Village of Northbrook Plan Commission met May 21.
Here is the minutes provided by the commission:
1. CALL TO ORDER
Member Pepoon moved and Member Elisco seconded a motion to approve the minutes as amended for
April 16, 2019. Correction: Line 33 - "Chairman Franklin asked where the building was ?step back? should be "stepped" back. On a voice vote, the motion passed unanimously.
3. COMMUNITY PLANNING REPORT
4. HEAR FROM THE AUDIENCE
5. REVIEW OF DRAFT RESOLUTIONS
DOCKET NO. PCD-18-16: 1515, 1555, 1775 LAKE COOK RD – NORTHBROOK COURT SHOPPING CENTER (Public Hearing CLOSED). An application filed by Northbrook Anchor Acquisition, LLC along with Westcoast Estates as owner of the properties commonly known as Northbrook Court Shopping Center located at 1555, 1515, and 1775 Lake Cook Road, for the purposes of authorizing the following zoning relief: a) Comprehensive Plan Amendment to Designate the Subject Property as Appropriate for Mixed Uses; b) Zoning Code Text Amendment to Section 5-109 B concerning reference to the Site Plan for Northbrook Court; c) Zoning Code Text Amendment to Section 5-102 to allow Multi-Family Residential as a special permit use and other permitted and special permit uses in the C-4 District; d) Zoning Code Text Amendment to modify Section 5-110 E concerning the Transitional Setback Requirements for the C-4 District; e) Zoning Code Text Amendment to Section 5-110 to increase the maximum allowed Height in the C-4 District to 80’; f) Zoning Code Text Amendment to Section 9-104 C. 3 (i) to allow for a reduction in parking stall dimensions for stalls located in a residential parking garage; g) Special Permit for a Multi-Family Residential structure with up to 315 dwelling units; h) Special Permit for Multiple Buildings on a Single Zoning Lot; i) Variation to reduce the required rear setback from 150’ to 100'; j) Approval of Tentative Plat of Subdivision; and k) Approval of such other zoning relief as may be necessary.
Motion by Member Elisco and seconded by Member DeBartolo to approve Resolution #19-PC- 05 Village of Northbrook Plan Commission, Docket# PCD-18-16 1515 Lake Cook Road, Northbrook Court Development as prepared and submitted by Staff. The resolution was approved on a roll call vote with five members (DeBartolo, Elisco, Pepoon Sandler and Franklin) voting in favor of the resolution, two members (Lawrence and Melnick) voting against and one member (Jacobs) absent.
Member Elisco excused himself and left the meeting.
6. REVIEW OF NEW APPLICATIONS
A. DOCKET NO. PCD-19-02: 1363 SHERMER ROAD - NORTHBROOK SUITES, LLC (First Public Hearing). An application filed by Northbrook Suites, LLC as owner of 1363 Shermer Road for the purpose of: A. An amendment to the existing Special Permit Ordinance No. 04-60 to modify the list of authorized uses on the first floor of the existing building on the Subject Property; and B. Approval of such other zoning relief as may be necessary.
Senior Planner Swati Pandey reported that the subject property is located on the east side of the intersection of Walters Avenue and Shermer Road, and west of the railroad right-of-way in downtown Northbrook. The property is currently zoned C3 - Central Business and the Comprehensive Plan identifies the property for Village Center Mix Use. The Village Center Mixed Use classification in the Comprehensive Plan intends to allow the property to have a mix of uses, such as high density multi-family housing, retail, restaurant, business and professional offices, personal and business services, as well as entertainment, fitness, religious and other membership organizations. The applicant/property owner is seeking an amendment to the Special Permit Ordinance 04-60, this Ordinance was approved in 2004 granting the development of the property with certain conditions. One condition was to restrict the first floor to certain types of uses, specifically for retail and restaurant. The applicant is requesting to remove the restriction of uses on the first floor and expand the list of uses to include additional uses. The Board reviewed a preliminary application from the applicant in February and had a favorable response. Most of the comments from the Board Members were related to restricting the waiver to a specific tenant and also to a certain timeline. The applicant has proposed language for the amendment to the Special Permit Ordinance and has presented a list of uses, which they would like to include in the amended Ordinance they are requesting, including business and professional office, which currently in the C3 District is a permitted use and is not allowed per the current Ordinance. Child day care services would always require a Special Permit approval through a public hearing and membership, sports and recreational clubs, physical fitness facilities and dance studios, schools and halls are a conditional use or a Special Permit. The condition that the tenant will have to meet is the square footage which is 2,500. The applicant has stated that their leasable space is 2,500. Parking for this property has fifteen indoor spaces. The property is in a special parking area, which does not require additional parking for any change in non-residential uses. The requested relief from the applicant is to amend the Special Permit Ordinance 04-60 to modify the list of authorized uses on the first floor of the existing building.
Member Lawrence asked if this has been done before where we have a first-floor retail in place. Ms. Pandey replied that it's through the Ordinance that's in effect for the property. Mr. Poupard stated that this is the only property in downtown Northbrook that he knows of that has a ground floor retail requirement in place.
Dan Shapiro, Attorney representing the applicant, stated that the applicant has engaged another broker, the first two brokers had been unsuccessful in putting retail and restaurant in that space. There is currently no tenant. Since the Ordinance was adopted, a lot has changed including Amazon, the "Great Recession" and many other factors. The intent is to open the uses beyond retail and restaurant. The most likely tenant would be office use because that is where most of the interest is coming from. If, hypothetically, that office use then ends after their lease within thirty days if another office use comes in, everything would remain the same but, if the use changes to something else, i.e., a dance studio, then there would be a ninety-day good faith marketing to find a retail use or restaurant, before that dance studio would even be considered. If after ninety days a restaurant or retail could not be found, we would go before the Village Staff for approval for a non-retail use.
Member Melnick asked if the clock would start on the ninety days when the lease is over or when the tenant vacates or when they give notice that they're leaving. Mr. Shapiro responded that it would be upon vacation. Member Melnick didn't feel that was fair to the applicant and if the applicant knows six months in advance that the tenant is going to vacate, they should start then.
Member Lawrence asked if the ninety days is every time a lease is up. Mr. Shapiro stated that only if the use changes.
The Village Attorney asked how this work if the amendments were approved on the current empty space. Mr. Shapiro responded that if this were approved, then the Ordinance would be amended to allow business and professional office not just retail or restaurant to occupy the space. As changes in ground floor tenants occur, the other restrictions would be applicable.
There being no one from the public wishing to speak, Chairman Franklin moved to close the public hearing. Seconded by Member Pepoon. On voice vote, the motion passed.
Member Lawrence stated that where the Village is now regarding regenerating retail downtown, the only thing she would feel comfortable with is a one-time exemption.
Member DeBartolo agrees with Member Lawrence and would love to see restaurant or retail, so that we can achieve a walkable downtown. He does empathize with the tenant having the space empty for so long.
Member Melnick disagrees and feels there's been enough history in that building and occupancy of the space should be the priority. He agrees with what is proposed by the applicant and would even be more permissive to allow the time to begin once a tenant informs the landlord they are not renewing the lease.
Member Sandler stated that we need to recognize that once you pull the restaurant equipment of the space it will never be a restaurant again. He does feel that retail and restaurant use should be encouraged, but feels this a unique space that has had three or four failed restaurants there, and it's in an area of the Village that it should not have a vacant first floor. He agrees with the proposal in principle but feels the amendments should be tied to the tenants and put some constraints around it.
Member Pepoon stated the dream for this building was to increase the downtown footprint, hoping for a vibrant walkable downtown community. This was going to be the location for the next Cypress Inn. He realizes that things have changed and is okay with the changes as proposed but would like to see it with a time period, i.e., the term of the lease for the office tenant. The owner should demonstrate they made a real attempt to secure a retail or restaurant in that space.
Chairman Franklin does not want to see another restaurant fail in that space. She is not comfortable having this space just rolled over from one office use to another over time. She would like to see an administrative process set up so the applicant must demonstrate a real effort to fill the space with retail uses, but does not have to come before the Commission, every time a lease is up.
Member Lawrence agreed that some type of oversight is needed.
Tom Poupard, Director, stated that the amendment language presented before the Commission was modeled on similar conditions in Lake Forest ordinance. He stated that the Village Attorney and Dan Shapiro could work on the amendment language where a certain time period is incorporated to show good faith effort prior to replacing retail or restaurant use.
The Village Attorney asked the Commission, at what threshold would the Commission want the applicant return for a public hearing and Chairman Franklin stated that if a new tenant seeking occupancy is not one of the seven proposed under current request.
Tom Poupard stated that if the Commission wished to see a legislative oversight of the change in use, then perhaps the Board could be required to adopt a resolution to affirm the finding of fact reviewed by staff to allow the change in use. The tenant occupying the space would be allowed to renew their lease if desired, but for any change in use/tenant to a non-retail or restaurant use the applicant would have to return to the Village.
Chairman Franklin, the Village Attorney, and staff agreed to work on the final draft of the proposed amendment language in conjunction with the applicant and return for a second public hearing to discuss the enforcement procedure.
Motion by Member Pepoon and seconded by Member Lawrence to reopen the public hearing and continue it to June 4, 2019. All in favor.
DOCKET NO. PCD-19-03: 2370-2374 SHERMER ROAD - NORTHBROOK/GLENVIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT 30 (First Public Hearing). An application filed by Board of Education Northbrook/Glenview School District 30 as owner of 2370 - 2374 Shermer Road for the purpose of authorizing the following zoning relief: A. Approval of a special permit to allow one wall sign in excess of 20 feet in height, the top of which sign is no more than 26’11” above grade; and B. Approval of any other such variations, waivers, and zoning relief as may be necessary.
Swati Pandey reported that the subject property is located on the southwest corner of Shermer Road and Shermer Drive. The property is the Maple School, which is south of the Glenbrook North High School, it also hosts the district office for School District 30. The property is zoned Institutional Building. The applicant is requesting a wall sign on the north facade of the building away from the residential area, which is on the south side of the school and the west side of the school. The proposed height for this wall sign which will show the name of the school district, is at 26' 11" where the maximum height for a sign is 20'. The area for the sign is in compliance with the Zoning Code. The sign consists of cast aluminum channel letters, which are non- illuminated and also includes a logo.
Motion by Member Member Pepoon and seconded by Member Sandler to close the Public Hearing. All in favor.
Motion by Member Member Pepoon and seconded by Member Melnick to approve Resolution No. 19-PC-06, Docket No. PCD-19-03, 2370-2374 Shermer Road School District as presented by Staff. Approved by a roll call vote with all six members (Lawrence, DeBartolo, Melnick, Sandler, Pepoon and Franklin) voting in favor of the resolution, and two members (Jacobs and Elisco) absent.
7. OLD BUSINESS
On voice vote, a motion to adjourn passed unanimously. Adjourned at 8:26 p.m.