Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Gurnee Plan Commission (old) - March 7, 2012

Village of Gurnee

Plan Commission Minutes

March 7, 2012



The meeting was called to order at 7:30 P.M.

Plan Commission Members Present:      Chairman James Sula, David Nordentoft, Richard McFarlane,Gwenn Broughton, Sharon Salmons, Patrick Drennan

Plan Commission Members Absent:       None

Other Officials Present:                         Bryan Winter, Village Attorney; Dave Ziegler, Director of Community Development; Tracy Velkover, Planning Manager; Molly Booth, Associate Planner; Ryan Mentkowski, Associate Planner

Chairman Sula asked if anyone from the public has any comments or questions regarding any item that is not on the agenda for this evening. There were no comments or questions from the public.

1.  Approval of Plan Commission Meeting Minutes for January 18, 2012

Mr. McFarlane made a motion, seconded by Mr. Nordentoft, to approve the Plan Commission Meeting Minutes for

January 18, 2012.

Roll Call

Ayes:                Sula, Nordentoft, McFarlane, Broughton, Salmons, Drennan

Nays:                None

Abstain:            None

Motion Carried: 6-0-0

2. Minor Sign Exception: 3701 Grand Avenue Minuteman Press
Ms. Velkover stated the subject property is located at 3701 Grand Avenue. She stated there is an existing pole sign on the property and, per the Village Sign Ordinance, the petitioner is allowed to re-face the sign even though it is legal non-conforming. She stated the petitioner is changing out the existing face which identifies one business, Minuteman Press, so that two businesses can be identified. She stated the sign is 80 square feet and each business will have 40 square feet. She stated one of the businesses meets the letter height requirement and the other business, which is Minuteman Press, is requesting a Minor Exception to the letter height. She stated the Village Code requires that all letters, including lower case letters, be a minimum of 8” inches in height for legibility. She stated the business name, “Minuteman Press” has capital letters of 12” inches and lower case letters of 9” inches. She stated there are two taglines.  One tag line, “Printing, Copying, Design and More” has upper case letters of 10” inches and lower case letters of 8” inches. It is the second tag line that reads “The First Step in Printing, that doesn’t meet the required letter height.  The upper case letters are 5” inches tall and the lower case letters are 3 ½” inches tall. 

Chairman Sula asked if anyone from Minuteman Press is present to add comments.

Chairman Sula asked for questions or comments from members of the Commission.

Mr. McFarlane asked if anyone would be able to even see the 5 inch lettering.

Chairman Sula responded it is the petitioner’s call and it is “additional information”. He stated the main part of their identification meets the Village requirements.

Mr. McFarlane asked if the ground sign would have to be removed at any time.

Ms. Velkover responded that the amortization of signs that no longer conform to the new sign code was discussed when the sign code was modified and the consensus was that business/property owners with these signs would not be forced into conformance.  Therefore, there is no amortization provision to require the removal of these signs in the future.

Chairman Sula stated as a reminder, this is a minor exception and the Commission has final determination whereas a motion would be final approval versus a recommendation to the Village Board.

Chairman Sula asked the Commission for any other questions or comments.

Chairman Sula asked for a motion.

Mr. Nordentoft made a motion, seconded by Ms. Salmons, to approve the Minor Sign Exception as submitted.

Roll Call

Ayes:                Sula, Nordentoft, McFarlane, Broughton, Salmons, Drennan

Nays:                None

Abstain:            None

Motion Carried: 6-0-0

3. Public Hearing: Shiner Group, LLC – Stonebrook Commons Shopping Center
Ms. Bacon stated the Stonebrook Commons Shopping Center is located in the southeast corner of Grand and Stonebrook Drive. She stated it consists of approximately 17-acres zoned C/B‐2 PUD, Community Business District as a Planned Unit Development.  The zoning was approved in 1996 under Ordinance # 96-127.  She stated the existing shopping center has an in-line building which is anchored by Dominicks along with (2) two peripheral out-lot buildings. She stated the subject of tonight’s Public Hearing is the out-lot building at 6681 Grand Avenue, in which the PUD Agreement specifically restricts any type of restaurant use from being located in this building. She stated it recently came to the attention within the past couple of months when the Shiner Group approached the Village wanting to add a second restaurant tenant to the building. She stated Staff discovered a restriction in the PUD agreement that prohibits restaurant uses for the building.

Ms. Bacon stated to address this situation, Shiner Group has petitioned for a PUD amendment to remove the restaurant restriction.  In exchange, the owner is proposing to remove drive-through restaurants from the permitted use list.

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.

Chairman Sula opened the floor to the petitioner.

Mr. Chris Dix, from the Shiner Group, stated they are a landlord/developer and have been in business for 30 years. He stated they believe this is the best thing for the property.  Previously there was a Hollywood Video in the building and presently there is a “Noodles”, a nail salon, and a vacant storefront.  He noted that they would like to add a 2nd restaurant to the building. He stated the parking is adequate and traffic flow to retail is detrimental. Another tenant in the building helps the inline center, as well as the retail center adjacent to them.  The availability of another restaurant will provide additional choices for people. He stated he truly believes it will be an asset to the center and the Village.

Mr. Dix stated he would like to strike the paragraph that prohibits restaurants for Building E.  He also noted on

page 2 of the application, where “drive-through” was struck, that they would like to amend their request to reclassify this use as a Special Use.

Chairman Sula stated he supports the requested change to move drive-through restaurants to the Special Use category instead of deleting this use entirely from the use list.  He stated it is reasonable to have this use as a Special Use.  Any drive-through restaurant would have to go before the Plan Commission and Village Board and show that it can meet the standards for a special use before being established.

Chairman Sula asked for questions or comments from the Commission.

Mr. Nordentoft stated he agrees with Chairman Sula. He asked if Staff is comfortable with the parking being adequate with the addition of another restaurant in the area.

Ms. Velkover responded Staff has looked at the site’s parking and stated there is more than enough parking on the site, noting most of the parking north of the east-west drive aisle is located in closer proximity to Retail Building E. She stated the one use at the west end of Retail Building D closes at 5:00PM. She did state there is enough parking on the site to accommodate all uses. She also noted that before any Certificate of Occupancy is issued for any building or use, Staff ensures that parking meets the Code Requirement.

Chairman Sula stated if someone were to come through with a drive-thru they would have to go through all the criteria for a Special Use along with an in-depth review.

Mr. McFarlane stated he was at the site on Saturday and noted with respect to the parking that there is plenty of parking south of the east-west drive aisle.  He asked the Petitioner if the petitioner would be willing to stripe a pedestrian cross walk so that an area is designated to both pedestrians and vehicular traffic that pedestrians may be crossing in this area. 

Mr. Dix responded that the owner would definitely be willing to install a pedestrian cross walk.

Chairman Sula asked for comments from the Public.

Chairman Sula closed the floor to the Public.

Chairman Sula asked for any other comments from the Commission.

Chairman Sula asked for a motion.

Mr. Nordentoft made a motion, seconded by Ms. Broughton, to approve the requested amendment to the PUD, which removes the restaurant restriction from Building “E” and moves “drive-through restaurant” to the list of Special Uses, subject to the striping of a pedestrian cross-walk across the center’s east-west circulation drive.

Roll Call

Ayes:                Sula, Nordentoft, McFarlane, Broughton, Salmons, Drennan

Nays:                None

Abstain:            None

Motion Carried: 6-0-0

Chairman Sula reminded the Commission members to complete the State required training on the Open Meetings Act,

noting that the entire Commission must be compliant.

Chairman Sula asked for a motion to adjourn.

Mr. McFarlane made a motion seconded by Ms. Salmons to adjourn

The Meeting was adjourned at 8:25 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted:

Joanne Havenhill
Plan Commission Secretary