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 October 21 and November 4. 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 October 21, 2014 Board of Trustees meeting. The complete Police Report is available on the Village website under Board of Trustees.
Chief Dayno noted there were 125 calls for service including one disorderly conduct arrest. He also stated that there was one hold-up alarm, but it was a false alarm.
Chief Dayno forgot to mention at the last Board meeting that they had conducted some rapid deployment training at Discover. He has two officers who are trainers and who trained the rest of the Department.
FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT REPORT
Duane Christenson from the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Department announced they would be appointing a new fire chief. The complete Police Report is available on the Village website under Board of Trustees.
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS & COMMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT
LAKE COUNTY FOREST PRESERVES DEER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM – Mayor Norris explained that the Lake County Forest Preserve District sent the Village a letter stating they would be engaging in a deer management program from December 1, 2014 – March 31, 2015 on Forest Preserve property in areas near and adjoining the Village. If a resident has questions or objections to the program, please call the Lake County Forest Preserve District.
Explorer Scouts – Chief Dayno invited Sergeant Jamie Watson from the Lincolnshire Police Department and the Explorer Post 2403 to address the Board. Chief Dayno explained that the Explorer Scouts have assisted the Village with compliance checks and several other programs.
Sergeant Watson oversees the Explorer Post program for youths between the ages of 14 and 21 who aspire to become police officers. The Explorers are trained on real-life situations in the field. The program promotes strong character development by instilling self-esteem, discipline, camaraderie and leadership qualities. The program started in 1991 and is still going strong.
Sergeant Watson explained that the explorers perform community service by assisting at numerous community events, and with crime prevention programs and they raise funds for the Special Olympics. They have assisted the Village of Riverwoods at many traffic crashes including crashes requiring roads to be closed for extended periods of time. The Explorer Post is a self-supporting unit and they maintain their own constitution, budget, bank account, uniforms, radios, equipment, vehicles, bicycle unit, policies and award programs. He noted that 98 Explorers have been hired by 53 local agencies. The program creates a wonderful networking opportunity for the Explorers.
Mayor Norris noted the Village has donated to the Explorer Post in the past. Trustee Haber moved to donate $1,000 to the Explorer Post. The Board voted in agreement.
DONATION REQUEST TO SPONSOR A MOBILE PANTRY IN HIGHWOOD
Trustee Chamberlain stated that the Finance Committee met and, although they agreed it was a very good cause, they expressed concerns that the beneficiaries of the pantry would not likely be Riverwoods residents. They also felt that the city did not have the authority to guarantee the volunteers needed to man the pantry. She stated that Riverwoods residents would fall into the West Deerfield Township or Vernon Township pantry which Riverwoods residents contributed to via their property taxes. Trustee Chamberlain indicated that, therefore, the Committee did not feel it was appropriate to use Riverwoods tax money for this.
Trustee Ford explained people do not know who would take advantage of the food bank or any of the mobile pantries held in Lake County. She noted that the Village gave a donation to the food bank last year. She explained that if enough residents are not able to volunteer, there are other volunteers that are available.
Trustee Chamberlain noted that when the Village donated to the Northern Illinois Food Bank last year, she understood it went into their general fund. Trustee Chamberlain would not mind giving a donation to the Northern Illinois Food Bank instead of sponsoring a truck.
Trustee Haber moved to donate $1,000 to the Northern Illinois Food Bank. The Board voted in favor.
TERRACO REQUEST FOR A REDEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT WITH THE VILLAGE OF RIVERWOODS
The Terraco development team came before the Board to request a redevelopment agreement and reimbursment of eligible costs under the TIF Act.
Scott Gendell, Dan Wander and Matt Darin from Terraco; Kevin Lewis, engineer; Mike Laube, TIF consultant; and Bill Woodward, traffic consultant with KLOA were present. Jim Olguin, zoning attorney for McDonalds; Elizabeth Stack, area real estate manager with McDonalds; Sue Connelly, operator of existing McDonalds; and Dan Olson with Watermark Engineering were also present.
Mr. Olguin believes this particular McDonald’s is the best use for this site. He understands that one of the major concerns regarding this project is increased traffic. He explained that typically a use either pulls from existing traffic or creates additional traffic because it is a destination. McDonalds restaurants typically pull from existing traffic rather than create new traffic. Mr. Olguin explained that the destination traffic would not increase, as the use already exists on the other side of the street. Therefore, having McDonald’s at this site will have the least impact on traffic.
Mr. Olguin then addressed the second concern that residents and Board members had expressed which were the hours of operation. McDonald’s, as a general policy, always requests the ability to go 24-hours. Mr. Olguin explained that going 24-hours would be based on demand and that the location would not start out as a 24-hour operation. Should the Board decide not to grant a 24-hour operation, they would request the ability to come back to the Board if and when the demand increases.
The third concern, maintenance and appearance, he felt could easily be addressed by examining the existing McDonald’s. He then introduced the owner, Sue Connelly.
Ms. Connelly stated that she is a local community member and has six restaurants in the area. She started with McDonald’s in 1976 and Ms. Connelly has always tried to be a good municipal partner. She noted her current Riverwoods location, which she has been at for 20 years, is not a destination McDonalds. Her slowest business days are on the weekends and in the evenings. She believes the new site would be similar.
Mr. Wander discussed the traffic generation from the Terraco property and the traffic generation at the proposed Buffalo Grove development. The Terraco development would generate 2,454 new two-way trips while the proposed Buffalo Grove development on the northwest corner would generate 15,706 new daily two-way trips. Trustee O’Donnell questioned how many existing vehicles would stop at the development. Mr. Woodward explained there would be approximately 2,100 existing pass-by trips. Trustee O’Donnell noted, based on the projected numbers, there could be 9,000 new vehicles going through the intersection if both developments were allowed.
Trustee Chamberlain asked about McDonald’s green initiative. Mr. Olson explained they would have LED lighting inside and outside. All of the rooftop units would be high efficiency. They would have low emission fryers, reflective roofing materials and high efficiency water fixtures throughout the store. Mc- Donald’s also recycles, uses environmentally packaged cleaning products and before cooking oil recycling. Trustee Jamerson asked how many of these are now required by code as opposed to voluntary initiatives, but Mr. Olson did not know.
Thirteen residents spoke against the proposal. Several indicated that they would prefer a different development at the entrance of the Village. A few residents expressed concern about the request for 24-hour operations. Most of the residents expressed concern about the increased traffic.
More than 100 residents signed a petition against the development. Most of those residents did not feel the development suited the character of the community. These residents were also concerned about traffic getting worse and causing more accidents. Several residents expressed concern about the proposed gas station selling liquor. They questioned how the Board could consider it when they said no to the Mobile station. Residents also believe the proposed uses would have a negative impact on the value of their homes.
A few residents volunteered to be on a committee to discuss alternative plans such as a community center or an art center. They believe this is an opportunity to build community. The TIF funds could be used toward enhancing the Village.
Mr. Gendell then stated that he would like to go back to Mc-Donald’s and True North with some of the concerns expressed at this meeting, namely the hours of operation and the liquor license requested by the gas station. Mr. Huvard explained that the Board is required to consider the Plan Commission’s report within 60 days of receiving the report which is dated September 10. He explained that, procedurally, the Board can accept or reject the Plan Commission’s report. Mr. Huvard asked the Board if the issues of concern were important to the Board in order to make a decision. If they were, then the Board could delay, otherwise the Board could move forward this evening. Trustee Chamberlain stated that the issues would not be important in discussing the TIF request, but would be in discussing the text amendments and request for special uses.
Mr. Huvard explained for the public that there was a request for TIF assistance. The developer, from the outset, made it known that the assistance was important to them. He noted that the developer indicated that if they do not get the TIF funds as requested, they stated that the proposal would not be feasible. Because of this, Mr. Huvard’s recommendation to the Board was that they address the TIF request before the zoning request. The request is for $1.5 million funded with a pay-asyou- go note with TIF funds and 40% of sales tax received from the development for not to exceed 20 years.
Trustee Chamberlain does not think the benefits to the Village warrant this expense. Trustee Chamberlain moved to reject Terraco’s request for TIF assistance, namely that substantially all real estate tax increment and 40% of sales taxes generated by the development, as needed for up to 20 years, would be used to pay Terraco for $1.5 million of TIF-eligible costs. Trustee Jamerson seconded the motion.
Trustee Haber thinks it has been shown that the will of the community is such that there is not a feeling that this project will materially benefit the community. And as a Trustee elected by the residents, that speaks volumes to him. However, he feels that the Village needs to be cognizant of the fact that the history is such that in the past, the Village has not taken the opportunity to control properties along its boundary and that’s why the Village finds itself in the position with regards to the Buffalo Grove property on the west side of Milwaukee. The Village had the opportunity to control it but opted not to. He wonders how the residents would feel if the Village spent $3 million to buy this property. He wants the residents to consider the fact that economics and realities drive developments. He believes that Terraco made a lot of concessions to make it a nice development, but the feeling of the community is against it. Therefore, he supports the motion.
Trustee Ford agrees with Trustee Haber. She also thinks the Board needs to look at the Village finances. She feels that the question of open space and how to defend our borders has been brought to the table and to look at what kind of economic conditions would benefit us or if we are willing, as a community, to take on those kinds of economics to support open space. She also supports the motion.
Trustee O’Donnell thanked the Plan Commission for fulfilling their responsibility on this difficult petition. He expressed regret about the criticism that they received from some. He stated he was open-minded about what was discussed this evening and did not rush to a decision without having all of the facts from the developers and other interested parties. The developer has done a great job in addressing the Village’s concerns. However, it did not change the nature of the land, the nature of the situation, the existing infrastructure or the potential growth in that area. His other comment was about the realities of that intersection. He feels it is important for everyone to understand that one or more of those corners will be developed, very possibly with a gas station on one of them, and it will impact Riverwoods. He also wanted to thank all of the residents who communicated with him for their thoughtful comments. He supports the motion.
Trustee Jamerson stated that all of his thoughts were expressed by the other Trustees. He stated that his seconding of the motion obviously supports the motion.
Trustee Baumann does not see this as a door closing, but rather an opportunity. He believes the Village should look strategically at the entire B-1 district. He feels the Village also needs to look at the properties adjoining the B-1 district as well as trying to attract appropriate development. He doesn’t look at this as a vote against development. The consensus this evening was that something will be built here. If the community is behind it, the Board can work with the developers to come together and build something so that the developer can make money but that the community can be proud of and patronize. He supports the motion.
Mayor Norris complimented everyone at the meeting on their behavior. He apologized to anyone with whom he may have been short with or curt to. He also complimented the Plan Commission. Their task is different than that of the Board. They are more restricted as to what they can allow or reject ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to. The Board has more authority to do that.
Mr. Gendell requested that the motion to consider the development be taken off the table. In closing, he stated that this process was very expensive and that there needs to be a better way to go through it without spending $300,000 just to get rejected. He noted that he has debt on this property and that that is a real concern. He would be happy to sell the property to the Village at his original cost. If it will take years to develop this property, it is fair to both the Village and to Terraco to have the Village purchase the land.
REMOVAL OF DANGEROUS TREES
Trustee Chamberlain explained she could not find another Village that pays for the removal of hazardous trees on private property. In Highland Park, they initiated a program in the ‘70’s where residents could pay $50 for elm tree removal. The program became very costly, so they reevaluated and now pay 20% of the removal cost for low-income residents. They are now currently looking to expand this to Ash trees. Most economic assistance programs are through the townships. She looked at what was available and most of the assistance is for lowincome or senior residents.
Trustee Chamberlain likes the bid packet put together by Mr. Stewart. She questioned whether the Village should go beyond that. Trustee Haber explained that low income assistance should be limited to essentials, except perhaps to consider assistance for low income residents. He does not think the Village should provide assistance to cut down dead trees. The Village needs to enforce the rules rather than provide an incentive for following the rules. Trustee Ford suggested publicizing the packet from Mr. Stewart. Trustee Baumann agrees that the existing ordinances should be enforced. The Board could make a special dispensation if there is an extreme need. Trustee Chamberlain will put something in the Village Voice and on the Village website.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Police/Building/Zoning – Trustee Jamerson provided the building report for October. The full report can be viewed on the Village of Riverwoods webste in the current Board notes. If there are additional fees for re-inspection, they do not show up on the report. The fees collected are for initial permit and inspection fees.
NSSRA/Treasurer Liaison/Parks – Trustee Ford is working on getting the assessed valuations for calculating the member agency contribution for NSSRA.
Chief Dayno provided the Board with the Police Department activity since the October 7, 2014 Board of Trustees meeting. The complete Police Report is available on the Village website under Board of Trustees.
Chief Dayno stated that they conducted tobacco compliance checks at Riverwoods Food and Liquor and the Mobile station at on October 14, 2014. Neither establishment sold to the underage agent.
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS & COMMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT
Village Hall Project Update – Mayor Norris received recommendations from the green consultant. He forwarded the information to the architect to determine the cost effectiveness.
Ravinia Green Country Club – Mayor Norris noted that last week the club membership voted to sell the club to a management company who agreed to continue running it as a country club. There are no plans to develop it as residential housing.
2014 Road Maintenance Program Quote Summary and Recommendation – Village Engineer Pat Glenn noted that the MFT road project includes resurfacing Calvin, Farner and Strenger. His estimate was $197,000. The bids came in with a low of $172,900 to a high of $212,000. Mr. Glenn recommends that the Board accept the low bid.
The Board voted to award the 2014 MFT Road Maintenance project to Chicagoland Paving in an amount not to exceed $172,900.
TERRACO REQUEST FOR A REDEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT WITH THE VILLAGE OF RIVERWOODS CONTINUES
Discussion continued in consideration of Terraco’s request for a redevelopment agreement with the Village for reimbursement of eligible costs under the TIF Act, and Terraco’s request for Special Use and proposed text amendments Dan Wander and Matt Darin from Terraco; Kevin Lewis, engineer; Mike Laube, TIF consultant; and Geoff Dickinson, Senior Project Manager with SB Friedman were present.
Mr. Wander summarized his work with the Village since they purchased the property in August 2010. He stated that the property has some significant challenges in development. Terraco had tried to get feedback on what the Village is looking for at this site and had serious discussions with several grocery stores. The consensus was that the site did not work for a grocery store due to population density and site size. They then approached a number of other potential users, including restaurants, furniture stores, drugstores, clothing stores and other retailers, but there was no interest from these users.
They had received a positive response from a day care facility, but the Village was not supportive of this use at that time. Mr. Huvard explained that the proposed day care user was projecting a student population of 200 in a 15,000 square foot building. The Village was concerned as they did not feel that drop off and pick up during rush hour could be safely facilitated. That is why the Village did not want a day care facility on the site.
Mr. Wander explained that their site is very small and needs significant improvements both on site and off site. The proposed improvements include right-in and right-out lanes on both Milwaukee and Deerfield Roads, widening Deerfield Road and adding an intersection on the east end of the property. He stated that these improvements will mitigate the existing impacts of the intersection. The proposed on site improvements include flood plain and storm water management and compensatory storage.
Mr. Wander stated that their request is for $1.5 million in funding including TIF funds and 40% of the sales tax generated by the development. Their GAP analysis would be -1.26% with no assistance, 3.33% with the TIF assistance and 11.11% with the TIF and sales tax assistance.
Mr. Wander stated that the annual benefit to the Village for the next 20 years would be $160,059. The undiscounted amount over 20 years would be $3,201,191. Upon expiration of the TIF/ tax sharing, the annual sales tax would be $195,062 plus the TIF increment of $60,695. The proposed gas station is a significant sales tax generator for this location. Their projection is $12 million sales annually including both food and convenience store sales. Mr. Wander noted that if the additional tenant is a sales tax generator, the benefit to the Village would be higher.
Mr. Huvard introduced Village consultant Geoff Dickinson with SB Friedman, a TIF consulting firm. Mr. Huvard gave a brief history and explanation of how the TIF district was formed, what a TIF district is, the state laws that govern TIFs, and costs that can be reimbursed from TIF funds. He explained that the Village had originally hired SB Friedman to perform an eligibility study to determine whether the property could qualify as a TIF district. He then explained that once Terraco presented a plan and requested TIF funds, the Village again hired SB Friedman to be their consultant and to advise the Village Board on the projections that the developer has presented.
Mr. Dickinson explained that Terraco is requesting two sources of funds: TIF and sales-tax-revenue sharing. He confirmed Mr. Huvard’s explanation of TIF fund uses. He then stated that sales-tax-revenue sharing has fewer restrictions. He reviewed the economics of the proposal and validated their construction budget and proposed revenues. Mr. Dickinson believes the revenues and expenses for the pro forma were roughly reasonable. He also looked at the all of the numbers to ensure the Village would not be over-subsidizing the developer, thereby enriching the developer. Mr. Dickinson noted that his rate of return was slightly different than that of the developer.
Trustee Chamberlain noted that the new sales projections for the gas station were much higher than the original projections and asked Mr. Dickinson his opinion on that. Mr. Dickinson explained he is less comfortable with the new projections having not seen numbers this high for this type of use. Trustee Baumann asked if liquor sales were included in the numbers. Mr. Laube explained that the gas station sales projection is $1,500 per foot and of that $300 is attributable to the convenience store operation. He stated that they did not have a breakdown of how much of the $300 were liquor sales. Mayor Norris asked if the sales numbers were based on a 24/7 operation and, if so, how would the numbers would be affected if the operation was not 24/7. Mr. Wander replied that both the gas station and the McDonald’s numbers were based on 24/7 operations. He then stated that the gas station would be more affected than the McDonald’s if that were not the case. Trustee Jamerson asked about the $300/sq. ft. sales projection for the east building. Mr. Laube explained that was a good average for a typical retailer or low end fast food restaurant.
Trustee O’Donnell asked Mr. Dickinson his professional opinion of what a target initial rate of return for this type of project should be. Mr. Dickinson explained that, because the developers already own the land and would like to develop it, an IRR in the mid to upper teens would probably be acceptable. Trustee O’Donnell asked for the petitioner’s minimum acceptable return. Mr. Wander replied that the 16.55% on SB Friedman’s GAP analysis is the lowest acceptable return.
Trustee Ford asked if Terraco were to sell the McDonald’s property earlier than the 10-year projection, would they continue to get a portion of the sales tax. Mr. Huvard explained that there would be a note that would be payable from the TIF and sales tax funds and that the conditions of the note would have to be worked out.
Trustee Jamerson asked if the third building would be built at the same time as the other two buildings. Mr. Wander explained that he would not build the 6,000 foot east building until they had a tenant. Trustee Jamerson noted that, according to the numbers presented by Terraco, the annual TIF funds will be less than the requested sales tax, meaning that a greater portion of the note will be paid with sales tax revenues. Mr. Huvard explained it would depend on how the note is structured. He said that using sales tax revenue will accelerate the period of time over which the note is paid off. Mr. Laube explained they are requesting a pay-as-you-go TIF and sales tax structure program that, based on their sales projections, will come to $1.5 million over 20 years. If there is a balance on the note after the 20-year period, the Village would not be obligated to pay that balance.
Trustee Chamberlain asked why the sales projections increased so drastically. Mr. Wander explained the change is in the gas station numbers. He explained that their initial projections were more conservative. Terraco took another look at the numbers and talked to the Shell owners who stated that they would do much better at this location. Mr. Wander reminded the Board that Terraco had originally talked to Circle K who owns the Shell station at Aptakisic. Circle K’s projections were in line with the higher sales projections.
Twelve residents spoke against the project. They expressed concern about: the additional traffic created by this development and the potential development on the opposite corner in Buffalo Grove, having a fast food restaurant and a gas/convenient store at the entrance to the Village, compromising the beauty of Riverwoods, a potential decrease in property values, not keeping with the style of Riverwoods, having businesses that do not benefit the residents, increased DUIs and traffic accidents, and the small financial benefit to the Village. Residents also that requested information be published in the Village Voice so more residents become aware of the proposal.