City of Highland Park Sustainability Advisory Group met April 10
City of Highland Park Sustainability Advisory Group met April 10.
Here is the minutes provided by the group:
CALL TO ORDER
At 6:30 PM, Chair Wagenius called the meeting to order and Assistant City Manager Sabo called the roll.
Advisors Present: Advisors Cardick, Falzone (arrived at 6:32 PM), Futterman, Kramer (arrived at 6:38
PM), LaCosse, Meyer, Papakos, Ross (arrived at 6:32 PM), Nichols (VC), and
Advisors Absent: None
Chair Wagenius declared that there was a quorum of the Advisory Group present.
Staff Present: Rob Sabo, Assistant City Manager
Also Present: Councilwoman Kim Stone
Karl Burhop, Planner II
Eli Wurster, Student Representative
(a) Approval of the March 13, 2019 Regular Sustainability Advisory Group Meeting Minutes
Chairman Wagenius noted that Advisor Meyer was not present at the previous meeting and should reflect as such and Advisor Papakos was absent. Advisor LaCosse moved to approve the minutes of the March 13, 2019 Regular Sustainability Advisory Group meeting as amended. Advisor Falzone seconded the motion. Upon a voice vote, Chairman Wagenius declared the motion passed unanimously.
BUSINESS FROM THE PUBLIC
There was no business from the public.
a) Pre-Application Meeting for 53 Sycamore Place, a Request to Perform a Regulated Activity within the Lake Michigan Protection Zone
Planner II Burhop explained that the proposed project appeared previously at a pre-application meeting before the Natural Resources Commission (“NRC”), however, a formal plan was not submitted in the required time as set forth in the City Code. He provided an overview of the purpose of the pre-application meeting and the feedback sought from the Sustainability Advisory Group (“SAG”). He provided an overview of the subject property. He explained that the applicant will stay out of the Steep Slope Zone on the property as part of this project. He explained the permits required for the project. He explained the standards which the SAG will consider when the application is formally submitted. He explained that the application is the same as was submitted in last November, except that the plans are stamped by a licensed geologist. He identified the quarry stone revetment. He provided an aerial photograph of the area. He provided an overview of the City’s Beach Structure Standards which will be reviewed by the SAG when the formal application is submitted. He stated that in December, 2018, during business from the public, Mr. Joel Cahn spoke at the meeting and submitted written comment to the NRC. Planner II Burhop passed out copies of the submittals from the December 2018 NRC from Mr. Cahn to the SAG. He provided an overview of the City comments on the application which have not changed since the last pre-application meeting at the NRC in 2018.
Mr. Jon Shabica, of Shabica and Associates, introduced himself and his company and explained that he represents the property owner. He explained that this site is an example of what most of Highland Park’s shoreline involves. He explained that there is a large section of steel sheeting and there is a 42” pressurized sewer owned by the North Shore Water Reclamation District along the lake front. The homeowner desires to launch his boat over the sewer. There is no work being done lakeward except for installation of H piles. It took 3 months working with the Water Reclamation District to determine if they had to comment on the installation of the H piles because it is outside of the easement of the pipe. Ultimately, their board gave approval to the project. The project looks to remove some of the armor stone to get access for a boat. The boat launch will use temporary ramps. He explained that Mr. Cahn’s comments are regarding work behind the project. There is no stonework on the lake side. There will be no impact to littoral drift or beach walking. There is no beach in front of the shoreline. This is for the home owner during extreme events to still use their beach. Alternatives would be to build a break water to maintain a stable beach, however, it didn’t make sense with the sewer that is there. He asked to expedite the application given the amount of time it took to obtain permits from the Water Reclamation District.
Advisor Papakos inquired about the elevation of the revetment.
Mr. Shabica summarized the elevations. The entire revetment is about 590. The new piles will be on the lake ward side around 586 elevation.
Councilwoman Stone asked if this project is for erosion control or for the boat launch.
Mr. Shabica explained that the revetment will have some new stone placed behind the existing revetment and before the toe of the bluff. There are waves that overtop the stone which have begun to scour the area behind the revetment. He showed a picture of a similar ramp system installed in Glencoe. He explained that the ramps are removable. They would only be installed if the beach is dissolved to the point that they are needed. He presented an image of the beach.
Councilwoman Stone asked if the piles are permanent.
Mr. Shabica explained that the piles are permanent but the ramps are temporary and only used as needed. The condition of the steel is not supportive.
Advisor LaCosse inquired about where the ramps are stored when not used.
Mr. Shabica explained that the ramps would be along the bluff. He explained that there is an old seawall on the site as well. Most of the revetments were installed in the 70’s and 80’s by the North Shore Sanitary District due to damage to the pressurized sewer that exists there. The Army Corps of Engineers came in and funded most of the projects.
Planner II Burhop explained that past practice has been that there will be a Special Meeting before the Regular Meeting which is a site visit to the property where the work will occur. That is a published public meeting that the public may attend.
Councilwoman Stone said that once the additional rock is added, it will be difficult to walk across the beach.
Mr. Shabica explained that the rock will be placed behind the existing rock. The rocks are not made to be walked on.
Advisor Ross explained that he generally supports the project but the standards say that the project should be for erosion control or public access. He asked if public access will be given to the ramps that are installed.
Mr. Shabica explained that the ramp will be made available for public use in an emergency.
Advisor Ross explained that the current standards prohibit the H piles as they don’t control erosion or public access.
Mr. Shabica explained the ramps are needed to get over the sewer into the water.
Councilwoman Stone asked if adding sand will help.
Mr. Shabica explained that sand may wash away in one storm. He explained that Lake Michigan is at 580.6 and the Army Corps of Engineers predicts a 12-16” rise in lake levels. He provided information on an ongoing lawsuit in a property south of the subject property related to failing to protect the shoreline. The Gitdwitz property is eroded all the way to the top of the bluff.
b) Environmental Award Nomination
Advisor Futterman announced that the nominee is his spouse and recused himself from the discussion. He left the room at 7:10PM.
Assistant City Manager Sabo provided an overview of the Environmental Award and the review and feedback requested from the SAG.
Chairman Wagenius asked that the Advisors to complete their evaluation surveys independently by Friday, April 12 by 5:00 PM.
c) Presentation of the Million Pollinator Project
Chairman Wagenius announced that this item will be scheduled on a future SAG agenda as the representative from the Million Pollinator Project was not able to attend the meeting.
a) Review of Sustainability Advisory Group Action Plan
i. Sustainability Communications Plan
Vice-Chair Nichols provided an overview of updates she made to the Sustainability Communications Plan. The SAG discussed the purpose and the way the Sustainability Communications Plan is used. The SAG Advisors were invited to provide any additional feedback on the Sustainability Communications Plan and to also share the City’s Facebook and Twitter posts regarding sustainability initiatives.
ii. Grant Opportunities
Advisor Ross provided an overview of grant opportunities that may be applicable to the City or its sister governments.
iii. Posting on the Sustainable HP Website
Chairman Wagenius provided information about the Sustainable HP map and asked all the SAG Advisors to encourage neighbors to post on the map and to also share the map through social media to build awareness.
(a) Advisor Comments
Vice-Chair Nichols shared a report on the impacts of idling vehicles on pregnancy and childhood development. She provided information about a pending Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (“IEPA”) permit application and provided information on how residents can submit feedback on pending IEPA permits.
Advisor Papakos stated that she is drafting the article for the Highlander as part of the SAG’s Action Plan.
Councilwoman Stone announced that Pace has agreed to conduct a pilot program in Highland Park with two electric buses. The City is working to encourage Pace to apply for funding through the Volkswagen settlement. She announced that there is a Family Friendly Bikeway in Highland Park in the Highlands neighborhood. She announced that Go Green Wilmette is working on a community solar project. She announced the Chicago River Cleanup event on May 11 being coordinated by the Park District of Highland Park.
Chairman Wagenius announced that there is a river awareness event on April 11 at Goose Island in Chicago. He announced Unearth Day at the Chicago Botanic Garden the weekend of April 13 and a Science After Hour event on April 12.
(b) Administrative Items / Staff Report
Assistant City Manager Sabo announced that he will be attending a meeting at Lake County to interview solar panel contractors that bid on the Lake County joint solar bid. He announced that the City Council provided approval for staff to draft an ordinance to allow for backyard chicken keeping on single family residential properties.
Motion to adjourn made by Advisor Ross, seconded by Vice-Chair Nichols. Upon a voice vote, the meeting was adjourned at 8:23 PM.