Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Gurnee Planning and Zoning Board - March 19, 2014

Village of Gurnee
Planning and Zoning Board Minutes
March 19, 2014

1.  Call to Order and Roll Call

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.

Planning & Zoning Board Members present: Chairman James Sula, David Nordentoft, Richard Twitchell, David Ohanian, Sharon Salmons & Edwin Paff

Planning & Zoning Board Members absent: Richard McFarlane

Other Officials present:  Tracy Velkover, Planning Manager
2.  Pledge of Allegiance

3.  Public Comment

Mr. Sula asked if anyone from the public had any questions or comments regarding anything not on the evening’s agenda.  As there were no responses, Chairman Sula then closed the floor to the public.

4.  Approval of the Planning and Zoning Board’s December 18, 2013 meeting minutes

A motion to approve the December 18, 2013 meeting minutes was made by Ms. Salmons, seconded by Mr. Paff.

Voice Vote:
All "Ayes," no "Nays," none abstaining.
Motion Carried: 6-0-0

5.  Informal Review: Supportive Living Facility for Disabled Adults

Mr. Joseph Mugnaini, with Moon Development, Inc., is seeking feedback on a plan for a 120-unit Supportive Living Facility (SLF) for disabled adults aged 22-60 on 7-acres located on the east side of Tri-State Parkway, approximately 700 feet south of the Grand Avenue and Tri-state Parkway intersection. A portion of the property is zoned R-1, Single-Family Residence District, and a portion is zoned C/0-2, Office & Research District. Under both the R-1 and C/O-2 districts, “nursing homes and convalescent centers” require a special use permit.

After introduction by Ms. Velkover, Mr. Mugnaini gave a short presentation on the plans for the proposed project.  He explained that he had been before the board before, when a different piece of property (on Hunt Club Road) was being considered for this project.   

He explained that, once again, the Burton Foundation is assisting in this project.  Burton is publicly supported, not-for-profit organization assisting the poor and disabled with affordable housing. 

The facility will serve younger adults (22-64) who are physically disabled (as defined by the Social Security Administration).  It will be a supportive living facility, offering housing, meals, healthcare, etc.   The care and services will be based on hospitality, not medical care; no acute care or skilled-nursing care would be provided.  It will be 100% ADA-compliant. 

The facility will feature many common areas, and will be technology-based.  Ample outdoor space will provide areas for recreational activity. 

To obtain licensing, a market study has been conducted on the project; the study indicated that about 9,900 people in Lake County with two or more of the disabilities (as defined by the Social Security Administration) could benefit from the services this facility would provide.  There are no other such facilities in the area, nor are there any other plans for such a facility.   There are only three such facilities in the state. 

Mr. Mugnaini stated that support for the project has been given by the Mayor, veterans' groups, etc.  The program would be Medicaid based, and funded accordingly.  

Mr. Mugnaini noted that, in regards to the Hunt Club Road property, an agreement had been reached to purchase a property for this project, but--after time and money was spent in anticipation and preparation of required plans, the seller eventually backed out of the agreement.  Legal counsel discouraged further pursuit of that property, as well as any legal action, so this property is now being considered for the project.  He stated that Mr. Rohrman is looking at possibly purchasing this property, as well as property on the west side of Tri-State Parkway east of his current automobile dealerships.  Once Mr. Rohrman purchases the property and he is able to come to a purchase agreement with him, detailed plans will be developed for this site. 

About 50 jobs--in administration or skilled labor--will be created by this project. 

Chairman Sula asked if there were any questions or comments for Mr. Mugnaini. 

Ms. Salmons stated that she liked the project, but did not feel that it would fit in the proposed neighborhood. 

Mr. Mugnaini responded that the 120-unit facility would be self-serving, and would be a community of its own.  He also felt that the location was good, as there is a buffering of trees that would provide a sort of isolation and it is a proposed 4 story structure adjacent to another 4 story structure (Holiday Inn).

Mr. Nordentoft asked if the residents of this facility would be permanently disabled or undergoing rehabilitation.

Mr. Mugnaini stated that most residents would likely remain disabled to the extent that assistance offered at the facility would continue to be required.  

Mr. Nordentoft also asked if residents would likely travel to and from the site unescorted (as travel in that area may be challenging in a wheelchair).  Specifically, he expressed possible concern about the close proximity of the site to Gurnee Mills Mall and whether this close proximity might encourage residents to try to get to the mall on their own.

Mr. Mugnaini stated that it would be possible, but that it is typical for residents to be escorted on trips like this.

Mr. Paff stated that he, too, questioned the site.  But, he stated that he did feel it could work.

Mr. Ohanian asked if residents with mental disabilities would be living at this facility. 

Mr. Mugnaini responded that the facility would not be equipped to care for those with serious mental disabilities, and any instances of substance abuse would not be tolerated in the facility.

Mr. Ohanian and Mr. Sula then asked about the distribution of labor and coverage of shifts by workers at the facility. 

Mr. Mugnaini stated that the staffing was at 34 full-time equivalents to cover various shifts. 

Mr. Twitchell asked if there are state-mandated staffing requirements or guidelines in regards to staffing.

Mr. Mugnaini stated that there are no state mandated staffing levels; only guidelines. 

Mr. Ohanian asked how the facility would be financially supported. 

Mr. Mugnaini stated that it would be state and federally funded.

Mr. Twitchell asked about sidewalks on the property.

Mr. Sula stated that detailed site plan issues are not needed at this time and instead requested input on the land use.

Mr. Twitchell asked if residents would be able to park their own vehicles on the site.

Mr. Mugnaini stated that residents would not likely have their own vehicles, but those that did could park them on the site. 

Mr. Twitchell also commented on the possibility of putting amenities on the site, such as basketball courts, sitting areas, etc.

Mr. Sula stated that he was a bit lukewarm about the site.   He stated that the property is zoned C/O-2 and is a semi-gateway into an office/industrial park where upwards of 1,200-1,400 people work.  With the traffic that travels down Tri-State Parkway he is not sold that this site is conducive to residential.  However, he stated that he is not completely opposed to the location either.

Mr. Paff stated that he agreed, but questioned what else would be appropriate for the site. 

Mr. Ohanian stated that he was excited about the facility at this location as it would be proximate to businesses that could benefit from the support of the facility’s employees, residents, and families of residents.

Mr. Mugnaini acknowledged the concerns, but stated that it was very important that the facility be based in Gurnee, and that finding property here is a priority.  He felt that the facility fit in nicely with the adjacent Holiday Inn and wasn’t concerned about residents trying to get to Gurnee Mills Mall on their own as they have adequate opportunities to shuttle residents to and from locations.

Wrapping up the discussion, Mr. Sula wished good luck to all involved in the proposed project.   

6  Mr. Sula noted that the next Meeting is April 2, 2014. 

7.  Adjournment

Mr. Ohanian made a motion to adjourn the meeting; seconded by Ms. Salmons.

Voice vote:
All "Ayes", no "Nays", none abstaining
Motion carried: 6-0-0

The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Joann Metzger
Planning and Zoning Board Secretary