Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Gurnee Planning and Zoning Board - May 21, 2014

Village of Gurnee

Planning and Zoning Board Minutes

May 21, 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, David Ohanian, Sharon Salmons, Edwin Paff, Richard McFarlane, and Tom Drake

Planning & Zoning Board Members absent: none

Other Officials present:  Bryan Winter, Village Attorney; Tracy Velkover, Planning Manager; Molly Booth, Associate Planner

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, Mr. Sula then closed the floor to the public.

4.  Approval of Planning and Zoning Board meeting minutes

a.  April 16, 2014

A motion to approve the Minutes was made by Mr. Nordentoft, and seconded by Mrs. Salmons. 

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes: Sula, Nordentoft, Ohanian, Salmons, Paff, McFarlane, and Drake

Nays: None

Abstain: None

Motion Carried: 7-0-0

b.  May 7, 2014

A motion to approve the Minutes was made by Mrs. Salmons, and seconded by Mr. Paff. 

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes: Sula, Nordentoft, Ohanian, Salmons, Paff, McFarlane, and Drake

Nays: None

Abstain: None

Motion Carried: 7-0-0

5.  Minor Sign Exception: Rohrman Auto Group

Mark Batista, representing the Rohrman Auto Group, is seeking a minor sign exception to allow the installation a monument sign that is 50% taller than allowed by code. Specifically, an 18-foot tall monument sign is proposed for the southwest corner of Grand Avenue and Tri-State Parkway.

Ms. Booth introduced the item, noting that the proposed sign conforms to all other ordinance in regards to size and location. 

Mr. Batista, on behalf of the Rohrman Auto Group, stated that the Auto Group has purchased another 29 acres adjacent to the 13 already owned by the business (the site of a Volkswagen and Hyundai dealership) here in Gurnee.  The first five acres in front (off of Grand Avenue) will be used to develop better ingress and egress to the property for the purpose of boosting sales and, potentially, a third franchise.  Use of the remaining acres will be determined at a future time; there are potential buyers for some of those acres.   The sign allows for revisions to be made in accommodating future businesses as plans evolve.

Mr. Sula stated that, after looking at the plans, he feels the sign is one of the most attractive he's seen in long time; he feels that, as the Village updates the zoning ordinance, the sign sets an example of what a "high-quality" sign is.     

Mr. McFarlane asked if the pond on the site will be drained; Mr. Batista responded that it would be, as it was strictly ornamental.  Mr. McFarlane then asked if the sign would be placed right where the pond is located, and Mr. Batista responded that it would actually be placed on the corner, and that the current sign will be moved, as it was mistakenly placed in the right-of-way.  Mr. McFarlane then stated that, while he did not support the height of the sign, he did feel it was attractive, and made of high-quality materials.

Mr. Nordentoft stated that he also agrees that the sign raises the bar of what a "high-quality" sign is, that he appreciates the effort put forth in reaching that level of quality, and that he feels the request being made is reasonable.  He then asked for clarification as to where the existing sign would be relocated, relative to this new sign; Ms. Velkover responded that the new sign will be east of the existing sign, which will be shifted--directly south--about 15 to 20 feet (clarifying that there would be no obstruction to either sign).

Mr. Ohanian asked if the monument sign is actually going to provide information about other business that may eventually be developed on the property; Mr. Batista responded that, yes, such information would be included as new business is developed.  Mr. Ohanian then asked how the sign would be lighted, and Mr. Batista explained that it would be back-lit; Ms. Velkover added that that the sign will have a "halo" effect, and is a very high quality type of lighting.

Mr. Paff asked, for the purpose of comparison, the size of the sign belonging to the Jewel (food store) located in Gurnee; Ms. Velkover stated that ordinance requires signs be at least 25 feet. 

Mr. Drake asked for clarification as to where the newly developed ingress/egress would be located; Mr. Batista responded that it would be off the Tri-State, and that--per the recommendation of Village Department Engineering--that the driveway should be parallel/in-line with the driveway coming off the nearby hotel.  Ms. Velkover added that the drive will be south of the sign, and would not create any line-of-sight issues.  Mr. Drake also asked why the sign must be 18 feet, rather than 15 feet.  Mr. Batista responded that is due to the terrain, and both he and Ms. Velkover added that the sign (as it was referred to by Mr. Drake) belonging to Menards, while shorter, is much wider.   Ms. Velkover elaborated that the proposed sign could actually be made wider, as well, but that to do so may interfere with the visibility of the sign belonging to Tri-State Business Park.  

A motion was made by Mr. Nordentoft, seconded by Mr. Ohanian, to approve the request of a Minor Sign Exception to install a monument sign 50% taller than allowed by code at the southwest corner of Grand Avenue and Tri-State Parkway with the added text that, should any other user (other than Hyundai or Volkswagen dealership) be located on the property, the lettering on the sign must be resized and modified to accommodate a minimum of 3.25’ x 12.75’ area on the sign for the other tenants. 

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes: Sula, Nordentoft, Ohanian, Salmons, Paff, and Drake

Nays: McFarlane

Abstain: None

Motion Carried: 6-1-0

6.  Public Hearing: Special Use Permit for Vigilant Elite Training

Jason Houston, with Vigilant Elite Training LLC, is requesting approval of a Special Use Permit to allow the establishment and operation of a health club/special sports instruction facility, specifically an indoor fitness training facility, and such other relief as may be necessary to accomplish the proposed development plan, on property located at 905 Lakeside Drive. The subject property is zoned I-2 with a Special Use Permit for an Office Industrial Park (OIP). Under the OIP Special Use Permit, “health clubs and special sports instruction facilities” require a Special Use Permit.

The petition was introduced by Ms. Booth, who added that the petitioner is proposing to offer two different kinds of training in this establishment: CrossFit (proposed for weekday morning hours) and, a more specialized sports performance training for athletes (during evening and weekend hours.

After being sworn in by Village Attorney Bryan Winter, Mr. Jason Houston, owner of Vigilant Elite Training LLC, offered that his business is currently operates in both Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, and Highland Park, Illinois.  He stated that the proposed operation in Gurnee would be CrossFit workouts, and would be a private, physical fitness facility with hourly reservations for up to 12 people in a scheduled hour; the establishment would be a "members-only" type of organization.  The hours of operation will mostly be "off-peak" hours, starting very early in the mornings and later at lunch-time and in the evenings.  Sports performance training would likely take place after 7:00 p.m. (with Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays dedicated to high school athletes and weekends to professional athletes).  Himself a veteran of the military, he has a diverse group of veterans from various branches of the military working with him in this business endeavor. 

Mr. McFarlane clarified with Mr. Houston that this request is to expand the business, as it is already operating at the location; Mr. Houston elaborated that the plan is to increase the total building usage to 5200 square feet, with 30 yards of turf placed for use in the sports performance training of Chicago Bears football team members. 

Ms. Salmons stated that she felt there was not enough lighting in the parking lot of the site to accommodate hours of operation in such early morning hours; Mr. Houston responded that he felt the lighting was sufficient, especially since enhancements made to the property (in particular, replacement of the truck bays) have increased/brightened the lighting within the property.

As this was a Public Hearing, Mr. Sula opened the floor to the public; there were no questions/comments, so Mr. Sula then closed the floor to the public on the matter.

Mr. Sula asked if there were any more questions or comments from the Board, and--as there were none--suggested that a motion would be in order.

A motion was made by Mr. Nordentoft, seconded by Mr. Paff, that a favorable recommendation be made for the Special Use Permit for Vigilant Elite Training, as it does meet the Standards for Special Use and is consistent with other recreational uses in the Grand Tri-State Business Park development. 

Roll Call Vote:

Ayes: Sula, Nordentoft, McFarlane, Ohanian, Salmons, Paff, and Drake

Nays: None     

Abstain: None

Motion Carried: 7-0-0

7.  Next Meeting Date: June 4, 2014

Ms. Booth noted that there are three Public Hearings scheduled for the June 4th meeting.

8.  Adjournment

Mr. McFarlane made a motion to adjourn the meeting; seconded by Mr. Nordentoft.

Voice vote:

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

Motion carried: 7-0-0

The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Joann Metzger
Planning and Zoning Board Secretary