Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Gurnee Planning and Zoning Board - December 18, 2013

 Village of Gurnee
Planning
and Zoning Board Minutes
December
18, 2013

 

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: Bryan Winter, Village Attorney; Tracy Velkover, Planning Manager; Molly Booth, Associate Planner; and Scott Drabicki, Village Engineer 

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 4, 2013 meeting minutes

After some clarification by Mr. Sula, a motion to approve the December 4, 2013 meeting minutes (as amended) was made by Mr. Ohanian, seconded by Ms. Salmons.

Voice Vote:

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

Motion Carried: 6-0-0

5.  Public Hearing: CenterPoint Properties Trust Amendment of the Grand Tri-State Business Park Special Use Permit

(CenterPoint Properties Trust is seeking an amendment to the Special Use Permit for the Grand Tri-State Business Park (Ord. 87-24) to allow the following:

a. Relief from parking setback requirements of the Zoning Ordinance for lots 16-25 and lot 34 within the Grand Tri-State Business Park Unit 1;

b. Off-Premise advertising sign for businesses located on lots 1, 2 & 3 of the First Plat of Resubdivision;

c. Relief from the lighting requirements for lots 16-25 and lot 34 within the Grand Tri-State Business Park Unit 1;

d. Resubdivision of lots 16-25 and lot 34 in a manner where newly created lots will have access to a public street via a recorded cross access easement instead of a publicly

    dedicated right-of-way; and

e. Such other relief as may be necessary to accomplish the applicant’s plan.)

6.  Minor Sign Exceptions: CenterPoint Properties Trust for Grand Tri-State business Park

(CenterPoint Properties Trust is seeking minor modifications to the sign ordinance in regarding to lots 16-25 and lot 34 within the Grand Tri-State Business Park Unit 1:

a. One additional ground sign;

b. Text on ground signs to be below the 6” and 3” letter/number height requirement; and

c. One additional tenant panel per sign face.)

7.  Subdivision Plat: First Resubdivision of Grand Tri-State Business Park Unit 1

(CenterPoint Properties Trust is seeking approval of a resubdivision plat that cleans up the sliver lots that were part of the original subdivision plat and creates five new lots from the current 12 lots.  The 5 new lots accommodate the five buildings and their associated required parking.  It allows each building and its associated parking lot to be sold.  The Special Use Permit amendments requested as part of item #5 above allow for the proposed resubdivision.)

 -- Mr. Sula pointed out that, while all three of these items are related, three separate motions would have to be made to address the three items individually.  

Ms. Velkover stated that the next three agenda items (noted above) are all related; the amendment to the Grand Tri-State Business Park Special Use Permit, the First Resubdivision Plat of Grand Tri-State Business Park- Unit 1, and the Minor Sign Exception request.   

These requests center around the petitioner’s desire to re-subdivide the property located at 1025-1225 Tri-State Parkway into 5 lots, so that each of the five existing buildings can be located on a separate parcel.  A copy of the re-subdivision plat is enclosed.  This plat reflects the re-subdivision of the property so that each building, as well as the required number of parking spaces, is on a separate lot.  Ms. Velkover stated that there are several development standards found in the underlying Zoning Code and Grand Tri-State Special Use Permit that are not met with this re-subdivision plat.  In addition, the subdivision ordinance requirement that all lots have frontage on a publicly dedicated street is not met with this re-subdivision plat.   She stated that the amendments that the applicant is requesting to the Grand Tri-State Special Use Permit, if approved, will resolve all of the zoning and subdivision issues.  The amendments include the following:

1. Relief from the requirement that lots must have frontage on a publicly dedicated street.  Instead, the applicant is requesting that they be allowed to subdivide in a manner where the lots created have access to a public street via a recorded cross access easement;

2. Relief from the five-foot parking setback requirement of the Zoning Ordinance, but only for the setbacks that are internal to the newly created lots;

3. Relief from the lighting requirements, but again only for lighting between lots created with the proposed re-subdivision;

4. Allowing off-premise advertising signs for the businesses located on proposed lots that will not have frontage on Tri-State Parkway; and

5. Such other relief as may be necessary to accomplish the applicant’s plan.

 Ms. Velkover noted that, in addition the special use permit amendments and subdivision approval request, the applicant is seeking the following minor modifications to the sign ordinance:

1.  One additional ground sign.  Based on the property’s frontage, a total of two ground signs are allowed and a third ground sign can be obtained via the minor exception process;

2. The applicant is also requesting approval to allow text on the ground signs to be smaller than the required 6” letter height (for business’ name) and 3” height (for tag lines); and

3. Finally, the applicant is requesting to increase the number of tenant panels per face from four to five.

She indicated that the Planning and Zoning Board have advisory powers for the Special Use Permit amendment and Re-subdivision Plat, and final determination over the minor sign exceptions.

Village Attorney Winter swore in all those who planned to speak on these items. 

Mr. Sula then turned the floor over to the first petitioner of the evening. 

Mr. Kevin Breslin, an Attorney representing CenterPoint Properties Trust, introduced Mr. Tom Philben, Vice President of CenterPoint Properties, and Mr. Rob Elbrecht, with Tri-State Realty.  He then gave a presentation of the three related items, explaining that: 

--requests are driven by a desire to move from single property to user-owned properties; property to be subdivided into individual buildings/parcels to be sold;

--CenterPoint will continue to own and manage property not yet sold, as well as common properties/amenities shared on the site;

--expectation is that occupancy will increase as a result of these changes;

--requests regarding signage are to increase visibility for businesses occupying the property; these modifications are modest and should not affect the aesthetics of the site;

--irregular lots lines are the result of the attempt to accommodate parking allocated to each of the buildings

--not much will actually change physically on the site, but instead the purpose is to facilitate the purchase of individual buildings by businesses occupying them; and

--ownership of buildings will create long-term presence of these businesses in the Village of Gurnee.

Mr. Sula asked if any thought was given to creating lots that are just directly around the buildings and then creating an owners' association of sorts to manage the parking/common areas. 

Mr. Breslin responded that there will, in fact, be an owners' association of sorts (covenant conditions) to manage parking, sidewalks, landscaping, etc. to maintain consistency in the maintenance of common areas within the park. 

Mr. Twitchell asked if such agreement will be written in the deed to ensure maintenance of common areas (snow removal, striping, etc.).

Mr. Breslin stated that the shared maintenance agreement would be in writing.

Mr. Nordentoft clarified with staff that, if these changes were made, it would not affect other signage on the property.

Ms. Velkover stated it would not.

Ms. Salmons expressed concern over the size of lettering on the signs.

Mr. Breslin stated that the plan is to update signs as tenants come and go, and that this would bring signs up to date.    

Mr. Paff inquired as to what, exactly, would be on the sign in the case of multiple tenants in one building.

Mr. Breslin elaborated on the directional information given on the signs. 

Mr. Paff also asked how many tenants are actually on the property.

Mr. Elbrecht elaborated on the capacity of the buildings on the site, stating that some buildings have 5 tenants.  Other buildings may be single occupancy.

Mr.  Sula opened the floor to the public for comment.  As there was no response, he then closed the floor to the public.    

Mr. Nordentoft made a motion to forward a favorable recommendation to the Village Board on CenterPoint Properties’ petition to amend the Tri-State Business Park Special Use Permit to allow the following: 1) Relief from the requirement that lots must have frontage on a publicly dedicated street; 2) Relief from the five-foot parking setback requirement of the Zoning Ordinance, but only for the setbacks that are internal to the newly created lots; 3) Relief from the lighting requirements, but only for lighting between lots created with the proposed re-subdivision; and 4) Off-premise advertising signs for the businesses located on proposed lots that will not have frontage on Tri-State Parkway.  Mr. Ohanian seconded this motion. 

Roll Call Vote:

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

Nays: None

Abstain: None

Motion Carried: 6-0-0

Mr. Nordentoft made a motion to approve the following minor sign exceptions for CenterPoint Properties:  1) Allow one additional ground sign; 2) Allow the text on the ground signs to be less than 6” tall for business names and 3” tall for tag lines; and 3) Allow one additional tenant panel per face of each ground sign.  Mr. Ohanian seconded this motion.

Roll Call Vote:

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

Nays: None

Abstain: None

Motion Carried: 6-0-0

Mr. Nordentoft made a motion, seconded by Mr. Ohanian, to forward a favorable recommendation to the Village Board on the First Resubdivision Plat of Grand Tri-State Business Park- Unit 1.

Roll Call Vote:

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

Nays: None

Abstain: None

Motion Carried: 6-0-0

 8.  Public Hearing: Mr. Robert Haun Request for a Special Use Permit to allow outdoor storage on property located at 4230 Lee Avenue

(Mr. Robert Haun is requesting approval of a Special Use Permit to allow a fenced outside storage area on property located at 4230 Lee Avenue.  The property is zoned I-2 PUD, General Industrial as a Planned Unit Development.  Outside storage associated with an industrial use requires a special use permit in the I-2 zoning district.)

Ms. Booth stated that Mr. Haun, the petitioner, owns two parcels along Lee Avenue-- a 0.39 acre parcel with an approximately 7,000 square foot building, and the adjacent 0.92 vacant parcel.  Mr. Haun operates his industrial equipment repair business from this facility.  In the I-2 zoning district, any wholesale, warehouse, or industrial establishment with outdoor storage requires issuance of a special use. The outdoor storage area must also be fully screened. To comply with the screening provision, Mr. Haun is proposing to install an 8 foot tall wood stockade fence.

Mr. Sula asked that anyone wishing to speak on this matter be sworn in by Village Attorney Winter, as this would be a public hearing.

Mr. Haun elaborated on why he is requesting the Special Use Permit, explaining that he needs to be able to move the machinery and other materials he is working on/with around the property during the process of repair (a process that usually takes about six to eight weeks).

Mr. Sula asked what kind of machinery it is that Mr. Haun repairs; Mr. Haun responded that it is most commonly machinery used to make pouches for various kinds of packaged foods ("principle packager").  Mr. Sula also asked about lubricants and other oils used in the process.  Mr. Haun responded that, while most such machinery includes gear boxes, draining such fluids is not routine in the kind of work he does.  His work mainly involves cleaning and electrical repair.

Mr. Sula then asked where, exactly, the proposed fence would be placed.  Mr. Haun stated that he wants to place it across both of his lots, against the retention pond.  He is not planning to enclose the vacant lot, but to create better aesthetics and cut off access to traffic passing through his property, using it as a short-cut to Delany Road.  

Ms. Velkover concurred with Mr. Sula that outside storage--and how such storage is screened-- is the issue (more so than the fencing itself).      

Mr. Paff asked if the storage would only be in the back of the property and whether or not anything would be stored outside the fence; he noted that, in the past, a whole lot of things had been sitting on the property.  Mr. Haun stated that he has cleaned up the property extensively, and that his boat will also be moved from the property in the spring.  Mr. Paff also asked how tall the machines are that Mr. Haun works on; Mr. Haun responded that they average about six to eight feet.

Mr. Ohanian concurred with Mr. Haun that, since most of the repairs on the machinery were made indoors, storing the machinery outside is for the purpose of maneuvering and function--therefore, temporary in nature.  Mr. Twitchell verified that this meant temporary in regards to any given piece of machinery, but that such storage would be an ongoing routine of the business.

Mr. Twitchell also asked if the swing gate of the fence would also be of stockade, and Mr. Haun confirmed that it would be.

Mr. Sula asked about the ground surface on which the fencing would be placed.  Mr. Haun answered that is was hard-packed gravel.  Mr. Sula asked staff about regulations requiring pavement or damming to prevent run-off  of oils/lubricants.  Ms. Velkover stated that there was no Village ordinance requiring pavement, but that such a requirement could be made a stipulation in granting the Permit.  When Mr. Sula inquired about E.P.A. considerations, she deferred to the Village Engineer, Scot Drabinski.  Mr. Drabinski stated that a discharge of such materials would be a E.P.A. violation, but--without actually seeing the operations of the business--he could not really elaborate.   Mr. Haun stated that he tarps any machinery sitting outside on the property.     

Mr. Sula then opened the floor to the public on the matter…

Mr. Dan Winkowski, of Nordic Properties (which also owns lots in the industrial park and enforces its regulations), expressed concerned over the fence extending onto the adjacent vacant lot, and presented a photo of the property in a condition of disarray in which it has been in the past.  His concern is that the fencing may be used to hide improper storage on the property at some time in the future.

Mr. Sula addressed these public comments, but reiterated that the matter at hand was outside storage, not the fence.

Mr. Winter stated that things such as Mr. Haun's boat can no longer be stored on the property, and that all outside storage must be enclosed. 

Mr. Sula then closed the matter to the public.

Mr. Ohanian asked staff what would happen if Mr. Haun would once again store things on his property that should not be stored there.  Ms. Velkover stated that he could be cited, but that he could also file for an amendment to the Special Use Permit (or apply for a new one) to expand outside storage.    

Mr. Ohanian asked for confirmation that the fence on Lot 17 is not of issue in this matter, and this was confirmed by staff as well as Mr. Sula.

Attorney Winter stressed that the matter at hand is outside storage, and that any stipulation made in granting the Permit would need to address that.  He emphasized the relevance of the height required for fencing to fully contain what will be stored.  

Mr. Ohanian made a motion, seconded by Mr. Nordentoft, to forward a favorable recommendation to the Village Board on the petition of Mr. Robert Haun for a Special Use Permit to allow outside storage on property located at 4230 Lee Avenue, subject to the following:  1) all materials must be contained within a 8-foot tall stockade fence located in conformance with the plans submitted with the application; and 2) the materials contained in the fences area must be equipment that is germane to the applicant’s business.

Roll Call Vote:

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

Nays: None

Abstain: None

Motion Carried: 6-0-0

 9.  Informal Review:  Autumn Leaves Alzheimer’s Facility (approximately 450 feet north of the northeast corner of Hunt Club and Washington Street – directly north of Thomas Place)

(LaSalle Group Inc. is under contract to purchase 12-acres located approximately 450 feet north of the northeast corner of Hunt Club and Washington Street (directly north of Thomas Place). The property is zoned R-1, Single-Family Residence District, and is subject to an annexation agreement that requires that any development of this property be completed as a Planned Unit Development.  LaSalle Group Inc. is interested in establishing a 42 room/46 unit supportive living facility for persons with Alzheimer’s.)

Mr. Sula explained that the purpose of such a hearing (Informal) is informative, but non-committal. 

Mr. Matthew Krummick, Regional Director for Development for LaSalle Group, gave a short presentation on the proposed project.  He was accompanied by Mr. Michael Aronson, a principle of the architectural firm involved in the project.

The LaSalle Group is based in Dallas.  Their product, "Autumn Leaves," is a community for those living with various forms of dementia/Alzheimer's.  A similar community is located in Vernon Hills, and the proposed site for expansion into Gurnee was selected in cooperation with staff.  As contract purchasers, LaSalle is under contract contingent to zoning.  Autumn Leaves…

--would have 42 rooms, 46 beds

--would be an assisted living facility (private pay) and licensed as such

--would be a secure environment, proving clinical care and assistance with daily living;

   not a skilled nursing facility, so not for patients requiring acute care

--would be dedicated specifically to those with Alzheimer's

--would provide up to 40 jobs in the area

--would create very little traffic

--would be a good neighbor, becoming a part of the community and caring for it

Mr. Aronson, a partner in the architectural firm of S.A.S. presented images of the proposed project, including the buildings of the community as well as its gardens and courtyard.  The property has been designed to have a very residential feel, and will adhere to all safety codes and other ordinances.  Mr. Krummick added that the parcel selected is beautiful, and their intent is to landscape the grounds in a way that makes use of native species and existing wetlands.   

Both Mr. Krummick and Mr. Aronson acknowledged that there had been some questions about access points to the property.

Mr. Sula applauded the project, and emphasized the need for such a facility.  He also praised the design of the site.

Mr. Nordentoft felt the project was a good use for the parcel, and felt that the access point need not be a concern at this time.  He praised the quality of materials used in the project, and the inclusion of conservation in its planning.

Ms. Salmons also praised the project, and asked for clarification of what "private pay" actually means. 

Mr. Twitchell also agreed that the traffic issues would not likely be an issue.  He also appreciated that cars parking in the parking lot would face outward, preventing headlights shining into the buildings.  He did suggest that there should be a bit more continuity and access points to trails and sidewalks.

Mr. Sula concluded that feedback on the project seems very favorable, and encouraged moving forward with staff towards its successful completion.

10.  Mr. Sula noted that the next Meeting is January 8, 2014. 

11.  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 8:52 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Joann Metzger
Planning and Zoning Board Secretary