City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission met October 3.
City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission met October 3.
Here is the minutes provided by the Commission:
I. Call to Order
At 7:30 pm Chair Glazer called the meeting to order and asked Director Fontane to call the roll.
II. Roll Call
Members Present: Glazer, Hecht, Kutscheid, Pearlstein, Reinstein, Waxman
Members Absent: Leaf
Director Fontane took the roll and declared a quorum present.
Staff Present: Fontane, Cross, Later, Jackson
Student Rep.: None
Council Liaison: None
III. Approval of Minutes
September 5, 2017
Chair Glazer entertained a motion to approve the minutes of the September 5, 2017 meeting. Vice Chair Kutscheid so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Waxman. Commissioner Reinstein abstained. On a voice vote, the motion carried 5-0, 1 abstension.
IV. Scheduled Business
A. Design Review Items
1. Design Review for Ravinia Brewing located at 594 Roger Williams Ave.
Planner Cross made a presentation for the above item including application summary, existing conditions, site plan, Witty’s north elevation, Ravinia Brewing storefront, northwest elevation, west elevation, garage doors, awnings, color palette, west elevation-south end, sign package, proposed sign package amendment, lighting and recommendation.
Vice Chair Kutscheid stated concrete block has many different meanings and there are some really nice ones and then there are the grey ones. He did not think the open porous ones were attractive.
Mr. DePree stated the split faced block looked like a utilitarian material. They are proposing a smooth faced block which speaks to the industrial roots of the building.
Commissioner Reinstein stated the signage package was three times what was allowable and was uncomfortable with it because of the precedent it will set. He asked how much of the three times is for the murals. He thought there were one too many Ravinia Brewing Co. signs.
Mr. Taylor stated there are three separate addresses they are combining into one space.
Planner Cross stated the murals combined are 250 s.f. The boxes include the Ravinia Brewing branding sign. The murals occupy the lion’s share and if they requested relief just for the branding signs that would place the relief request more in context.
Commissioner Waxman asked stated if the murals had ever been put aside as separate from the other signs.
Planner Cross stated they had one mural before.
Vice Chair Kutscheid asked if the murals are used to brand the beer.
Mr. Taylor stated they are pulling illustrations from the cans and creating a consistent brand feel.
Director Fontane stated in the code a mural is just another sign. They do not have a specific public arts program by which they take wall easements for public art purposes. Right now it is just another sign and the boxes can contain different messages.
Chair Glazer asked if they could condition approval on the space being occupied by artistic non-branding.
Planner Cross stated it is difficult to regulate sign content and what a sign can say.
Director Fontane stated some of the images are branding for various types of beer. It is a sign and happens to be more artistic in nature. He recommended the Commission consider the size of the signs.
Commissioner Reinstein asked if the west façade was at 300 s.f. and it is alright at 100 s.f. and if the north is also alright art 100 s.f. He asked about the detail for the garage door showing it is on rails and asked about the system and if you were sitting in the corner would there be a door overhead.
Mr. Taylor stated there would be a door overhead.
Commissioner Reinstein stated the picture is a four-pane garage door and theirs is a six. He asked if they intended to go with the six.
Mr. Taylor stated yes.
Chair Glazer stated there was much excitement about the project and he agreed with Commissioner Pearlstein that there was a certain favorable whimsy about the project. He liked the idea about making it a gathering space with speakers. He asked what the target date was.
Mr. Taylor stated it should be no later than March 1st. They want to move quickly once they get started again.
Chair Glazer stated the passion for this project was palpable and appreciated that they are driving the project.
Chair Glazer stated there was concern about the signage and other issues.
Chair Glazer entertained a motion to approve the design review and they could discuss possible amendments. Commissioner Waxman so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein.
Chair Glazer stated they should discuss the motion and how the project might change, if at all.
Commissioner Reinstein asked if they could put a limitation on the murals stating it was for this user only. If it changed to a different use the murals will not follow.
Planner Cross stated typically a sign package is for a building and he did not see a mechanism where they could tie it to a specific tenant. There are controls in the sign package that are a written component and that is where certain conditions can be put in. It is difficult to say with the passing of one tenant that an approved sign package is no longer valid.
Commissioner Hecht asked if someone buys Ravinia Brewing he understood the sign approval would go with Ravinia Brewing.
Chair Glazer thought if someone buys the space with the variances granted tonight, the variances go with it.
Commissioner Reinstein stated what they are approving is a 14’ tall, 8’ wide block of space that goes with the building and will be used for signage for eternity. The other is 9’8” by maybe 5’ or 6’.
Commissioner Hecht stated he was sure their interpretation and attempt to restrict commercial speech would violate the first amendment.
Vice Chair Kutscheid asked if they could restrict them to black and white.
Planner Cross stated the first mechanism is would the applicant be willing to include design standards in the written component of the sign package limiting color to black and white. There are color restrictions all around town. You could ask them if they were willing to include a provision limiting all painted wall signs to simple colors.
Commissioner Reinstein asked what the color accomplished.
Commissioner Reinstein stated it is a blank canvas and by limiting it to black they could put anything on it in black. Maybe an additional limitation would be it has to be logo art in black and white. They are proposing two logos and if they want to work that in it might be a way to do it.
Chair Glazer stated if the next owner is a Starbucks then they are looking at having a Starbuck’s logo. This works because it is whimsical and does not if it is commercial.
Commissioner Reinstein stated maybe it would be better if the logos were inside the space.
Planner Cross suggested they could consider the context and canvas. It is a unique setting compared to others in Highland Park. When they consider precedent they should consider the setting where this could happen again. He stated neither mural is visible from Roger Williams.
Vice Chair Kutscheid stated when they regulate awnings with graphics for a new owner they have to come before the Commission. He asked why they just don’t use the awning over again. He asked why the sign always comes back to the Commission.
Planner Cross asked if he meant material or sign on the awning.
Vice Chair Kutscheid stated the sign on the awning.
Planner Cross stated this is not the case. A sign can be replaced on an awning in Highland Park if the sign meets the regulations in Article 20. The request would appear before the PDC if a sign variation were requested.
Commissioner Waxman stated they are struggling to approve the amount of signage. She asked the applicant how much they wanted the tree and bicycle.
Mr. Taylor stated if they received Grunsfeld that would be alright. By not regulating content but just type, is to say it would be a black line drawing with no lettering.
Commissioner Pearlstein asked if it would be alright if they kept Weaver and not the sign.
Mr. Doug Purington, 440 Ashland, Highland Park, IL, stated it is only 16% of the total façade which is only 1% higher than what the regulations indicate. He thought they should focus on the percentage total. He thought they should keep what they have as long as it is smaller. He did not think two murals was asking for too much. He thought they were representative of Ravinia Brewing and thought they should stay as is.
Mr. Taylor stated the building across the street which was the original Witty’s, and the entire west wall was painted brick. They are trying to stay with the history of the neighborhood. The type of signage they are proposing was the first type of signage.
Chair Glazer stated he liked the proposal and asked about scaling them back, not reducing the number of them.
Mr. Taylor stated thought there was space for scaling back Weaver and he would rather do that than the balloon. He would rather decrease the size of the bicycle and keep the balloon where it is at.
Chair Glazer asked if they screen the mechanicals would that count toward the signage.
Planner Cross stated that if sign content were added to a rooftop screening system, it would count toward the aggregate sign area on the building.
Chair Glazer stated they are talking about reducing the sign area occupied by the image of a bicycle.
Mr. Taylor stated the liked the bicycle violating the boundaries and maybe they could keep the wheel and the branches extending over the Ravinia name. They could decrease the size by 15% and still keep the feeling. If it gets too small it starts to look off balance.
Chair Glazer asked how many feet they would save if they scaled back 15%.
Mr. Taylor stated this is not squared off like the signs.
Planner Cross stated the applicant could put more time into a sign plan and this could come back at a later meeting and would not slow down the permits.
Mr. Taylor asked if it would be helpful if they resubmit and decrease the size of Weaver. He asked if it was better to be more specific in their request.
Commissioner Reinstein stated it would be better if they are doing logo art if they label it as such.
Mr. Taylor stated they could say one color illustrations with no words.
Planner Cross stated it would be helpful to have more detail on where the business identification sign will be and where the artistic sign would. This could be clarified by square feet and have a written set of criteria. They could approve signs as a separate component later.
Mr. Taylor asked if the signs had to be rectangular.
Planner Cross stated the code is tough and says sign area is measured by drawing an imaginary box around the extreme encompassing all elements of the sign.
Chair Glazer stated they are looking for a modification to the motion to approve to exclude consideration the sign package component of the proposal. He asked if there were other considerations.
Vice Chair Kutscheid mentioned replacing the utilitarian light with barn lights.
Chair Glazer asked if they wanted to make that a condition.
Vice Chair Kutscheid stated they do not want the utilitarian lights.
Planner Cross stated they will review the utilitarian light over the trash to make sure it meets light fixture cut-off regulations.
Vice Chair Kutscheid stated the CMU should be a smooth finish, high quality CMU.
Chair Glazer asked Commissioners Waxman and Pearlstein if they accepted the modification to approve to exclude consideration of the sign package, to require barn lights be used and that the CMU be a smooth finish with high quality materials.
Commissioners Waxman and Pearlstein stated yes.
Vice Chair Kutscheid asked if screening of the utilities is a requirement based on code rather than a design review item.
Planner Cross stated the rooftop mechanicals need to be screened and the Commission could request additional screening. It would be considered a legal non- conforming condition at this point.
Vice Chair Kutscheid stated there are existing mechanicals up there that are unscreened and by right they can leave it alone.
Planner Cross confirmed this saying it is a legal non-conforming situation unlike the Dunkin Donuts where it was created by the development.
Chair Glazer stated they were going to vote on this excluding the sign package and they would come back and present a revised sign package.
Mr. Taylor stated they were going to do the exterior work right away to get the neighbors excited to see the signs, doors and windows.
Chair Glazer stated Planner Cross would enter them on the agenda for the next meeting.
Director Fontane called the roll:
Ayes: Hecht, Waxman, Pearlstein, Reinstein, Kutscheid, Glazer
Motion passed 6-0.
2. Amendments under Consideration to Article 21 of the Zoning Code, “Inclusionary Housing.”
Director Fontane made a presentation for the above item including consultation with Commission, inclusionary housing working group recommendations, background, inclusionary housing working group, return on investment analysis findings, IHWG overarching categories discussed, IHWG consensus - inclusionary unit requirement, IHWG consensus - reducing uncertainty, IHWG consensus - revenue payment timing, IHWG consensus - revenue expanding alternatives, IHWG consensus - maintaining affordability, IHWG consensus - clarification condo conversions, IHWG consensus - clarification, IHWG consensus - unit characteristics and next steps.
Chair Glazer thanked Director Fontane for his presentation. He asked for any questions.
V. Other Business
Administrative Design Reviews - None
2018 Meeting Resolution for the Plan & Design Commission
Chair Glazer asked if they were going to hold off on the resolution because of the rescheduling for the April dates. The first week is spring break and the were looking at moving that meeting.
Director Fontane stated they could come back with a suggested date.
Chair Glazer stated this would be continued to the next meeting.
VI. Staff Report
VII. Business from the Public
Chair Glazer entertained a motion to adjourn. So motioned by Commissioner Reinstein, seconded Commissioner Hecht. On a voice vote, the motion passed unanimously.
The Plan and Design Commission adjourned at 9:50 pm.