Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Gurnee Planning and Zoning Board - December 5, 2012

Village of Gurnee

Planning and Zoning Board Minutes

December 5, 2012


The meeting was called to order at 7:32 P.M.

Planning and Zoning Board Members Present:   Chairman James Sula, David Nordentoft, Sharon Salmons, & Edwin Paff

Planning and Zoning Board Members Absent:    Gwen Broughton, Richard Twitchell, &  Richard McFarlane

Other Officials Present: David Ziegler, Community Development Director; Tracy Velkover, Planning Manager; and Molly Booth, Associate Planner

1.  Pledge of Allegiance

2.  Public Comments

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. As there were no comments or questions from the public, Chairman Sula closed the floor on this item.

3.   Approval of Planning and Zoning Board’s November 7, 2012 Meeting Minutes

Mr. Nordentoft made a motion, seconded by Ms. Salmons, to approve the Minutes of the Planning and Zoning Board’s November 7, 2012 meeting.

     Voice Vote:

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

     Motion carried 4-0-0

4.  Final Subdivision Plat; 4233 and 4251 Elm Road

The property owners of 4233 Elm Road (Shelly Lindsay) and 4251 Elm Road (Mari Kuhn) are requesting a re-subdivision of their two existing single family lots. The subject properties are zoned R-2, Single Family Residence District.

Ms. Booth stated that Ms. Shelley Lindsay, the petitioner and property owner of 4233 Elm Road, and Ms. Mari Kuhn, owner of 4251 Elm Road, have agreed to re-subdivide their lots.  She noted that the re-subdivision accomplishes two things:

1)  Ms. Lindsay’s lot is non-conforming in regards to the 100-foot lot width requirement for the R-2 zoning district.  The re-subdivision provides an additional 3.1 feet of frontage to Ms. Lindsay’s lot, which is currently 96.9 feet wide.  The additional 3.1 feet bring Ms. Lindsay's lot into conformance with the R-2 lot width. 

2)   The re-subdivision results in the elimination of a flag-lot like condition by moving approximately 15,000 square feet of land that is in back of Ms. Lindsay’s lot to Ms. Kuhn’s lot. She noted that both engineering and zoning have reviewed the subdivision and that it meets all codes and ordinances.

Ms. Lindsay introduced herself and Ms. Kuhn.  She noted that last year she met with Molly and Scott (Drabicki), when she first found out that her lot was non-conforming.  She stated that she was informed that she would not be required to install or pay a fee-in-lieu of the installation of storm sewer, curb and gutter, street trees, and sidewalk.  She noted that the Village Administrator supported the waiving of the fees.  However, he has retired and the Village now has a new Administrator.   

Ms. Velkover clarified that the Subdivision Ordinance requires the installation, or--payment of a fee-in-lieu instead of installation--of storm sewer, curb and gutter, street trees, and sidewalk. She noted that the subject properties already consist of two lots and are in an area that has a rural cross-section (i.e., no curb and gutters and no sidewalks).  The Village Engineer supports Ms.  Lindsay’s request to waive the installation of these public improvements, as well as payment of a fee-in-lieu of their installation.   

Mr. Sula asked if the PZB should review the request for these waivers and forward a recommendation to the Village Board on the requested waivers.

Ms. Velkover stated that in the past the Plan Commission has always provided the Village Board with their recommendation on these waivers.

Chairmen Sula stated the proposed plat is pretty seamless, will continue to be two lots as it appears to be, and the proposed request makes sense. 

Mr. Nordentoft made a motion, seconded by Ms. Salmons, to forward a favorable recommendation on the Final Subdivision Plat for the resubdivision of 4233 and 4251 Elm Road, and additionally offering support and agreement for the relief requested, that was also supported by the Engineering Division, for the installation of sidewalk, curb and gutter, storm sewer, and street trees.

Roll Call

     Ayes:      Nordentoft, Salmons, Paff, and Sula

     Nays:      None

     Abstain:  None

     Motion Carried:  4-0-0 

5.  Parking Modification:  900 Tri-State Parkway

Ms. Booth stated that the petitioner, Mr. Ken Sweet, managing member of Reliance Worldwide Investments, LLC, has an option to purchase the last remaining condominium, Suite 900, for his financial services firm.  In order for the petitioner to occupy the suite, he is requesting relief from Section 10.1, Off-Street Parking & Loading, of the Gurnee Zoning Ordinance for a reduction in the required parking spaces at 900 Tri-State Parkway.   She noted that the parking requirement of his proposed business exceeds the number of spaces provided onsite.  Per code, total of 82 spaces are required based on the mix of existing and proposed tenants.  The site contains 65 spaces, resulting in a deficiency of 17 spaces.  For review and consideration, the petitioner has provided: 

  • a site plan showing an additional 9 land banked parking spaces to bring the total number of parking spaces onsite to 74;
  • documentation regarding the actual number of employees onsite; and
  • the nature of the parking calculation of the Gurnee Zoning Ordinance, as higher demand exists for parking with the first 1,000 sq. ft. of an office use then for the remaining office area.

Mr. Thomas Budzik, with TB Architecture PC and architect for this project, stated that the request is for a parking modification from the required 82 stalls to 74 spaces.  The subject property, at 900 Tri-State Parkway, consists of approximately 3-acres and is improved with a 29,000 sq. ft. building.  The property is zoned I-2 OIP and is surrounded by the same zoning classification.  The building is a one-story steel frame masonry building with parking and drive aisles surrounding the building.  A loading drive is located at the center of the building.  Detention is provided to the west of the building.  The site currently has 65 parking spaces and is a relatively new development.  He stated that the building was originally built as a speculative building and was anticipated to have a 50-50 mix of office and warehousing/assembly.  The building is now a condominium development with individual owners and all suites are either owned or under an option for ownership.  The first suite owner to purchase was Wheels Incorporated.  They purchased Suites 300-700. 

They operate a disaster recovery center from this building; which is basically a call center. Their suites are comprised of approximately 80% office and 20% warehouse.  Subsequently they’ve purchased Suites 100-200 and intend to improve this area with approximately a 50%-50% mix of office and warehouse and will be an expansion of their disaster recovery center.  They have 25 day-to-day employees, anticipating the expansion into suites 100 and 200.  They have provisions to bus employees to their site should they need to activate their emergency call center.   Mr. Budzik stated that Roofing Consultants owns suite 800, which is also approximately 80% office and 20% warehouse.  They have 10-12 day-to-day employees, with a maximum of 15 employees on any given day.  He noted that neither Wheels nor Roofing Consultants has any real foot traffic into the building.   Mr. Budzik              noted that his client, Mr. Sweet, is looking to purchase Suite 900 which will also primarily an office use (9 private offices, a conference room and archival storage).  Mr. Sweet’s business is a financial services firm and most of his employees go out to the client’s site, so he has very little need for customer parking.  He is confident that 11 parking spaces is sufficient for his business.

Mr. Budzik noted that the ordinance requires 82 parking spaces and the site has 65.  They have identified the ability to construct 9 additional parking spaces, should there be a need. Three are located central to the loading drive and 6 are located north of the north drive aisle.  He noted the 6 spaces to the north are parallel spaces.  All parking spaces meet Village Code in regards to size and setbacks.  He noted that they are not proposing to build out these parking spaces at this time as the current employee count on the site is 51 and there are 65 parking spaces.  Instead, they are proposing to land bank these spaces.  He noted that he understands that the Board must consider future uses.  He asked the Board to consider the fact that this is a condo building; where units are owned.  Each tenant has a significant investment and intends to be onsite for a long time. 

Mr. Budzik also noted that they looked into other communities’ ordinances and found that Gurnee’s ordinance requires more parking than most.  For instance, most communities require one parking space for every 333.3 sq. ft. of office area, whereas Gurnee requires 1 space per every 300 sq. ft. of office area.  In addition, for the first 1,000 sq. ft. Gurnee requires 1 space for each 200 sq. ft.  No other community that they researched had this additional requirement.  He noted that they believe that there is more than enough parking to accommodate the uses in this building and therefore, are not proposing to build out the 9 spaces.  Instead, these spaces would be land banked and only built if necessary.

Mr. Ken Sweet, with Reliance Worldwide Investments, LLC, stated that this business produces between 1 million and 80 million gross annual revenue.  The company opened in 2002 in Buffalo Grove, IL.  He stated that he has lived in Gurnee since 1988.  He made a decision recently that he was either going to move closer to the business or move the business to be closer to his home.  He stated that he likes living in Gurnee and therefore, would like to move the business from Buffalo Grove to Gurnee.  He indicated that he has a great relationship with the Business Park Association and with Wheels.  They are committed to installing the improvements should they be needed.  He noted that Wheels is a billion dollar company and that they have every intention to be around on the site for a long time. 

Mr. Nodentoft stated that for him the key to this project is having Wheels on board.  Having a written committment from them, as the major property owner on the property, was key. 

He doesn’t see any issue with what they are requesting.  Mr. Paff agreed.

Mr. Sula stated that he agrees.  In addition to the land banked parking there are creative ways to get several additional spaces.

Mr. Nordentoft made a motion, seconded by Mr. Paff, to forward a favorable recommendation  approve a parking modification request by Mr. Kenneth Sweet for 900 Tri-State Parkway, subject to the construction of 9 land banked parking spaces onsite should a parking problem develop, as determined by the Village.

Roll Call

     Ayes:           Nordentoft, Salmons, Paff, and Sula

     Nays:           None

     Abstain:       None

     Motion Carried:           4-0-0

6.  Informal Review:  Supportive Living Facility for Disabled Young 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 property located east of Hunt Club Road, north of Thomas Place.  The subject property is zone of Stearns School Road. The subject property is zoned R-2, Single-Family Residence District.

Chairman Sula reminded board members and potential petitioners that this is an informal review, meaning that no commitment is to be made, and that its purpose is to allow for the exchange of ideas and get feedback as to how the final project proposal may be received by the board.  He also reminded board members that the site of the planned project is not the same site that was being considered when the informal hearing was scheduled, and updated board members on the location of the site now being considered. 

Mr. Joseph Mugnaini introduced himself and stated that his company has been awarded a license from the State of Illinois (Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services) to operate a supportive living facility for physically disabled veterans and other Illinois residents aged 22 to 64.  He stressed that it would not be a nursing home, but—instead a facility that provides assistance in the daily tasks of living for persons with physical disabilities.  The purpose of the facility is to accommodate younger individuals who may have become physically disabled in some way even after their rehabilitation, but are otherwise healthy and vital.  Such a facility provides an alternative to nursing homes that, for the most part, are designed for older individuals in the later stages of life.   He explained that, while it would be ideal if a resident came to no longer require the services provided by his facility, his facility is intended to serve as a long-term residence and it is rare for an individual to become self sufficient and move out.

The facility would include 120 units, and would be the only such facility located in Lake County.  A feasibility study found that there are about 220 people that would qualify for such housing in the immediate area.  His organization has working relationships with the governmental departments in defense and veterans' affairs, and--has hopes to develop such relations with Lake Forest Hospital, Northwestern Memorial, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, as well.  Revere Healthcare, with 300 hundred years of experience in healthcare, including the care of those with traumatic brain injury, will be involved with the facility, as well. 

The project will bring about 70 new jobs to the area, and--since construction will take about two years--contractors and vendors in the area will benefit during its construction.  Beyond that, area businesses such as Gurnee Mills will benefit from the patronage of the facility's residents and their visiting families.  He stressed that residents will not only be residents of the facility, but--of the community, as well.

Thad Gleason, with Gleason Architects, stated that his firm has provided its services to 25 different supported living facilities in the state of Illinois, and is currently working on two other such projects.  He stated the site for Moon Development's proposed project is about 12 acres on Hunt Club Drive (north of Thomas Place).  He also said that, while the front end of the site is buildable, due diligence is being completed on the wetlands at the back end of the site.  He stated that, since the extent of wetlands may be a bit more than what was originally thought, it may become an issue for them when considering this site for the project.  He noted that the latest information they have show the wetlands encroaching into the footprint of the building.  He gave an overview of the building, noting that it’s a three-story “X” or cross shaped building consisting of approximately 109, 000 square feet.  He noted that the building faces the main road, the site has regular and handicapped parking, a storage barn, gazebo, basketball court, walking trails, etc.  The site will also be landscaped extensively with attractive plant material.

He gave a brief description of the interior of the building--including the common areas as well as the individual units--and, explained that the exterior of the building would be a residential style utilizing materials such as stone, brick, and siding.  He also described some of the services provided by the facility--meeting rooms, shuttle buses, dining options, therapy areas, television/media rooms, etc.   He assured that all construction will meet any and all safety codes.

Chairman Sula asked if there were any questions from the board member.

Mr. Nordentoft stated that he was pleased with the site being considered for this development.  He stated that the facility would be an asset to the community.  He also stated that he's pleased to see that the plans made--and, materials selected--for the construction appeared to be of good quality.  

Ms. Salmons stated that--other than the age of residents the facility would serve--she didn't think the planned project was much different than a nursing home.  She also asked where potential patients would come from and questioned whether they would accommodate short-term patients or patients in drug rehabilitation.  She stated that these are the kinds of questions that may be asked if this gets to a public hearing. 

Mr. Mugnaini responded by explaining that the license granted is very specific; only persons with disabilities (per scoring/measuring systems) who could be served within the scope of the facility’s resources would be offered residence.  He elaborated, explaining that potential residents of the facility will have likely reached the maximum potential of rehabilitation, and--while there will be a nursing staff--the facility is not designed to serve those needing intensive medical care or rehabilitation.  While improvement that enables a resident to pursue other independent housing opportunities would be nice, the facility's purpose is to serve as a long-term residence for its inhabitants.  Any resident for which substance abuse is an issue would be asked to leave. 

Mr. Paff asked Mr. Ziegler if there would be any way around potential issues with wetlands on the site.  Mr. Ziegler explained that, since wetlands are a "moving target" that can change from year to year, evaluation of the wetlands would have to be completed in full before any such issues could be identified and addressed. Mr. Ziegler elaborated—stating that wetlands could be mitigated with options (such as credits in a wetland bank) should such options be afforded by site development allowances.  Chairman Sula suggested that a slight rotation of the building may rectify potential problems.    

Mr. Gleason described parking for the facility, elaborating that there would be 1.1 parking stalls per unit, and—after an inquiry by Mr. Nordentoft--explained that, since Lake

County will not grant allowance for another access point into the property, access will be shared.

Chairman Sula stated that the project would potentially fill a "hole in society" that needs to be addressed, and--while not able say "yes" or "no" on the project since it was an informal hearing--felt the feedback given on the project was positive.  

7.  Next Meeting Date:  December 19, 2012

Ms. Booth noted that the PZB has a variation hearing scheduled for December 19th

Chairman Sula encouraged board members to attend an upcoming workshop meeting on December 11th at 7:00 P.M.  He noted that the workshop will have a presentation by the             lead person from the consulting firm the Village hired to assist with the Zoning Ordinance update (Camiros).  He stated that that the purpose of the workshop is to get feedback               from the public (residents, developers, etc.).  This workshop meeting will be followed up with a formal presentation before the PZB.

Ms. Velkover stated that, for this public workshop, a public meeting notice was placed in the newspaper since all elected/appointed officials (Village Board, PZB, and Economic   Development Commission) were invited to attend.  Should a quorum of any board be at the workshop the Village will have met the legal notice requirement to avoid being in violation of the Open Meetings Act.

8.  Adjournment

Chairman Sula asked for motion to adjourn.

Ms. Salmons made a motion, seconded by Mr. Paff, to adjourn the meeting.

Voice Vote:

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

     Motion carried 4-0-0

The Meeting was adjourned at 8:35 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted:

Joann Metzger
Planning & Zoning Board Secretary