Lake County Gazette

Lake County Gazette

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission met April 2

By Corazon L. Gonzales | May 3, 2019

City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission met April 2. 

Here is the minutes as provided by the commission:


At 7:30 PM Chair Hecht called the meeting to order and asked Director Fontane to call the roll.


Director Fontane took the roll and declared a quorum present.

Members Present: Glazer, Hecht, Kutscheid, Lidawer, Leaf, Pearlstein, Reinstein

Members Absent: None

Staff Present: Cross, Fontane, Jackson

Student Rep.: Rubin

Council Liaison: Schuster, Stone


March 19, 2019

The minutes of the March 19, 2019 meeting will be considered at the April 16, 2019 meeting.


1. Continuation of Public Hearing #18-11-PUD-011 for a Special Use Permit in the Nature of a Planned Development for a Senior Housing Facility Consisting of 87 Independent Living Units, 55 Assisted Living Units and 20 Memory Care Units at 1535-1549 Park Ave. West.

2. Continuation of Public Hearing #18-12-REZ-002 for a Zoning Map Amendment to Change the Zoning District from I - Industrial District to RM1 - Medium to High Density Residential District on the Property at 1535 Park Ave. West.

3. Continuation of Public Hearing #18-12-SUP-004 for a Special Use Consideration to Allow a “Nursing Home Care Facility” as a Conditional Land Use in the RM1 Zoning District at 1535 Park Ave. West.

Items 1, 2 and 3 will considered concurrently.

Planner Jackson made a presentation including application summary, previous Commission consideration, market study, stormwater management, retaining walls, delivery schedule, facility staffing, overflow parking, cost of development, site design and character, night rendering, landscaping and screening, public benefit, updated and revised material, height revision, fire review, emergency call data, inclusionary housing, public testimony, summary of requested zoning relief and standards for review.

Commissioner Glazer asked the times of the peak traffic hours.

Planner Jackson stated it is rush hour time, 7-9 AM and 4-6 PM.

Director Fontane stated there is a bifurcation of affordable housing in terms of providing some on-site and some off-site and allowing the project to benefit from the market rate unit bonuses for the units that are provided on-site.

Commissioner Reinstein asked if a proposal had been made as to what that split would look like.

Director Fontane stated they are looking to do a split and not pay for all of them in lieu as they had originally indicated.

Commissioner Leaf asked what the bonus represents to the development.

Director Fontane stated you get a certain number of market rate unit bonuses for every

affordable unit provided on site.

Commissioner Leaf asked if that allowed more units to be built.

Director Fontane stated you could use a bonus to increase density or not increase density and drive down the percent of affordable units.

Commissioner Glazer asked if the relief will be tied into the number of inclusionary units they actually build as opposed to those that are accounted for with a payment in lieu.

Director Fontane stated that was correct. It would allow them to receive market rate unit bonuses for the units they actually provide on-site.

Commissioner Glazer asked if the Commission has the authority to grant that kind of relief under Article XXI.

Director Fontane stated it is a modification from the code.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if all the uses are conditional in RM1.

Planner Jackson stated the independent living units are by right.

Mr. Grady Hamilton, Trammell Crow Co., 700 Commerce Dr., Oak Brook, IL, Applicant, made a presentation including overall height elevation, garage structures, drainage, stormwater management, JLL market study conclusion, public benefits, economic benefits, Teska Assoc. fiscal study, operations, daily trip generation, peak hour trip generation, landscaping.

Commissioner Glazer stated they are asking for 7’ of height relief and asked what efforts have been made to minimize the amount of height relief they need.

Mr. Hamilton stated part of the relief is an aesthetic design feature in several portions of the building. It reflects certain areas of the building they have extended. They are not able to reduce it by a full floor and their intention when beginning with the industrial zoning guidance of 45’ they were working to try and create an alternate use with lower intensity.

Commissioner Glazer asked if it was the aesthetics could they quantify how much they are talking about.

Mr. Hamilton stated it would be difficult to perceive and illustrated this on the slide.

Commissioner Glazer stated they were reluctant to grant relief for aesthetics and it is a tough sell.

Mr. Hamilton stated had if they known about the discrepancy at the last meeting they would have addressed this. They have not had the opportunity to address alternates.

Commissioner Glazer stated they have had a short time to get used to the actual measurement from grade and they may want to think about it further.

Commissioner Lidawer mentioned one of the letters from a resident suggested flat roofs as a possible way to keep down the height.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated the finish floor elevation is 5’ above ground level now. He understood this is where they are getting the detention requirement by bumping the entire building up 5’. This is also causing aesthetic concerns around the edges.

Mr. Hamilton stated the architect is here and he could address this.

Commissioner Glazer asked about a breakdown for the inclusionary housing.

Mr. Hamilton stated they have not had that conversation with the Housing Commission yet, but their expectation is to bifurcate the requirement. They are asking for the Article XXI variation. Their effort would be to provide as close to 50% on site.

Commissioner Glazer asked if they would receive a report from the Housing Commission.

Planner Cross stated yes, the Housing Commission will often provide that report if the timing works out.

Director Fontane stated the Section 2108 required findings regarding the alternate means of compliance requires a recommendation from the Housing Commission that then goes to Council.

Commissioner Glazer stated it would be helpful to have this before they go forward.

Director Fontane stated the request for relief has no bearing on this. It is a question of whether it is provided on site.

Commissioner Glazer stated in terms of a level of comfort, if it turns out they comply with 5% of the inclusionary housing vs. 50% it might make some more comfortable.

Chair Hecht asked when the Housing Commission was going to discuss this.

Director Fontane stated they are at the preliminary stage and the housing Commission has not taken this up.

Chair Hecht asked if this would be next month.

Director Fontane stated he did not have knowledge of this as yet.

Mr. Hamilton stated they would like to move to that step as quickly as they can based on support the Commission.

Chair Hecht stated the closer to 100 the better.

Mr. Joe Miklich, Allegro, 212 S. Central, St. Louis, MO, Developer, made a presentation including continuum of care model, allows residents maintenance free lifestyle, amenities on site, transportation provided for a 10-mile radius at no charge, half of units are independent living, as they age residents have peace of mind and do not have to move, memory care unit, staffing of 130 employees total, peak hour shift 7 AM - 3 PM, start shift at non-peak traffic hours, night 10-15 employees, nurse on site, parking, few residents continue to drive, 190 parking spaces, overflow parking at churches and schools, no need for parking on side streets, more than sufficient parking, anticipated one delivery per day.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked about deliveries during sleeping hours.

Mr. Miklich stated they have demanding residents and they are very sensitive to the residents. There are no deliveries at all hours of day. They try to avoid disruptions especially at night. They work with vendors to schedule mid-morning deliveries.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated when the trucks pull in they drive down the west side and loop around to the east and they back in and out.

Mr. Miklich stated the receiving area is on the east side and the building acts as a screen and provides a buffer.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if this was true for the refuse as well.

Mr. Miklich stated yes.

Commissioner Kutscheid mentioned the ambulances and how they would enter the facility.

Mr. Miklich stated they would pull up under the porte cochere. They will work with the local EMS to try to cut sirens and lights as they near the property. If it is not a real emergency they would direct them to the back of house area so as not to disrupt the residents. They have worked with the ambulances and fire departments around their communities. They receive the most calls on Mother’s Day when someone needs someone to talk to. They have trained staff members to help them and it is actually the real emergency calls that are made.

Chair Hecht asked how the 30% utilization figures for independent living are calculated.

Mr. Miklich stated they polled all of their existing communities that have independent

living. All of the residents who have a car have to register it so they know whose cars are

in the lot. 12 of their 18 communities have independent living.

Chair Hecht asked if there was a national standard for this.

Mr. Miklich stated it was in line with the national standard.

Chair Hecht stated he did not know how they determine the utilization rates for independent living facilities.

Mr. Miklich stated they can provide numbers and a chart showing each community and how many residents have a car. One of their communities has a.8:1 parking space to unit ratio and it was not enough. They had to lease the lot across the street to get the extra 30- 40 spaces. They have enough of a track record to be comfortable with parking.

Commissioner Pearlstein asked if 50% were in memory care.

Mr. Miklich stated no, it was 30% of the independent living and 20% of the assisted living who have a car.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked the age of independent living.

Mr. Miklich stated the average is 84 years old when they move in.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked if independent living is really assisted living.

Mr. Miklich stated it comes down to the physical well being. When a resident moves in they are assessed to make sure they understand their physical needs. The independent living has gone up 5 years over the last 10 years.

Chair Hecht asked about the number of employees and the highest number is 8

Mr. Miklich stated it is the care staff and there would not be as many at night. During the day there is more activity and the peak shift would be 40 employees.

Chair Hecht asked if the peak shift change would be 3 PM with 40 coming and 40 going.

Councilwoman Stone stated in terms of the hours it may be worth checking with the hospital because they talked about this with the high school regarding the traffic and parking. She stated they looked like the hours of the hospital shift changes. She mentioned staggering the hours from the hospital. She asked about people who have private care givers and how is it accommodated in terms of parking.

Mr. Miklich stated it is discouraged and they believe in their care. But in some cases there might be a couple who what to stay in independent living and they will allow personal care staff to come in. That would be included in the guest estimate. They have visiting doctors, hair stylists. The personal care would be incorporated by the guest number.

Commissioner Glazer asked how many trees they would be losing.

Mr. Hamilton stated he would defer to the landscape architect.

Mr. Daniel Grove, 1001 Warrenville, Lisle, IL, Landscape Architect, stated they worked with a certified arborist and they are taking down trees that are in poor condition and trying to preserve as many trees as possible to create a buffer. There are 109 trees that are protected and they will provide replacements.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked how many trees will be replaced.

Mr. Grove stated they are adding 136 replacement trees.

Commissioner Lidawer asked if the 109 was part of the 136.

Mr. Grove stated 109 are the protected trees, about 176 trees total.

Commissioner Lidawer asked if that was part of the 136.

Planner Cross stated there are 109 being removed that require replacement. (unintelligible)

Commissioner Leaf (unintelligible)

Director Fontane asked the total number of trees coming down and the number of replacements.

Mr. Grove stated there are 182 trees total.

Commissioner Lidawer stated 172 are being removed and 182 are going in.

Mr. Grove confirmed this.

Commissioner Leaf stated the slide is deceptive because you are looking at different seasons.

Mr. Hamilton stated they would be happy to locate a photo.

Commissioner Leaf stated he would like to see the same season.

Mr. Hamilton stated that is the one image that was hard to show.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the eye height was 6’.

Mr. Hamilton stated it was pedestrian height between 5.5’ to 6’. He stated they acknowledge the concerns they have had heard. They feel they have enhanced the plan. He hoped the Commission recognized their efforts to soften these issues.

Chair Hecht stated the applicant would be making further revisions and things would be changing.

The following residents expressed their concerns:

Mr. Steve Franks, 1963 McCraren, Highland Park, IL

Mr. Gene Salzberg, Highland Park, IL

Ms. Elizabeth Kessler, 1861 Cavell, Highland Park, IL

Dr. Steve Lasin, 1626 Little John, Highland Park, IL

Mr. Gerry Meister, 1901 York, Highland Park, IL

Mr. Matt Prazenka, 2216 Grange, Highland Park, IL

Mr. Steve Gold, 1581 Park Ave. West, Highland Park, IL

Mr. Marty Kinsel, 1970 McCraren, Highland Park, IL

Ms. Dee Gold, 1581 Park Ave. West, Highland Park, IL

Mr. Larry ?, 1827 McCraren, Highland Park, IL

Ms. Madeline Kuhlmann, 1772 McCraren, Highland Park, IL

Mr. Michael Laxner, 1967 Cavell, Highland Park, IL

Company has poor rating, wrongful deaths, large turnover in staff, seeking substantial relief, City deserves better, people are moving out, $400,000 will go into school system and will make schools better, property values will go up, many people have daily care givers, comparison to Silverado is not accurate, congestion at intersection of Park Ave. West and Rt. 41, quality of life of residents, out of character with neighborhood, as many as 100 caregivers could come in each day, parking will be problem, get statistics from similar communities for parking, concerned about what is in the ground, reactor in back of property, needs to look at site to see what is there, lack of concern for accuracy in market study, drainage area, increasing impervious area, need to look at master plan again, property values will go down, not enough information to make a conclusion, traffic issues, Commission has to look at proposal and decide, appraiser did not visit the property, need to evaluate expense to community, multiple variations, does not take into account plan inconsistencies, standards need to be addressed, intent of plans is not addressed, stormwater management, will make existing spot pooling worse, concerned about kids’ safety with increased traffic, what will happen with ambulances and train crossing, excessive height relief being sought, unrelenting bulk, consider other alternate uses, lighting at night.

Chair Hecht stated the applicant has received feedback and concerns the Commission has expressed. He entertained a motion to continue to April 16, 2019. Commissioner Lidawer so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Planner Cross stated the next meeting is April 16, 2019 and if they need more time they can continue to the first meeting in May.

Director Fontane stated there is a tight turnaround for the submittals.

Chair Hecht stated this was the meeting notice and no other notice will be given.

4. Public Hearing #19-04-SUP-001 for a Special Use Consideration to Allow a “Child Care Facility” as a Conditional Land Use in the R4 Single Family Zoning District at 640 Ridge Rd.

Planner Cross made a presentation including location map, application summary, child care facility - conditional land use, site plan, operation and access, off-site parking, traffic impact analysis, stormwater management, engineering review, landscaping and screening, landscaping variations, standards for landscaping variations, new building proposed, new building notes, site lighting and photometric plan, special use standards and consideration and recommendation.

Commissioner Lidawer asked about the turnaround area.

Planner Cross stated it is a three point turn and will utilize the roundabout.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked if the parking lot meets code.

Planner Cross stated the module meets the required width and the stalls meet required specifications. Handicapped spaces have an access aisle.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the parking counts reflect the potential future expansion.

Planner Cross confirmed this.

Mr. David Meek, 513 Central, Highland Park, IL, Attorney, introduced the applicant’s team.

Mr. Zak Wakeman, 1900 Beverly Pl., Highland Park, IL, Highland Park Community Early Learning Center, made a presentation including opened in 1951, moved to Karger Center in 1966, provides full day care, provides state funding for low and moderate income students, supplement with additional scholarship money, process for looking for place to move has been challenging.

Mr. Meek made a presentation including the project is substantially compliant with City code, school district owns site, zoned R4, school has made determination that it would be within the mission of providing educational services in the City to have a use like this, one condition is they not provide access off Red Oak, in collaboration with Park District, have had meetings with Park District, can provide access through their staff parking area, site photos, aerial site plan, compact parking area, dry bottom detention basin with natural landscaping, minimal variances, utilities are underground, outdoor play area, and site plan.

Ms. Maria Siegel, Blender Architecture, 2215 W. School St., Chicago, IL, Architect, made a presentation including modular building, not tall, design element to break up the elongated form, windows to maximize natural light go almost to floor, verticality of windows breaks up length of façade, HVAC are mounted to wall, trellis pieces for HVAC to break up building, east elevation, material samples, vinyl siding with PVC trim, screen is fiber cement concrete, color of siding is neutral, accent color on trims and doors, eave does not make it look like typical modular building.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the trim was the fiber.

Ms. Siegel stated it was PVC.

Commissioner Pearlstein asked if they were all flat.

Ms. Siegel stated the trims will project a little off the siding. The trellis screens will project out.

Commissioner Lidawer asked if there were windows across the top or a different color.

Ms. Siegel stated it is a decorative panel.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the windows were operable.

Ms. Siegel stated they are.

Mr. Meek stated they have a tight time frame and the choice of modular enabled them to do construction quickly. The separate building elements are built early so they have the piping, conduit and plumbing and everything interconnects. It is shipped in segments and secured to the foundation. It meets all building code requirements of the City and is not a temporary trailer. It is integrated into the landscape.

Mr. Meek showed some of the other perspectives. Design functions are driven by DCFS licensing requirements – access, number of doors and window placements. Access and circulation are coming off Ridge Rd. Visitors and staff come around the circle and the children are walked in. There is a staggered start/stop and there is more than adequate space.

Commissioner Lidawer asked how many spaces there are for staff.

Mr. Meek stated the staff peak is in the middle of the day. It is an overlap staff and the maximum peak is 21 in the middle of the day.

Commissioner Lidawer asked how they drop off 87 kids.

Mr. Meek stated they know how many people are on site and for how long. Siblings come together, there is car pooling, and they are confident that it will be sufficient for their families given how people come and go from the Karger Center right now which is a larger capacity. That is the licensed capacity number and the maximum they could have. The 87 figure in the application is with an expansion. They will probably have 74 students. Because they serve working families they have people coming when they work. It is a fluid and flexible facility. Site circulation – not everyone will use the three-point turn and it will operate like a regular parking lot. That is for code because it is a single entry module. They are not backing into the traffic circle. The Fire Dept. has reviewed the operation and found it acceptable. Food delivery is once every two weeks prior to 7 AM and there is a designated loading area. There is acceptable impact on Ridge Rd. Since this is a residential district this commercial operation, with a loading facility, would need to be identified and called out under the nuisance code as an acceptable operation and not a public nuisance.

Ms. Tara Jenkins, 897 Driscoll, Highland Park, IL, Landscape Architect, made a presentation including they want to focus on safety for the children, explore nature, all native species, different colors, flowers, columnar trees to break up the space, spruces on corners to soften building, creating interest for children, buffering adjacent properties, dogwoods, top of detention area is variety of birch, dogwood and cypress, landscaping around sign.

Mr. Meek stated part of the design aesthetic is to create a variety of screenings from the houses to the north.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the floor of the detention basin and if it was planted.

Mr. Meek stated it would be grass with a 10’ landscape buffer around.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated the 10’ buffer starts at the normal water level rather than the high water level. He asked if the buffer will start at the high water level.

Planner Cross stated it was supposed to be around the perimeter.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated it is typically from the high water level back. It should be on the outside of the basin.

Mr. Meek stated it functions well and will not interfere with any drainage operations.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated there are mixes which are mostly grass and hedges and perennials work well in detention basins and the seed mixes are pretty good. It would be nice if it were directed toward the pollinators. Sometimes the mixes have seeds which are not child friendly. The buffer should go to the property line and not leave that little sliver of turn between the buffer and the property line to the north. In areas to the north there are two semi circles and one needs to be accessible to meet ADA code. The play area to the south needs to meet CPSC. The handicapped parking needs to meet Illinois code which does not allow van parking. Generally the planting is fine.

Mr. Meek stated the lighting plan is code compliant, dark bronze, the signage is located on the property near the roundabout. It is an open space and they do not want to over burden the space and want to strike a balance. The are 40 shrubs under the requirements but that is still is a lot of shrubs for the site. It is a small building on a big site. The standards have been addressed in the application materials. They have addressed the special use standards and why they meet them as well as the design review standards. They are asking for four variances for landscaping, would like recognition as having a second phase for a 2,500 s.f. addition, statement that noises associated with food deliveries would be acceptable and not a public nuisance and conditions of approval with respect to engineering, lighting, and a favorable consideration of this matter.

Commissioner Lidawer asked how many trees they would remove.

Mr. Meek stated they would be taking out four dead trees.

Vice Chair Reinstein mentioned the field that runs to Red Oak and asked if that was part of the site and who takes care of it.

Mr. Meek stated it was maintained by the Park Dist. and they have agreed to continue to mow the open spaces. They will maintain their own landscaping. All of their practices will be consistent with the Park Dist.

Chair Hecht asked if they had agreements in place with the Park Dist.

Mr. Meek stated they were working on that.

Commissioner Leaf asked about feedback from the neighbors to the north.

Mr. Meek stated they conducted a public meeting in February at the police station. They had dialogue and they went through with what that had at that point. They took feedback and concerns about buffering and how the site would operate. They have had follow up discussions with the neighbors and they have tried to be considerate of their properties with respect as to how they have located the building and landscaping. The lighting will be on timers and not on overnight. Staff arrives between 6:30-7 AM and that is when the lights will come on. The loading will be from 6-7 AM one day a week.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the air conditioner is on at night.

Mr. Meek stated yes.

Commissioner Lidawer asked if drainage and lighting plans come back to the Commission.

Chair Hecht stated no, staff will handle it.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked if there is a school season associated with the use.

Mr. Meek stated they operate 49 weeks a year. He asked for consideration tonight and they want to bring it to Council as soon as possible. They need to vacate Karger on Sept. 1 and they have an aggressive plan.

The following residents expressed their concerns:

Mr. Seth Bender, 665 Red Oak, Highland Park, IL

Ms. Ivy Bender, 665 Red Oak, Highland Park, IL

Mr. Ed Brill, 669 Ridge, Highland Park, IL

Ms. Susan Hoseman, 2151 Tanglewood, Highland Park, IL

Have many schools in the area, area is congested, adding a street off Ridge, back yard will be a parking lot, wants it farther away from houses, wants to see a full plan with property lines, 10’ buffer not being respected, detention, neighbors were at meeting, upset building was going up, neighborhood is supportive, enrollment is small, fits well with facilities in area, need pre-school options, opposed to putting anything in the park.

Mr. Meek stated they have to contain the water on their property. There are codes that address this. They have underground drainage that takes the water from the impervious area and conveying it underground to the existing storm sewer. The detention basin is designed to hold water. They are taking the water on their site and controlling it.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if they can control up to a 100-year storm and what about if it goes over a 100-year storm.

Mr. Dan Creaney, 450 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, IL, Civil Engineer, stated the detention is designed to meet the City’s code and designed to retain the water up to the 100-year storm and if it does overflow it would overflow in the same direction it does now. The water comes into the lower level of the property and there are no storm structures and no detention. They will collect it and release it at slow rate as required by the City.

Mr. Meek stated there is an existing fence that runs 132’ on the northeast side of the property. They know where the property line is and will present a final ALTA survey.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the fence material in the play area.

Mr. Meek stated it is rubberized chain link. They have this at Karger Center and they cannot have hard edges on fence.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if it would be black.

Mr. Meek stated yes.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated the building looks manufactured. He was surprised they did not try to pull detail from the Ridge Park Dist. building and transfer it over.

Chair Hecht stated it was not here for design review, just special use.

Mr. Meek stated they are asking for design review as part of the special use. They are not asking for any exceptions and they believe they comply with the standards for design review.

Planner Cross stated it was a special use with exterior design features. Design review is required, as explained in the staff report and referenced in the staff presentation.

Mr. Meek stated they provided information in the binder that addresses each design standards.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked if the modular building company was present.

Mr. Meek stated they were not and they have been working closely with them. They have created some design features to create some articulation – the HVAC and trellis in front.

They have tried to create variation to the façade of the building.

Commissioner Glazer asked about the road impact and the understanding for the basis not to use Red Oak.

Mr. Meek stated the school district has an extensive campus area that utilizes Red Oak now and it is too challenged during school days and they did not want to add to this.

Chair Hecht stated he lived in the neighborhood and there are staggered starting and ending times.

Mr. Meek stated the way the easement has been crafted is that it is going to be tied to this use of a not-for-profit educational use. Their lease is a 15-year term with two five-year renewal terms. They have a new construction facility that will be appropriate for that lease term.

Mr. Schuster stated the design review is not on the agenda and they can discuss it, but they are not voting on it.

Chair Hecht asked if they could not consider design review.

Mr. Schuster stated they can discuss it but in terms of voting, it needs to be on the agenda.

Chair Hecht stated they are not voting on design review because it is not on the agenda.

Mr. Meek stated the public notification letter indicated there is design review tonight. The posted agenda for tonight’s meeting may not call that out, and the case could be made that is was legally notified as such and that the case was captioned as special use with design review.

Mr. Schuster stated under the open meetings act it is required to be on the agenda. If they want to vote this evening they have to have it on the agenda.

Councilwoman Stone stated the Commission could make some recommendations as to what they want to see in the findings and vote on that at the next meeting.

Planner Cross stated findings will be at next meeting and the design portion is not going to change. It meets notification requirements in the code. They need a separate design review vote and that can be undertaken at the next meeting without slowing down the project.

Commissioner Glazer stated they were asked about a declaratory judgment that the arrival of delivery trucks would not constitute a nuisance. He asked if this was something they are in a position to declare.

Mr. Schuster stated the findings they would be making are the on special use standards. Whether there would be a nuisance under Illinois law or whether or not certain deliveries may violate depending on noise regulations does not provide assurances. Based on the evidence in the special use factors that is what their consideration is and whether the standards have been met for a special use.

Mr. Meek stated Section 95.005 in the code of regulations says notwithstanding the provisions of 95.0010 of the code and talks about commercial activities in a residential zoning district being declared a public nuisance and noises generated by the following activities shall not be deemed public nuisances. Item D is activities approved as part of a special use permit granted pursuant to Chapter 150 of the this code and only to the extent that such noises are specifically identified and approved in the ordinance granting such special use. It is the noise of a food vehicle truck that is allowed as part of the special use.

Chair Hecht stated that is how is sounds to him.

Mr. Meek stated the finding would declare that under city code it is not a nuisance.

Mr. Schuster stated from a zoning perspective it has to be operated in a way that would comply with Illinois law.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated they are not waiting for more information. He asked if they could vote on directing the special use consideration subject to approval of the engineering drawings, the landscaping comments, the lighting to comply and subject to the legal document they need and the delivery schedule. Commissioner Pearlstein so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Lidawer.

Commissioner Glazer stated it is a good plan and they were comfortable with it. There was an unusual comment from Mr. Brill who stated he thought this change was good for Highland Park and he was encouraged to have more children in the neighborhood and there would be an impact. He welcomed the impact and appreciated the children would have a positive impact. He appreciated that he came and stated he embraced this change.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the design review.

Chair Hecht stated they would handle that at the same time as the findings.

Director Fontane called the roll:

Ayes: Pearlstein, Leaf, Kutscheid, Lidawer, Glazer, Reinstein, Hecht

Nays: None

Motion passed 7-0.

Director Fontane stated staff will prepare the findings of fact recommending approval with conditions. There will be no additional notice for the next meeting on April 16, 2019. The matter of design review will be taken up then.

Chair Hecht entertained a motion to continue to the next meeting. Commissioner Kutscheid so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

5. Consideration of a Minor Preliminary & Final Plat of Subdivision at 62 Acorn Ln. with a Variation.

Planner Burhop made a presentation including location map, aerial map, application summary, existing and proposed plat of survey, subdivision and zoning review, variation review, site photos, City department comments, Plan and Design Commission consideration and recommendation.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked if the white lines were PINs.

Planner Burhop stated yes.

Commissioner Leaf asked if the existing structure will remain.

Planner Burhop stated yes. They probably intend to build on the proposed lot.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked if it was in compliance for that neighborhood.

Planner Burhop stated everything except one provision. It complies with the density requirements, the minimum square footage is 20,000 s.f., and they meet minimum average widths.

Commissioner Lidawer asked if they wanted to put in a driveway on a private lane instead of a public and that is why they are asking for a variance.

Planner Burhop stated yes.

Commissioner Lidawer asked about the trees.

Planner Burhop stated this was addressed in the presentation.

Commissioner Leaf asked if the City owned the sewer.

Planner Burhop stated yes.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked if the width of the lot being created has any impact on the variation requested.

Planner Burhop stated no.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked about the history of the area.

Planner Burhop stated there are 10 lots, the first subdivision was in 1927, with the recent subdivision in 1990-91.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked if there was one owner.

Planner Burhop stated he did not know.

Commissioner Glazer asked about the forester’s recommendation which is adverse to this. He asked if the Commission passed this that before the heritage trees could be removed the ZBA would have to consider it.

Planner Burhop stated this is correct. The forester provided a memo that does not support the application. If they do intend to impact a heritage tree they cannot remove it without going to the ZBA. There is a site plan with tree locations and it did identify the heritage tree.

Commissioner Glazer asked how many protected trees there were.

Planner Burhop stated there several heritage trees and one specifically the forester was concerned about.

Director Fontane stated the forester could have said he did not support removal of the heritage trees on site which would be the subject of a Chapter 94 variance consideration by the ZBA. This decision has no bearing on this.

Commissioner Leaf asked after the sewer is put in it was mentioned there are flooding concerns and if it is the expectation by the City that the owners along Acorn will pay for the laterals to the sewer.

Planner Burhop stated this comes from the infill development ordinance. There is a 200-250 s.f. threshold and if you meet or exceed that the infill development ordinance says you have to tie in to the storm sewer.

Commissioner Leaf asked if it could stay as is.

Director Fontane stated this does not necessitate everyone to spend money. The subdivision approval will not do that.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked how many lots were on the east and west sides.

Planner Burhop stated there are five on the west and five on the east.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked if the five on the west contains the parcel in its current form.

Planner Burhop confirmed this.

Mr. Cal Bernstein, 1473 Sherwood, Highland Park, IL, Attorney, stated there are 74 trees including both lots and many of the heritage trees are on Lot 1 which is where the existing home is located. They are trying to create Lot 2 and there is one heritage tree. They do not know where the footprint of a house could go on this property. This is a twoacre lot and they are trying to create an additional lot. When they filed the application they thought they would be before Council and the Chair of the Commission would be signing as a matter of right. This was triggered when they discovered that Acorn was a private road.

Commissioner Glazer asked if any trees were coming down.

Mr. Bernstein stated no. If the property is developed there might be trees coming down and the heritage tree would have to be dealt with. There is no current proposal to develop this lot.

Commissioner Glazer asked if all they are asking is to permit the additional lot and this vote would not impact the subject of the forester’s memo.

Mr. Bernstein confirmed this. Currently there is no storm sewer on Acorn and one of the conditions in the infill ordinance is that if you create a lot you need to create a storm sewer. The applicant agreed to a covenant that would run with the land that if developed that whoever owns the property would have to build a storm sewer in order to address any concerns. If the lot is not developed the sewer will not be built. If it is developed then whoever owns the lot is obligated to build the storm sewer.

Commissioner Leaf asked if the sewer would be sized to handle the whole neighborhood.

Mr. Bernstein stated that was not discussed with the engineer. If that happens they would go to the neighbors to see if they are interested and if so there would be a recapture agreement.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated everyone is draining onto their own lot now.

Mr. Bernstein stated there is a swale that is west of Acorn where it drains into it. A lot of the water drains on site now.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked how the size of Lot 2 compares to the other lots.

Mr. Bernstein stated it is comparable and it meets the requirements of R4.

Mr. Schuster stated the real reason there is this provision about private roads is because from a planning perspective, the City does not want to encourage private roads and they do not have the same standards. Do they think this is in keeping with the purposes of the subdivision code?

Mr. Bernstein stated it meets the minimum width, depth and area in the zoning district and but for private road, it meets the provisions of the subdivision code.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked if they had met with the neighbors.

Mr. Bernstein stated no.

Chair Hecht asked if the street could be dedicated to the City.

Director Fontane stated the City would not want to accept the street and it is substandard.

Mr. Bernstein stated if the lot is ever developed and the heritage tree is an issue the neighbors would be notified of the ZBA variation procedure.

Ms. Ida Greenfield, 90 Acorn, Highland Park, IL, stated she was concerned about the water and storm sewers.

Planner Burhop stated if the Commission is ready this would be signed by the Chair, but since this going before the Commission for a recommendation on the variation he had prepared something. The last page is a signature block and the front page is a recommendation and the findings of fact. The Commission is only making a recommendation on the variation.

Planner Cross stated the next step would be a motion to grant the variation.

Commissioner Glazer motioned to approve, seconded by Commissioner Kutscheid.

Director Fontane called the roll:

Ayes: Lidawer, Pearlstein, Leaf, Kutscheid, Glazer, Reinstein

Nays: Hecht

Motion passed 6-1.


1. Administrative Design Review Approvals - None for Review

2. Next Regular Meeting - April 16, 2019

3. Case Briefing - None




Chair Hecht entertained a motion to adjourn. Vice Chair Reinstein so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Lidawer. On a voice vote, the motion passed unanimously.

The Plan and Design Commission adjourned at 11:45 PM.

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