City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission met January 16.
City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission met January 16.
Here is the minutes provided by the Commission:
I. Call To Order
At 7:30 pm Vice Chair Reinstein called the meeting to order and asked Director Fontane to call the roll.
II. Roll Call
Members Present: Glazer, Kutscheid, Leaf, Pearlstein, Reinstein, Waxman
Members Absent: Hecht
Director Fontane took the roll and declared a quorum present.
Staff Present: Cross, Fontane, Jackson, Later
Student Rep.: None
Council Liaison: Blumberg, Lenneman
III. Approval Of Minutes
December 19, 2017
Vice Chair Reinstein entertained a motion to approve the minutes of the December 19, 2017 meeting. Commissioner Waxman so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Kutscheid. Commissioner Leaf voted present. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated the minutes state that Chair Glazer chaired the meeting, however it should state Vice Chair Kutscheid chaired the meeting.
IV. Scheduled Business
1. Public Hearing #17-07-PUD-007 Continuation for a Concurrent Preliminary and Final Planned Development with Subdivision and Design Review for a Senior Assisted Living/Memory Care Facility Located at 968-998 Central Ave. and 977-999 Deerfield Rd.
Planner Later made a presentation for the above item including project description, project location and surrounding zoning, site plan comments from Dec. 19, 2017, renderings - building separation, renderings - with landscaping, west elevation, central façade, aerial view, main entry, east façade, plinth drainage details, KLOA parking evaluation, parking at other senior facilities in Highland Park, police and fire emergency calls and fees, Sunset Valley Golf Course renovations and master plan and recommendation.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated there were 29 spaces required by code and asked about the percentage per unit.
Planner Later stated it was.33 and was required by code.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked why it looked like a lot more was required for the Silverado facility on Deerfield Road.
Planner Later stated it was in the ordinance and what was approved. They requested there be not less than 50 spaces. She did not know why 50 were required.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the reserved employee spaces are included in the 50.
Planner Later replied they were.
Commissioner Waxman asked about no access on Deerfield Rd. from Sunset Valley.
Planner Later stated there was no access from the golf course onto Deerfield Rd. and no parking planned for the north side of the course.
Mr. Lawrence Freedman, Ash, Anos, Freedman & Logan, 77 W. Washington, Chicago, IL, Attorney, stated the applicant was here to answer questions.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the additional properties to be purchased were included in the application.
Mr. Freedman stated they are not.
Commissioner Waxman asked how close they were to purchasing them.
Mr. Freedman stated some are under contract and some are under negotiation. It is not their plan to amend the proposal at this time.
Commissioner Leaf asked about a large ad in the Highland Park Landmark for the westernmost property. He was surprised it would be advertised this way and asked why they would not have bought it.
Mr. Joseph McElwee, Capital Seniors Housing, 1275 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC, Applicant, stated the property was bought at tax auction and they have made an offer to purchase for the full asking price.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if this was contiguous to the other two.
Mr. McElwee stated this was the one on the corner and the one immediately to the east is not available.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if their plan was to buy the lots even if they are not contiguous to the main part.
Mr. McElwee stated they would still buy the lots. They have two under contract and the third is the one in question that they made an offer on. These purchases are not conditioned upon receiving zoning approval for the assisted living facility.
Planner Leaf asked about the parking study and the Saturday data from the table and thought it might have been transposed. He stated the overall observation he had regarding parking is in all the use cases the 85th percentile shows parking demand to be more than the 0.49 provided. One-sixth of the time the lot will be full. When you look at the weekday and then Sunday the 85th percentile being higher than the 33rd.
Mr. John Green, Groundwork Ltd., 351 W. Dundee Rd., Buffalo Grove, IL, Architect, stated this came from the traffic engineering manual and was not created by the consultants. There do seem to be some anomalies in the information.
Commissioner Leaf asked if in the 85th percentile if the ratio was higher than.49 there was no supply.
Mr. Green stated there would still be supply and that is the 85th percentile on the overall average. They factored in employees and visitors.
Commissioner Leaf stated there is no supply at the 85th percentile.
Mr. Green stated yes.
Commissioner Leaf stated about one-sixth of the time there would no parking available.
Mr. Green stated it was only on weekdays during the day so it would be the hour period where the shift leaves at 2:00 or 3:00 and there could be some overlap.
Mr. McElwee stated the international transportation experts have estimated there is a.41 usage nationally. Shift changes do not happen at an exact. When there is a special event staff arranges for off-site parking. They are always in the.4 to.5 range depending on what the municipality deems appropriate. This one is.33 and they are at.44 so they have exceeded the standards. They do have other lots they are purchasing. If the City decided they needed more parking they have the ability to do this on the land they are acquiring. They have the ability to park 10 cars on the street. They have exceeded the quota, have overflow parking offsite on property they will own and 10 on the street. They will have more than enough supply.
Commissioner Glazer stated the average resident age is 86. He asked how this was calculated.
Mr. McElwee stated it was the industry average from the assisted living acronym, NIC, who perform studies across the country for the average age. The residents are frail and it is rare that anyone would have a car. They could restrict residents from having cars if the Board thought it appropriate.
Commissioner Glazer stated he would not like to do that if there were residents who could actually drive.
Mr. McElwee stated it was very rare someone would have a car. The.41 figure takes this into account because some facilities across the country do have residents who park cars. They think they are in excess of what the demand will be for the facility.
Commissioner Waxman asked if there will be a shuttle bus.
Mr. McElwee replied yes there will be a 14-pasenger van on site.
Commissioner Waxman asked if it would take a parking space.
Mr. McElwee stated it would.
Commissioner Pearlstein asked to see the look of the facility and stated it is a large, dense building. She thought the weight of the building was concerning.
Mr. Green stated it seems to be more spread out because it was designed that way. It is relatively narrow and runs longer. It meets all the requirements under RM1 and the original building footprint was about 1,000 s.f. over that permitted in the RM1 and they have worked to contain the footprint so they do not exceed the footprint allowable on the lot. It moves on the lot to break down the mass of the building. It is done in short segments.
Commissioner Pearlstein stated as you come off the highway you will have the movement so you will not have the weight of the building.
Mr. Green stated there are very short sections and as you come from the west the building is set back about 30-35’ to create a courtyard. It is the same on the south side and there are triangular yards on back. The bays on the front break up the building. The minimum set back is 25’ and they have adjusted it to 26.5’ to adjust for the two bay areas.
Mr. Jerry Meister, 1901 York Ln., Highland Park, IL, stated he objects to the development, it does not belong where it is being proposed not at the gateway, what image does it project, other communities would not allow it, land is too minimal for the bulk of the building, Highland Park is not developing any good buildings in last few years, it is time to change for the good, buildings like this are not inviting.
Commissioner Glazer asked if there was anything in the petition that is inconsistent with the master plan.
Planner Cross stated the master plan is reflected in the zoning code as RM1. This is a conditional use but is allowed by code through a special use. There is no strong inconsistency with the master plan.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated Silverado had to acquire expanded parking and if this were recommended Council should have the benefit of the research so they understand what went on. The recommendation should remind Council there are several parcels in play and could be used for additional parking.
Commissioner Glazer stated the parking at Silverado was likely influenced by the police station. There was probably a safety need to make sure cars were not overwhelming the police station by their operations. Because of the proximity there was likely a need to insure that visitors and guests would be accommodated in house.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated the applicant had been before the Commission three times and had done everything asked of them. He was personally exhausted and they owe them a recommendation one way or the other. They are not asking for a lot of relief, are providing a public benefit with a sidewalk that goes all the way around. It is a conditional use in the zone, but they should make a determination one way or the other.
Commissioner Glazer stated the applicant had been responsive and thought it was a mature proposal and motioned to direct staff to draft findings of fact recommending approval. Commissioner Waxman seconded.
Commissioner Leaf asked if staff looked at what the tax difference would be as far as the developed property to where it is now.
Planner Cross stated they do not.
Commissioner Leaf asked if this could be added to the findings or staff report.
Director Fontane stated it depends on the assessment of the property after it is developed which depends on construction documents and what is put in place.
Commissioner Leaf stated just an estimate or range would be helpful to Council.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated usually the applicant would do this.
Mr. Freedman stated it would be a positive fiscal impact. They can provide a study if the Commission wishes.
Commissioner Leaf stated would be helpful and the area will be developed over time. The master plan envisions changing to multi-family. He thought it would be good information for the City to know what the tax impact would be.
Director Fontane stated it would be an estimate and whether it turns out to be the actual assessment he could not tell.
Mr. Freedman stated they could provide this.
Commissioner Leaf stated he liked the project and the applicant had been responsive.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated the tax study would be additional information and forwarded to Council along with the Commission’s recommendation.
Commissioner Glazer stated there had been concerns about parking and thought this would be accommodated, thought the structure was well done and the public benefit was strong. He thought the singular issue was the location. The gateway is something to be considered and is not a deal killer and there is a need for these facilities in Highland Park. He did not think it inconsistent and he was prepared to support the project. He did not think there was an ideal location for the project.
Director Fontane mentioned the standards which talk about the location and size of the special use, the nature and intensity of the operation involved, the size of the subject property in relation to the special use, the location of the site with respect to streets giving access to it shall be such that it will be in harmony with the appropriate orderly development of the zoning district in which it is located. These were some of the standards they are evaluating regarding the application.
Commissioner Waxman stated she liked the project, but not the location.
Commissioner Pearlstein stated she had difficulty with the location.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated the location is a thin strip of land between two busy streets zoned for a higher density of housing and one of the advantages the applicant has is they are the first applicant in. If there were a number of lots that had already been built to their fullest with three flats and they wanted to squeeze in they might view it more negatively.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated the motion is to direct staff to prepare findings of fact recommending to Council the approval of #17-07-PUD-007 final planned development with subdivision and design review for a senior assisted living/memory care housing facility located at 968-998 Central Ave. and 977-999 Deerfield Rd. with condition to provide a real estate tax study comparting the estimate of taxes vs. the existing taxes and a recommendation to include a reminder to Council of what the Silverado reasoning was for their increased parking requirement and a reminder the applicant has control of several lots to the west of the site that could be used for additional parking.
Commissioner Leaf asked if an additional consideration would come before the Commission again.
Director Fontane stated it depended on what they were talking about.
Planner Cross stated it depends on how the other lots are incorporated into this one.
Commissioner Leaf asked if this would trigger a public hearing.
Planner Cross stated it depends on nature of the re-development
Director Fontane called the roll:
Ayes: Pearlstein, Leaf, Waxman, Kutscheid, Glazer, Reinstein
Motion passed 6-0.
2. Public Hearing #17-08-PUD-009 Continuation for a Concurrent Preliminary and Final Planned Development with Subdivision and Design Review for “Oakwood Residences”, a Four-Story Multi-Family Building Located at 1554, 1564 and 1576 Oakwood Ave.
Planner Cross made a presentation for the above item including Oakwood Ave. planned development, building rendering, previous consideration, key changes in revised plans, project summary, revised site plan, front elevation, building height, parking garage, building stepback, summary of zoning relief, public benefit, design review, planned development standards and recommendation.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if the height is an average along the grade.
Planner Cross stated the height is measured from the four corners of the buildable area and the height of the building is shown at various points above grade and there is a 35’ height limit in the zoning district.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if there would be four heights for the building.
Planner Cross stated there is an average grade from the property and each corner is measured from that single grade.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the stepback relief in the zoning district covered any thing over 35’.
Planner Cross stated it is for every additional story over 15’ over the first story.
Commissioner Kutscheid mentioned the transition zoning from a lesser zone to a denser zone and asked the height limitation for the lesser zone.
Planner Cross stated the adjacent single-family residential districts have a maximum height of 30’ for principal structures
Commissioner Waxman asked about the January 10th meeting with the neighbors and the results.
Commissioner Leaf asked if the City Forester had any comments on the tree in front.
Planner Cross stated his comments were related the proposed species and landscape plan and other tree removal issues. He had no comments on the big tree in front.
Mr. Elliot Wiczer, 500 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, IL, Attorney, made a presentation including the oak tree in front, building is farther back than before, density approval for previous building was denied, comparison to previous project, not seeking density relief, no front yard relief, all parking is underground, front elevations comparison, eaves are 36’ in front, fourth floor is stepped back 25’, does not impact neighbors to north or south, could almost build as of right, met with neighbors and incorporated every change they could, eliminated stoop, eliminated decks in front, eliminated 99% of the north side yard setback, landscape plan, moved entire building 4’ back, front elevation, increased slope of driveway, lowered height of building, ceiling heights are between 9’- 9.5’, current market demands 10’, guest parking under patio in rear, not out of character with the building to the north, the issue is height, the impact of the height is minimal, allows open space with a lot a green.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked the height of the turrets.
Mr. Wiczer stated about 47’. They are a design feature which breaks up the straight line of the building.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked the distance between the two buildings.
Mr. Wiczer stated the side yard is 16’.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked the quantity of relief needed.
Mr. Wiczer stated it is 2’ at the most. It is a stepback relief based on the height of the building. They do not need relief to the south.
Commissioner Leaf asked what happens over the guest parking.
Mr. Wiczer stated the patio is over the parking. It is open and there is no door.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked how many steps there are to the first floor.
Mr. Wiczer stated there are four risers.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if the garage entrance was moved farther west could they go down even farther and lower the building even more.
Mr. Wiczer stated it was pretty deep and almost to the engineering maximum.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if there were additional things they wanted to add to lower the height.
Mr. Wiczer stated they could explore this, but they extended the driveway as far as they could to get it as deep as they could. Even if they reduced the number by 2’ the actual impact in terms of what it looks like is not going to change and would not make that big of a difference.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked what it would look like from Green Bay Rd.
Mr. Wiczer stated they showed it at the last meeting which depicted the visual when you can first see the fourth floor.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated he wanted know about Green Bay Rd. or from the back yard of the neighbors’ homes west of the property.
Mr. Wiczer stated they did not have a rear view since the neighbor most impacted did not have an objection.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if you are driving on Green Bay will you see the building.
Mr. Wiczer stated the rear elevation shows what you will see.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked how far back it is from the building line to the property line on the west.
Mr. Wiczer it is over 80’.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated the biggest issue is the height and he wanted to provide feedback tonight. He asked for a rendering from Green Bay Rd.
Mr. Wiczer stated they could provide this. He stated the rear yard was a positive due to the landscape.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the lot coverage provided by the zoning code is 33%.
Mr. Wiczer confirmed this.
Director Fontane stated in the R6 zoning district to the south the height limitation is 30’. Behind the site to the west it is 35’.
Mr. Wiczer stated the rendering still depicts the building as originally requested in the original application.
Councilman Blumberg asked for in situ scaled renderings looking from north and south so they can see what building looks like in relationship to the neighborhood.
Commissioner Glazer stated he understood about the height and the other aspect is the precedent it would set. He asked how they would address setting a precedent for this kind of height in a neighborhood that does not currently experience it.
Mr. Wiczer stated it is interesting to get perspective on what has happened before in other neighborhoods, but he never found precedent is going to drive a particular plan. They have a nice plan and design and if the relief is warranted (as opposed to a precedent) and if it is then they vote because it is warranted not because of what has happened in the past. The way the design is with the open space and underground parking it is an awesome design. Maybe they could have some renderings proving this and they would feel more comfortable with it. He thought all projects should stand on their own.
Commissioner Glazer asked about preserving trees and how many trees would be lost.
Mr. Richard Grant, Rocco Fiore & Sons, 28270 N. Bradley Rd., Libertyville, IL, Landscape Architect, stated there were four or five trees in the rear that would come down.
Commissioner Glazer asked what kind of trees.
Mr. Grant stated he was not sure but they could provide this information.
Commissioner Glazer asked where they were located.
Mr. Grant stated to the rear of the footprint.
Planner Cross stated the civil engineering drawings in the packet have the tree removal information on them. The original tree inventory done in 2015 was included in the original public hearing packet.
Commissioner Leaf asked if the City Forester had reviewed this.
Planner Cross stated he had.
Mr. Wiczer stated they can bring back the size and type or trees at a future meeting.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated the plan called for multi-stem beech trees but they are listed at 3”.
Mr. Grant stated the plan calls for horn beam.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated the notes stated multi-stem.
Mr. Grant stated 3” would be the proper sizing. Commissioner Glazer mentioned the burning bush and if there was a better tree.
Mr. Grant stated they could have a viburnum or something with the same growth pattern.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated the City Forester commented on boxwood adjacent to walks for salt tolerance.
Mr. Grant stated they have a technique with boxwoods with burlap protection.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated the problem is 30 years from now is the owner still going to install the burlap.
Mr. Grant stated it leads into an evergreen having the same salt damage and they could look at this.
Commissioner Leaf asked if the building HVAC mechanicals were roof mounted.
Mr. Wiczer stated they will be for all units.
Commissioner Waxman asked if they had a meeting with the residents.
Mr. Wiczer stated they had a meeting and another meeting with one neighbor who could not attend. The comments were reflected in the changes made regarding the stoop issue, the patio, the lowered height, parking on the north side yard and the roof on south side.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the building materials - brick, windows, metals, etc.
Mr. Wiczer stated they would provide this.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated there would be a three-four minute time limit on public comments.
The following residents expressed their views:
Mr. Clive Moss, 632 LaSalle Pl., Highland Park, IL
Ms. Christy Weber, 1508 Oakwood, Highland Park, IL
Mr. Kevin Cullather, 1549 Green Bay Rd., Highland Park, IL
Mr. William Farrell, 1449 Oakwood, Highland Park, IL
Mr. Jerry Meister, 1901 York Ln., Highland Park, IL
Concerned about depth, has underground garage in his building, stability of soil between two excavations, impact of compaction on oak tree in front, have received notice of meeting and developer has been responsive, developer has incorporated comments from last meeting, fourth floor is flush against back of building, have to consider bulk of the building from four directions, building is closer to residents to the west, would rather have this building that previous project, arborist should talk about trees being removed and planted, disagrees with 8’ ceilings being unmarketable, are ceiling heights requested necessary, site is zoned RM1 with a 35’ maximum height, 4” less than RO zoning, penthouse has 10’- 3” ceiling, need to know numbers regarding height, too much bulk on site, lack of light onto north property, too much for site, change in water table will affect trees.
Planner Cross stated soil borings go through a civil engineering review.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if there was a way to stepback the top condos from the west.
Mr. Wiczer they can look at this and provide additional information.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated they would like in context views for how the building will look in the neighborhood, and a view from Green Bay Rd. without trees and all exterior samples.
Commissioner Leaf stated the north and south elevations were plain and monotonous. He stated it was massive brick and very imposing. The towers at the north and south are extremely high at the third floor and added to the bulk. He thought the towers should be shortened.
Planner Cross stated they could request an exhibit with the building heights made clear. In terms of zoning relief, this would be important to have.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated the north and south elevations are plain and it does not wrap the building. He had a problem with the height and the mass at ends of the building.
Commissioner Glazer mentioned the developer had been sensitive, the public benefit, the height is a challenge and it has been carefully presented, it’s evident the applicant is trying to mitigate the fourth story’s impact as much as possible. He asked the applicant to look at the height to see what can be done.
Commissioner Glazer recognized the input from emails, clarified the zoning code says what it says, and noted the zoning code establishes a Plan & Design Commission to hear requests of this nature. A zoning requirement is not the end of the consideration if there is good cause shown for a variance. Residents sending emails should attend the next meeting.
Mr. Wiczer stated the neighbors’ comments are part of the process and they will continue to take comments to heart and they will try their best to work with them.
Vice Chair Reinstein mentioned the retaining wall on south side of driveway and wanted see what it will look like. He mentioned they should show the patio walls the way they will be seen on the front elevation and also the height of the patio walls.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if they could continue to a future date.
Planner Cross stated they could continue to the February 20th meeting.
Vice Chair Reinstein entertained a motion to continue to February 20th. Commissioner Kutscheid so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
3. Pre-Application Discussion for the Redevelopment of the Audi Exchange Automobile
Dealership located at 2490 Skokie Valley Rd.
Planner Cross made a presentation for the above item including background, proposed improvements, location map, site plan, building improvements, new structure - display plaza, sign package, lighting plan, approval process and recommendation.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked about the sign code.
Planner Cross stated the sign code (Article 20) requires the implementation of a sign package.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if the code provides guidance for this type of situation.
Planner Cross stated there are standards for a sign code, but no numerical standards.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if it was appropriate for the Commission to receive something that might show the code vs. the existing vs. what is proposed so they can get a sense of what is going on.
Planner Cross stated the existing is not going to help much and they can request a table that identifies all the relief the sign package incorporates from the sign code just to see how far it varies from the code.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated what is there now represents what a previous commission said was acceptable and this would be applicable.
Planner Cross stated this was correct.
Mr. Jeff Lietz, 1245 E. Diehl Rd., Naperville, IL, Architect, made a presentation including aerial image, site plan, landscape plan, signage plan, CPO building, Audi service building and showroom, monument sign, terrace display plaza unique to Highland Park, O’Brien building, D&R building, sign specs and illuminated signs.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the trucks for Porsche enter off Rt. 41 now.
Mr. Lietz illustrated where they enter off Rt. 41.
Director Fontane stated this was one of the improvements from the Porsche redesign.
Commissioner Glazer asked how will the terrace will work in the winter.
Mr. Lietz stated they will use a glycol snow melt system making it a unique buying experience.
Commissioner Leaf asked about the mounted graphics and mentioned video boards. He asked if there was something in the sign code that prevents this.
Mr. Lietz stated they are not.
Planner Cross stated the code prohibits animated, blinking or flashing signs and it they requested this it would have to be an element of relief in the sign package.
Commissioner Leaf stated current overflow inventory is stored on the east side of Rt. 41 and sometimes in parks. He asked if there would be enough space for all the inventory.
Mr. Lietz stated he was not sure.
Mr. Alan Garfield, 180 N. Stetson, Chicago, IL, Attorney, stated they would probably continue to use the northeast corner for inventory storage. This will be one of the most distinctive dealerships in the nation and they are trying to make it a full shopping experience.
Commissioner Glazer asked if they would need the former diner space.
Mr. Garfield stated they will still need the space.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated the plan was impressive and asked about the power lines along Rt. 41 and a connection to the bike path.
Mr. Lietz stated the power lines will be underground. The logistics for the bike path are difficult because of the grade change and it is not being contemplated. They want to use the bike path connection on the west side of Porsche.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated it is a PUD, and asked if the public benefit was part of the PUD.
Planner Cross stated is tied in as a function of zoning relief.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked for a list of relief they are seeking and a exhibit that shows the signage.
Mr. Lietz stated they have been working with Audi’s national sign vendor and they do all the sign exhibits for Audi.
Commissioner Glazer asked where customers would enter the site.
Mr. Lietz stated they would come in the main entrance and go straight to the service area. It will be unchanged.
Commissioner Pearlstein stated it was a terrific look.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if they could show the north and south boundaries when they come back.
Mr. Lietz stated this was added this morning and would provide this.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked to see the new plaza lit at night.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the Porsche lighting and asked for the photometrics.
Mr. Lietz stated they have the same engineer as Porsche and the lighting plan for the entire campus will be as one entire campus plan.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated there are two dealerships and the north dealership is relying on access being given to them under the same ownership on the south so the trucks have easy access. He asked there were ever two different owners they would be interested in knowing the north dealership is going to be able to have access for the semis.
Mr. Garfield stated this needs to be addressed by an easement.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about parking pads and if they have to be curbed.
Planner Cross stated it is not a requirement.
4. Pre-Application Discussion for a Non-Conforming Special Use at 579 Central Ave.
Planner Jackson made a presentation for the above item including pre-application summary, project location, land use intensity, traffic impacts, parking impacts, land use intensity: employees, hours of operation, POSO district and recommendation.
Commissioner Leaf asked if this included the former Trunk Club space.
Planner Jackson stated it did not.
Commissioner Leaf asked about the sign requirements.
Planner Jackson stated this was not part of the discussion.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated with this petition there would be less foot traffic.
Planner Jackson stated it is interesting because it asks for a less or equal intensity and at the same time POSO asks for increased pedestrian traffic.
Commissioner Leaf stated since the space is empty it could increase foot traffic.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if this change would be restricted to this real estate use and be specific to that land use.
Planner Jackson stated it would be specific to real estate.
Director Fontane stated that would be the only use, but they could do any of the uses allowed in the POSO.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if there was a timing issue with the two years.
Planner Jackson stated the code says that once a use leaves or vacates a space there are two years until that space is fully abandoned. The applicant is still within that two year period to establish a non-conforming use.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if a lease had to be signed.
Planner Jackson they had until April 2019.
Director Fontane stated a good faith effort to pursue an approval like this would be indicative.
Commissioner Glazer stated the zoning code allocated 2.5 spaces to a bank and 4 spaces to a real estate office and it seems to presume that real estate is more intense and asked if this was outdated.
Planner Jackson stated parking is a fine art and not a science.
Commissioner Leaf stated the trip generation was more for a bank.
Planner Jackson stated this presumes more people are coming in and out of banks, whereas they may stay longer in a real estate office.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated it is possible that for a real estate office it is assuming that for 4,000 s.f. they are going to have more than four employees.
Mr. Wyllys Mann, 4314 N. Leavitt, Chicago, IL, Baird & Warner, made a presentation including three full time staff and three part time, Baird & Warner is a full service office, in Highland Park since 1978, goals for Baird & Warner office and community benefit.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if they had a plan available.
Mr. Mann stated it was not available yet as they have not entered into that stage of the planning process.
Commissioner Glazer thought they were working at cross purposes in that they wanted to convince them they would fit in with the POSO concept, but if they are too successful they are going to create a use more intense than the bank and are not going to satisfy the code requirement. He wanted to believe they would convince them that they are going to generate foot traffic and will find a way to reconcile that conflict. He asked for studies that showed a real estate office will generate foot traffic. He was not sure having a real estate office in the POSO would help out the surrounding retail space.
Mr. Mann stated they do have some similarly located downtown offices and have done some foot traffic studies that he would bring to the next meeting.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked how may many real estate people would be associated with the Highland Park office.
Ms. Lynn Kosner, 744 Lorraine Circle, Highland Park, IL, Baird & Warner, stated there are 45-50 agents and there is a lot of activity. There is a lot of input on line but it is a relational business. They would also generate a lot of shopping.
Commissioner Leaf asked what functions would be duplicated in the new space and what functions would be different.
Ms. Kosner stated this space would work in a better manner and it would be more inviting for the public. It would generate more activity through the use of technology which they do not have on their present space.
Commissioner Leaf asked if this was a mini second office.
Mr. Mann stated they would be relocating the existing office to this space.
Commissioner Leaf stated he was confused about the 50-60 agents and the 4 employees.
Ms. Kosner stated the employees were employees of Baird & Warner and they support the agents who are independent contractors.
Commissioner Leaf asked the square footage of the current office vs. the proposed.
Mr. Mann stated is it approximately 6,000 s.f. in their present office.
Commissioner Leaf stated they were downsizing space but they will have the same functionality.
Ms. Kosner stated because the agents do not work in the office from 9-5 and come in and out they do not need all of the space they have now.
Commissioner Leaf stated whenever he is near a real estate office in Highland Park is it impossible to park. He thought this would be a real concern.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked where they were going to park all these people.
Ms. Kosner stated the city lots are close by and did not see an issue with parking there.
Mr. Mann stated they are currently in a space with less spaces than the 14 they are allocated. In their office parking is not an issue.
Ms. Beth Loeb, 2130 Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL, Baird & Warner, stated they have ties to the community and they want to be a part of it.
Commissioner Glazer asked about the efforts made by potential tenants to occupy the spaces after PNC left.
Ms. Loeb stated they were few.
Commissioner Glazer stated other retail operations had opportunities but asked if the POSO would be best served by Baird & Warner as opposed to staying vacant.
Ms. Loeb stated yes.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked with the zoning rule that requires the lesser, why it that the rule.
Planner Cross stated it was a protection to neighboring properties.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated more intensity is a benefit in the POSO.
Planner Cross stated this is what make this situation unique.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated he would be looking at Central and First and the shopping center.
Planner Cross stated there are standards that can be applied, it is not just intensity of use and parking is a great proxy. There are two or three special use standards that are applicable here.
V. Other Business
1. Administrative Design Reviews - None
2. Next Regular Meeting - February 6, 2018
3. Case Briefing
Director Fontane stated the Commission considered lighting code amendments at multiple meetings and this went to the Committee of the Whole with modifications and was adopted by Council. This reduced the scope of the code and amendment and focused on the commercial, industrial and multi-family residential.
Commissioner Leaf asked about the Salon Lofts advertising on the windows.
Planner Cross stated he did not have an update and would bring this to the next meeting.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the Ort Resale on Central and the chain link gate across the parking lot that does not allow people to enter.
Planner Cross stated he would follow up.
VI. Business From The Public
VII. Staff Report
Vice Chair Reinstein entertained a motion to adjourn. So motioned by Commissioner Pearlstein, seconded by Commissioner Waxman. On a voice vote, the motion passed unanimously.
The Plan and Design Commission adjourned at 11:10 pm.