Plan Commission Minutes
VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA PLAN COMMISSION MEETING
JULY 2, 2013
CALL TO ORDER
Co-chairman Jennifer Duncan called the meeting to order.
In attendance: Co-chairman Jennifer Duncan, Commissioner Mark Rivecco, Commissioner Anna Tuohy, Commissioner Aaron Anderson, Commissioner Connie Holbrook, Commissioner Tom Lenkart, Commissioner Mark Bozik Not in attendance: Commissioner Mark Carroll, Chairman Mike Brackett.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
1. Approval of Plan Commission Minutes dated June 4, 2013
Motion for approval made by Commissioner Rivecco and seconded by Commissioner Holbrook. All in favor. Motion approved.
1. The petitioner, requests a special use to allow for the reestablishment of a
nonconforming four-family dwelling in the R-1 Single Family Residence District, pursuant to Section 17.15.8 of the North Aurora Zoning Ordinance (Petition #13-11).
Co-chairman Duncan opened the public hearing.
Peter Rome, 301 N. River Road, North Aurora (Dee & Route 25) - Mr. Rome noted his concern with rezoning of the houses on Dee and River Roads. Multi family and rental properties have been the hardest aspects to any community. Rome said that he and his neighbors own single family owner occupied homes which are a better investment. To increase the value of the community, Rome asked that in the case of a catastrophic loss and rebuild, that the property is to be owner occupied or single family.
Community and Economic Development Director Mike Toth noted that the hearing this evening is not for a rezoning of the property.
Esther Bevan, 217 N. River Road, North Aurora – Ms. Bevan said she spoke at a hearing in September and still has quite a few concerns. Bevan said she has two small children and chose North Aurora because of the small community feel. Bevan said she always had concerns about multi-family dwellings off of Dee Road, especially Linn Court. Bevan said she was concerned with the R1 zoning with a multi family unit and the impact it will have on neighboring properties. Bevan added that labeling the property as a special use does not benefit the neighbors.
(Commissioner Bozik arrived at 7:18 p.m.)
Bevan said the property is already noncompliant and this would only benefit the property owner.
Multi-family will impact class sizes at Schneider Elementary and JewelMiddle Schools. The nature of the people who are choosing to live in the multi-family properties are not what we want to encourage.
Sheila Bangs, 108 Dee Road, North Aurora – Ms. Bangs said she was concerned about having to come back to the Village again after discussing this last year. This would change an ordinance that is already in place. Bangs said that when she bought her house, she came to Village Hall to see what was in place, to find out about the crime and about multi-family. Anyone who would buy a property would check this information. It should have been something that this property owner should have checked when he purchased his home. Bangs said that for a community to bend for one person is ludicrous. There are enough problems on Dee Road.
Mike Toth said he created a special use process which allows petitioners to seek conforming status. If a property were to be destroyed beyond 50% of its value, it would have to come into compliance. The property being discussed for the public hearing was built in 1958 and zoning was changed. Mr. Mack is looking to refinance and put funding back into the building. This person cares for his property and the special use process allows the Village to look at this on an individual basis. Toth said he recommended approval of Mr. Mack’s property. Toth added that the Village has the right to revoke the special use if conditions are not being met effectively. Toth added that the petitioner has met all of the standards for a special use, wants to be pro-active and does not want to have properties sitting vacant.
Bevan asked if the property were to be damaged, could the owner build as R1. Toth said yes. Bevan said this is a finance issue and if a special use is put into place, the owner has the opportunity to rebuild as a 4-plex. Toth said he could not build as a 4-unit building unless the damage is due to an act of God. If the property were to be damaged or destroyed he would have to build as a single family unit.
Mr. Mack said he is looking to do $20,000 - $30,000 of improvements. There have been ongoing water problems and the problem has been solved at 123 Dee Road. Mack said he is also planning to address the water problem at the Hill Road apartments. That work will cost about $8,000. Connection of three sumps to the new storm sewer system and repair of the parking lot will cost $6,000-$7,000. Part of this work will be done by September.
A question was asked about the length of the special use permit. Toth said it would run with the property. Included is the condition that if someone else would take over the property, after notice to the property owner, through a hearing, the Village may terminate and revoke the special use.
Peter Rome – Rome said that he hoped the Plan Commission researched all the Minutes regarding what the community has been voicing as their concerns. The well-being of the community is what is at stake. Rome said that since Mr. Mack is not a resident of the community, the majority of homeowners are adamant about opening the door to a lot of unknowns.
Co-chairman Duncan closed the public portion of the hearing.
Commissioner Rivecco said the special use request makes the best of a difficult situation. The property was in compliance when it was built. Its use as a multi-family use was conforming since 1958. This proposal does not set a precedent for multifamily in the area. It is not a detriment. It allows what is there now to continue with the Village having control.
Commissioner Tuohy said she sees both sides but concurs with Commissioner Rivecco. Tuohy said her concern is that the property would be vacant. If something happens to the property and the owner has a means to rebuild, it would be positive.
Commissioner Anderson said he can’t discount the property rights that we all should enjoy and would hate to see an unfortunate situation that a lack of refinancing resulted in no money going back into the maintenance or property. If the property owner is forced to abandon the property or forced to close, that would create a much more dyer situation for the community. No one wants to see a vacant lot sitting down the street from them.
Commissioner Lenkart said he agreed with everyone. Lenkart then asked if there have been a lot of police issues. Toth said that in the general facility, there are a few areas that have to be monitored more than others. Lenkart asked if the Village can put in a condition to require the improvements be done. Toth said he would caution that since these are not code violations. Lenkart said this is making the best of a bad situation. We are not changing the zoning but allowing the property owner to refinance to improve the building.
Commissioner Bozik said he agreed with what had been said so far and that this is a unique situation. The building was built in compliance and it was decided at the previous meeting not to change the zoning. This is an opportunity to correct the situation the best we can. We address the concerns and do not put a penalty on the property owner for having a multifamily property.
Commissioner Holbrook agreed with the commissioners and appreciated the residents coming to the hearing with their concerns. Holbrook said she does not want to see additional multi-family.
Motion by Bozik to approve the special use subject to the conditions in the staff report and the standards of special uses already listed in the packet. Seconded by Commissioner Anderson. Roll Call Vote: Bozik – yes, Holbrook – yes, Lenkart – yes, Duncan – yes, Anderson – yes, Tuohy – yes, Rivecco – yes. Motion approved (7-0).
Toth said this would move forward to the Village Board on July 15th.
2. The Village of North Aurora requests text amendments to Title 17 of the
North Aurora Municipal Code (Zoning Ordinance ) specifically regulating public hearing notification and site plan review requirements (Petitioner #13-10).
Toth said that the intent of the amendment is to address some of the notification requirements and site plan review approval. Motion made by Commissioner Anderson and seconded by Commissioner Lenkart to adopt the text amendment recommended by Staff. All in favor. Motion approved.
1. Village Staff would like to solicit feedback from the Plan Commission
Relative to text amendments involving ‘Outdoor Dining’ and ‘Massage Establishments’
-The old zoning allowed for restaurants and did not differentiate with restaurants and outdoor dining. Massage establishments have transformed and are licensed and regulated in the state of Illinois. Toth suggested including these uses in the B2 and B3 districts.
-Sewing business is a special use and should be permitted.
Text Amendment to be brought before the Plan Commission at the next meeting.
PLAN COMMISSIONER COMMENTS AND PROJECT UPDATES
-Toth said that the Randall Highlands Townhomes have 144 units permitted and 32 have passed inspection.
-Toth said the Village is working with CMAP on a housing plan. The Village received a grant with Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles to create a housing plan through CMAP. There will be a couple of steering committees. Mayor Berman will be on the committee and anyone who is interested should let Toth know. Commissioner Lenkart volunteered to be a part of the committee.
Motion to adjourn made by Commissioner Lenkart and seconded by Commissioner Holbrook. All in favor. Motion approved.
Lori J. Murray