the sign copy of 3-inch, 5-inch, and 6-inch. She stated the sign would read
 “Law Office” and then listing the two names of the attorneys.
 
Chairman Sula stated it is not a square footage issue and that it is the height of the letter issue.
 
Ms. Booth replied that is correct.
 
Mr. Park stated he knows the sign letter height is to keep to the maximum square footage. He stated there was a suggestion from Staff that exterior lighting including the sign be turned off by 10:00PM, as well as a maximum of 100 watt fixtures for the sign. He asked Mr. Cavanaugh if there would be any issues with either of these suggestions.
 
Mr. Cavanaugh replied there would not be a problem with turning off the exterior lighting at 10:00PM and as far as 100 watt fixtures they will comply with whatever the Village requests. He stated it is their desire to fit in well with the neighborhood and be a good neighbor.
 
Mr. Park stated the intended use is very compatible with what the Village has for this District and he is supportive.
 
Chairman Sula stated this is certainly within the vision of the Village Center concept.
 
Ms. Salmons asked how bright the exterior lighting is.
 
Mr. Cavanaugh replied the lighting is intended to be tastefully done.
 
Mr. Robison stated the lighting on the sign will be ground-mounted.
 
Ms. Salmons stated she was referring to the recess lighting and asked if was going to be all the way around the building, on all 4-sides.
 
Mr. Robison stated he didn’t believe they had a need to do that. He stated the entrances, ramp and parking lot will be lit. He stated all the lighting would be mounted on the building while maintaining a small wattage and they would also provide cut-off fixtures so no lighting would shine into the neighbors’ property.
 
Ms. Salmons asked how wide the driveway and parking lot would be questioning if there would be enough room for more than one car to pass as well as room enough to back-up and turn-around to drive out onto Old Grand Avenue.
 
Mr. Robison responded it would be widened from what it is currently, to be sufficient enough to take in-coming and exiting traffic. He stated the reason for reducing the size of the garage is to allow for sufficient room for not only the perpendicular parking lot and back-up space to get in and out but also to provide for landscaping against the building as well as buffer landscaping against the west property.
 
Mr. Nordentoft asked the petitioner for detail on the plantings located along the west property line. He stated part of that property line is currently fenced which will help shield headlight bleed for any cars parking into the slots. He asked if the plantings will grow tall enough to help shield this from the property to the west.
 
Mr. Robison replied Mr. Nordentoft is correct noting the back portion of the yard on the adjacent property is fenced. He stated the front portion is not fenced. He stated they are proposing a hedge along the entire section of parking that will grow tall enough to screen the vehicles and the headlights.
 
Mr. Nordentoft asked what would be the planting height be at maturity.
 
Mr. Robison replied probably (5) five feet.
 
Chairman Sula asked the Plan Commission members for any other questions or comments.
 
Chairman Sula opened the floor to the Public for questions or comments.
 
Chairman Sula closed the floor to the Public.
 
Chairman Sula asked for any last minute questions from the Commission.
 
Mr. McFarlane asked if the rails on the ramp would be metal or wood.
 
Mr. Robison replied he wasn’t sure if they have decided at this point. He stated they probably would be wood rails as they are more residential in feel.
 
Mr. McFarlane stated he is glad to see this happen noting it will help the area and be a nice addition as well.
 
Chairman Sula asked the Plan Commission members for any other questions or comments.
 
Chairman Sula asked for a motion.
 
Mr. Nordentoft made a motion, seconded by Mr. Park, to forward a favorable recommendation for the Special Use for the petition of the Michael Cavanaugh Law Office at 4107 Old Grand Avenue as this meets the standards for Special Use with the additional conditions of approval that all exterior lighting associated with the business including the sign light be turned off by 10:00PM and that the fixtures for the free-standing ground sign shall not exceed 100 watts.
 
Chairman Sula asked the Plan Commission members for any discussion on the motion.
 
Roll Call
Ayes:                Sula, Park, Nordentoft, McFarlane, Drennan, Broughton, Salmons
Nays:                None
Abstain:            None
Motion Carried: 7-0-0
 
Mr. Park made a motion, seconded by Mr. Nordentoft, to approve the Minor Exception for the sign providing the sign is the maximum 15 square feet in area as presented in the drawings for letter height that were given to the Plan Commission members.
 
Chairman Sula asked the Plan Commission members for any discussion on the motion.
 
Roll Call
Ayes:                Sula, Park, Nordentoft, McFarlane, Drennan, Broughton, Salmons
Nays:                None
Abstain:            None
Motion Carried: 7-0-0
 
3.   Final PUD Plat: Heritage Woods of Gurnee Senior Living Facility
Mr. Mentkowski stated Heritage Woods LLC is seeking the Final PUD Plat Plan approval for the 105-unit supportive living facility on 3.8 acres located at 3775 Grand Avenue. He stated this was approved in December 2010 as a Plan Unit Development under the C/O-1 PUD, Restricted Office District. He stated in reviewing the plans Staff found that the final plans are in substantial conformance with what was presented at the preliminary level. He noted a Minor Addition of the 10 ft x 8 ft pre-manufactured accessory structure to store lawn care equipment. He stated staff is suggesting the addition of a lighting plan as a condition and any approval would need to be contingent on the submittal of a lighting plan to the Village Staff that meets the zoning requirements and finalizes the exact location of the decorative light fixtures (H style) within the Waveland Avenue right-of-way and along the Grand Avenue property line.
 
Chairman Sula asked if anyone from Heritage Woods was present.
 
Mr. Bernard Citron of Thomson Colbert Law Firm stated he is representing Heritage Woods.
 
Mr. Citron stated they trust that they have worked with Staff and their plans are in substantial compliance with what was approved by the Plan Commission and ultimately approved by the Village Board with the enactment of the PUD Ordinance with one minor change of a structure to store lawn equipment to maintain the landscaping on the site. He stated he believes the standards are met for final PUD approval.
 
Chairman Sula asked the Plan Commission members for any questions or comments.
 
Chairman Sula asked for a motion.
 
Mr. Park made a motion, seconded by Mr. Nordentoft, to forward a favorable recommendation to the Village Board for the Heritage Woods LLC Final PUD Plat which includes the Minor Adjustment for the pre-manufactured garden shed and contingent upon the submittal of the lighting plan as specified by Staff and confirmation of the $75,000 fee in lieu of payment for the tree replacement be made at the time of the clearing & grading permit.
 
Chairman Sula asked the Plan Commission members for any discussion on the motion.
 
Roll Call
Ayes:                Sula, Park, Nordentoft, McFarlane, Drennan, Broughton
Nays:                Salmons
Abstain:            None
Motion Carried: 6-1-0
 
 
Ms. Broughton made a motion, seconded by Ms. Salmons to adjourn.
 
The Meeting was adjourned at 7:47 P.M.
 
Respectfully Submitted:
 
 
 
Joanne Havenhill
Plan Commission Secretary
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