Lake County Gazette

Lake County Gazette

Thursday, December 5, 2019

City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission met October 22

By Philip Gonzales | Nov 12, 2019

Shutterstock 314838419

City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission met Oct. 22.

Here is the minutes provided by the commission:


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


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

Members Absent: Hecht

Director Fontane took the roll and declared a quorum present.

Staff Present: Awsumb, Burhop, Cross, Fontane, Kosmatka

Student Rep.: None

Council Liaison: Schuster, Stolberg


September 17, 2019

Vice Chair Reinstein entertained a motion to approve the minutes of the September 17, 2019 meeting with corrections. Commissioner Lidawer so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein. On a voice vote, the minutes were approved unanimously. Commissioner Glazer abstained.

September 24, 2019

Vice Chair Reinstein entertained a motion to approve the minutes of the September 24, 2019 meeting with corrections. Commissioner Lidawer so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein. On a voice vote, the minutes were approved unanimously.


1. Design Review: Sign Variation of Exterior Lighting at 1775 St. Johns Ave.

Planner Kosmatka made a presentation for the above item including location map, existing condition, proposed gooseneck lighting, proposed awning sign, proposed sign variation, sign variation standards, proposed lighting and recommendation.

Commissioner Glazer stated they do not typically receive recommendations with respect to proposals. He asked if there was a particular reason they offered recommendations.

Planner Cross stated staff will recommend approval if a proposal is found to meet applicable standards in the code.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the sconces had been analyzed for ADA compliance. Planner Cross stated that is not part of the zoning review.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if that would be done prior to installation.

Planner Cross stated it is part of the building permit review process.

Commissioner Glazer asked if the applicant was present.

Planner Kosmatka stated she reminded Dr. Cohen of the meeting, but she was not present.

Commissioner Lidawer asked if there was a format for an applicant to be present.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated he was not aware of any. This was a design review signage issue and there is not a lot at stake. Perhaps she had issues. He asked if the up light was controlled by the number of lumens.

Planner Kosmatka stated if it is over 1800 a variation would be sought, these are only 840 lumens.

Vice Chair Reinstein entertained a motion for approval.

Commissioner Glazer stated he thought the Commission frowned upon showing up through staff for a request for relief. He thought the relief not city-changing, but did not want to encourage others to think they can get through the Commission by mailing it in.

Commissioner Lidawer asked if they should continue.

Commissioner Glazer stated the code requires a special unique circumstance and it is usually something they hear about from the applicant about why it is a unique circumstance.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated he did not think they need to do this a second time and hear it all over again.

Commissioner Lidawer stated they could continue to the next meeting for a vote subject to the applicant or their agent being present.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked if there was anything specific they wanted to ask the applicant.

Commissioner Glazer stated he wanted to hear from applicant why she thinks the relief called for presents a unique circumstance. Unique means there is something specific that merits the relief. He did not like it as a matter of practice.

Commissioner Leaf asked about meeting ADA specifications and previous requests of the Commission not have any up lighting at all. He understood it was under the lumen requirement and if the applicant was here they may decide to change the wall sconce.

Commissioner Lidawer motioned to continue to November 5, 2019. Commissioner Glazer seconded. On a voice vote, the motion carried. Vice Chair Reinstein voted nay.

2. Public Hearings #18-09-PUD-009, #18-09-REZ-003 and #18-09-SUP-006, together with a Design Review consideration for a new Planned Development with a Rezoning and a Subdivision at 1700 Old Deerfield Rd., in Highland Park, IL , the former Solo Cup Factory property.

Vice Chair Reinstein entertained a motion to continue the above item 2 to December 3, 2019. Commissioner Kutscheid so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Lidawer. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

3. Public Hearing #18-10-ZTA-003 for Proposed Changes to the Zoning Code for the Addition of New Experiential Land Uses and Modifications to existing land uses, including changes to land use tables, definitions, and parking requirements; Amendments to the POSO and B2RW Establishment and Purpose Language; Addition of Standards for Section 150.1404(A) and Section 150.902(G) Regarding Special Uses and Changes to a Non-Conforming Use.

Vice Chair Reinstein entertained a motion to continue the above item 3 to November 5, 2019. Commissioner Lidawer so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Pearlstein. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

4. Continuation of Public Hearing #19-09-SUP-003 for a Restaurant with Dancing and Entertainment, a Conditional Land Use in the B2-RW Zoning District, for Ravinia Brewing located at 582 Roger Williams Ave.

5. Continuation of Public Hearing #19-09-SUP-004 for an Outdoor Restaurant, a Conditional Land use in the B2-RW Zoning District, for Ravinia Brewing located at 582 Roger Williams Ave.

Vice Chair Reinstein entertained a motion to continue the above items 4 and 5 to November 19, 2019. Commissioner Pearlstein so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Lidawer. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

6. Public Hearing #19-08-ZTA-003 for Proposed Changes to the Zoning Code related to Lake Michigan Protection Zone and Steep Slope Zone Regulations.

Planner Burhop stated this was before the Commission on September 24, 2019. It is one zoning text amendment but has two parts. The Commission directed staff to draft findings of fact recommending approval of the proposed changes as well as to bring back the text amendment changes. Staff is working with Counsel to finish this and have requested it be continued to the November 5, 2019 meeting for Lake Michigan. For the SSZ, there was a motion recommending denial of the SSZ proposed amendment and there was direction to ask the SAG and ZBA about the ex-officio arrangement proposed by staff.

Commissioner Lidawer stated there were recommendations from staff in terms of the methodology. She mentioned calling SAG meetings on a short term basis.

Planner Burhop stated SAG opposes the amendment and wants to keep their role as a recommendation body.

Commissioner Lidawer thought it became clear that it seemed extremely cumbersome for the applicants and she was glad staff was looking at a way to expedite. They need to streamline the process to make it attractive for applicants.

Commissioner Glazer stated the mission is to make the process less cumbersome for applicants to try and expedite the process and not have as many steps. He wanted to hear more why the alternate proposal which is not preferred by the members involved. He asked why isn’t the idea of still getting input from SAG but in a different format by having it come at the ZBA meeting with the two representatives. Why is that not the preferred approach that still invites input from the various groups while serving the desire to have fewer meetings and steps in the process.

Planner Burhop stated SAG has a vote and they want to keep it. The current arrangement proposed by staff is to have two members be ex-officio on the ZBA and they would not have a vote. Currently they have vote on the recommendation.

Commissioner Glazer asked if they would still tell the two representatives what the position is of the group.

Planner Burhop stated the group will still exist but their role in zoning applications is proposed to be removed.

Commissioner Glazer asked if the group could charge the two members with the sense of the current SAG.

Planner Burhop stated that was an option but it would still require meeting and there is already a meeting now. So that does not reduce the timeline.

Commissioner Glazer stated they are not a formal part of the process in the sense that the scheduling of the ZBA meeting does not depend on the SAG meeting taking place first. The meeting is scheduled with the ZBA and the two representatives are present. The applicant does not have to go through the same steps.

Mr. Kevin Cullather, Vice Chair of the ZBA, stated he was not here to speak on behalf of the ZBA. He was here to express his concerns and insight. One of the concerns is that the SAG members would not have the opportunity to discuss the entire issue before the ZBA with their colleagues on the SAG. If the option is to streamline the process and remove a hearing then these two SAG members come to the ZBA meeting as an ex-officio and can participate in the discussion. They can currently do that under the open meetings act. The ZBA values the thoughtful and thorough input of the full SAG. Their decisions are appealable to the courts and in providing more groundwork and input they end up with a better decision at the end of the process. Several members of the ZBA are vigorously opposed to proposals regarding streamlining this process. They value input from SAG. The opportunity for public input is greater under current structure. SAG members have expertise in this area and their reports are thorough. Currently when it involves heritage trees they receive a recommendation from the Forester, but he is not present. If the developer or applicant has an arborist with an opposing position on tree protection they are expected to mediate it. The same thing can happen with the third party engineer if that person is not present and all they have is their report. SAG has ability to help moderate these and has made recommendations resulting in changes.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated they had findings of fact drafted in denial but there were members of the Commission who wanted to hear from the ZBA.

Councilman Stolberg stated Mr. Cullather’s testimony was his opinion, not that of the ZBA.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated staff had drafted findings of fact in denial of the proposal to have two ex-officio members of SAG help the ZBA with the SSZ decisions.

Commissioner Leaf asked to see page 72 on page 5 - persons benefitted. He thought it read incorrectly.

Planner Burhop stated he drafted the findings and he understood that the findings had to be affirmative for the text amendment to be approved and he drafted it in the affirmative.

Commissioner Leaf stated he was trying to understand #6 where it says no.

Mr. Schuster stated sometimes with standards you will find there are some standards that are yes and sometimes it is no. The question is do you believe the proposed amendment will benefit the residents of the whole city, not just the petitioner. What the standard is meant to get to is that sometimes people will apply for a text amendment and it really to benefit one property. For example, a proposed amendment that is 1.26 acres east of Green Bay Rd. and west of Sheridan that is on the north side of the street. This is not to the benefit of all the community and it is benefitting one or two houses. The question with the proposal before you is do you believe that proposal is geared to benefit the community as a whole or do you think it is meant to benefit one. You could also find there is no benefit to the community at all and that could be the finding.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked Commissioner Leaf if he meant it should say it does not benefit the residents as a whole.

Commissioner Leaf stated yes and this was his suggestion.

Mr. Schuster stated it should be drafted that the Commission finds that while the proposed amendment does not benefit a single interest group or applicant, it does not benefit the community as a whole.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked for other comments on the drafted findings of fact.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated they would be voting on the denial and a yes vote is in favor of denial. He entertained a motion subject to the change o f #5. Commissioner Lidawer so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Kutscheid.

Director Fontane called the roll:

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

Nays: None

Motion carried 6-0.

7. Public Hearing #19-11-ZTA-005 together with draft findings of fact for Zoning Text Amendments regarding Recreational Cannabis Business Organizations.

Planner Cross made a presentation for the above item including background, proposed text amendment, table of uses, Council discussion and recommendation.

Commissioner Glazer asked what the Commission is being asked to do.

Director Fontane stated the Committee of the Whole (COTW) is an informal discussion and not a public hearing. Council did not conduct any formal vote and there was consensus to direct staff to petition to have the zoning changed. The Commission will consider it, make a recommendation which will go to Council who will then take a formal vote on it.

Mr. Schuster stated he did not know if they wanted to call this a zoning change. Under the current code it is prohibited to have a recreational cannabis business. If the policy decision is to prohibit to avoid any ambiguity it is best to have the changes as drafted if the policy decision is to prohibit. They do want some saying they are not a cannabis business, but a specialty food store and they sell baked goods that happen to have cannabis in it or a pharmacy or some other type of use. What has been presented is to make it clear that the use is prohibited in the City.

Commissioner Leaf asked if their personal outlook about recreational cannabis adult use enters into the discussion. It seems this process encourages internal debate and a re- discussion of what the Council COTW discussed.

Councilman Stolberg stated the direction before them tonight is like any other text amendment and Council does not make those decisions on their own. The point is to specifically identify a clear message from the City that they are identifying this use and do not wish to have it. Regarding Commissioner Leaf’s question, Councilman Stolberg stated he voted no at the COTW meeting. His no vote had nothing to do with his personal desire, but what is best for the citizens. He thought this should be the Commission’s objective as well.

Director Fontane stated staff was directed to prepare a petition for consideration.

Commissioner Glazer stated his reading of the minutes of the COTW seemed to indicate that Councilman Stolberg’s position was in the majority. There were only three in favor of sending to the Commission and yet here it is.

Mr. Schuster stated what was before Council was a discussion of the COTW. The City has not had a formal vote on any text amendments.

Councilman Stolberg stated what was discussed at the COTW was whether there was a majority of Council who wished to entertain a public process for recreational marijuana. The decision at the COTW was that the majority of that committee did not wish to do so. The majority of the COTW was not in favor of this. Because the code is silent and does not specify adult use cannabis dispensary, growing, etc. it ended up before you because it is not in the code. The reason it is before you does not have to do with their desire to bring public process. What is before the Commission tonight is to explicitly define the City’s desire to not allow it by calling it out in the code.

Commissioner Lidawer stated it was 3 to 3 and the Mayor broke the tie. Commissioner Glazer stated it was confusing and the minutes indicate that three were in favor of moving this item forward to the Commission for a public hearing and four were not in favor.

Councilman Stolberg stated he was referring to a public process whether to allow it or not.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated what is before them is clarification that it is not happening in Highland Park.

Commissioner Lidawer asked what if they decided to put a C in front of any one the uses and that is the chance Council took in sending it to them.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated they can vote yea or nay.

Commissioner Lidawer stated they could amend it. The problem is the risk involved and she thought the reason no one is here tonight is because the public did not understand that this is a hearing where in theory they could put a C in front of it. They could vote no to what was recommended by Council and add an amendment. She did not see the community here. She thought they should not vote tonight and make it clear to the public that there is going to be a hearing in which the Commission considers whether they want to clarify and take a recommendation to Council that says there will be absolutely be no usage.

Councilman Stolberg asked how such a notice would be any different than the one for tonight’s hearing.

Commissioner Lidawer stated there was much publicity about the vote of the COTW and people assumed it was turned down. She thought people were under the misconception that tonight they would be rubber stamping it. Council is asking for clarification and in so doing they opened it up to the Commission to change the recommendation.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked about the current medical marijuana and what zone it is allowed in and is it a conditional use rather than permitted.

Planner Cross stated it is a conditional land use in the B3 and I zoning districts.

Commissioner Lidawer stated it is very restrictive and a good model should the Commission want to look at restricting.

Commissioner Leaf asked for some of the context for the move of Elevele. He thought they were moving.

Planner Cross stated a special use permit would be required for relocation and no application has been submitted to the City.

Director Fontane stated there is no proposal to change anything with medical marijuana. Councilman Stolberg stated they had the option of limiting it to certain zoning districts.

Commissioner Leaf asked if the adult use law allows a medical facility to sell recreational or adult.

Planner Cross stated certainly insofar as a municipality permits it.

Mr. Schuster stated they would have to obtain a license from the state. It is subject to zoning control by municipalities.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if the current medicinal was for a dispensary only or does it also include infusion and growing.

Planner Cross stated there is a range of uses in the code and related uses are conditional.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated they are deciding three issues; dispensary, infuser and grower. He asked if infusion and growing were also part of the code or it is just dispensary. Do they allow infusion elsewhere in the code or is that only specific to marijuana. Do they allow farming as a conditional or permitted use.

Planner Cross stated infusion is not referenced anywhere in the land use code other than in reference to cannabis. Agricultural uses are identified outside of cannabis related uses in the code.

Commissioner Kutscheid asked if infusion was the same as pharmaceutical combinations.

Mr. Schuster stated you cannot grow at home and it is illegal to possess cannabis in IL with exception under state law if you are a medical cannabis card holder. Under the medical act there was not an opportunity to grow at home. With the amendments one of the things changed was the medical act which allows growing of small quantities by medical card holders at home. If you have a prescription for medical cannabis you can grow it for your own use. It is not going to be allowed for recreational uses. In terms of some of the other types of uses, they are not currently in the code and are not addressed by the medical cannabis act. The idea with the recreational act it that it creates licensing by the state for an infuser. It sets up different various categories and different licenses and different state rules that apply to various categories. What they are looking at is what is going to be prohibited which is all of the adult uses. They cannot regulate the use and this is about zoning.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated he was not considering an infuser or a grower, but was considering whether a dispensary would be appropriate.

Planner Cross stated the follow up would be to vote against the findings as written and then to offer a recommendation to Council for how they would amend them.

Commissioner Glazer asked if staff was familiar with actions within surrounding communities.

Planner Cross stated they did a lot of research for the presentation and it is included in the packet.

Commissioner Lidawer stated it could be updated in light of votes in the last two days.

Planner Cross stated it was drafted in August and there has been additional action in the region since then.

Commissioner Lidawer stated Highwood is considering it and Northbrook and Buffalo Grove voted in favor. Deerfield has not voted.

Mr. Schuster stated they had their first reading last night and are debating. They proposed several amendments to a drafted ordinance but have not taken final action.

Commissioner Glazer stated the question is does Highland Park get in on this. There are arguments for and against and he thought the Commission would benefit from community input.

Mr. Michael Laxner, Resident, stated there are vacancies in the light industrial corridor and he would not rule out a cultivation center and it would just deal with the manufacture of it.

Commissioner Lidawer stated on page 90 of the packet on the bottom they quote the master plan which speaks about maintaining and improving a strong economy. It says “provide a diverse economic base by retaining and attracting a range of businesses and industries compatible with the community’s character and maintaining a healthy supportive climate conducive to investment in the conduct of business.” She is looking at this issue as a commissioner for the good of Highland Park and the economic base and competitiveness and what draws people and foot traffic. She thought they should have a hearing that is vibrant in which people understand what is going on. She did not believe this is the case. She had a problem voting on this, but would if the Commission decides to move forward. She was looking for ways to make the community more vibrant that are safe and well regulated. She would set up some tough regulations. She compared what was written for medical marijuana to what was drafted and suggested for Buffalo Grove and two other communities including Dixon. Highland Park’s regulations are more strict than those. She would vote no and adding a conditional use for a dispensary and having that go to Council unless they decide to have another hearing.

Mr. Nick Standeford, Attorney, representing the contract purchaser for the existing dispensary. He mentioned he had to back through news articles to see what happened at the COTW meeting, this was noticed as a public hearing, text amendment is a good idea, benefits, would like a conditional use that a dispensary for recreational marijuana be allowed, medical and recreational dispensary, Highland Park has not experienced an increase in crime in the area adjacent to the existing dispensary, no increase in DUI drug related arrests due to dispensary operating in Highland Park, no adverse impact on home values, dispensaries are allowed in HC, B3 and I, staff recommended limiting uses to only to B3 and I zoning districts, it sounded like the consensus was to wait and see what other communities are doing, Northbrook and Buffalo Grove are on board, it is good tax driver for community, five states found teen use rates did not go up.

Vice Chair Reinstein reminded Mr. Standeford he was limited to three minutes.

Mr. Standeford stated a store can do $3 million+ per month, a lot of tax revenue, no issue with crime, was at dispensary in Las Vegas and it was clean, IDs were checked, negative thoughts can be dispelled, studies have shown it is not as bad as people say.

Commissioner Pearlstein stated she had been listening intently and the thing that sticks out the most is that there was confusion and the public has every right to hear this. She did not think they were informed. This is a strong issue that will create a lot of opinions and the most important opinion is the public’s.

Commissioner Leaf asked if Mr. Standeford estimated the co-location in Highland Park would generate $3 million in sales a month.

Mr. Standeford stated this is information he received second hand. Commissioner Leaf asked if the maximum tax rate is 7%.

Mr. Schuster stated there is the current sales tax and on top of that the City would have the authority to adopt an additional 3% on top of the sales tax.

Commissioner Leaf asked how much that would total.

Mr. Schuster stated he did not know how much would be purchased with a prescription and how much recreational because the medical is a lower tax rate.

Commissioner Leaf asked about the City’s current sales tax.

Councilman Stolberg stated it is around 7%.

Commissioner Leaf asked the City’s share.

Councilman Stolberg stated the recreational would yield 3% above and beyond.

Mr. Schuster stated the City’s share of the current base line sales tax is about 1%.

Commissioner Glazer asked the basis for the statement that the revenue would approximate $3 million a month.

Mr. Standeford stated his client told him.

Commissioner Lidawer asked if this is what they estimate their recreational sales would be on top of the medical.

Councilman Stolberg stated when they get their sales tax they do not get a breakdown per business establishment.

Mr. Standeford stated it is between $500,000 - $700,000 for medical dispensaries per month. The recreational would be more.

Commissioner Glazer stated the $3 million is just a number and there has not been any estimate of the revenue for recreational.

Mr. Standeford stated he would like to come back with a figure based on hard data.

Commissioner Pearlstein stated if they decide to bring in the public they should have information about the questions they are discussing now relating to money, crime, etc.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated they were getting ahead of themselves.

Councilman Stolberg stated he wanted to clarify that the City did took a wait and see approach and we will revisit this. It was determined 4-3 that they did not want to allow recreational cannabis. They did say they are open to reevaluating this in the future depending on how the new law takes effect. Currently Elevele is in the I district which is in the Briergate district.

Director Fontane stated they did receive a request regarding 260 Old Skokie Valley. He did not know if that was the location of their current location.

Director Fontane stated Council adopted red flag resolution for the Crossroads business district which includes 260 Old Skokie Valley.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated they have a proposal in front of them and a number of different avenues they can take. They can vote on the item and if it is turned down they can then discuss any suggestions to Council. Or they can try to make an amendment, which would be a recommendation, to the text. The text has the three categories and every zoning category and they are all blank. They could recommend that a C be placed on it and that would be something different than what is in front of the Commission. They can give the public more of an opportunity to speak on this so they could continue this discussion to another date. His favorite was to vote on the proposal and if the noes are more than the yesses then they could make suggestions to Council.

Commissioner Leaf stated he liked Vice Chair Reinstein’s suggestion and what was before them should be voted up or down. He thought further discussion among the Commission about next steps made sense.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated they need more information if they want to change the proposal.

Commissioner Glazer stated it would be a disservice if they did not invite the public before they voted. He thought with the clarification about the issue the local media will pick up on this and there would be greater notice for a future meeting. There is no harm by waiting until they receive citizen input before they vote. He hoped there is a date with enough time on the agenda to give it a fair hearing. Maybe they could have a special hearing.

Commissioner Pearlstein agreed.

Commissioner Lidawer stated they owed it to Council to vote and thought it was important to have additional input. She had additional economic questions that would help her in making a decision.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated the preference was not to vote tonight, but to have a continuance.

Commissioner Lidawer stated she thought they should continue to a special meeting. Vice Chair Reinstein asked how a continuation would be noticed.

Director Fontane stated it is not required and notice is actual at the meeting. They could direct staff to put in the newspaper.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated it would go on an agenda. He stated it is 3 to 3. He thought a no vote gets it out to the public rather than a continuation. They could do it two parts, one where they vote and another where they make suggestions.

Planner Cross stated there is interest in resolving the item before them. The Commission does make a recommendation on the findings and it is communicated to Council that concludes the public hearing process. The Commission needs to be clear about the goal of the input from public.

Director Fontane stated what is before them is a clarification of the zoning code’s existing prohibition.

Vice Chair Reinstein recommended that there is a motion to continue and either people will come or not. If they do not, they need to act.

Commissioner Lidawer motioned to continue to the November 19th meeting and requested notification to the press. Commissioner Kutscheid seconded.

Planner Cross stated they place a legal ad for each public hearing in a publication of general distribution. They can work with the City Manager on the City’s standard outreach.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated they could have it November 5th.

Planner Cross stated that agenda was kept light as there is a legal training. He thought they should keep the November 5th agenda light. That leaves November 19th and December 3rd.

Planner Cross stated this is a continuation to the November 19th meeting of the Commission.

Councilman Stolberg stated typically a continuation is not re-noticed.

Planner Cross stated the proposal has not changed.

Commissioner Glazer stated he would not be at the November 19th meeting.

Planner Cross stated if the Commission is interested in a special meeting that would be difficult to come to a shared date.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked how long the legal training would take. Director Fontane stated an hour to an hour and a half.

Planner Cross advised them not to schedule anything on November 5th.

Councilman Stolberg stated the law goes into effect 1-1-20 and it needs to come to Council before then. Their concern is was that absent of clarification in the code, they have been advised that this could become problematic. This is why they have in front of them the text amendment being proposed tonight. He would prefer a vote this evening and encouraged them to do so. If it is not voted on by January 1st it is moot.

Commissioner Leaf asked if they could have the legal training at 6:30 PM and then the regular meeting at 7:30 PM.

Director Fontane stated they would have to call a special meeting for 6:00 PM or 6:30 PM on the same date and then have the regular meeting.

Vice Chair Reinstein entertained a motion for a special meeting for legal training on November 5th at 6:30 PM.

Commissioner Lidawer stated there was a motion for November 19th. Director Fontane stated they could reconsider on the continuation.

Vice Chair Reinstein entertained a motion to reconsider to continue to November 19th. Commissioner Lidawer so motioned, seconded by Commissioner Kutscheid. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Lidawer motioned to continue this hearing to November 5th and that the legal training be scheduled for 6:30 PM. Commissioner Pearlstein seconded. On a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Schuster stated this matter will be at the 7:30 PM regular meeting and legal training will be at 6:30 PM.

Planner Cross asked the Commission to clarify if the goal of the second hearing is to get public input on the proposal before them.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated if there is a not a lot from the public they will vote on it.

Planner Cross asked what further notification would be beneficial to the public.

Commissioner Glazer suggested they call or send written notice of the agenda item and a special time has been set to consider this.

Planner Cross stated it is mechanisms well in hand and they have social media.

Director Fontane asked if the Commission wanted those types of avenues to be used as opposed to the standard legal ad.

Commissioner Lidawer stated not as opposed, but in addition to. Commissioner Leaf stated this is for the City as a whole.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated it is to provide public input on the City’s proposed ordinance to prohibit the sale of adult cannabis.

Commissioner Lidawer stated it was a public hearing to discuss the text amendment for the use of cannabis.

Planner Cross stated the content of the public notice will remain the same, but the Commission’s direction is to utilize other resources.


I. Draft Move HP Plan Document

Deputy Director Awsumb made a presentation for the above item including city planning, existing conditions analysis, what is Move HP, existing conditions report, accomplishments, public outreach, existing bike/ped network, planned improvements, data and analysis: commutes and ridership, bike/ped count, safety, pedestrian infrastructure, zoning and code analysis, bicycle infrastructure, downtown bike rack replacement plan, goals and objectives, implementation, implementation matrix and next steps.

Commissioner Leaf asked if this was part of Council’s suggested list of public benefits.

Deputy Director Awsumb stated it was.

Commissioner Glazer asked if they were meeting with the schools districts.

Deputy Director Awsumb stated they have been a part of the plan making process and the Park Dist. had one of their staff attend the meetings.

Commissioner Glazer asked about the senior groups.

Deputy Director Awsumb stated they could have a display and leave some at the senior center. They could work with City staff to get some feedback.

Commissioner Lidawer stated she saw the various activities with Dist. 112 and since they are mandated to have safety courses it made sense. Dist. 113 did a full study on bus usage and walking and bike usage three years ago. It was very comprehensive and beneficial and could be helpful to have the benefit of that information.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated he is part of the demographic that works from home and they are hard to reach to convince them to get out of the house and walk around. He hoped the plan would address the strategies to pull people out and use the sidewalks and walk downtown. The walking needs to happen year round. He hoped there would be strategies to help people move and pull them out.

Deputy Director Awsumb stated they can keep that demographic in mind. They have talked about getting data for different things in different ways and a lot of this is new. A lot of the data available is commute based and they are trying how to capture that information.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated he drives and then parks and then walks at three of four locations.

Commissioner Lidawer stated she thought this was a marvelous initiative and was impressed with the things she has seen in the City and there have been improvements. From a Commission point of view she thought there were three points they could be mindful of when considering applications. When developers say they want to do something they would want to incentivize them for bike parking, mandatory walkways, and sidewalks. She thought this was specific to the Commission and there were wonderful suggestions and the work they have done so far was to be commended.

Deputy Director Awsumb stated he appreciated that. He stated she hit on things that were most specific to the Commission. As plans are adopted by Council some of these objectives will turn into policy making conversations. The plan identifies these as goals and objectives.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated winter and night walking are things that he does and wished it was easier and safer.

Deputy Director Awsumb stated it was one of the misconceptions that people think that no one will ride in the winter. Scandinavia has one of the highest ridership rates in the world. We deal with months when the weather is not conducive and snow and ice removable is important.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated the sidewalks should be well lit.

Deputy Director Awsumb stated they had heard this from Metra riders that they start to drive to the station this time of year and it is dark when they leave and dark when come home. They are concerned about ice and other debris so they just drive to the Metra station.

Vice Chair Reinstein asked who is responsible for clearing the snow.

Commissioner Lidawer stated it was 4”.

Deputy Director Awsumb stated there is legal liability in the state law.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated maybe it needs to be a citywide encouragement that you have to take care of your section.

Commissioner Lidawer stated it said in the report after 4” the City does it and lower than that they ask the businesses to do it.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated they should make people more aware there are people trying to walk.

Commissioner Glazer stated you cannot make private homeowners shovel their sidewalks.

Vice Chair Reinstein stated he was talking about awareness.

Commissioner Kutscheid stated the individual property owners are an important partnership when it comes to helping maintain the walkways as well as the 50-50 sidewalk replacement program.

Deputy Director Awsumb stated there are routes the City plows in the commercial districts and key residential streets. The 4” is correct.

Commissioner Leaf stated they have dedicated bike lanes in Evanston with curbs and reflectors. He asked if the City had plans to dedicate specific lanes on wider streets.

Deputy Director Awsumb stated those are known as protected bike lanes. Evanston is a Midwest leader in that and there are not a lot in the Chicago area. The best examples are in Chicago. The City does not have plans for those right now. You have to have the ROW width to get everything in there and there are other trade-offs and complications where it only works on certain streets. They are looking at bike lanes where you do not have construction that separates the bikes from traffic. There is discussion about Green Bay Rd. and adding a path on Clavey Rd. It would accommodate pedestrians and bikes in both directions.

Commissioner Pearlstein stated she is president of her condo and she had heard complaints about bike lanes on McDaniels and it is a narrow street. If there are two bikes on either end two cars cannot get through.

Deputy Director Awsumb stated those are not dedicated bike lanes because cars can still drive on them. The City put up share the road signs.

Commissioner Pearlstein asked who has the right of way.

Deputy Director Awsumb stated the bikes have the legal right of way because that is how it is under Illinois law. He stated they would distribute an updated draft.






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

The Plan and Design Commission adjourned at 10:00 PM.

Want to get notified whenever we write about City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission ?

Sign-up Next time we write about City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission, we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.

Organizations in this Story

City of Highland Park Plan and Design Commission