Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Gurnee Planning and Zoning Board - May 7, 2014

 

Village of Gurnee

Planning and Zoning Board Minutes

May 7, 2014

 

1.  Call to Order and Roll Call

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

Planning & Zoning Board Members present:   David Nordentoft, David Ohanian, Sharon Salmons, Edwin Paff, Richard McFarlane, and Tom Drake

Planning & Zoning Board Members absent: Chairman James Sula

Other Officials present:  David Ziegler, Community Development Director; Bryan Winter, Village Attorney; Tracy Velkover, Planning Manager; Molly Booth, Associate Planner, and Scott Drabicki, Village Engineer.

In the absence of Chairman Sula, a motion was made by Mr. Ohanian, seconded by Mr. McFarlane, to appoint Mr. Nordentoft to serve as Chairman Pro Tem for the evening: 

Voice vote:

All "Ayes", no "Nays", none abstaining

Motion carried: 6-0-0

2.  Pledge of Allegiance

Before proceeding, Mr. Nordentoft took a moment to introduce and welcome the newest Planning and Zoning Board member, Mr. Tom Drake. 

3.  Public Comment

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

Mr. Nordentoft explained that the next three items on the agenda are in regards to a matter continued from the Board’s April 16th meeting. 

4. Continued Public Hearing:  Ashbury Woods, LLC

Conservation Development, LLC is requesting approval of the following:

  1. Special Use for a Preliminary Planned Unit Development (PUD); and
  2. Such other relief as may be necessary to accomplish the applicant’s development plan.

The requested PUD would allow for 18 single-family lots on approximately 8.6 acres located at 1001 N. Hunt Club Road (1,700 feet south of the intersection of Hunt Club Road and Dada Drive).  The property is zoned R-2, single-family residential.  A 14-lot residential PUD, which was approved in 2006 for this property, has expired.

5. Final PUD Plat:  Ashbury Woods

Conservation Development, LLC is requesting Final PUD Plat Plan approval for an 18-lot single-family subdivision on approximately 8.6 acres located at 1001 N. Hunt Club Road (1,700 feet south of the intersection of Hunt Club Road and Dada Drive.

6. Final Subdivision Plat:  Ashbury Woods

Conservation Development, LLC is requesting Final Subdivision Plat approval for an 18-lot single-family subdivision on approximately 8.6 acres located at 1001 N. Hunt Club Road (1,700 feet south of the intersection of Hunt Club Road and Dada Drive..

After re-introducing the items, Ms. Booth elaborated that the matter had been continued from the PZB meeting of April 16, 2014, in order to address the many comments/ questions by residents in regards to drainage and storm water management, as well as concern over tree preservation.  She referred to a memo from the Village Engineer regarding drainage and storm water management, as well as a second memo from the Community Development Director regarding tree preservation and the applicant’s provision of a tree conservation easement along the southern property line of 5 lots.  

 Mr. Nordentoft then asked that anyone wishing to speak on this matter be sworn in by the Village Attorney, Bryan Winter.

 Ron Gryzik, of Conservation Development, introduced efforts made to address the concerns of residents owning property adjacent to the proposed project. 

 He stated that, in an effort to preserve more mature trees, a tree conservation easement has been established on the rear 30 feet of selected lots south of the proposed road.  The lots selected have a number of large quality trees.   He stated that verbiage in the covenants also direct that consideration be made to these mature trees, and their root systems, during any construction on the site.

In regards to storm water management, Mr. Gryzik stated that the north lot line has been re-graded, and that swales and piping are proposed to manage storm water for the lots north of the road.  For the lots south of the roadway, the properties will be graded so storm water associated with the front portion of the lots will flow into the storm drains in the roadway.   Covenants will be recoded that require lots south of the roadway to have the homes’ downspouts tied directly into the storm system, which flows into the detention pond at the northeast corner of the site.  Finally, a civil engineering analysis was performed which shows that the amount of surface water runoff to the south, in the current undeveloped state, is  more than after development.

In addressing a board member's suggestion to reduce the number of lots, Mr. Gryzik explained that there is concern in doing so, as it may discourage residents' chances to move up within the community if they are “out-priced” in the real estate market due to the expense of larger lots.  He also he indicated that at a certain point the development isn’t financially feasible.

 Mr. Drabicki elaborated on the storm water analysis.  He stated that there is an existing low spot on the south property line that has a standing water problem. The Developer is not proposing to install swales or storm sewers along the south property line as it would require the removal of all of the trees in that area. He stated that the proposed grading and drainage pattern was evaluated and found to decrease the amount of flow to the low spot behind lots 15 and 16 by 54% during a typical 3.5” rainfall.  In the proposed developed condition the standing water problem will still exist but will be no worse than pre-construction conditions.  Storm sewer stubs are also proposed for Lot 16 which could allow the lot to be graded with a swale or storm sewer to pick up the remaining flow.  As Lot 16 is permitted for development, Village staff will have to evaluate the best option to handle the remaining flow.  The remainder of the site will drain toward the proposed detention basin where the release rate will be controlled as the water is discharged to the north via a storm sewer.

Mr. Drake clarified with Mr. Gryzik that a potential swale channeling water from the backs of the lots on the south line would be in an easement between lots 16 and 17.

Mr. McFarlane stated that he appreciated the efforts to preserve trees on the site. 

Mr. Ohanian asked where the sump pumps would discharged to.  He noted that the discharge of these onto the backs of the lots will result in a significant amount of water.

Mr. Gryzik stated that the sump pumps would be tied into the storm sewer system, along with the downspouts.  The associated storm water would flow into the detention basin on site.

Mr. Drabicki clarified that it is a code requirement that the discharge from sump pumps be tied into the storm system.

Mr. Ohanian added he was disappointed that density on the property was to remain as requested on April 16th.  He stated that his concern is with the number of lots south of the roadway as those lots back to 1-acre lots in Orchard Valley Estates.    He questioned the impact on the views and property values of the owners to the south.

Mr. Nordentoft then opened the matter to the public, stating that all questions/comments should be addressed to the Board and then after all public comments have been reviewed the applicant and/or staff will address the issues.

Mark Mokate, 16858 W. Jonathon Lane, stated that it is his property that would be at the lowest point on-site, and asked what recourse he would have if proposed plans for storm water management failed. 

Don Anderson, 16820 W. Jonathon Lane, also expressed concern over storm water and run-off, as well as disappointment that the installation of swales, as suggested at the last meeting, was not included in the revisions made to the proposed project.  He asked how long construction during this project would last, and during what hours would construction be allowed.  He also asked how traffic in the area would be affected by the construction.

Jim Bednarz, 35329 Hunt Club Road, also expressed concern over plantings and the berm along the Hunt Club Road and how they might impact his ability to get out of his driveway.  He noted that his property is directly north of the subject site and that he currently has difficulty getting out of his driveway due to site line issues and the grade of Hunt Club Road.  He also asked for clarification on storm water; especially along the north property line

Scott Fout, 35288 N. Cemetery Road, expressed concern that access within the area requires travel through one subdivision to get to another.  He also expressed concern over precedent being set and the long-term affects made in allowing more lots in the subdivision than what had originally been approved.  He questioned if the property to the north develops, would access be allowed off of Hunt Club and if not, expressed concern with the additional traffic associated with these homes coming through Orchard Valley Estates.

Mike Douma, 972 Danielson Court, expressed support for the project, and stated that it will allow upward mobility in standard of living within the Village of Gurnee.

Chris Reilly, 968 Danielson Court, also supported the project, stating that there is too small of an inventory of higher-end homes in Gurnee that the proposed project will help fill.

Don Anderson, 16820 W. Jonathon Lane, stated that while he appreciates the desire of those wishing to move up within the Village of Gurnee, he is also concerned with the impact it will have on the property he owns. 

As there were no more questions/comments, Mr. Nordentoft closed the floor to the public.

Ms. Booth deferred to Mr. Drabicki in regards to recourse in the management of storm water/drainage.

Mr. Drabicki reiterated that the Village is there to work with property owners and follow up on any concerns/issues that residents may have.  He also reiterated the reasoning for not installing swaling/storm sewers all along the south property line, explaining that to do so would mean the destruction of all the trees in that area. 

Ms. Velkover stated that the hours during which construction may take place in the Village are Monday through Saturday, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, and on Sundays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

In regards to the location of the berm along Hunt Club Road, Ms. Booth stated that 20 feet of right-of-way immediately adjacent to Hunt Club Road is being dedicated to Lake County.  A 40-foot buffer east is planned east of the ROW dedication, which will contain deciduous and evergreen trees.  Mr. Drabicki added that since the berming and landscaping does not start until 20 feet in back of the current ROW line, there should be approximately 25 feet from the highway to the start of any berm/landscaping. 

Ms. Booth then addressed density of the subdivision, access to Hunt Club, and future traffic impacts in the area.  Ms. Velkover responded by elaborating that preservation of trees is an amenity that being provided for the woodlands area in response to the requested density, that half of the Edgewood Drive right-of-way is already dedicated across the eastern frontage of the subject site to facilitate the extension of this roadway to service the property to the north, and that should the property to the north be developed residentially, Lake County DOT would have to be approached about access off of Hunt Club Road, but that staff envisions the possibility of a full access into the northern property directly east of Foxworth Lane.

Mr. Nordentoft inquired as to the length of time construction would take place, and how access would be affect by such construction. 

 Mr. Gryzik stated that the custom homes will be sold/constructed over a period of a few years, and that access would be allowed for construction with minimal disruption to traffic among residents.   Construction traffic associated with the initial development (i.e., infrastructure) will all be done from Hunt Club Road.

Mr. Paff asked if further restriction/limits could be placed on the hours construction. 

Mr. Winter stated that, since an ordinance is in place, any further restriction/limits would have to be agreed upon by all concerned parties. 

Mr. McFarlane clarified that this is not a tract home development.  Construction of these custom homes would take place a few homes at a time.

Mr. Drake inquired as to the confidence level that can be met at this point in regards to storm water management, and if there is a "Plan B" in place should the current plan not work. 

Mr. Drabicki stated his confidence is high that the current plans will not result in any more water on the property to the south than it currently experiences.  He advised that if the neighbors observe any concerns or problems after development they should contact the Village and county for assistance.  He noted that they are here to assist.

Ms. Salmons expressed concern over lots 15 and 16, and the potential for flooding on these lots as they are at the lowest points along the south property line.

Mr. Nordentoft re-opened the floor to the public to accommodate further comment by Mr. Don Anderson.    He stated that he is still concerned with the potential for flooding on his property and what recourse he has.

Mr. Nordentoft asked Mr. Drabicki what the reducing in the run-off to the south was between the current undeveloped state and the developed state proposed by this plan.

Mr. Drabicki stated that the proposed grading and drainage pattern was evaluated and found to decrease the amount of flow to the low spot behind lots 15 and 16 by 54% during a typical 3.5” rainfall.

Mr. Nordentoft also asked Mr. Drabicki to explain if there is a difference in run-off from a virgin site and a site that has been mass graded, and if the difference could be quantified.

Mr. Drabicki stated that the running of heavy equipment over a site compacts the soil which makes it less able to receive/absorb water.  The result is greater run-off.  A site that is not mass graded will not have the compaction and therefore, will be better able to absorb storm water.  In terms of quantifying the difference between the two approaches, he indicated that it depends upon the existing soil types, but that it can be anywhere from 5 to 40 percent.

Mr. Nordentoft questioned whether a motion would be in order at this time.

A motion was made by Mr. McFarlane, seconded by Mr. Paff, to forward a favorable recommendation to the Village Board on the petition of Conservation Development for a Special Use Permit for a Preliminary Planned Unit Development (PUD), as presented this evening.

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes:  Paff, Salmons, McFarlane, Nordentoft

Nays:  Ohanian

Abstain:  Drake

Motion Carried:  4-1-1

A motion was made by Mr. Paff, seconded by Mr. McFarlane, to forward a favorable recommendation to approve the Final PUD Plat, as presented this evening.

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes:  Paff, Salmons, McFarlane, Nordentoft

Nays:  Ohanian

Abstain:  Drake

Motion Carried:  4-1-1

A motion was made by Mr. Paff, seconded by Mr. McFarlane, to forward a favorable recommendation on the Final Subdivision Plat, as presented this evening.

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes:  Paff, Salmons, McFarlane, Nordentoft

Nays:  Ohanian

Abstain:  Drake

Motion Carried:  4-1-1

7. Informal Review:  Gurnee Laser Tag (905 Lakeside Drive Suite 1-2)

Mr. Brian Blume is seeking informal feedback on a plan to establish an indoor tactical laser tag facility in approximately 15,000 square feet of office and warehouse space in the existing multi-tenant structure located at 820 Lakeside Drive. The subject property is located in the Grand Tri-State Business Park, which is zoned I-2 with a Special Use Permit (SUP) for an Office Industrial Park (OIP).  Under the business park’s SUP, this type of use requires the issuance of a Special Use Permit.

After introduction by Ms. Booth, the potential petitioner, Mr. Brian Blume, discussed his plan to open a "tactical laser tag" facility that simulates the sort of tactical operations of S.W.A.T. and other types of law enforcement for gaming purposes.  He added that he plans to offer his facility for law enforcement training, as well.

Ms. Salmons asked about the safety of this type of facility; specifically, safety in regards to vision. 

Mr. Blume responded that the equipment used if very safe.  The facility does not use the type of laser that, if shined into someone’s eye, would cause damage.

Mr. Blume elaborated on the project's design, which incorporates the use of carbon dioxide to simulate realistic sound effects.  When asked what the facility's "re-spawning area" is, he responded that "re-spawning" is the term used to describe re-entry to the game for players who have been "hit," so to speak. 

Mr. Drake asked about the parking, and if there were plans to re-evaluate the parking needs for the facility and the flow of traffic around the facility.  Mr. Blume responded that there would be about 40 parking spots available, and that most of his business would be after the hours of operation for neighboring businesses. 

Ms. Velkover added that, regardless, a traffic/parking study would need to be done for the facility should it come for a public hearing.

Mr. McFarlane added that pedestrian traffic would need to be considered, as well.     

Mr. Paff asked about lighting on the site, including the lighting in the back parking lot. 

Mr. Blume responded, stating that he doubts those parking spaces would even be used. 

Mr. Paff also inquired as to the clientele this business would attract.

Mr. Blume stated this type of business appeals to a wide, diverse clientele. 

Ms. Salmons asked how many people would likely be employed by the business.

Mr. Blume stated that there would be four employees there during hours of operation.

Mr. Ohanian and Mr. Drake asked about lighting on the site during hours of operation. 

Ms. Booth stated that issue would be reviewed should Mr. Blume move forward and petition for this project.    

Mr. Nordentoft asked if there were any more questions/comments before offering his own remarks regarding the project.  He expressed positive comments about the proposed plan and praised Mr. Blume's efforts to serve the community by offering the facility for law enforcement training sessions. 

Mr. Blume responded that such efforts were very important to him and that the equipment used in the project is the same kind used for training the Secret Service, Air Force, etc.  

8. Next Meeting Date:  May 21, 2014

9. Adjournment

Mr. McFarlane 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 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Joann Metzger
Planning and Zoning Board Secretary