City of Highland Park Zoning Board of Appeals met September 20.
Highland Park Zoning Board of Appeals met Sept. 20.
Here is the minutes provided by the board:
I. CALL TO ORDER
At 7:30 PM Chair Henry called the meeting to order and asked Planner Burhop to call the roll.
Members Present: Bay, Chaplik, Cullather, Fettner, Henry, Putzel
Members Absent: Bina
Planner Burhop took the roll and declared a quorum present.
Staff Present: Burhop
Student Rep.: None
Council Liaison: Stone
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chair Henry entertained a motion to approve the minutes of the September 6, 2018 meeting. Member Cullather so motioned, seconded by Member Bay. Member Fettner abstained, stating he was not present. Vice Chair Chaplik certified he had watched the video of the last meeting. On a voice vote the Chair declared the motion carried unanimously, with Member Fettner abstaining.
III. PUBLICATION DATE FOR NEW BUSINESS: 9-05-18
IV. Staff Report:
Building Div. Manager Jorge Torres: Discussion of City Regulations and Process for Grading and Drainage
Mr. Jorge Torres, Manager of the Building Division for City of Highland Park, made a presentation to the Board about City grading and drainage regulations. Mr. Torres discussed the triggers for grading and drainage permits and the process and regulations for review and approval. Mr. Torres commented on the importance of field inspectors in the process.
Vice Chair Chaplik asked if a home is being rehabbed and there may be no additional square footage, but landscapers will be regrading – do they have to go through the process.
Mr. Torres stated regrading and changing the contour of the land requires a permit. They do not require a permit for planting a tree or bushes or sodding.
Member Cullather asked when someone comes in and needs a variance, what is the timing.
Mr. Torres stated nothing happens until zoning is approved.
Member Cullather asked about a tree being removed and not every project requires a zoning variance.
Chair Henry stated he did not think there was anything inappropriate of conditioning approval of applications with the condition that applicants have to comply with the code.
Councilwoman Stone stated there may be some projects where drainage and grading is not required.
Chair Henry asked if there is not a requirement but neighbors express concern, what would be the process.
Councilwoman Stone stated the Roslyn case is a case where drainage and grading might not have been required.
Mr. Torres stated reducing the impervious area does not get away from infill construction, you are still moving dirt around and if you move over 50 s.f. you are required to have a drainage and grading application. The benchmark for the Board is if it is over 50 s.f. they will require drainage and grading.
Chair Henry stated they may not know that.
Member Bay asked if there is an existing situation that is not very positive as far as what is there now and someone wants to do an improvement where the Building Div. can require them to exceed the net neutral standard and make it net positive.
Mr. Torres stated part of the reason they send a field inspector prior to approval is because of the history of complication in that area and this is the only opportunity to improve that area. They will require more tiles, connections, grading, etc., because this is the only opportunity they have to improve the situation. It is important that the field inspector has a history.
Member Bay asked if they are encouraging someone to exceed the code requirement.
Mr. Torres replied yes, they always try to improve it.
Chair Henry asked what if a situation does not require a building permit, but neighbors will say they have always had this drainage problem and this will make it worse with no actual facts? They do not have the Building Div. or Building Engr. coming out. If they condition the variation on the applicant coming to the Building Div. and seeking an opinion is the department willing and able to do this?
Mr. Torres stated this is more of a question for upper management to see if they have the authority. For every complaint they receive they open a case and investigate.
Planner Burhop stated when the Board considers an application and needs more information to make a decision they can continue for two weeks and staff are willing to investigate and follow up on what might be possible or what might work.
Mr. Torres stated Planner Burhop was very good in providing information prior to coming before the Board. He also provides the outcome of the application.
Chair Henry asked if the substance of the memo was on the Building Div. website. Mr. Torres stated he did not know.
Chair Henry stated it should be so citizens can be better informed. It may be something they want to consider.
Mr. Torres stated the memo was composed from the City Code. They send notices to the neighbors and explain it to them.
Councilwoman Stone stated the memo is a useful summary and having it on the website would be helpful to residents.
Planner Burhop stated for the record he handed out a memo to the Board that was not included in the packet, and him and Mr. Torres drafted the memo. The memo contains guidelines for grading and drainage related permits and procedures. Mr. Burhop stated a copy of the memo will be maintained at the Planning Division and is available for review by the public.
Councilwoman Stone stated applicant may be required to connect to the storm sewer if it is over 250 s.f. She asked if you could use a green infrastructure which is part of the code.
Mr. Torres stated they may require it and it is on a case by case basis. The applicant will respond back asking if they can use this in lieu of a storm sewer connection.
Councilwoman Stone asked about green infrastructure.
Mr. Torres stated they would be done by the landscaper. They have to be careful the grading is set in place.
V. BUSINESS FROM THE PUBLIC: None
VI. OLD BUSINESS:
Property: 2660 Roslyn Ln., Highland Park, IL 60035 Zoning District: R6
Appellant: Brian A. Bortman & Lucy K. Bortman Address: 2660 Roslyn Ln., Highland Park, IL 60035
Planner Burhop made a presentation including location map, revised approval order with condition, Alternatives 1 and 2, and stated neither is an extra requirement beyond code – more of an emphasis on grading and drainage review.
Chair Henry asked if there is a preferred one.
Member Fettner asked why being added this is being added as a condition.
Member Cullather stated the neighbor was concerned about drainage.
Chair Henry stated the Board was unsure how the process works. The Board’s desire was to make it conditional upon that. Mr. Bernstein was amenable to this.
Councilwoman Stone asked about “shall review and approve” and what if they do not want to approve.
Chair Henry stated the City Engr. stated they could add “if appropriate.”
Member Fettner stated it is going to be reviewed and approved anyway. The Building Dept. is very strict and he could not imagine anybody going in for anything that would not be required.
Chair Henry stated it may be redundant which is why Alternative 1 would be the preferred language.
Councilwoman Stone stated they could get rid of “and approved.”
Member Bay stated it was written as a condition of approval.
Chair Henry stated if it is not approved then the condition fails.
Councilwoman Stone stated it may not require a drainage and grading plan because they are enclosing an existing porch and the front is enclosed.
Planner Burhop stated that one of the additions is within an existing footprint and the other addition was partially within an existing patio and partially new structure beyond any existing footprint.
Member Putzel stated this was because the neighbor had an issue and was concerned about the drainage.
Councilwoman Stone stated she did not think there was going to be any earth moving. Member Cullather stated they are creating a two-story addition in the back on the patio.
Councilwoman Stone stated they should have this condition because where they are putting these pieces is within the existing footprint so they may not be doing any grading and drainage on the lot.
Chair Henry asked if it does not trigger code requirements for drainage and grading what is their authority to do that.
Member Cullather stated they decided they could go this far in ensuring drainage and grading is fulfilled by the City. They are not a position to say whether or not the drains should be connected vs. what was planned.
Member Fettner stated they can require people to do root pruning and additional tree requirements that may not be per City requirements, but they are having them to do it as a variance. All they are saying is in order to get the variance they need to submit a drainage and grading plan.
Member Cullather stated they were not going to go to the extent of saying you need to tie into the gutters.
Member Putzel stated it needs to be submitted to the Planning Dept. and they say if they need to do this or it is not required.
Member Bay asked if they have the authority to condition a variance insisting that someone exceed what may be required by the building code.
Planner Burhop stated yes.
Member Bay stated then this is not an issue.
Chair Henry stated that was what the Board did and it directed staff to draft findings of fact in an approval order. The motion that was made was that an approved order be conditional upon a water abatement plan be part of the order. Mr. Bernstein was amenable to this.
Chair Henry stated the minutes stated Planner Burhop would work with Mr. Bernstein in coming up with an approval order that met their needs.
Planner Burhop stated he sent a link to the packet to Mr. Bernstein and has not received any feedback.
Chair Henry stated it is on the record they would work with the applicant’s counsel in coming up with an approval order that met the needs of the Board as well as the applicant. He thought it would be appropriate to continue the consideration of the order and contact Mr. Bernstein before the next meeting to find out where they stand.
Planner Burhop stated he would ask the Building Div. if a grading and drainage plan should be submitted pursuant to the plans.
Chair Henry stated they do have the authority to condition on what is deemed appropriate.
Chair Henry entertained a motion to continue the next meeting. Member Bay so motioned to continue to the next meeting in order to follow up on what was discussed at the last meeting and to confer with the applicant’s counsel, seconded by Member Fettner. On a voice vote, the Chair declared the motion carried unanimously.
Planner Burhop stated the next meeting would be October 4, 2018.
Property: 1501 Ridge Rd., Highland Park, IL 60035 Zoning District: R5A
Appellant: Andrew Venamore
Address: 602 Academy Dr., Northbrook, IL 60062
Planner Burhop made a presentation including location map, update, submitted revised plans which are the same except for changes to the carport/porte-cochere, which now does not require relief.
Chair Henry asked if the Board had a chance to review the proposed approval order where it refers to the proposed plan dated September 17, 2018, revised plan for the porte- cochere.
Chair Henry entertained a motion to approving the variance approval order as submitted. Member Cullather so motioned, seconded by Vice Chair Chaplik.
Planner Burhop called the roll:
Ayes: Bay, Putzel, Cullather, Fettner, Chaplik, Henry Nays: None
The Chair declared the Motion passed 6-0.
VII. NEW BUSINESS: None
1. Discussion of Curfew and Application Limit for Board Meetings
Planner Burhop stated that after the last discussion it was apparent that the Board wanted an opinion directly from Corporation Counsel on the original guidelines that were drafted by Member Bay and presented to the Board several weeks ago. He stated he had transmitted them to Mr. Passman and he will provide a formal opinion to the Board with a target date being the next meeting.
Chair Henry asked that the entire Board be copied particularly Member Bay.
Planner Burhop stated he would do that and the next meeting was October 4, 2018.
2. Discussion on Continuance Guidelines
Chair Henry entertained a motioned to adjourn. Vice Chair Chaplik so motioned, seconded by Member Fettner. On a voice vote, the motion passed unanimously.
The Zoning Board of Appeals adjourned at 8:20 PM.