Village of Lake Bluff Board of Trustees met January 8.
Village of Lake Bluff Board of Trustees met January 8.
Here is the minutes provided by the Board:
1. Call To Order And Roll Call
Village President O’Hara called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. in the Lake Bluff Village Hall Board Room, and Village Clerk Joy Markee called the roll.
The following were present:
Village President: Kathleen O’Hara
Trustees: Barbara Ankenman
Absent: Aaron Towle, Village Trustee
Also Present: Joy Markee, Village Clerk
Drew Irvin, Village Administrator
Peter Friedman, Village Attorney
Bettina O’Connell, Finance Director
Michael Croak, Building Codes Supervisor
Jeff Hansen, Village Engineer
David Belmonte, Police Chief
Jake Terlap, Public Works Superintendent
Glen Cole, Assistant to the Village Administrator (A to VA)
2. Pledge Of Allegiance
President O’Hara led the Pledge of Allegiance.
3. Non-Agenda Items And Visitors
President O’Hara stated the Village President and Board of Trustees allocate fifteen minutes for those individuals who would like the opportunity to address the Village Board on any matter not listed on the agenda. Each person addressing the Village Board of Trustees is asked to limit their comments to a maximum of five (5) minutes.
There were no requests to address the Board.
4. Consideration Of The Minutes Of The December 11, 2017 Village Board Meeting
Board of Trustees Regular Meeting January 8, 2018
Trustee Dewart moved to approve the December 11, 2017 Board of Trustees Regular Meeting Minutes as presented. Trustee Lemieux seconded the motion. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.
5. Village Board Sets The Order Of The Meeting
At the request of those present, Trustee Grenier moved to take Agenda Items #11, #15, #16 and #17 then return to the regular order of the meeting. Trustee Meyer seconded the motion. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.
6. Item #11 – A Resolution Approving A Sign Exemption Request For North Shore University Health System At 71 Waukegan Road
President O’Hara reported North Shore University Health System is remodeling and expanding their offices at 71 Waukegan Road. Their representatives appeared at the November 7, 2017 meeting of the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) to request approval of three signs. Two of the three requested signs were approved (see attached Summary). The third sign (monument sign #1), proposed to replace the existing monument sign at the intersection of Waukegan Road and Albrecht Drive, requires an exemption from the sign code to allow a 214 sq. ft. sign (107 sq. ft. on each side). The ABR approved a recommendation, by a vote of 5-0, that the Village Board grant an exemption to allow the sign to be up to 64 sq. ft. per side (128 square feet total), double the amount allowed by code, but consistent with past sign exemptions along Waukegan Road.
President O’Hara reported the applicant returned to the ABR on December 5th to request approval for a revised version of the sign. The applicant explained that, in the revised version, the signage itself was no more than 64 sq. ft. per side; however, the area of the whole sign face, calculated including the brick base as required by code, was 96 sq. ft. per side (192 sq. ft. total). The ABR voted to recommend denial of the sign code exemption for this sign. The applicant now proposes to eliminate the brick base, as shown in the attached drawing, to reduce the sign to 64 sq. ft. per side to comply with the letter of the ABR’s November 7th recommendation to approve the sign code exemption. She further reported in preparation for the Village Board’s consideration of the request, the neighboring property owners have been notified of the meeting date and a resolution has been prepared transmitting the ABR’s recommendation.
Trustee Lemieux thanked the applicant for reducing the square footage.
Village Administrator Drew Irvin stated the ABR have not reviewed the revised sign but submitted its recommendation that the sign must comply with the sign code.
President O’Hara asked why the ABR did not review the revised sign. Village Administrator Irvin stated the ABR’s recommendation set forth parameters which satisfied their concerns regarding the size. Village Administrator Irvin stated it is seldom the ABR does not review the final version and, if the Village Board desired, the sign could be referred back to the ABR for review or it could be approved as submitted.
Trustee Meyer asked if the ABR had issues with anything other than the size and if there has been any aesthetics changes. Building Codes Supervisor Croak stated ABR Chair Hunter mentioned, after the approval, that he would have preferred the sign be reduced in area without removing the brick base. The applicant’s concept was to create readability along Waukegan Road by reducing the square footage from the base instead of the actual sign because the proposed landscaping would cover the brick base.
As there were no further comments from the Board, Trustee Lemieux moved to adopt the resolution. Trustee Grenier seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (5) Ankenman, Dewart, Grenier, Lemieux and Meyer
Absent: (1) Towle
7. Item #15 – A Resolution Authorizing A Pilot Backyard Beekeeping Program
President O’Hara reported the Sustainability and Community Enhancement Ad Hoc Committee (SEC) prepared two draft pilot programs that would allow the keeping of chickens and bee hives on residential properties in the Village, and has recommended their adoption to the Village Board. The Board, as a Committee of the Whole, has reviewed this item previously at its November 13, 2017 and December 11, 2017 meetings. She further reported the proposed Resolution authorizes the pilot program and includes the following changes since the Board’s discussion at the December 11, 2017 Committee of the Whole:
• Sunset Date: A sunset date of March 1, 2021. Including a sunset date is recommended by the Village Attorney, and does not preclude the Village Board from repealing the program at an earlier date or extending it to a later date;
• Fee: An application fee of $50 due annually. Staff anticipates permittees would also be subject to standard building permit fees;
• Number of Permits: A limit of 5 pilot permits at any one time; and
• Lot Size: No more than 2 permits per activity for lots smaller than 10,000 square feet. No permits for lots smaller than 7,000 square feet.
In response to questions from Trustee Lemieux, Village Administrator Irvin stated “no more than 2 permits per activity” in theory would limit permits, if authorized, for applicants desiring to have both bees and chickens. Also, he confirmed that as written residents would be allowed to have both bees and chickens on their property.
Trustee Lemieux stated the SEC have done a thorough and very nice job reviewing the pilot programs but he thinks both activities are agricultural in nature. He is onboard with the educational and sustainability objectives but he feels the community is too dense to allow these activities. Trustee Lemieux expressed his opinion that the response to the survey conducted at the Farmers Market would have been different if the question was “would you like beehives or chicken coops within five feet of your property.” Trustee Lemieux stated he is appalled that someone can have both bees and chickens on the same lot.
Trustee Dewart expressed concern for allowing both programs as part of the pilot program and if pursued it is important for residents to focus on one or the other. He commented on Section B (6) State Registration and Section 10, Inspection and stated there should be a provision that requires bee hives to be inspected by the State of Illinois. Should the pilot programs move forward the Village should give applicants that desire to pursue the activities as much of a boost as possible.
Trustee Grenier stated his is impressed with the SEC’s work but in his opinion it will be difficult to determine the success of the pilot programs. He is concerned about density but facts presented shows both programs are operating successfully in other areas of the country. Trustee Grenier stated his view is to be favorable but monitor the pilot program to determine how it impact neighbors. This is an opportunity for committed Lake Bluff residents to demonstrate if this could be done and he is not compel to take that opportunity away.
Trustee Meyer said his inclination is to allow the opportunity for people to demonstrate this can be done responsibly in Lake Bluff and in a manner that is courteous to neighbors.
In response to a question from Trustee Meyer, Village Administrator Irvin stated each pilot program would be allowed 5 permits.
Trustee Ankenman stated she does not want the pilot program to negatively impact neighbors. The pilot program will allow people an opportunity to try the activity and she think it is worth giving them an opportunity.
Trustee Dewart stated it would be beneficial to have a uniform beginning and ending licensing process to monitor the time cycle.
President O’Hara said she is distributed about allowing a resident to have both backyard bees and chickens. Her inclination would be, should the pilot program get approved, to allow one type of permit for either bees or chickens.
President O’Hara opened the floor for public comments and there were not comments.
Following a brief discussion, it was the consensus of the Village Board to amend the draft resolution to allow residents to have either bees or chickens.
As there were no further comments from the Board, Trustee Grenier moved to adopt the resolution. Trustee Dewart seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (4) Dewart, Grenier, Meyer and Ankenman
Nays: (1) Lemieux
Absent: (1) Towle
8. Item #16 – A Resolution Authorizing A Pilot Backyard Chicken Keeping Program
President O’Hara stated this agenda item is a resolution authorizing a backyard chicken pilot program and the requirements are similar to the aforementioned agenda item.
In response to a question from Village Clerk Markee, Village Administrator Irvin said the SEC will monitor the pilot programs and inform the Village Board should any problems arise.
President O’Hara opened the floor for public comment, there were no comments.
Trustee Ankenman stated unlike bees this pilot program will introduce a new creature to the area. She said she could understand how someone would not be in favor of the pilot program because of the concerns expressed regarding predators, disease and noise.
Trustee Meyer asked if there had been any signs presented specifically in respect to health issues. Trustee Grenier commented on the Center for Disease Control commentary regarding potential salmonella. The CDC review risks in the context that owning backyard chickens could be a great experience.
AVA Cole said there is a lack of research regarding backyard chickens.
Trustee Grenier stated he have concluded that as long as there are people willing to do the work, the program with associated risk, should be allowed as this would help determine the risks.
As there were no comments from the Board, Trustee Grenier moved to adopt the resolution. Trustee Ankenman seconded the motion.
Village Attorney Peter Friedman stated the pilot programs are contrary to the Village’s Municipal Code. The discretion is not to enforce the Municipal Code to the extent consistent with the pilot programs. As such, four affirmative votes are required to amend the ordinance and approve the pilot programs.
The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (4) Grenier, Meyer, Dewart and President O’Hara
Nays: (2) Lemieux and Ankenman
Absent: (1) Towle
President O’Hara stated the SEC have spent a tremendous amount of time reviewing these activities. She stated her affirmative vote will give the pilot programs a chance. She stated the pilot programs can be rescinded at any time if the activities do not adhere to Village standards. President O’Hara asked the SEC Members in attendance to convey the Village Board’s appreciation to the Committee for their extensive work on the programs.
9. Item #17 – An Ordinance Authorizing The Vacation And Sale Of A Portion Of Public Right Of Way (Simpson Avenue Alley)
President O’Hara reported Katherine Murray owns the adjacent properties at 420 Simpson Avenue and 604 Ravine Avenue. The home at 420 Simpson is an occupied single family home. The former home at 604 Ravine Avenue was removed in the fall of 2016. In April 2017 Ms. Murray submitted and the Village approved a subdivision (Winston’s Crib Subdivision) that altered the lot lines of the two properties and combined the five parcels into two distinct buildable lots. She further reported the purpose of the subdivision was to enlarge the property at 420 Simpson to accommodate a new garage (on Lot 1 of Winston’s Crib Subdivision). During the review of the new garage building plans and discussions regarding another possible subdivision of the Murray-owned property, it was determined that a portion of the adjacent Village-owned Simpson Alley should be considered for vacation as it yields no public benefit and would provide a small amount of additional lot area to facilitate the Murray’s planned improvements.
President O’Hara reported over the years the Village has vacated portions of Public-Right-of-Way when there is no public benefit to be obtained by the Village’s continued ownership. The 2002 Village Owned Lots and Unique Rights-of-Way Study recommended the Village vacate the far western end of this Right- of-Way and maintain the improved portion (25 feet in width) that serves as the functional alley. The vacation of this land would be consistent with this recommendation. The Murrays have agreed to purchase the property from the Village at fair market value ($14,500) and closing costs.
In response to a question from President O’Hara, Village Administrator Irvin stated the petitioner choose the subdivision name.
Village Attorney Friedman stated the proposed ordinance is requesting to vacate public property, as such 2/3 affirmative votes are required for approval. The President is not allowed to vote no matter the outcome.
As there were no questions from the Board, Trustee Dewart moved to approve first reading of the ordinance. Trustee Lemieux seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (5) Lemieux, Meyer, Ankenman, Dewart and Grenier
Absent: (1) Towle
10. Item #6A – Warrant Report For December 16-31, 2017 And January 1-15, 2018 And December 2017 Payroll Expenditures
President O’Hara reported expenditure of Village funds for payment of invoices in the amount of $248,291.59 for December 16-31, 2017, $496,537.53 for January 1-15, 2018 and Village funds for payroll in the amount of $277,173.94 for December 2017.
As such, the total expenditures for this period is in the amount of $1,022,003.06.
As there were no questions from the Board, Trustee Meyer moved to approve the Warrant Report. Trustee Ankenman seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (5) Meyer, Ankenman, Dewart, Grenier and Lemieux
Absent: (1) Towle
11. Item #7A – Village Administrator’s Report: Informational Report From The Lake Bluff Police Department
Village Administrator Irvin stated tonight’s report is a review of criminal activity for the past 10 years, as well as recent and planned public safety improvement initiatives. He invited Police Chief David Belmonte to the podium to deliver a presentation.
Police Chief Belmonte stated the report was expanded out 10 years to provide a view on what trends the Village is seeking in experience to some of the events. The presentation detailed the calls for service and factors, violent crime, sex crimes, armed robbery, aggravated assault and battery and property crime which are the most reported incidents. Police Chief Belmonte reported there have been two reported aggravated assault and battery and four violent crimes.
In response a question from the Board, Police Chief Belmonte stated there was a home invasion reported last year. Currently, the trend is related to the increase in automobile theft and motor vehicle burglary but the numbers could decrease if property owners would secure their property.
Trustee Grenier asked if there were a relationship between keys left in vehicles and the newer cars with electronic keys. Police Chief Belmonte said of the five reported vehicle thefts, three had electronic keys and the others left the keys inside the vehicle. A discussion followed.
In response to a comment from Trustee Ankenman, Police Chief Belmonte stated the graphs reflect nationwide data not just suburban communities.
Trustee Grenier asked what other communities share crime rates similar to Lake Bluff. Police Chief Belmonte said that information is not readily available. The Federal Bureau of Investigation tracks everything by 1,000 population and Lake Bluff would be included in the statistics for the metropolitan Chicago area.
Police Chief Belmonte stated bicycle theft, crimes of opportunities, were the largest crime in the community. In 2016/2017 shoplifting increased as a result of the retail developments. The Police Department have used social media, press releases, mailed letters, amongst other communication to increase community awareness. The Police Department has increased patrols to give a bigger police presence and this has decreased some of the nighttime burglaries and vehicle thefts. The Police Department has begun working with Target Security Department to process shoplifting offenses, increase information sharing with surrounding agencies and joined the Midwest Organized Crime Task Force. He stated moving forward the plan is to review use of enhanced technology such as surveillance cameras specifically in the train station and Village Green, license plate readers, traffic locators and increase the use of social media and further education residents.
Trustee Dewart asked if the crime prevention awareness cards could be placed on vehicles parked on the street and in driveways to increase awareness. Police Chief Belmonte said that could be done for a specific area but he prefer to mail letters to Village residents to provide community warnings.
In response to a question from Trustee Dewart, Police Chief Belmonte stated the call volume reflects any call that generates a police response.
Village Administrator Irvin said there will be initiatives in the upcoming budget discussion regarding enhanced technology such as cameras and license plate reading software.
The Village Board thanked Police Chief Belmonte for his report.
12. Item #7A – Village Administrator’s Report: Report Concerning The Electronic Storage And Disposition Of Certain Village Records
Village Administrator Irvin stated the informational report summarizes the documents for destruction and Staff will coordinate disposal of the files, pursuant to State law. There were no concerns expressed by the Village Board.
13. Item #8 – Village Attorney’s Report
Village Attorney Peter Friedman extended an invitation to attend a viewing of the documentary “All the Queens Horses,” and provided background information on the documentary film.
14. Item #9 – Village President’s Report
Village President O’Hara reported the Village received a letter from the Mayor of the City of Lake Forest requesting to reconvene the service agreement committee in accordance with the intergovernmental agreement. The City of Lake Forest is interested in updating the 2011 document to reflect changes in Section C (Public Access Television Services), Section E (Fire and Dispatch Services), and reexamine the terms in Section F (Ambulance Services). President O’Hara stated she and Trustee Dewart (Finance Committee Chair) will represent the Village on the committee, and keep the Village Board informed.
15. Item #10 – Acceptance Of The Correspondence
President O’Hara introduced the correspondence from the Informational Reports on December 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2017.
Trustee Ankenman moved to accept the correspondence as submitted. Trustee Lemieux seconded the motion. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.
16. Item #12 – A Resolution Approving An Amendment To An Intergovernmental Agreement With Metra (Train Station Improvements)
President O’Hara reported early last year, Metra offered to fund $300,000 of repairs and improvements to the Lake Bluff train station if the Village would act as the project manager responsible for bidding, supervision, and inspection of the work. The Village Board approved an Intergovernmental Agreement with Metra to this end on February 27, 2017.
President O’Hara reported shortly thereafter the Village retained a consultant, Architectural Consulting Group, to assess the building, create a project scope, and write bid documents. The Village received 5 bids on the project in October ranging from $452,178 to $1,163,000. After reviewing the bids and scope of work, the Village made the case to Metra that, even though we are not required to accept every line item that was bid, the building requires more than $300,000 worth of work. Metra has agreed to increase the amount they are willing to provide to $400,000, with the Village responsible for any costs above that amount. She further reported Village Staff recommends the Village amend the IGA and consider budgeting $30,000 in FY19 to complete the planned improvements. The revised Intergovernmental Agreement also requires that the Village or its contractor pay Union Pacific for the use of flagmen when working near the railroad.
President O’Hara stated at a Northwest Municipal League meeting the Metra Chairman remarked on the state of Metra such as aging infrastructure and rail cars. As such, the Metra will fund approximately four projects this year and Lake Bluff’s is one of them. The increase to $400,000 for the improvements will be very beneficial to the community.
Member Lemieux stated there has been a lot of time spent on the appearance of the gateway to the Village and the Metra Train Station should also be considered a gateway to the community.
Village Administrator Irvin said in the governmental agreement there were some minor scrivener errors in clarification in terms of payment by the Metra. The Metra legal counsel and Village counsel will work together to clarify that section. They are to allow us to prepay payments, as the Village can submit payments when incurred. The Metra will front additional money in advance to get the project moving. Also, should this amendment get approved, the Village should cap its expenditures given this was not budgeted activities this year and it would have to be budgeted in the next fiscal year.
Trustee Grenier asked if the Village chose not to invest in the project is there a risk that some of the improvements would not be done. The scope of work to be done is critical and it is hard for him to see what improvement would be eliminated. Village Administrator Irvin stated that specific question has not been addressed. He believes Metra would complete $400,000 of work; however, it may not be the scope of work desired by the Village. The proposed improvements are standard maintenance items that should have been completed pursuant to the Metra lease agreement but the funds were not available.
Trustee Lemieux stated to him it seems the Village would spend $30,000, and leverage $400,000, and a large portion of the $30,000 is contingency.
Trustee Dewart stated this is an important investment as the Metra Train Station is vital to the community. The improvements and roofing could eventually cost more if the project does not move forward.
In response to a question from Trustee Lemieux, Building Codes Supervisor Mike Croak stated the contractor was informed the lobby could not be closed for more than 20 days, after April 1, 2018.
Village Clerk Markee asked if the flagman cost was included in the $30,000. Village Administrator Irvin said the cost of the flagman is included in the construction contract at $8,920.
As there were no further comments from the Board, Trustee Dewart moved to adopt the resolution. Trustee Grenier seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (5) Ankenman, Dewart, Grenier, Lemieux and Meyer
Absent: (1) Towle
17. Item #13 – A Resolution Authorizing The Execution Of A Construction Contract With Structures Construction, Llc For The Lake Bluff Metra Station Renovation Project
President O’Hara reported on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, bids were opened for the Lake Bluff Metra Station Renovation Project. Five bids were received, with the lowest responsive bid coming from Structures Construction, LLC of Chicago, Illinois. The bids expired while the Village was working with Metra to obtain increased funding; however, Structures Construction has agreed to honor their bid amounts with only a small adjustment to two line items totaling $3500. The contract that Village is proposing to accept is in the amount of $380,386.27 plus unit costs.
President O’Hara reported the project includes replacing the wood shingles with architectural laminated shingles, masonry repair and tuckpointing, exterior and interior painting, refinishing doors and woodwork, replacing lights, and remodeling the public restroom. She further reported Metra has agreed to fund $400,000 of the improvements. Staff estimates that the total project cost, including contingencies and unit costs for items such roof sheathing, could be up to $430,000 (see attached project budget). Therefore staff recommends that the Village Board budget $30,000 in FY19 to adequately fund the project. The Building Codes Supervisor is recommending that an award be made to Structures Construction, LLC for in the amount of $380,386.27.
In response to a question from Trustee Lemieux, Building Codes Supervisor Croak stated Structures Constructions, LLC appears to be a reputable firm and understands the scope of work. There are many variables which contribute to the bids; therefore, it is difficult to understand the difference in bid amounts.
In response to a question from President O’Hara, Building Codes Supervisor Croak stated the two murals in the train station lobby will be maintained.
Trustee Meyer moved to adopt the resolution. Trustee Lemieux seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (5) Dewart, Grenier, Lemieux, Meyer and Ankenman
Absent: (1) Towle
18. Item #14 – A Resolution Approving An Updated Policy Concerning Closed Meeting Minutes And Verbatim Records
President O’Hara reported the Illinois Open Meetings Act (Act) requires the Village and its subsidiary bodies to keep and maintain minutes and verbatim records of meetings that are closed to the public in accordance with the Act. On February 9, 2004 the Village implemented a policy governing all public bodies of the Village with respect to the creation, maintenance, storage, release, and destruction of closed meeting minutes and verbatim records of such public bodies. She further reported at this time, the Village Attorney recommends the Village Board update its policy to reflect the current requirements of law and best practices.
Trustee Lemieux expressed his understanding that the revised policy as written allows an individual Trustee access to written minutes, for any purpose, and the Village Board access for any lawful purpose. In regards to verbatim records the verbatim minute recording can only be accessed by the Village Board. Village Attorney Friedman stated individual access to records requires approval of the Village Board. The current Statute provides that individual Board Members do have access to the records, but by having the Village Board vote on the matter it would provide notice. He stated if an individual member requested access to a specific verbatim transcript, for a legitimate purpose, there could be a legal issue if the Village Board denied the request.
Following a request from Trustee Dewart to provide an overview, Village Attorney Friedman stated the open meetings act authorizes the Village Board to meet in private, under certain very limited circumstances. Should the Village Board met in closed session, it is a requirement to have written minutes of those meetings that will be approved in public and that the meetings be recorded verbatim. The verbatim recordings must be retained for no less than 18 months and cannot be destroyed unless the time has expired or the written minutes of those meetings have been approved. He stated when the Village Board meets in closed session it should be free to openly discuss confidential sensitive matters. There was concern that recording the closed meetings would hinder that type of interaction between Board Members. The Statutes were written to ensure compliance and that verbatim records are never disclosed, except if there were a claim that the Act was violated prior to going into the closed session. Village Attorney Friedman stated the Statute as amended allows individual Trustees access to the verbatim records, but even if individual Trustees have access to the verbatim records, those records must not be disclosed unless there is a legal requirement to do so. The approved Executive Session Meeting Minutes are subject to the Freedom of Information Act but verbatim records are specifically exempted. The destruction of verbatim records are a sensitive issue and can only be done under limited circumstances.
As there were no further comments from the Board, Trustee Lemieux moved to adopt the resolution. Trustee Ankenman seconded the motion. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.
19. Item #19 – Trustee’s Report
There was no Trustee’s report.
20. Item #21 – Adjournment
Trustee Meyer moved to adjourn the regular meeting. Trustee Dewart seconded the motion and the motion passed on a unanimous voice vote. The meeting adjourned at 7:48 p.m.