City of Highland Park Plan Commission met April 6
City of Highland Park Plan Commission met May 6.
Here is the minutes provided by the commission:
I. CALL TO ORDER
At 7:35 PM Chair Hecht called the meeting to order and asked Director Fontane to call the roll.
II. ROLL CALL
Director Fontane took the roll and declared a quorum present.
Members Present: Glazer, Hecht, Kutscheid, Lidawer, Leaf, Pearlstein
Members Absent: Reinstein
Staff Present: Cross, Fontane, Jackson
Student Rep.: None
Council Liaison: Schuster, Blumberg, Stolberg
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
March 19, 2019
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to approve the minutes of the March 19, 2019 meeting. Commissioner Kutscheid so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein. Commissioner Glazer abstained. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
April 2, 2019
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to approve the minutes of the April 2, 2019 meeting with corrections. Commissioner Lidawer so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Kutscheid with corrections. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
IV. SCHEDULED BUSINESS
Design Review - 2490 Skokie Valley Rd. - The Audi Exchange
Planner Cross made a presentation for the above item including background, proposed changes, exterior cladding on the old D&R Auto building, site plan change – proposed change, general design standards.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the impact to the lighting, landscape and grading plans was minimal.
Planner Cross stated they met other landscape standards and this does not impact the area of vehicle use area that needs to be landscaped. There will not be a significant impact on the landscape plan and the lighting fixtures are moving slightly.
Commissioner Lidawer asked if the 24’ space was currently there. Planner Cross stated he would defer to the architect.
Commissioner Lidawer stated the approved design was 28.5’ distance.
Mr. Jason Dutkovich, 39W003 Patricia Ln., Geneva, IL, Architect, stated it is being reverted back to the way it is now with no reduction or addition to the drive aisles as they currently exist.
Planner Cross stated any change to the drainage and grading plan can be accommodated by the City engineering staff and the development agreement allows the City Engineer to make small changes as needed within his authority.
Commissioner Pearlstein asked if there were any new materials.
Planner Cross stated no they were presented a year ago and they did not bring them again.
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to approve. Commissioner Kutscheid so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein.
Director Fontane called the roll:
Ayes: Lidawer, Pearlstein, Leaf, Kutscheid, Glazer, Hecht Nays: None
Motion passed 6-0.
2. Design Review - 945 North Ave. - Northwood Middle School
Planner Jackson made a presentation for the above item including application summary, existing conditions, proposed demolitions, site plan, parking and circulation, landscape plan, heritage tree removal, rooftop screening, building design: south, west, east and north elevations, lighting, standards for review and recommendation.
Commissioner Lidawer asked if the lighting fixtures were grandfathered in.
Planner Jackson stated not necessarily and this was something the Commission could review.
Commissioner Lidawer asked about adding seven parking spaces.
Planner Jackson stated potentially there will be seven additional staff members coming on site. They are not looking at the parking ratios, just the design.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the parking lot spaces were permeable pavers. He asked if they had been taken into account as it relates to the stormwater calculations.
Planner Jackson stated stormwater will be reviewed as part of the building permit process.
Dr. Mike Lubelfeld, North Shore School Dist. 112, Highland Park, IL, Superintendent, made a presentation for the above item including community engagement, enrollment is down over the past five years from 2013-2018, modernization designed to take social/emotional view of school and design, making it more inviting, major functions larger library, dining space, not an expansion, but an upgrade.
Ms. Leanne Meyer-Smith, Wight Engineers, 2500 N. Frontage, Darien, IL, Architect, made a presentation including maintaining capital investments, support curriculum evolution, maximizing current and future resources, timeline, mission statement, design thesis, existing front façade, two-story classroom addition, adding 39,000 – 40,000 s.f. net, music addition/storm shelter, removing portable classrooms, cafeteria/learning commons, proposed site plan, first and second floor plans, main entry, green roof, photos of area homes, North Ave. façade looking east and west, courtyard view, music addition and demonstration of materials.
Commissioner Glazer asked about the houses nearby and if they had spoken with the neighbors and showed them the plans.
Dr. Lubelfeld stated yes, they had walked door to door to about 50-60 of the neighbors and talked to a third and explained what they are doing. They gave them a packet. Five or six people called and had some questions about parking on streets, problems in the past and people said it looks great. They have used social media to get some feedback which has been positive.
Commissioner Glazer asked if they were aware of neighbors who have difficulty or have expressed opposition to the plans.
Dr. Lubelfeld stated one neighbor is very concerned about shrubbery in his backyard area. He wanted to make sure they would screen the AC on the roof and that they are sensitive to the shrubbery in the back to make sure there is a proper screen.
Commissioner Glazer asked why they are changing the name.
Dr. Lubelfeld stated this is to be more reflective of the philosophy of education of the whole child, focusing on social relationships and emotional part of there education. The name will reflect what their beliefs are.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if there would be an issue with the base material durability and stain resistance from salt and maintenance.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated they chose a stone product not a clay brick because the white clay bricks tend to be softer. It is a manufactured hard stone product that alleviates those concerns. They chose it for the durability.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if it was cladding rather than full depth. Ms. Meyer-Smith stated it was full depth face brick.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated some of the graphics showed a planter seat wall in front and some did not. He asked if they were planning to have a planter wall.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated they are not. They have bollards to keep traffic off the sidewalk. They are not planning to build the seat wall.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the landscape will be irrigated. Ms. Meyer-Smith stated it will not.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated the west wall seems to be plain brick 30’ high wall. He asked if they could break it up.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated it does go in and out and staggers in. That is one of the reasons they bent down because the current addition goes straight out and it goes to the property line. When they bend it down the elevation is not flat against the fence.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated it is still a 30’ high wall close to the property line.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated the corner of the current building comes to 6.5’ away from the property line and now it is 8’ away and the now entire wall is 6’. They are out almost 35’ and it bends quite a bit.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if there is a way to can break up the wall visually rather than solid maybe with a little lighter brick.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated the style is in keeping with the brick fins they are creating to frame the space. They could do something back there.
Commissioner Pearlstein agreed with Commissioner Kutscheid that there is a lot of motion and then the solid density of the brick. It is almost like two separate buildings.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated it is meant to be the stop point, the curve going along with the windows and then there is the stop and the white to frame it. The corner is a good 30’ away from the property line. The patterned lines in the brick make it more lively.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the one-third bond.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated the bricks are staggered and there is a continuous one that goes every so many courses and makes a nice visual. It does match part of the school that is out there.
Commissioner Leaf asked if it was similar to the right side.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated yes it makes a nice pattern and gives texture to the wall.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the pattern was on the west.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated it was and they could exaggerate it more.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the courtyard trees and the red bud shape does not look like the shape in the graphic.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated sometimes the renderers do not replicate the exact shape when they put in a tree on the rendering. What is on the landscape plan is what is intended.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the permeable pavers in the lot and if they were an alternate.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated they are a best practice where they can try to filter the water. Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the color and shape of the pavers.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated they have not selected them yet.
Commissioner Lidawer stated they hope to be complete by 12-31-20 with one grade level at a time and it would not be fully occupied until spring of 2021. She asked if that was just because they were spreading it out.
Dr. Lubelfeld stated they want to make sure when the school is open that they are ready to bring people back and he would rather under promise and over promise. They can commit to bring back a grade level that bring back the others shortly thereafter.
Commissioner Lidawer stated she wanted to thank Ms. Meyer-Smith for her clarification on the parking lot.
Commissioner Leaf asked about the photometric plan and he was seeing not a 1 foot candle or less at the perimeter of the property.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated the east parking lot has two poles and the property line is across the field and it does not exceed. They can change the housing on the fixtures. They are asking to reuse the poles. If they shorten the poles it will be more intense. They are asking to leave the lighting the way it is.
Commissioner Leaf stated on final submission it needs to be 1 foot candle or less or they need to ask for relief.
Commissioner Glazer asked how much light they were proposing to use. Ms. Meyer-Smith stated 4100 K is the bulb temperature.
Planner Cross stated they are reusing five of the six fixtures and asked if there are new fixtures to be put on the light poles.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated they are staying as is.
Councilman Blumberg asked if they were amenable to different temperatures of light bulbs.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated they could change them, but they are 4100 now which meets the ordinance.
Councilman Blumberg stated they generally shoot for 3000.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated they will see if they are changeable. They do have a cut sheet and will look at it.
Councilman Blumberg stated this would be subject to being changeable and should still serve the purpose.
Commissioner Leaf stated the lighting plan should show at the property line what the foot candles are.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated there was a second lighting plan where they took the foot candles down.
Planner Cross stated if the Commission feels it is a reasonable ask it could be added as a condition of approval to have the fixtures modified.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated they are LEDs.
Councilman Blumberg stated there is the question of changing the bulb. The other question is whether they want to request to change the fixture to be in compliance with a 3000 K temperature.
The following residents expressed their concerns:
Mr. Steve Pollack, 2859 Summit, Highland Park, IL Mr. David Mokotoff, 2920 Priscilla, Highland Park, IL
Landscaping plan does not show impact on adjacent houses, will create construction noise, row of arbor vitaes, five houses are impacted, utility easement between properties, this type of vegetation does not screen, remove material and plant evergreens, area is used by local wildlife, screening for all houses, will be a big volume increase of school, time of work during week and weekends, bright light shines into house, impact of lighting and how it will affect residents, no barrier to light, water drainage in surrounding area, traffic impact, where will workmen park, cost of project.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated the cost of the project is $37,000,000. Chair Hecht asked about the ordinance for construction hours.
Director Fontane stated indoor construction can happen at any time. Outdoor construction can happen Monday - Friday 7 AM -7 PM, 9 AM - 5 PM on Saturday and none on Sundays or holidays.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated they are looking at the landscaping seriously and are adding more trees to the plan. Along the west property line the red outline is the original building they are tearing down and the yellow area is what they are adding. The row of arbor vitae goes along the first, second and third lots. The landscaping goes in at the end of the project not during the project, because it would be ruined. They will be adding a 6’ construction fence and will put vinyl on for dust blow off and when that is done it will be removed. Whatever fences the neighbors own will stay as is. They are asking for the same lighting as there is now. There will be a light by the music addition door.
Commissioner Glazer stated the landscaping plan is sound and they are adding trees beyond what they are required to provide. It is good to hear they are soliciting neighbor input on the project. It is a significant addition to an important school and it has impact on the neighborhood. The proposal before the Commission is for design review and they are not in the business of second guessing the larger plans for Northwood. He wanted to see they condition the approval on the sensitivity of the light structures and they stay consistent with the City’s efforts for 3000 K.
Commissioner Leaf stated the plans do not reflect 1 foot candle at boundary lines.
Commissioner Lidawer stated the landscape plan put forth a great effort. She stated the density does change with the second story and the shrubs for the three houses would be more than adequate under normal circumstances. She stated they could add a few more for houses four and five and it would not be that costly. They could add more evergreens because the density will be greater than has been to date.
Councilman Blumberg stated one of his concerns was that the additional planting be placed prior to construction. This cannot happen because they would be killed in the course of construction, but he agreed with it as post-construction.
Planner Cross mentioned the design of the building’s wall and asked Commissioner Kutscheid if he wanted to reiterate his thoughts.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated he thought they answered the questions and they will be adding an additional pattern to the wall. He mentioned the permeable pavers and the material.
Councilman Blumberg asked if this had to be complaint with a County requirement. Commissioner Kutscheid stated it is an aesthetic issue regarding color, shape and texture.
Planner Cross stated they could add a condition of approval on what the Commission would like to see. Staff will work with the applicant to meet that as best as possible.
Ms. Meyer-Smith stated they did not bring a sample but the pavers come in a light tan, dark brown and a reddish color. The intent would be to use the red to go with the school brick.
Commissioner Kutscheid asked if they would be concrete or clay. Ms. Meyer-Smith stated they use Unilock.
Commissioner Lidawer asked if this was used at the high school. Ms. Meyer-Smith stated she did not know.
Director Fontane stated this is a situation where it is up to the Commission as to whether they need more information. They could make a condition that it would be reviewed and approved administratively.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated they might propose something crazy which he did not think they would.
Mr. Mokotoff asked what is the process after tonight.
Planner Cross stated this is the final public step. Design review is a one-step process and the Commission has full review authority over petitions. Plans submitted will be reviewed using tonight’s approved drawings. This will be the last time unless there is further consideration if the school needs to come back to amend something.
Chair Hecht asked about the administrative approval for the pavers.
Planner Cross stated if that is a condition that would be handled administratively. If it was denied then it would be brought to the Commission and heard publicly.
Councilman Blumberg stated it would have to be fully noticed.
Chair Hecht entertained a motion for approval. Commissioner Pearlstein so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Lidawer.
Planner Cross stated the Commission is interested in the applicant making their best effort to install 3000 K fixtures, limit photometric output to 1 foot candle at the property lines, adding more arbor vitae/evergreens/shrubs houses four and five, administrative review for pavers and additional pattern on the brick wall.
Director Fontane called the roll:
Ayes: Lidawer, Pearlstein, Leaf, Kutscheid, Glazer, Hecht Nays: None
Motion passed 6-0.
3. Continuation of Public Hearing #18-12-ZTA-005 and Consideration of Staff- Drafted Findings of Fact Recommending Approval for Proposed Text Amendments to Chapter 150, the City of Highland Park Zoning Ordinance of 1997 (as Amended), Related to Public and Private Covenants, Easement, Restrictions and Subdivision Building Lines (also Known as Subdivision Setback Lines).
Planner Cross stated this item is related to subdivision setback lines.
Director Fontane stated at this time they had nothing to present. The are taking feedback from the Commission and will regroup and come back either before the Commission or touch base with the City Council committee of the whole before coming back.
Planner Cross stated no motion or recommendation is required. If this does need to come back for more hearings it will be re-noticed.
Director Fontane stated it is suspended for now and it will be taken under advisement.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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 4, 5 and 6 will considered at the May 7, 2019 meeting.
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to reschedule to the May 7, 2019 meeting. Commissioner Lidawer so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein. On a voice vote, the motion passed unanimously.
7. Public Hearing #19-04-SUP-001 for a Special Use Consideration, Consideration of Staff-Drafted Findings of Fact, and Design Review for a “Child Care Facility” a Conditional Land Use in the R4 Single Family Zoning District at 640 Ridge Rd.
Councilman Blumberg recused himself from this item.
Planner Cross made a presentation for the above item including location map, previous consideration, conditions of approval, revised site lighting and photometric plan, updated landscaping plan, landscaping variations, standards for landscaping variations, updated site plan, new building proposed, building notes, design review approval, findings of fact and conditions of approval and recommendation.
Mr. David Meek, 513 Central, Highland Park, IL, Attorney, made a presentation including design review, three-acre site, access, stormwater detention, maintaining open space, designed a building that could be installed on site, has the look of regularly constructed building, is at the backside of center, site photos, statement from architect, want it to look like a school building, pitched roof is cost prohibitive, revised landscape plan, safe structural design, monument sign, conformance with design review standards.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated some of the native plants for detention basin are over 10’ in height. The play area does not meet CPSC safety standards and they may want to review the balance beam being against the fence.
Ms. Lisa Adelmund, Highland Park Community Nursery School & Day Care Center, 1850 Green Bay, Highland Park, IL, Applicant, stated as part of their licensing requirements with DCFS they have to go through a number of safety standards with their playground. When they call it a balance beam it is really a plank of wood on the ground and they put it next to the fence so the children can hold on when they are walking. It is a 6” step.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated his reading was different.
Ms. Adelmund stated as part of their licensing process they look at their playground and they tell them what to do. They also have their insurance audit to make sure they are doing all the safety things required to get a better rating.
Mr. Schuster stated they have to comply with the law and to the extent there is an issue with licensing it would require modifications to what has been approved. If there is something that has to be adjusted they will have to come into compliance.
Commissioner Kutscheid stated it does not look like a permanent structure and does not feel substantial.
Commissioner Lidawer stated she did not like it that 43 shrubs are being taken out and thought it was a substantial number. She asked if this was contingent upon agreements they have not seen and has an arrangement been made with the Park Dist.
Mr. Meek stated they are in front of them on April 23rd for approval of the easement agreement and it is being finalized now.
Commissioner Lidawer asked if all of this was contingent upon any of those agreements and all of them being completed.
Mr. Schuster stated he would suggest that they would put a condition in the approval to make sure there are no access issues. In terms of the agreements, they review them to address City issues. They do not get into the content and substance between two private parties. They are left up to the landlord and tenant. Any approval is conditioned on the fact that they have to have a property interest involved so the zoning would not be effective until they have secured the leasehold interest in the property.
Mr. Meek stated they just received approval from Dist. 112 on the lease. Chair Hecht asked if that was part of design review.
Mr. Schuster stated the other would be part of the special use. There are two approvals. They can add a condition if they feel it is appropriate.
Mr. Meek stated regarding the shrubs, the measure is from lot lines and they are dealing with a three-acre site and hundreds of feet of lot lines for a building that about a quarter of the size that could be built on this property as of right. They are provided landscaping, buffering, screening of the site and treatment of the site with preservation of the open space with the costs they had to bear. They needed a loan to buy the building and do the site improvements. They are balancing the aesthetic and feasibility. They are providing 103 shrubs on site and placing them around the building and parking area. There is a heavily wooded buffer along the north property line. They think this an appropriate number of shrubs and the code has a mechanism for requesting relief. They are trying to balance the utilization of the site. The site is open space and the playground can be used on the weekend for toddler activities not available at the Park Dist.
Commissioner Leaf asked about the landscape relief being requested. He asked if the building could fit on a lot one-quarter the size.
Mr. Meek stated if it was a quarter of the size the measure of landscaping quantity would be reduced because the lot dimensions would be smaller.
Planner Cross stated staff concurred a smaller lot would impact the quantity measurements of landscaping.
Chair Hecht stated if the property was subdivided in the context of a development it would require less than what is being provided.
Mr. Meek stated should they have the ability to do an addition they would have to come for design review as well.
Chair Hecht asked if anyone from the public wished to speak.
Planner Cross stated the motion would be to approve the design elements in the project and a motion to approve the findings of fact as drafted or amended with the conditions of approval.
Mr. Meek asked if they need to make findings with respect to the landscape areas. Planner Cross stated that would be approved as part of the design review approval.
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to approve the design review. Commissioner Glazer so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Leaf.
Director Fontane called the roll: Ayes: Leaf, Glazer, Hecht Nays: Pearlstein, Kutscheid Abstain: Lidawer
Motion passed 3-2.
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to approve the staff drafted findings of fact. Commissioner Leaf so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Kutscheid.
Ayes: Lidawer, Pearlstein, Leaf, Kutscheid, Glazer, Hecht Nays: None
Motion passed 6-0.
8. Continuation of Public Hearing #17-10-ZTA-004 and Consideration of Staff- Drafted Findings of Fact for a Zoning Text Amendment, Article 21, Inclusionary Housing of Chapter 150, the City of Highland Park Zoning Ordinance of 1997, as Amended, to Modify Provisions in the Code Concerning Allowing Partial Payments In-Lieu and Payments In-Lieu for Fractional Units Required; Make the PUD Discretionary Bonus a By-Right; Timing of Payments In-Lieu, Calculation of Fee Waivers; Consideration of Amenities; and Proportion of Units Required to be Affordable.
9. Continuation of Public Hearing #19-02-ZTA-001 and Consideration of Staff- Drafted Findings of Fact for a Zoning Text Amendment to Article 21, Inclusionary Housing of Chapter 150, Section 150.2112 (B) the City of Highland Park Zoning Ordinance of 1997 (as Amended), to Change the Term that Inclusionary Rental Units are to Remain Affordable from the Current 25-Year Period into Perpetuity.
Items 8 and 9 will be considered concurrently.
Director Fontane made a presentation including previous consideration, parking and storage, establishing a minimum number of affordable units and payment in lieu based on unit type, reinforce that provision of units on-site is preferable to alternatives, fee in lieu amount as the floor for cash payment, timing of Housing Commission recommendation, on-site preference, proposed sections overview, additional standards/guidelines, standards or guidelines, recommendation and consideration.
Commissioner Glazer stated if it was a project that did not accommodate bonus units and only had a limited number of spaces available, it would seem that kind of built in incentive would not be applicable.
Director Fontane stated if they exceed the underlying zoning density they can still benefit from market rate unit bonuses. The effective rate will still be about 15-16% in either situation.
Commissioner Glazer asked how you would benefit from eligibility for a bonus.
Director Fontane stated it can be used two ways, as a density bonus to exceed the by right density or just as a bonus to reduce the overall required percentage of units in the building being affordable.
Commissioner Glazer asked why they would want to encourage that.
Director Fontane stated the bonuses are intended to reduce the overall effective rate.
Director Fontane stated this was correct they do not want to punish a developer who chooses to live within the by right density prescribed by the code but only give it to those who exceed the density a bonus.
Commissioner Glazer asked if the policy is to encourage affordable housing the message seems to get muddled if they are not coming out in favor of providing for the maximum number of affordable units that they can include in a new development on site if that is their preference. He thought there was room for clarity in the message beyond what we are seeing in the presentation.
Director Fontane stated this was semantics and the question was the reorganization provides clarity to the developer as to what their options are. It does not hide any options or discourage options. They could insert additional text in the appropriate sections.
Councilman Blumberg stated (unintelligible). it was a different way of expressing the percentage of affordable units. The issue of density bonuses and whether someone does have the space to take advantage of the density bonus has not been an issue.
Director Fontane stated there are no changes proposed for those incentives.
Commissioner Glazer stated Director Fontane knows the limitations in the abilities of the Commission. In terms of the potential of offering additional standards is there a sounding board or a resource from other cities or commissions that have considered the issue or perhaps within Highland Park other organizations that have looked at this who are better equipped.
Director Fontane stated they did not propose to add standards initially. This was in response to Commission questions and testimony. The equal to or greater than standard still remains. They have spent a considerable amount of time considering these changes and the standard is what the standard is now and could continue to be.
Commissioner Lidawer stated she was distressed that they did not receive until tonight the comments from the public. There seems to be significant disagreement with staff recommendations. She did not view it as semantics. She viewed as the over arching policy and some of the statements she was able to look over at a cursory level seem to be something to be digested a little better and thought out more thoroughly than to discuss it at 10:15 PM. She knew this had been continued before, but this is the kind of direction they need to get right. She thought they were losing some of the gist of this and some of the introductory language about the fact that they want housing on site and the whole policy seems to have been lost. She thought this was problematic and was not sure they could digest it with the information they received shortly before the meeting. She could not vote on this tonight.
Commissioner Glazer stated if something came from an applicant they would need guidance from staff. Staff would state what best practices are what other communities have used. When the request comes from staff they do not have anyone to turn to. He wanted to hear what other best practices are and not just one opinion.
Councilman Blumberg stated getting information as to what other communities are doing is useful but Highland Park is the most progressive community in terms of their affordable housing program. It is one of the most robust in the state. The goal of the changes is to make affordable housing more digestible. They need to consider the need for certainty and when considering whatever they are going to do there should be a consistency between how by right fee in lieu is calculated. There should be identical standards of in terms what they pay for and how they pay for them.
Director Fontane stated his recommendation was if the Commission wanted to make sure that on site units are preferred in each of the alternates, then they could do that. In terms of knowing what to do, staff repackaged this with a menu of options to chose from. Those options have degrees of risk associated with discretionary approval and different incentives to which the on site is advantageous financially. It is a package and they could state each time in the preamble to those sections. The answer to that concern is the answer that is what they have today. There are different things to think about in terms of the standards.
Commissioner Leaf asked about the process the Housing Commission has considered about the changes and were there public hearings.
Director Fontane stated there were six public meetings. Commissioner Leaf asked if this was the only vote on it.
Director Fontane stated this is a zoning ordinance and that is correct. It will then go to City Council for final action.
Director Fontane stated it went through the Housing Commission to the Plan Commission. They took that from November 13th and converted it. That was not code but policy ideas. There are many ways to draft things and they worked with Corporate Counsel. The idea was to group them as options so the developer could see you had to do one of the following.
Commissioner Lidawer stated it was crucial they have something in writing and have clarity. She did not see this as clarity now both between the number of issues and where the preamble should be. She would like time to digest this material and did not need another presentation. The language should be right and the policy is not clear.
Councilman Blumberg stated the original requirement for affordable housing required that affordable housing units shall be located on site of the covered development. It is obligatory and limited to on site. There is proposed language that uses the word “may” which implies discretion and is inconsistent with the policy. It is inconsistent with the code as it applies to multi-family. There are portions of the code where it is entirely by right and discretionary to the developer when building 20 units or less of single family homes. Because this is not distinguishing between these two eventualities he was concerned that it remain an expression of non-discretion and that it is compulsory unless the developer meets the standards set forth.
Commissioner Glazer asked if he said it should remain the same.
Councilman Blumberg stated there are two situations. When developer is proposing to build multi-family and single family developments greater than 20 units there is no discretion and they must meet our policy. If you propose a cash payment in lieu of a unit you have to satisfy the difficult requirement that you are providing equal to or greater off site affordable housing opportunities. A developer who is developing single family developments of less than 20 homes has a right to pay fee in lieu and it is the one exception.
Commissioner Glazer stated that was a common exception.
Councilman Blumberg stated when building small developments it is economically impossible to have a single family development of that size and insist on on-site affordable units.
Director Fontane stated the code says this shall provide on-site except where otherwise provided.
Councilman Blumberg stated as an attorney he has experienced courts will grant discretion wherever it is found in an ordinance and if there is a conflict between a “shall” or a “may,” the “may” will generally be granted.
Commissioner Lidawer stated the “may” gives wiggle room and that is why it is granted.
Councilman Blumberg stated if there is an exception to a single family development that might be a separate section to discuss. Since they are talking about continuing, do they want to take public comment tonight.
Chair Hecht stated there are real concerns they received information they have not reviewed. It would be difficult to respond to public comment until they have reviewed the materials they were just provided.
Director Fontane asked it they would like staff to provide a revised version that includes the “shall” and talks about the policy section.
Commissioner Glazer stated he had seen statutory language that includes the word “shall” where courts have not interpreted “shall” in the mandatory. They have interpreted it to mean “may.” He asked if there was value in asking Mr. Schuster to weigh in on this and if they could get advice from Corporate Counsel.
Director Fontane stated Mr. Passman is scheduled to be at the next meeting and he helped draft this.
Mr. Schuster stated they would work with staff for the next meeting and present their thoughts.
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to continue to May 7, 2019. Commissioner Pearlstein so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Lidawer. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
10. Public Hearing #19-02-ZTA-002 to Amend the Text of Chapter 150, the Zoning Code, Including Standards, Provisions, and Uses Allowed, found in Article IV of Chapter 150.
11. Public Hearing #19-02-REZ-001 to Establish Zoning Map Boundaries of the Briergate District. The Public Hearing will Include a Consideration to Create a New Overlay District, Zoning District Changes Potentially Involving a Change to B4-4, Changes in Permitted Uses, or a Combination.
Chair Hecht stated it was after 10:30 PM and he could exercise his discretion to continue the above items to the next meeting.
begun prior to 10:30 PM. This hearing was advertised and if it is the Commission’s desire to not discuss these last items he could open the public hearing and continue it without discussion.
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to continue items 10 and 11 to May 7, 2019. Commissioner Kutscheid so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
Administrative Design Review Approvals - None for Review
Next Regular Meeting - May 7, 2019
The 1535 Park Avenue West continuation will appear on the May 7th agenda. Legal training will be held May 7, 2019.
The inclusionary housing discussion will be on the May 7th agenda.
VI. BUSINESS FROM THE PUBLIC
Chair Hecht entertained a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Kutscheid so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein. On a voice vote, the motion passed unanimously.
The Plan and Design Commission adjourned at 10:40 PM.