Board of Trustees
The Village of Riverwoods is governed by a Mayor and a six member Board of Trustees. All are elected for four year staggered terms and the trustees serve without pay while the Mayor is salaried. The Board is the legislative body of the Village government. The administrative work is performed under the direction of the Mayor, who is elected to serve a four year term. Village Board meetings are held at 7:30pm on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. All meetings are open to the public and your are cordially invited to attend and participate.
Village Board of Trustees Meeting Notes
Summary of ordinances, resolutions, and non-routine matters considered by the Board of Trustees from the meeting minutes of February 18, March 4, 18, April 1 and 16. Read the entirety of these minutes or view the video of the actual Board of Trustee meetings on the Village of Riverwoods website at www.riverwoods-il.net/Government/Videos/.
Chief Dayno provided the Board with the Police Department activity since the September 16, 2014 Board of Trustees meeting. The complete Police Report is available on the Village website under Board of Trustees.
Chief Dayno noted that there was one burglary on Forest Glen where someone broke a basement window. It was apparent someone tried to make entry.
VISITORS WISHING TO ADDRESS THE BOARD
Eight residents shared their thoughts about the proposal for the corner of Deerfield Road and Milwaukee Road. The consensus was that they would be disappointed if the entryway to the Village was a gas station with a convenience store and a McDonald’s restaurant. They do not believe the tax benefit to the Village would be worth allowing these types of uses at that corner. The Meadowlake homeowner’s association board had submitted a petition against the proposal.
Mayor Norris stated that the Board is listening to everything before making a decision. He understands many residents are against the proposed development.
Boy Scouts and Bat Houses – Trustee Chamberlain was approached by a prospective Eagle Scout about a possible bat house project. Tristan Faro, a resident of Juneberry, is a junior at Deerfield High School and is working toward becoming an Eagle Scout. He proposes building bat houses as his Eagle project. The bat houses would be installed on Village property, at no cost to the Village. He would work with the Village Forester on the actual locations. Materials are being donated by Home Depot.
Hazardous Ash Tree Removal – Resident Art Bess explained that a number of trees affected by the Emerald Ash Borer are close to public and private roadways and have created dangerous situations. He suggested shifting the matching funds of 50% of the cost, up to $1000, from the removal of buckthorn to the removal of the ash trees that have been marked by the Village Forester.
Trustee Chamberlain stated that the Village does not have a tree fund. She explained that the current cost-share programs are provided as incentives for things residents are not required to do while hazardous tree removal is required. Trustee Jamerson indicated that, based on the numbers of potential ash trees in the Village that might be affected, which were provided by the Forester, the cost could be almost $1 million over three years. Trustee Chamberlain would prefer to focus the Village’s assistance on those with a hardship. The Trustees briefly discussed the difficulties in determining hardship cases. Trustee Chamberlain suggested looking into how other municipalities measure hardship. Mayor Norris suggested Trustee Chamberlain come up with a proposal.
Village IT Project: Proposal for moving most IT services to cloud-based servers – Trustee Baumann presented a proposal to transfer the IT data to a cloud-based server. His recommendation is to authorize a request for an appropriation rather than an exact amount. The costs proposed are based on a worst-case scenario and would also include training. Based on the estimated savings, the Village would recoup the cost of the transition in one year.
Trustee Baumann would also recommend developing detailed instructions for every function such as updating the webpage, creating a webpage for a Board meeting, uploading Board videos, etc. The cost for the IT professional would be approximately $10,000 based on an hourly rate.
Trustee Jamerson moved to authorize up to $40,000 to transition to a cloud-based system. The Board voted in favor.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Sewer/Solid Waste/Roads/Bike Bath – Trustee O’Donnell noted that lake County is patching Deerfield Parkway west of the Village.
Police/Building/Zoning – Trustee Jamerson provided the building report for September. The Village will look at electric aggregation shortly, as the contract will expire in August of 2015. The Village residents have saved more than $1 million on energy services under the current program.
Woodlands/Budget and Operations – Trustee Chamberlain stated that she has received budget input from most of the trustees. Mayor Norris and Trustee Chamberlain attended the DBR Chamber Golf Outing and Trustee Chamberlain won the putting contest and gave the $100 Bobby’s prize to the Village.
COMMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT
Contact with owners of 340 Portwine – Mayor Norris has been in contact with the owners of the home next to Village Hall. They are supportive of the idea of turning the 320 Portwine into parking and open space. They requested the Village not put up a solid fence, but to screen with vegetation instead, which the Mayor said the Village was amenable to.
Village Hall Renovation Plans – Mayor Norris indicated that the plans for renovation of the Village Hall are at a stage where the Village can go out for more accurate quotes. The Mayor met with consultants provided by RPC regarding green infrastructure to discuss how to be environmentally sound, but also fiscally responsible.
Budget to Date – Mayor Norris noted Trustee Chamberlain has provided copies of the budget report through the month of August to the Trustees so that they can work on their portion of the budget for next year. He indicated the Village is 18% ahead on revenues and 18.5% below what the Village expected in expenditures.
DISCUSSION OF TERRACO DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL
Village Attorney Huvard reported that the Plan Commission finalized their report. Mr. Huvard explained that the process for getting a Special Use approved includes a hearing before the Plan Commission. The hearings were held in May, July and August. The Plan Commission did not recommend one of the Text Amendments. They did recommend the second Text Amendment on a 4-1 vote. They also recommended the granting of a Special Use. [ See also a discussion of the Plan Commission report on page 5 for more complete information of the Text Amendments.] The Board can accept the recommendations, make changes to the recommendations or reject the recommendations. Mayor Norris then stated that no decision would be made at this meeting. He stated that Terraco would be allowed to make their entire presentation before any questions would be allowed from the residents.
Scott Gendell, principal and managing partner for Terraco introduced Dan Wander from Terraco; Frank Ross and Paul Williams of True North; Jeff Miller and Sue Connoly, franchisee’s of McDonald’s; Kevin Lewis, engineer; Elizabeth Stack from McDonald’s corporate; Mark Nosky, architect with Stuart Nosky Architects; and Bill Woodward, traffic consultant.
Mr. Gendell provided a brief history on the Terraco property on the corner of Milwaukee and Deerfield Roads. They purchased the property four years ago and have worked with Village staff, the Plan Commission and the Board for two years to come up with plans they thought were viable.
He stated that two of the challenges in finding tenants were the small population density to the east and the size of the property. Over the four-year period, Terraco tried to market the property to approximately one thousand various tenants. Mr. Gendell explained they want to improve the intersection and make it aesthetically pleasing, so it fits in with the feel of Riverwoods. Mr. Gendell came up with the River’s Edge theme as this corner is the edge of the Village and the edge of the Des Plaines River. He stated that their proposed project would not solve every issue that has come up but that it would provide an aesthetically pleasing development.
Mr. Nosky showed the drawings of the proposed buildings. He stated that the façade will be comprised of masonry and cultured stone and have a strong cornice and canopy, creating a more contemporary appearance. There will be common materials throughout the project, but the buildings will have their own character. There will be parking along the front and side of the building.
Mr. Ross explained their normal prototype includes a lot of EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems), often called synthetic stucco. They felt that masonry and stone had more character and would better fit Riverwoods as would the extensive green space they included in their plans.
Mr. Lewis discussed the site plan as it relates to traffic, grading and the existing site conditions. He explained how they would handle the regulatory flood plain, stormwater detention, logical access into and out of the site from Milwaukee and Deerfield Roads as well as traffic movement throughout the site. Mr. Lewis had met with representatives from the Lake County Department of Transportation who indicated they have a plan to extend the bike path beyond Milwaukee Avenue. He incorporated the design for the bike path within the development plan so it would be interconnected.
Mr. Williams discussed the proposed landscape plan, which includes mostly native plantings, a natural looking retaining wall, a pond, and bio-swales that will all contribute to a naturalistic softening of the property.
Mr. Woodward discussed the traffic impact study for the development. He explained that the site will have three access points including a full access from Deerfield Road and restricted, right in, right out access ways on Deerfield and Milwaukee. The road improvements Terraco will add are a new eastbound left turn lane into the Federal Life property, a right turn lane onto eastbound Deerfield Road from Milwaukee Avenue and a widening of Deerfield Road to provide a westbound turn lane into the development. Mr. Woodward stated that the two proposed uses, the Shell gas station and McDonald’s, rely heavily on pass-by traffic, and, therefore, the development will not add a lot of new traffic to the roads.
Trustee Jamerson asked if there was a traffic study that included the existing McDonald’s traffic. Mr. Woodward indicated they did not do a specific traffic study with the existing McDonald’s. Ms. Stack explained that they anticipated an increase in traffic during the breakfast period.
Trustee Chamberlain indicated that the Village’s consultants made specific requests, some of which were not addressed. She noted that the proposed landscape plan does not have specific plantings and there is no maintenance plan. Mr. Williams indicated they would provide any details needed. Mr. Gendell explained they will work within the Village Ordinances on a maintenance plan. Their standard practice is to maintain the landscape in a first-class fashion and replace dead plantings as necessary.
Trustee Baumann asked about the impact on traffic southbound on Milwaukee and turning east on Deerfield. Mr. Woodward explained that the left turn lane provides 600 feet of storage and backs up daily. When asked about the anticipated increase in traffic, Mr. Woodward stated that the proposed plan would add 22 additional vehicles during the morning peak hour and 24 additional vehicles during the evening peak hour which is a minimal increase. Mr. Woodward indicated that Terraco’s assertion that there was minimal impact to the traffic resulting from the proposed development is a subjective opinion rather than a quantitative measure. Trustee Baumann summarized that, according to the traffic study data, the development would increase the queue length by 20% over the projected queue length without the development. Trustee O’Donnell questioned how many turning arrows would a vehicle need to wait through during the peak periods. Mr. Woodward explained that the addition of this traffic may require vehicles to wait two additional cycles.
Trustee Ford asked if the westbound traffic would back up Deerfield Road. Mr. Woodward explained they are providing a dedicated turn lane for vehicles turning left from Deerfield Road onto the site.
Mr. Gendell stated that there is not a single plan that would not increase traffic at this intersection.
Village Engineer Pat Glenn indicated he had reviewed the plan and concurred that Terraco was using generally accepted methods and analysis in their traffic study. Mr. Glenn explained that the Deerfield Road issues will not improve until after the regional improvements are implemented. From a stormwater perspective, the County Ordinances force the proposed improvements and he agrees with Terraco’s calculations in that regard. The east 100 feet of the property is owned by the Village. Terraco is proposing an underground stormwater detention under that section and he is not comfortable having that on Village property. However, the applicant seemed amenable to establishing a SSA to collect funds for maintenance which would also create an annual reminder for the Board to visit the possible need for funds. Mr. Glenn also stated his suggestion for shifting the eastern building and its parking spaces in order to remove what he felt was a safety issue in the current plan.
A majority of residents expressed concern about the development because it could have a negative impact on traffic and may not meet the needs of Riverwoods residents. The residents expressed concern as the proposed uses are not upscale and should not be the gateway to the Village. Residents also expressed concern about having the McDonald’s drive-through open 24 hours. One resident suggested that the Village send out a survey about what residents would like to see at the intersection. Another resident expressed concern about cyclist safety, as the bike path would be extended through the development. Residents were also concerned about the noise and the impact it would have on the value of their homes.
One resident heard the same concerns about a new McDonald’s coming to Winnetka when he lived in that Village. He stated that none of the negatives seemed to materialize. He believes that Mc- Donald’s is a good corporate citizen. Another resident noted that although a gas station and a McDonald’s may not be the ideal uses for this corner, it is better than having an empty lot in the Village.
PORTWINE ROAD PAVEMENT MARKINGS
Mr. Glenn discussed the re-stripping of Portwine Road. He has solicited quotes as the project is less than $20,000. The lowest quote was for $16,600. Mr. Glenn noted $20,000 has been appropriated through the MFT.
The Board voted to execute the contract in an amount not to exceed $16,600.
PLAN COMMISSION REPORT
Plan Commission Chairman David Niedelman indicated that the Plan Commission’s official report has not yet been reviewed by the commissioners, and therefore, has not been approved and sent to the Board. However, he wanted to informally explain the process and the voting, as he will not be able to attend the next Board of Trustees meeting.
Ch. Niedelman explained there were two parts to the Terraco petition: the Terraco proposal itself, which passed with conditions and the Text Amendment to subdivide the property, which was denied. One of the larger conditions is that the petitioner needs to provide a landscape maintenance program.
There was a lot of discussion about water detention. The petitioner initially wanted to use the Village outlot. Mr. Glenn did not feel the Village should allow anyone to utilize Village property and then have to deal with the maintenance. The Commission suggested that the Board could create a Special Service Area that would bring an annual tickler before the Board to determine whether money needs to be collected for maintenance. Trustee Baumann questioned who would decide how much money needs to be collected. Mr. Huvard explained that the levy would be set by the Village. Ch. Niedelman indicated that the Commission did not anticipate the need for a levy for a number of years, but that the Commission wanted to find a mechanism that would work and also act as a reminder.
Ch. Niedelman explained there was a very extensive discussion on traffic, a lot of which was driven by input from for the residents of Meadowlake. He indicated a number of Meadowlake residents expressed concern about the development making the traffic worse. Both Terraco’s and Mr. Glenn’s traffic studies showed that the proposed project would have no impact on Meadowlake traffic. Mayor Norris asked that both studies be included in the Commission’s report.
Lastly, Ch. Niedelman explained that the proposed Text Amendment to subdivide the property/building was denied because, in the opinion of the commissioners, the request was purely a process to financially benefit the petitioner. The petitioner declined the condominium option, a mechanism already in place that would achieve their intended goal, as being too much work.
Mayor Norris noted that this is strictly a zoning petition and is completely separate from possible TIF funding.
Police Chief Dayno provided the Board with the Police Department activity since the August 19, 2014 Board of Trustees meeting. The complete Police Report is available on the Village website under Board of Trustees.
Chief Dayno discussed the Department’s new Community Service activity under which the department’s certified crime prevention officer will come to a home or business and conduct a security survey of the property.
On August 31, 2014, the department responded to a report of a suspicious person who had offered two teenagers a ride and also asked the teenagers where the local school bus stop was. The department sent out an alert to neighboring towns and received a response from a nearby town that had a similar incident. Chief Dayno sent out a residential alert on this.
COMMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT
Orphans of the Storm – Mayor Norris noted that Orphans of the Storm has put in a request for a new well. Village Engineer Pat Glenn explained that they requested a well between 200 – 400 feet deep, which is not considered a deep well. Mayor Norris does not see an issue with the request. Mr. Glenn indicated that the County requested a letter from the Village stating it is allowable.
Motor Fuel Tax – Mayor Norris has received a letter from the State that they are providing additional funding for the Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) program.
320 Portwine – Mayor Norris stated that the Village has signed the contract to buy the property immediately north of the Village Hall. The Village forester and Mr. Glenn have both looked at the property and agree that it will accommodate a parking lot without impacting trees.
They went through the property and it is adequate for the temporary Village Hall. If needed, the Board will be able to utilize a conference room at Wolters Kluwer for meetings. The construction time will be shortened because the existing Village Hall will be completely vacant during construction, which is tentatively scheduled to start in April. The design drawings will be sent out for projected costs as soon as they are completed.
BURR OAK TRAIL SSA #30
Village Attorney Bruce Huvard stated that the Special Service Area being established for Burr Oak Trail includes eight properties. The possible maximum annual levy would be $15,000 per year with an escalation of the greater of 5% per year or the percentage increase in the CPI. Mr. Huvard does not believe the residents have an immediate project in mind.
Tom Magill, a resident of Burr Oak Trail, explained that the residents have met for the past 15 months to address the issue of funding the future road rehabilitation. The funding for road repairs is currently voluntary. The SSA would allow funds to be assessed and collected on a mandatory basis. Mr. Magill believes there would be unanimous support among the eight families.
PORTWINE ROAD RESTRIPING
Village Engineer Pat Glenn explained that the fall program will include restriping Portwine Road and resurfacing Calvin Court, Farner Court and Strenger Lane. He split these two projects for two reasons: 1) IDOT’s MFT rules allow municipalities to do certain basic maintenance without going through the entire pre-approval process; and 2) He would like to fast track the striping to get it done before winter due to temperature requirements for thermal plastic pavement marking. The estimated striping work is about $14,000. Mr. Glenn is requesting $20,000 as an appropriation.
Trustee Baumann moved to approve the Resolution for Portwine Road restriping in an amount not to exceed $20,000. The Board voted in favor.
VILLAGE TO ASSIST RESIDENTS WITH LANDSCAPING COSTS ALONG DEERFIELD ROAD BIKE PATH
Village Engineer Pat Glenn explained that, as previously discussed, because the Village is not spending money on the construction and phase-two design for the Deerfield Road bike path, funds may be freed up to help residents with the landscaping that will be impacted by the project. The County will start negotiating right-of-way with the property owners and asked Mr. Glenn what the Village might do. Mr. Glenn believes this is not an obligation on behalf of the Village beyond what the Board has already considered doing. Rather, it makes known the Village’s intent to assist the residents. Mr. Glenn believes this can be handled as an extension of the current forestry program where it would be a reimbursement/cost-share program with the residents. The details will need to be worked out, but it will probably be easier to assess the actual impact on residents’ properties once the project moves forward.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Police/Building/Zoning – Trustee Jamerson presented the building report for the month of August. The complete report is available on the Village of Riverwoods website under Board of Trustee Notes.
Woodlands/Finance – Trustee Chamberlain met with the Village Forester. The hazardous tree survey is complete and letters will be going out to residents that have pink ink dots on their trees. The Trustees discussed whether, in the future, it may be better to have the letters go out before the survey begins. And, the possibility of having the forester put door hangers containing information on a residents’ door if a hazardous tree is found on their property. The letters will include information about the meaning of the dots and the reason for the survey.
Chief Dayno provided the Board with the Police Department activity since the August 5, 2014 Board of Trustees meeting. The complete Police Report is available on the Village website under Board of Trustees.
Chief Dayno stated there was one arrest for a domestic battery between two family members at a residence in the Village.
COMMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT
Use of Village Property at Portwine and Chianti – Mayor Norris explained that the Trustees discussed the possibility of selling the property across the street from the Village Hall. The report from the RPC’s-sponsored study of the property did not specify the location of the valuable species that were found. The RPC is considering splitting the cost with the Village of another detailed study that would identify and mark the location of the valuable plants. In addition, the high quality wetlands need to be delineated in order to be able to subdivide the parcels for sale. Mayor Norris believes there will be at least two valuable lots on the 7-1/2 acre property. Trustee Baumann suggested having the Village engineer map out the wetlands prior to the independent study, to minimize the area to be studied. Trustee Jamerson asked if the Village would have the ability to restrict the areas that could be developed. Mr. Huvard replied that there are already restrictions as relates to the wetlands and additional restrictions could be added to the sales contract.
Bannockburn BBQ Challenge – Mayor Norris indicated that the Bannockburn BBQ Challenge was a success. He thanked Chief Dayno and his wife as well as David Niedelman for their assistance. Lake Bluff won the competition.
Recommendations concerning additional consultants for Native Planting and Landscape Design – Mayor Norris spoke with Trustee Chamberlain and Village Forester Chuck Stewart about hiring additional consultants as Urban Forest Management does not handle shrubs and ground layer plants, or landscape design. Village personnel would work directly with the other consultant, thereby not incurring an additional management fee from the Forester. Trustee Chamberlain added there would be a very clear division of what would be handled by Mr. Stewart and what would be handled by the new consultant.