City of Highwood Appearance Review Committee met Oct. 22.
Here is the minutes provided by the committee:
Committee Members present: Paul Mocogni, Ben Ellis, Paul Jaimes, Lydia Gonzalez, Daniel Wertheimer Committee Members absent: John Cioni
City staff present: Dustin Anand Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm Approval of Minutes:
Minutes from October 8 were presented for approval. Motion to accept by Gonzalez, seconded by Wertheimer. Motion carried with all in favor.
1. Ms. Alturena Somo, representing AK Nail Studio, a new nail and airbrush tanning studio to be located at 742 Sheridan Rd. presented her plans for window signage, and an illuminated sign on the raceway.
Paul Mocogni inquired as to whether the letters proposed on the door signage would be under 4” in height and Ms. Somo confirmed that they would be.
The window signage that reads “Manicures, Pedicures, Air Brush Tanning” is a description of goods and services. The committee felt that the proposal as presented was consistent with the overall purpose of the code and that a variance was therefore warranted. Motion to accept was proposed by Gonzalez and seconded by Wertheimer.
Variance to: 10-3-6-7-D2.a. Listing of Goods and Services Not Permitted.
Rationale for variance: 10-3-9-A1a(3) consistency with overall purpose of the code.
Variance proposed by Ellis and seconded by Wertheimer.
Next Council meeting is 11/19/2019. Since council approval is necessary to proceed, and since Ms. Somo intends to open before that date the committee informed her that temporary signage, in the form of a banner, could be erected on or around the 8th November, and for a period of not more than 15 days.
2. Mr. Bill Gold (the developer) and Mr. Mitch Mho (the architect) presented plans for the exterior of a proposed new development of residential rental apartments to be sited in the vacant lot located at 546 N Green Bay Rd. This will be a 5-story structure, containing 40 rental apartments, so it will be a significant addition to the city. Dan Wertheimer noted that the building is to be located at one of the main entry points into the city and may be one of the first things residents or visitors see when arriving by Metra rail or car.
As were noted in the New Business section of the Minutes from 10/08/2019, the Committee had previously reviewed the original plans, and provided informal comment and review. These comments had been provided to the development team, and they came to this meeting prepared to discuss them.
a) The first area of discussion was regarding the color palette of the building exterior. The Committee had opined that the original color scheme presented on 10/08 was not in keeping the with the color scheme of the rest of the city. Mr. Mho presented an alternate color scheme, rendered onto the 3D building plan.
Paul Mocogni stated that he was impressed that the development team had come prepared to discuss compromises, and the rest of the Committee agreed. The team discussed that the new color scheme was more in keeping with the tone of the rest of the city. Ben Ellis stated that the Committee would like to be able to review the palette rendered in the way it was originally submitted (i.e. in flat color panels as opposed to a 3D building rendering). Mr. Mho said that would be easy to do.
b) The second issue discussed was relating to the balconies. During pre-review, the Committee had raised the issue that the balconies were steel railings. This meant that anything on the balcony would be open to public view from the street (or the train). All agreed that policing rental units to ensure that items were not improperly stored on the balcony would be impractical, for several reasons.
The Committee also noted the fact that a review conducted by Codametrics had noted that balconies would cover more than the 40% of the façade that is permissible by code.
Mr. Gold and Mr. Mho agreed that this would be an issue, and after some debate, proposed the following solutions to the balcony issue:
Balconies planned to the South and North sides of the property would be removed from the plans.
The balconies facing East (toward the rail tracks) would have frosted glass added, so that items below the railing would be obscured.
The building’s Lease Agreement for units with balconies would be updated to incorporate a clause stating that storage of items that protrude above the height of the balcony was prohibited.
The common roof area of the building would be improved so that residents still have access to an outdoor space.
c) In addition, Paul Mocogni wished to confirm that:
Fencing on the property would be constructed with metal support poles.
The trees would have a minimum 2.5” caliper.
As previously noted, the next Council meeting is November 19th. The next Appearance Review Committee is on the 12th November. The proposal was to review the outstanding items on that date:
The color palette as noted in 2(a) above.
The full tree specifications.
A new exterior rendering reflecting the new balcony arrangements, to include samples or images of the glass proposed at the front.
Details of the fence construction.
If the roof area is to be visible from the street, the Committee would like to see the plans.
Mr. Mocogni stated that the Committee did not wish to inconvenience the development team by bringing them back again to review the above. Mr. Gold replied that he lived close and would be happy to do so. This will move onto the agenda for 11/12, so no recommendation was made either way at this meeting.
As noted in the Minutes from 10/22, Walgreens are due to renew some aspects of their Parking lot. Dustin Anand confirmed that this work appeared to have started, and that the Manager of this location has told him the work was pending.
The Parking lot at the Post Office was discussed. Dustin stated that Post Office maintenance falls under the remit of the Federal Government and not the City. He said that he had spoken to the Postmaster, Gayle Mayo, who had said she was aware of the situation, and was working on a solution.
With no further business to discuss, a motion to adjourn was proposed by Mocogni and seconded by Wertheimer. Motion carried with all in favor. Meeting adjourned at 7:48pm.