City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission met November 20
City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission met Nov. 20.
Here is the minutes provided by the commission:
I. CALL TO ORDER
At 7:30 PM Chair Hecht called the meeting to order and asked Planner Cross to call the roll.
II. ROLL CALL
Members Present: Glazer, Hecht, Kutscheid, Leaf, Pearlstein, Reinstein, Waxman
Members Absent: None
Planner Cross took the roll and declared a quorum present.
Staff Present: Cross, Jackson
Student Rep.: None
Council Liaison: Passman, Stolberg
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
November 6, 2018
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to approve the minutes of the November 6, 2018 meeting. Vice Chair Reinstein so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Kutscheid. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
IV. SCHEDULED BUSINESS
A. Continuation of Public Hearing #18-08-PUD-005 for a Preliminary Special Use/Planned Development Located at 1850 Green Bay Rd., the Karger Center Property.
Planner Cross made a presentation for the above item including previous consideration, zoning background on subject property and recommendation.
The following residents expressed their concerns:
Ms. Susan Blumberg, 1790 Elmwood Dr., Highland Park, IL
Mr. Jerry Nordstrom, 12249 W. 29th, Beach Park, IL, Lake County Health Dept.
Mr. Sam Shepard, 734 Elm, Highland Park, IL
Mr. Bivan Kischer, 727 Elm, Highland Park, IL
Mr. Lawrence Dunlap, 221 Blackhawk, Highland Park, IL
Mr. Peter Mordini, 1853 Sheanhen Ct., Highland Park, IL
Ms. Jodi Mordini, 1853 Sheanhen Ct., Highland Park, IL
Ms. Louise Conway, 1863 Sheanhen Ct., Highland Park, IL
No affordable units, does not like fee in lieu, fire lane access, Green Bay Rd. access, no guest parking, path from Green Bay Rd. into park, plan meets parking needs, Lake County will have use of spaces during business hours, future use done with safety in mind with Sunset, agreement for parking with E permits, want to be part of future design conversations for the site, single access on Karger Dr. would be undesirable, not enough parking, parking is a major problem in downtown, where will runoff and drainage from swamp area in park go, City has responsibility to be stewards of the land for benefit of the citizens, City is approver of PUD and seller of the land, where will people park if this land is developed, does not think relief should be granted by using Renaissance, Mr. Bernstein’s position on Park Board is in conflict with development, will have negative impact on neighborhood to the north, noise, vehicular exhaust, light pollution, project is intrusive, tree buffer north of Albion, louver intakes should be moved to the south, noise at entrance to garage, 33’ setback, six stories in back due to incline, people driving over crosswalk for Health Dept., brick on north side, 50’-60’ trees, berms, flush operable windows, wants building to merge with the neighborhood, opposed to bulk and mass of building, residents are in a difficult position, need to weigh impact of development, building is overly massive, will block sunlight, pedestrian safety, needs comprehensive area plan, large structure will abut single family neighborhood.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked Mr. Nordstrom about the business hours of the Lake County Health Center.
Mr. Nordstorm stated generally it is 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Thursday and rotating hours on Saturday. Friday it is 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Mr. Passman stated in the City’s purchase and sale agreement with the applicant the City requires that before the closing the applicant enter into an agreement with County to provide at least 46 parking spaces on the property for the use of the Health Center. The City has made provisions to ensure there will be parking at the property for the Health Center. The terms of the sale of the property have been reached by City Council and the terms are not within the purview of the Plan Commission. Their mission is to review the development against the standards of the zoning code.
Commissioner Glazer stated the Plan Commission has limited jurisdiction and they do not decide the number of stories for this building. City Council makes these decisions and the Commission is subservient to City Council. They are being asked to consider limited items. They not asking for height relief.
Mr. Mordini stated they are asking relief on parking and setbacks.
Chair Hecht stated they not asking for relief for height and what they are allowed to do they are allowed by right.
Mr. Mordini stated the neighbors want relief from height. They work and live here and are the people who built it. They never received a letter regarding the development.
Councilman Stolberg asked Planner Cross to explain the B4-5 zoning district and what the maximum height is by right and the height and stories through a PUD.
Planner Cross stated urban design changes were approved as part of the 2015 code changes. Part of the changes was to allow the code to incentivize a PUD. The zoning code amendments allow a base building of four stories in the B4-5 without any public engagement process. The code allows five stories with maximum height of 63’ if the project is a planned development. It allows consideration of variations through the planned development process. If a project is done by right and needs any variations to the zoning code there is a process through the ZBA to do that. That tool is not intended for landscaping variations and lighting variations. A PUD can look at a project globally and see all the variations in the context of a full scale development. A homeowner will go to the ZBA because they need a garage or an extra 6” to 8” of height relief. When you look at a range of variations a PUD is ideal. The code allows by right height of 63’ if a planned development is there. There is element of by right as a planned development.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked about the height for the four-story by right. Planner Cross stated 50’ to 52’.
Mr. Cal Bernstein, 1473 Sherwood, Highland Park, IL, Attorney, made a presentation including, they are following Plan Commission recommendation on affordable housing, Green Bay Rd. access, setbacks, not asking for height relief, setback to north B4-5 allows 10’ setback, proposing to triple size of side yard setback, property is zoned B4-5, have tried to respond to everyone’s concerns, Equinox and Sunset supports, Lake County Health Dept. parking will meet their needs, met with neighbors, moved loading dock to south, garage on north side, no public activity on the north side, no balconies on north side, dense landscaping, 6’ fence on north side, pedestrian connectivity, making Sheanhen Ct. a permanent dead end, 47 on-site surface spaces for downtown events, tried to create a project bridge to downtown.
Mr. Andrew Yule, 188 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL, Applicant, made a presentation including revised site plan, parking count, 194 below grade parking spaces, 47 surface spaces, can cover enough parking on site, utilize Lake County parking during off hours, 240 spaces on site total, access on drive lane, dual connectivity to Central and Green Bay, rotated garage access to north, exhaust is located on southern side, straightened out pedestrian walkway, public art, new loading dock for Sunset, asking for relief for rear yard setback, north and south elevations.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated one of the plans had guardrails around the bike path and retaining walls and asked if this was still the case.
Mr. Yule stated where the elevation of the site drops the grade difference drops. They will review what the slope is and if it necessary to have a handrail for pedestrian access they will have one.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if they had removed the retaining wall.
Mr. Yule stated they realized this is an area of activity that needs to have proper turning radii.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if they had removed the retaining wall. Mr. Yule stated they had.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the proposed utilities such as the water line and the storm drain seem to go pretty deep and if they would be impacting any trees in Sunset Park.
Mr. Yule stated this will be part of the final engineering plan. The utilities are circulating somewhere in the middle of the site. They will have proper tie-ins.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated there is a 16” water line that goes across the site they will be moving and connecting it far back into the park.
Mr. Yule stated it comes down and over on their property line and they will be able to make the connection on their property line.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the storm water and how it will be handled.
Mr. Yule stated there are regulations and a stormwater prevention impact group in the County and they have to file with them. There are also City detention requirements they have to follow. The building shows green roofs and the purpose of this is to hold the water and slow the flow.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if they were holding all the water from the site.
Mr. Yule stated from the building footprint.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the stormwater from the remainder of the site.
Mr. Yule stated it would be gathered and there will be calculations as to what is allowed by code and they have to fit within the code.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the aesthetic impact of the water holding.
Mr. Yule stated it is within the building and not visible to the public.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if all the water from the site is going into the building.
Mr. Yule stated the water in the building’s footprint will follow proper storm calculations. The areas that are improved will hold the water to slowly release it.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about materials. The renderings show pavers or bricks. Will all pavement be pavers or bricks?
Mr. Yule stated most likely not and there is a lot of truck traffic. They are going to highlight the key areas with pavers. The majority of the site will not be pavers.
Commissioner Kutscheid mentioned the north elevation and thought it does not say residential. He thought there was a way to architecturally make it more inviting and less institutional.
Commissioner Waxman asked how the building will look from all elevations. It should not look like an institution. She did not think it looked like Highland Park.
Mr. Bernstein stated at the last meeting they went through the elevations and there were significant changes done to the east and west. The north and south elevations needed work.
Commissioner Pearlstein stated this is an institution with sticks on the bottom. She was disappointed in what she was seeing.
Mr. Paul Alessandro, Hartshorne, Plunkard, 232 N. Carpenter St., Chicago, IL, Architect, stated they changed the brick, added cornices, they re-imagined the original design behind the supports, the building backs to Sunset Woods and it is a gateway, tree trunks, rear elevation, masonry consistent with water tower, less rigid pattern.
Commissioner Pearlstein stated she does not care for the building.
Commissioner Waxman stated it looks like kids’ building blocks and does not represent Highland Park and does not fit in.
Mr. Alessandro mentioned he did not know if it would look like a vintage building, rear elevation, combination of masonry materials, south has recesses, and planting on walls.
Commissioner Pearlstein stated they are bringing a city into a city and that has to be looked at because it will change Highland Park. She stated she learned it is the feeling you create. Materials are important, but what makes them important is the feeling.
Mr. Alessandro stated he had an idea what Commissioner Pearlstein is talking about.
Commissioner Leaf asked about parking in the main building and if there was going to be further depth with more spaces.
Mr. Alessandro stated they are parking the whole footprint at one level and added an additional level down center.
Commissioner Leaf asked if they were standard size. Mr. Alessandro stated they were.
Commissioner Leaf asked about the site plan and if the water tower property is encroached with the parking spaces.
Mr. Alessandro stated they extend a little beyond the property line.
Commissioner Leaf asked what arrangements have been made with the owner of the property to allow for that.
Mr. Yule stated they have requested the City to allow them to utilize the property for parking.
Mr. Bernstein stated these are new concepts and they began discussion with the City. Currently it is cement all the way to the water tower. They will have discussions with staff and eventually it will make it to City Council.
Commissioner Leaf asked if the surface parking is 47 spaces which includes the water tower.
Mr. Bernstein stated confirmed this.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if equipment was there.
Mr. Yule stated there is a cell tower on the roof.
Commissioner Leaf asked if the bottom rectangle was an emergency generator.
Planner Cross stated it is an enclosure for the wireless telecom facility on top of the tower.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated he assumed they will come back with an updated site plan because there are a lot of things that need updating.
Planner Cross stated a project of this scale differs from what they have seen before. They have seen site plans at a 99% completion level at the preliminary phase. This is a more bifurcated preliminary and final process for this project than they have seen in the past. They will see the fully refined plan at the public hearing.
Commissioner Kutscheid mentioned the north property line and the landscape. The mature height of the trees is 40-50’ but the install height is 20-25’. Some of the trees will not have leaves in the winter. He wanted to see a graphic representation for the install height for summer and winter and at full height for summer and winter.
Mr. Yule stated he was open to those species of trees that would be more year round than seasonal.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the fence is solid wood and thought is was boring. He asked if there was a way to make it more interesting.
Mr. Yule stated yes.
Commissioner Glazer stated attention has been paid to parking and drainage issues but other issues that have come up which involve fire lane access and asked if there is encroachment on Sunset Park.
Mr. Yule stated they will have to do final review with the Fire Dept. The intent is to have access lanes from Central and Green Bay and make the maneuver all the way down and would be able to cut across 8’ lane and extend their ladder as needed. They will have a full walk through and make sure they are in agreement.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if it required the park to provide a fire access.
Mr. Yule it is unclear at moment but they intend to keep them on their property line. The Fire Dept. does have the ability to use the park through the drive to get to the building. It is a fully sprinkled building.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated he was not interested in using the park property to service the building. There is a lot of parking on site now that is full. He asked where the people who are using the lot will go.
Planner Cross stated the use is related to Karger and it will no longer be there. Lake County Health Center does not have dedicated parking on the property and now it will.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the parking in the building will be for residents for an extra fee or will it come with the unit.
Mr. Yule stated there will be an additional fee.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if you choose not to pay the fee you have to park somewhere else.
Mr. Yule stated if they had a permit they could utilize that.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if Sheanhen Ct. was restricted parking.
Planner Cross stated there is controlled permit only parking on the west side and the east side parking is prohibited. Spillover parking will not impact Sheanhen Ct. because of the existing restrictions.
Chair Hecht stated the Lake County Health Dept. is open until 8:00 PM several days a week. The 47 spaces could be in use and how does that impact the sufficiency of the parking for the residents.
Mr. Yule stated he anticipated the residents will park in the building. The pricing will be set at what the market dictates.
Commissioner Leaf asked where guests will park.
Mr. Yule stated guests will park in the building. The 194 spaces include parking for guests.
Commissioner Leaf asked if garage access is for residents only. Mr. Yule stated it will be for residents and guests.
Commissioner Leaf asked if there are dedicated spaces for guests. Mr. Yule replied yes.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked the number of guest spaces.
Mr. Yule stated 15 are required.
Chair Hecht asked if there was a fee to use the guest spaces. Mr. Yule replied there was not.
Commissioner Leaf asked if the guest space requirement was reduced by the transit or the car sharing.
Planner Cross stated it was still 15.
Commissioner Leaf asked about the history of car sharing space reduction of 10%.
Planner Cross stated he did not have that information, but could bring it to the next meeting.
Commissioner Glazer stated the public benefit is an important element and the packet includes references to a number of public benefits. He asked about the public benefits external to the property.
Mr. Yule stated pedestrian signal timers will be located on Green Bay. There will be a $20,000 grant for the restoration and maintenance of the water tower. Art work will be along the site. They will maintain the grounds for Lake County and allow them to use their trash facility. Granting the easements with Sunset is a public benefit allowing them to access and use the site. They are asking for setbacks and affordable variance in case the code is not passed by City Council. They are also adding walking paths from Green Bay.
Commissioner Glazer asked who will have access to the paths.
Mr. Yule stated all the public will have access.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked about the height of the building in front and back. Mr. Yule it is in the packet and is a blended rate of 62’-63’.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked about the creek and whose property is it on.
Mr. Yule stated the Park Dist.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if there would be handicapped parking spaces. Mr. Yule stated there would be three. There are also three in the building.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked about the north elevation rendering from Sheanhen Ct. He would also like to see one from Sunset Park in the winter. He asked about the relief requested.
Planner Cross stated the zoning relief is summarized in the staff report on page 43; there is a request for inclusionary housing, a request for relief from downtown form and design requirements and a build to zone requirement. The new urban design guidelines also restrict the open air surface parking, building setbacks, top floor to be stepped back, off street parking relief may no longer be required.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked what the zoning required the parking distance to be. Planner Cross stated it requires to be farther back and it may be 40’.
Commissioner Leaf asked about the final survey to determine how much relief was needed as far as the lot width.
Planner Cross stated the lot width is such that it had to do with the combined side yard setback.
Commissioner Leaf stated the site plan had changed with the new driveway alignment with the Renaissance signal and asked how that affected the traffic study.
Mr. Luay Aboona, KLOA, 9575 W. Higgins, Rosemont, IL, Traffic Consultant, stated it is an enhancement. The previous study looked at a single point of access. With the relocation it provides a signalized access/egress point and is more efficient as well as the connection to Central.
Commissioner Leaf asked if they had considered what increased pedestrian crossings will do to the level of service.
Mr. Aboona stated as part of the data collection they accounted for the existing pedestrians and then for any increase as a result of this development. One of the recommendations was to install the pedestrian timers to provide a safer environment. They took into account pedestrian movements.
Commissioner Leaf stated with the increased pedestrian crossings it will reduce the time allowed for vehicles.
Mr. Aboona stated that was accounted for.
Commissioner Leaf mentioned the difference between their study and Civiltech’s as far as the ability to recover from large traffic blockages. Civiltech was refuting one of their assertions in their report.
Mr. Aboona asked if that was the signal at Green Bay and Central.
Commissioner Leaf thought it was at Elm Place.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if they had looked at doing a four-story building.
Mr. Yule stated they did not. What they presented to Council is what they have today. Chair Hecht asked about the access to Central and where will it be.
Mr. Yule stated it will be on the west side of the Sunset parcel.
Mr. Bernstein stated it is where the Central Sunset curb cut is.
Chair Hecht asked if it would be a separate road.
Mr. Bernstein stated no and Sunset has plans for their property which will be incorporated when they modify their existing store. The idea is to provide for their truck traffic for their expanded loading docks to be able to empty both on Green Bay and Central. This will be incorporated into Sunset’s plans as they modify their store.
Planner Cross stated page 36 of the packet there is a detailed breakdown of the downtown form and design guidelines and parking setback for lots it is 30’. The open air lots proposed are closer to the frontage on Green Bay.
Councilman Stolberg stated he has stood at the south corner of Sheanhen Ct. and the neighbors brought up some concerns he thought should be addressed. He thought they should take a look at other taller buildings. He mentioned Mr. Mordini’s comment on the 5’ on the north border. He liked the glass and looking through to the park. When they talk about the north elevation he had heard about a berm and thought it was feasible. A 6’ berm makes a 20’ tree 26’. He liked the blue spruce that grows quickly and it is dense in the winter. He asked if it was feasible to take 5’ in the glass middle and lawn and move the building. The glass entryway would be 5’ shorter and you would have the 5’ extra on the north side. He asked if they could look at the parking lots and if the stalls could be permeable pavers which also might help with drainage.
Commissioner Leaf stated he would like to look at the Civiltech report on page 315 and they could report back.
Mr. Yule stated they were not provided with a copy but Planner Cross could get back to them.
Chair Hecht stated the next step is deliberation.
Mr. Yule stated he need to consult with his team.
Chair Hecht stated they would take a five minute break.
Mr. Yule stated there were some things they can do and they can look at enhancing the building aesthetically. They will look at some of the options and there are some real possibilities. He asked for a continuation to the next meeting to propose some of the changes. They are looking at some of the modifications they had heard tonight.
Mr. Bernstein stated they have listened to Councilman’s Stolberg comments regarding setback and they will see if they can shrink the building in for the 33’. They have narrowed the issues - design of the building, berm, north setback and parking.
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to continue to December 4th. Commissioner Glazer so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Waxman. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Planner Cross stated no additional notice would be given.
B. Continuation of Public Hearing #18-08-PUD-007 for a Request for a Major Amendment for a Planned Development to Change the Boundaries and Principal Land Use at 2789 Oak St.
Vice Chair Reinstein recused himself from this item.
Planner Jackson made a presentation including existing conditions, previous consideration, site plan for redevelopment - previous and revised, traffic impacts and circulation, landscaping and screening plan, requested relief, conditions of approval and standards and recommendation.
Commissioner Glazer asked about the traffic safety committee.
Planner Jackson there was a condition in the PUD that a traffic safety commission be created which included members of the temple and public.
Commissioner Glazer asked if the commission met regularly. Planner Jackson stated she did not know.
Planner Cross stated the residents who are present could lend more insight in to this. It operated outside of the municipal regulatory body.
Commissioner Glazer stated it seemed unusual for the Commission to get involved in requiring a non-municipal committee be formed.
Mr. Ted Novak, DLA Piper, 444 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL, Attorney, stated members of the team were present to answer questions.
Mr. Nick Patera, Teska Associates, 627 Grove, Evanston, IL, Landscape Architect, stated they made four changes - emergency vehicle access, bus access. The result did not affect the interior or exterior landscape, they meet code with the traffic change, the landscape plantings changed from 30” to 36” and are now evergreen plantings along the frontage on Oak St. so the headlights will be obscured. There is no parking from dusk to dawn. They can accommodate after hours parking if there are meetings. The garbage is picked up once a week and is located at the north end of lot and is enclosed with 6’ wood fence.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if they could paint the back of the signs black. Mr. Patera stated the landscape would be heavy enough.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the landscape height.
Mr. Patera stated the plantings were 30” and they have boosted them to 36” to screen headlights. In order to accommodate the mounding the width of the landscape bed is now 9’ wide.
Commissioner Leaf asked what happens in the southwest corner and in the south regarding the berms.
Mr. Patera stated it is evergreen plantings, deciduous trees and shade trees in the mounding. There are full size evergreen trees on the southwest corner and on the southern most property line there are mixed species mature plants which will remain. The replacement trees are evergreen and some shade to reinforce the hedge row. The existing hedge row has a 6’ fence.
Commissioner Leaf stated between Lots 1 and 2 it is bermed on the southwest corner but then the berm stops.
Mr. Patera sated it comes back to natural grade after the corner. The evergreens are planted on a mound. He wanted to have a sight triangle so he could see pedestrians coming and going.
Commissioner Leaf asked if there would be a transition at the southwest corner going east.
Mr. Patera stated it flattens out. Commissioner Leaf stated it starts at 2’ high.
Mr. Patera stated it makes a corner and comes back down and begins again and runs the distance.
Commissioner Leaf asked how far the return is going east. Mr. Patera stated two parking spaces.
Commissioner Pearlstein stated it was a beautiful job.
The following residents expressed their concerns:
Ms. Matilda Manfredini, 76 Walker, Highland Park, IL Mr. Sam Manfredini, 76 Walker, Highland Park, IL Mr. Brent Ross, 2744 Sheridan, Highland Park, IL
Mr. Nino Passini, 2740 Oak, Highland Park, IL
Traffic study was formed because road has a dangerous curve, had guardrail going around Walker and Oak,, worked with IDOT to install path, bikers take over the entire road, have had numerous accidents, people running on path, traffic flow. Concerned about west side landscape, wants tall, thick evergreens, fence with foliage, in favor on non-see through 6’ fence, can soften fence with shrubbery, does not want privacy invaded, wants to eliminate future concerns now, in support of no fence on south, Norway spruces are against house, traffic committee should continue, wants effective plantings that screens the parking lot.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked why the fence needed to be 6’.
Mr. Manfred it was an arbitrary number and it could be 4’ on top of a 4’ berm.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked what he wanted to screen with the fence.
Mr. Manfredini stated wanted to screen out the lights.
Planner Jackson stated no fence is required by code however if there is a fence in front it can no higher than 4’ without a variation.
Chair Hecht asked if that would include a berm. Planner Jackson stated not necessarily.
Mr. Novak stated the proposal they have presented addresses the issues the neighbors were concerned about. The traffic report states there is very little traffic in and out of this facility, there is a dawn to dusk limitation, the fence is less expensive but aesthetics and optics are important and they are requesting consent and approval of the applicant. They feel they have met the standards.
Commissioner Leaf they had heard the residents and applicant and there are two different solutions being proposed. The applicant wants to retain the aesthetic they designed and the residents want something different. He was not sure which standards they should evaluate.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated the creation of a 6’ wall for 130’ will change the character of the street and streetscape. It will start to close off the light into the streetscape. Or do they have something that is screening 4’ with intermittent areas of higher screening which is the solution the applicant is proposing.
Commissioner Glazer stated the presentation was thoughtful and responsible. The suggestion about continuance of committee does not mean to suggest the committee should not continue. He did not know if the City had any business being involved with the committee. It is a private group with willing participants and they should keep going as long as they find value in it. With any application there are going to be people who have other opinions abut how it should be done. The City sets standards in the zoning code the applicant has to meet, and if they meet these and if the Commission decides the standards have been satisfied the applicant is eligible for permission to proceed. The fact that others have others ideas is something that should be taken into consideration. He did not know if this was a basis to withhold approval as long as the standards are met. He thought, based on what they have seen, the applicant has satisfied the standards and the proposal makes sense even if there are those who might prefer it be done differently.
Commissioner Waxman stated the applicant has done a god job and tried to do what they thought was right. If you are a neighbor and have a stake in this you should be considered when you have an opinion. She thought the applicant could bend a little and give the neighbors a little more privacy without doing anything that would harm their position.
Commissioner Pearlstein stated neighbors disagreed - one wanted a fence and one did not. The applicant did good job and you cannot please everyone. If you look at the whole picture they did a good job of checking the plusses and minuses.
Chair Hecht stated he did not think a fence would come out the way you think it would. His son was a student at the school and it has been a school since it was built. He did not think there was a whole lot of change from what it was and thought the use was less intense than in the past. The applicant has taken the neighbors concerns into account with the berm and shrubbery to block the view from head lights. He did not know what else they could do. He thought they had done a good job and the application was worthy of approval.
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to direct staff to prepare findings of fact for approval. Commissioner Kutscheid so motion, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein.
Planner Cross called the roll:
Ayes: Pearlstein, Leaf, Kutscheid, Glazer, Hecht
Motion passed 5-1.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the next steps.
Planner Cross stated staff will draft findings of fact recommending approval and they will be brought to the December 4th meeting for approval.
C. Continuation of Public Hearing #18-09-PUD-010 for a Major Amendment to McGovern House to Incorporate Zoning Relief Related to Off-Street Parking.
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to continue this item to the December 4, 2018 meeting at the applicant’s request. Commissioner Waxman so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
D. Public Hearing #18-11-PUD-012 to Amend the Lake Cook Courts Planned Development Located at 1973-2021 Lake Cook Rd. for Revised Setback Relief for Building Foundations.
Planner Jackson stated she had not met with the applicants and did not know if they were present.
Planner Cross stated the meeting can continue the item to a future date.
Chair Hecht asked if they had heard from the applicant.
Planner Cross stated they understood the applicant would be present.
Chair Hecht stated he took a dim view of the applicant not being present for his own hearing.
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to continue the item to December 4th. Commissioner Glazer so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
Planner Cross stated the applicant purchased the two properties and is currently building new houses on them. The development was approved in 2006-07 and all was built except for the two lots. They have sat as open pits for 10 years.
Commissioner Leaf asked if interim inspections were performed on the foundations before final occupancy.
Planner Cross stated the foundations were poured prior to the development ceasing operation. The developer ceased operation before a spot survey was completed.
Chair Hecht asked Planner Cross to advise the applicant they needed to be present.
E. Pre-Application Discussion for the Redevelopment of the Seven-Acre Property at 1535 Park Ave.
Planner Jackson made a presentation for the above item including project location, application summary, proposed senior housing facility, existing conditions and background, zoning map amendment, change to RM-1, site plan, yards and setbacks, parking, density, building design, building height of 37’, impact on neighborhood, items for consideration and recommendation.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if there was flood plain.
Planner Jackson stated there was some on the north side. It will go through engineering review to make sure there is proper stormwater management and flood control.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked about the setback and mentioned parking, land bank and the larger buffer. He asked how many spaces are banked.
Planner Jackson stated 19 spaces.
Mr. Mary Lucas, Trammell Crow, 700 Commerce, Oak Brook, IL, Applicant, made a presentation including firm overview, team experience, concept is unique and site plan.
Ms. Lucas Van Sistine, ESG Architects, 500 Washington Ave., Minneapolis, MN, Architect, stated the form is proto-typical, site is odd shaped, detached garages, main drop-off, other entries, current design, mass is broken into smaller units, conceptual rendering, pitched roofs, broken massings, brick, modern feel, cream colored stucco, three-story atrium, primary elevation, majority of building is under 35’, aerial view.
Ms. Lucas mentioned public benefits and stated there is no existing sidewalk that ties to the west property and they envision continuing the sidewalk. On the east side they would create a pedestrian crosswalk that would go to the south side of Park Ave. If you want to cross the tracks there is an existing crosswalk on the south side. They want to hold a community meeting to learn from neighbors what they would like in the area.
Commissioner Glazer stated the suggestions from the public are important. What they have identified as public benefits are actually benefits which benefit their property. They are asking for height relief which is a tall order.
Ms. Lucas stated it is up for interpretation and depends on if you consider the outside nodes design features or not. The center is going to be too tall for the 35’. As of now most of the peaks are going to be around 34’ but the outside ones would be 37’.
Planner Jackson stated the centerpiece is 41’ so the relief would be 6’ at the center.
Commissioner Pearlstein asked how much research had been done in bring in yet another senior facility into the area. There are plenty of them in Highland Park.
Ms. Lucas stated they will do a market and fiscal study to back this up. Chair Hecht stated there are several not too far from the site.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if the other facilities were independent units or assisted living. He thought they needed a demand study.
Chair Hecht stated there are facilities close by in Deerfield.
Commissioner Pearlstein stated there is negativity concerning how many facilities Highland Park has.
Ms. Lucas stated the differentiator is the independent side of the building. It is really a luxury apartment for some one who is still cooking.
Mr. Van Sistine stated another aspect is the amenity space and social aspect including the pool.
Commissioner Pearl stated there are some serious issues regarding these facilities. Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the soil report in the pre-app.
Ms. Lucas stated they completed the Phase II and there are some PCBs in the soil. They are not sure why and this is what is causing the investigation.
Chair Hecht asked what has been on the site historically.
Ms. Lucas stated it was lighting manufacturing facility and then the radiology center.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the tall hill in the back and it they were hauling it away.
Ms. Lucas stated there were a couple of prior ponds that were filled in and they were not necessarily filled in with the right type of material. They will find out what type of foundation they will need to support the building.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated he liked the architecture and was in support of an occasional peak. He asked what the detached garages would look like.
Commissioner Waxman stated it was nice pre-app and they have given them something to think about.
Commissioner Leaf asked if there would be exposed HVAC mechanicals on the roof.
Mr. Van Sistine stated they could possibly be in the unit. If they are on the roof there is a false peak and they would be hidden behind.
Commissioner Leaf wanted to see an extensive staff report on zoning change from industrial to residential.
Commissioner Glazer stated he liked the architecture. If they are asking for height relief and it is important to reach out to the neighbors. They need to share plans and generate support.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated the 7’ setback might be too small. It was important to have a tree barrier between the property and the neighboring properties. Something to consider for the public benefit is that there is a major recreational trail on the east side of the tracks.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated the setback relief was acceptable to him. He thought the
front setback was a lot for the residential community. The west side may not need all those parking spaces. The height in RM-1 of 35’and going from 41’ at the peak to 35’ is a little bigger ask than they are used to. From a design standpoint he thought the stucco was acceptable and did not want EIFS. He asked what are density differences between RM-1 and RM-3.
Planner Cross stated it is R-3 and Highland Park has seven single family zoning districts. The largest difference is units per acre and minimum lot size. R-3 of 40,000 s.f. zoning is prevalent in western Highland Park, and R-4 is half of that, 20,000 s.f. R-5 is 12,000 s.f. and R-6 is six units per acre. RM-1 is 15 units per acre with a height of 35’. RM-2 is the next most common and is 30 units.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if Grange Rd. was R-3 and across the street and R-5 and R-6.
Planner Cross stated it appears not many of those lots are an acre and are non- conforming.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if density for RM-1 would be 112 units and they are proposing 87.
Planner Cross stated they are not dwelling units.
Vice Chair Reinstein asked if there are special use standards they need to bring out tonight.
Planner Cross stated they need to be clear with the applicant about the standards by which they will be evaluating their use and rezoning. Rezoning is a serious undertaking and consideration. They need to examine the implications of that.
Mr. Passman stated when they evaluate this there will be standards for special use and planned development. The standards are set forth in the code. The rezoning will be the first thing to consider.
Commissioner Leaf asked if they would recommend to Council the whole package with a recommendation for the zoning.
Mr. Passman stated they would do it all at once.
Planner Cross stated the code contemplates the rezoning first and then they can look at the PUD.
Mr. Van Sistine asked when they mentioned the front yard were they saying 25’ seems like a lot.
Vice Chair Reinstein stated it does not seem like enough.
Commissioner Pearlstein stated it was a beautiful presentation.
Ms. Lucas stated the buffer is 10’ of trees.
Ms. Aleen Bayard, 990 N. Lake Shore, Chicago, IL, Owner of Property, stated the residents would prefer going from industrial to residential.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
A. 2019 PDC Meeting Dates Resolution
Planner Cross stated the meeting date resolution required action.
Chair Hecht asked if the Jewish holidays had been considered.
Planner Cross stated he had worked to schedule the meetings around them. They can always change the dates.
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to approve the 2019 meeting date resolution. Vice
Chair Reinstein so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Kutscheid. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
B. Administrative Design Review Approvals - None for Review
C. Next Regular Meeting - December 4, 2018.
D. Case Briefing
VI. BUSINESS FROM THE PUBLIC