VILLAGE OF WOODRIDGE
PLAN COMMISSION MINUTES
May 18, 2009
I. Call to Order
Chairman Zawacki called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.
II. Roll Call
PRESENT: Commissioners Goodwin, Krywaruczenko, Przepiorka,
Sydelko, Ch. Zawacki
ALSO PRESENT: Michael Mays, Emily Dannenberg, Mary Miller, Jennifer
Walden, Tonie Harrington
III. Approval of Minutes for the March 16, 2009 Meeting
Commissioner Przepiorka moved to approve the minutes of the March 16, 2009
meeting as presented. Commissioner Goodwin seconded the Motion.
All in favor. The Motion carried.
IV. Consideration of Certain Proposed Zoning Text Amendments to Title 9 of
the Village Code, the Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Woodridge
A. Public Hearing
Chairman Zawacki explained the procedures to be followed for the Public Hearing.
He called the Public Hearing to order at 7:35 PM and called for a Motion to adopt the
Rules of Procedure.
Commissioner Przepiorka moved that the Commission adopt the Rules of Procedure,
Commissioner Krywaruczenko seconded the Motion.
All in favor. The Motion carried.
Mary Miller, Planner for the Village of Woodridge, stated that there are
approximately 75 amendments proposed to the Zoning Ordinance. Staff routinely
examines it to determine if any changes are necessary to make sure it is a proactive
document, that it is organized, user friendly, and easy to understand. The last set of
comprehensive amendments was done in 2007. Today’s amendments encompass a
variety of topics including changes to definitions, clarifications of existing regulations
and the addition of new regulations such as for portable on demand storage
containers. There are also various provisions regarding outdoor storage, signage, and
electronic sign messages. Last year there was a major reorganization of landscaping
regulations in chapter 13. Some of this year’s amendments tweak last year's
reorganizations. Additional minor amendments to landscape provisions include the
type of rooftop screening allowed, penalties for illegally removing trees, etc. There
are two sets of text amendments that are more specific - one is regarding above
ground service facilities. The proposed amendments refine some of the definitions
previously adopted and provide separate screening requirements for them. Currently,
these screening requirements are the same as required for private generators. Other
text amendments are topic oriented related to cartage and express facilities. The
proposed definitions will make it easier to enforce the regulations. The amendments
also eliminate this use from the B-3 District.
Cargo container storage facilities are currently not addressed by the Zoning
Ordinance which means they are not allowed. The text amendments propose to allow
them in the M-1 District as a special use and propose provisions to regulate their use
based on a model ordinance adopted by Will County. Ms. Miller referred to the long
packet that provides details on each proposed amendment and said she would address
any specific questions there may be.
Donn Zawacki stated that the last time the Plan Commission considered text
amendments, they went through each item in terms of the background, as to why it
was being done. He suggested that they follow the same procedure for these.
Ms. Miller started with the general amendments and described numbers 1 through 4.
Commissioner Sydelko stated that the language for amendment #4 wasn't a complete
sentence but a prepositional phrase - read in its entirety it seems to be missing parts of
the sentence. Ms. Miller responded that it is a clause of a larger sentence and
explained the context of the proposed text to his satisfaction.
Ms. Miller explained amendment #5 regarding dumpsters and portable on demand
storage containers. Commission Krywaruczenko asked constitutes written permission
referred to in the amendment. and why anyone would ask for it. He said it sounded
vague, and expressed concern that one person would have the authority to grant the
permission. Ms. Miller explained that it is impossible to write regulations that
address every possible situation, and staff trusts that the Director of Building &
Zoning will apply good judgement in granting the exceptions. Other parts of the
Village Code grant staff similar authority . Normally this type of use would be
allowed by a building permit, but because there are so many dumpsters and portable
on demand storage units used in the Village, it would be onerous to issue permits for
all of them. Rather than requiring permits, the amendment would allow them outright
for up to 14 days without a permit. Extensions would be subject to the approval of
the Building and Zoning Director.
Chairman Zawacki–said he can understand Commissioner Krywaruczenko’s concern
and perhaps later they can talk about one person having the ability to grant permission
Commissioner Krywaruczenko said that if all residents are aware of these regulations,
then it's ok. If they don't know, then that's a problem.
Chairman Zawacki addressed a man in the audience and explained to him the order of
the meeting for the evening. He then asked Ms. Miller if there is a delineation
between portable on demand storage unit and cargo containers as they both seemed to
be the same. Ms. Miller explained that the cargo container would fit on a railroad car.
Discussion ensued regarding the difference between a portable on demand storage
unit and whether a different term should be used since it could be construed to refer to
the PODS company. Ms. Miller offered to do further research on these questions.
The next amendment would allow nonconforming driveways to be modified and
brought closer into compliance with code without having to be brought completely
into compliance. Commissioner Krywaruczenko again questioned the
appropriateness of giving one person the authority to grant zoning relief without any
rationale or justification and without review by a larger body. Ms. Miller stated that
the Village appointed that person into that role, and needs to have the confidence that
he has the good judgment and common sense to grant relief when appropriate.
Chairman Zawacki noted that there are a number of issues in the document that relate
to that and suggested that they come back to that to determine which items can be
decided by an individual and which can't.
Ms. Miller described amendment 7 that clarifies how to calculate the number of
required parking spaces, then went on to 9 and10 regarding requiring a minimum time
requirement for electronic messages. Commissioner Krywaruczenko asked for
confirmation that this amendment would prohibit the showing of movies on electronic
message boards such as the one at Seven Bridges. Ms. Dannenberg and Ms. Miller
stated that it would.
Chairman Zawacki asked about the sign message boards at Hollywood Boulevard
theater and noted that it has two - one on the east and one on the west. Ms. Miller
stated that they obtained zoning relief to have two and that they will have to comply
with the minimum time requirement as well.
Michael Mays, Director of Planning and Development explained that this amendment
was the result of the Village process with Hollywood Boulevard and some of the
conerns about changing of the text with the Hollywood signs. It was a condition to
allow for the electronic message boards for Hollywood provided they did not change,
or that the text remained displayed for 5 seconds. Village staff periodically check to
make sure they comply with the development condition. As a result of this text
amendment, this standard will be applied village-wide. Violations of this requirement
should be reported to the Director of Building & Zoning or to Mr. Mays.
Commissioner Przepiorka remarked that one of the issues with the signs was not only
the speed with which they change but also the animation, in terms of strobing,
flashing, etc., to catch attention. He asked if there will be a limitation on the
animation that is used. Ms. Miller replied that each flash would have to be up there 5
seconds. It would eliminate the effect of the strobing.
Ms. Miller explained amendments #11 and 12 prohibiting outside storage and display
of engine oil at gas stations. In response to Commissioner Przepiorka question, she
explained that all outside storage including wiper fluid is prohibited. Amendment 13
is adding back a provision that was inadvertently omitted during the last round of text
amendments. Amendment 14 adds regulations for sidewalk sales. There were no
questions or comments on either from the Commission.
Ms. Miller explained amendment 15 that increases the amount of time that banner
signs may be displayed and described what a banner sign is in response to a question
by Commissioner Krywaruczenko.
Ms. Miller explained amendments 16 through 26 related to re-organizing certain
fence regulations for clarification purposes; the reorganization of Chapter 13;
including tree preservation and stormwater basin maintenance in the purpose
statement of Chapter 13; requiring tree preservation and replacements for building
expansions; certification of landscape plans by a registered Illinois landscape
architect; allowing an additional type of screening for roof-top units; increasing the
replacement requirement for trees illegally removed;and requiring non-residential
uses in residential neighborhoods to comply with the landscape regulations.
Ms. Miller explained that amendment 27 and 28 would require undeveloped lots in
phased developments to be seeded and maintained as a lawn until developed if they
remain undeveloped for 24 months or longer after Village approval. She confirmed
that this would apply only to future developments only - any already started would
be grandfathered in. Commissioner Krywaruczenko preferred that it apply to all
existing and future developments.
Commissioner Sydelko asked what differentiates graded land from a lawn - will it
have to be seeded and mown? Ms. Miller confirmed that it would have to be seeded
and mown, adding that if it doesn't grow, it would have to be re-seeded.
Commissioner Krywaruczenko mentioned that there's a development on Hobson
Road between Route 53 and Double Eagle Drive which has been vacant and it is
seeded and mown and taken care of as a good neighbor would.
Commissioner Przepiorka asked if this provision would apply if they want to use the
area as storage . Wasn't Gallagher and Henry using one across Woodward Avenue for
storage for containers and topsoil? Would that be considered “undisturbed” or will
they have to remove that and put in a lawn? Ms. Miller replied that the developer
would have to designate the locations for storage areas on the grading plans prior to
approval . They may have to look at tweaking the language to address the situation.
They are not looking to have soil mounds seeded.
Mr. Mays clarified that – that particular area where the storage containers are hasn't
been platted yet, so that may be another way to distinguish an undeveloped lot. In
response to another question from Commissioner Przepiorka, Ms. Miller confirmed
that the lot would have to be designated to remain undeveloped for more than 24
months after village approval before this provision applied.
Ms. Miller stated that amendments 29 through 42 renumber Chapter 13 as part of the
reorganization of that chapter. Chairman Zawacki asked if any of the commissioners
checked the numbering to make sure it was correct. Commissioner Sydelko
responded that he did not.
Ms. Miller continued with amendments 43 and 44 which change the amount of letters
of credit for planned unit developments and regional planned unit developments to be
consistent with the amount required for other developments.
Chairman Zawacki reminded the commission that staff did a study last year of other
communities in terms of what they charge and basically this is just an adjustment in
response to that. Discussion ensued regarding the types of improvements that are
secured by letters of credit.
Ms. Miller continued with Amendments 45 through 48 which require traffic
regulation agreements for PUD, RPUD and site plan approval.
Ms. Miller then went on to Attachment #2 regarding above ground service facilities
starting with amendments 1, 2 and 3 which refine several definitions to make them
clearer. Amendment 4 allows for co-location, and amendments 5 and 6 are minor
amendments for consistency sake and to clarify the regulations.
Chairman Zawacki asked if amendment 7 is for both public and private facilities or
just public. Ms. Miller referred him to the definition on public utility at top of page 2;
it can be a private corporation or private person, but the service is provided to the
public. Amendment 8 exempts aboveground service facilities smaller than four feet in
all directions from having to be screened and from the location restrictions.
Amendment 10 allows for co-location especially on cell towers. It also includes a
provision allowing staff to grant relief from the location requirements when it is not
possible to comply in order to avoid overburdening the Plan Commission with
variations for minor issues. Chairman Zawacki asked for confirmation that a lot of
these things come before the commission asking for relief upfront as opposed to
coming back to staff later to request it. Ms. Miller responded that right now the Plan
Commission doesn't review every above-ground service in town. They are permitted
by right if they meet certain criteria. Mr. Mays said that this amendment is an
extension of an existing provision which talks about discretion of the Zoning Officer
regarding waiving certain restrictions on location.
He further explained that there are a number of places where the code references
Zoning Officer and this amendment addresses specifying directors of particular
departments to have jurisdiction. The Zoning Officer is technically the Director of
Building and Zoning, but there are some cases where the Director of Planning and
Development may be in a better position to make the call. The two departments have
different purviews and perhaps more expertise in a specified area. So with these
amendments, every reference to the Zoning Officer has been changed to either
Director of Building and Zoning or the Director of Planning and Development.
Chairman Zawacki stated that he doesn't know if anyone has problem with that, the
Village has been operating like that a long time. The real concern is as Commissioner
Krywaruczenko said is that it looks like an impropriety here that one person has the
ability to say yes you may have it, or no, you may not. In the City of Chicago that
kind of thing is usually followed by some kind of stipend. He doesn't want it to look
like an impropriety. Chairman Zawacki trusts staff but doesn't want the verbiage to
come back and hit them in the face. That's what he thinks they are trying to look at.
He wants to make sure that they can stand back and say "that makes sense" that's
why the question keeps coming up.
Commissioner Sydelko asked if there would be a public record of the request and
granting of any relief, whether it’s done by a board or individual there would be
record. Ms. Miller said that staff always requires the request and approval to both be
Ms. Miller continued with amendment 12 –allowing warning lights on tall structures
like cell towers and monopoles. The code currently requires above ground service
facilities to be earth tone colors. But if it's a 50-foot tall tower, you want a color
fitting in with the sky. This amendment allows for a different color.
She continued with amendments 13 and14 which provides separate screening
requirements for above ground service facilities and private generators. Chairman
Zawacki commented that this past week during the blackout, a lot of people ran
private generators and they are noisy, especially when the door to the house is opened
because it’s warm and you have no electricity. At some point the Village may have to
address those with more screening and noise abatement. It's an irritant at 3:00 AM
and keeps you awake. This might be something to re-address later. That's going to
happen more and more.
Mr. Mays asked Chairman Zawacki if he thinks these would have violated the
existing performance standards for noise levels within the Zoning Ordinance . He
responded that there are a number of companies that will sell the generators that will
turn on automatically and they handle certain circuits. The unit is outside and is just
a gasoline engine and they do make noise. We may have to address it as the weather
gets warmer if more people complain. He suggested asking purveyors of the products
to see what they recommend for the screening of that noise. It may become an irritant
in the future.
There being no further comments or questions, the discussion moved on to
Attachment #3 regarding cartage and express facilities and cargo container storage
facilities. Amendments 1 and 2 provide definitions for these facilities. Chairman
Zawacki inquired as to the difference between a cargo container and a portable on-
demand storage unit (POD). There was Plan Commission discussion as to the
difference in size and use, as well as the term POD vs. a more generic term that
encompasses other companies that provide the same service.
Mr. Mays asked if the Plan Commission would like a definition for POD. Chairman
Zawacki responded yes, that it could be for temporary residential use as opposed to
cargo or cartage, big things that can go on rail and ships- make some kind of
Regarding Amendment 3, Commissioner Przepiorka asked if there is an issue with
these facilities in Woodridge now or is one being planned? Ms. Miller responded that
we don't have any in Woodridge, but have been approached by people wanting to
bring them to Woodridge and so felt it important to define and regulate them.
Chairman Zawacki agreed that it is best to be proactive.
Commissioner Przepiorka noted that since cartage facilities and gas stations are both
allowed in B3 and M1 Districts, do we foresee situations where we would allow
cargo containers on gas station property? Ms. Miller responded that they are
proposing a minimum lot size of 20 acres for cargo container facilities and gas
stations are usually 1 acre in size. Chairman Zawacki asked what zoning district
allows for logistics buildings with trucks and trailers. Discussion ensued regarding
logistics buildings, zoning classification of Internationale Centre and what would be
Ms. Miller confirmed that it is a Regional PUD zoned RBC.
Mr. Mays revisited Commissioner Przepiorka’s earlier question asking about the
suitability of the cartage facilities, or the cargo container facilities within the B-3
District. He noted that cartage facilities are proposed to be eliminated from the B-3
District by Amendment 7. They will be allowed in the M-1 District only.
Ms. Miller reviewed amendments 4 through 6 regarding definitions for terms used in
the proposed regulations. Amendment 7 removes cartage and express facilities as a
permitted use in the B-3 District, and Amendments 8 and 9 prohibits cargo container
storage facilities from the ORI and RBC Districts. These facilities are not currently
listed as being allowed in these districts, which by default means they are prohibited.
Amendments 8 and 9 makes that prohibition specific. Amendments 10 and 11 adds
cargo container facilities as a special use in the M-1 District and provides regulations
Chairman Zawacki commented that he finds cargo container storage to be an eyesore
and cited past problems with existing facilities in Chicago along Interstate 55. He
questioned whether to allow them in Woodridge at all. Ms. Miller explained that the
15' high berm and 6’ high fence, and landscaping, given the line of sight from the
roadway to the top, it would be adequate to screen the facility from the road. Along
Interstate 55, the facilities are in open view with no screening.
Chairman Zawacki responded that the areas in Chicago where these facilities are
located were never intended to be attractive looking, in contrast to Woodridge. He
suggested simply reducing the permitted storage height to make sure it is not an
eyesore in Woodridge. Ms. Miller noted that properties zoned M1 that could have this
kind of use would be on 103rd street east of Lemont Road where there are already
railroad tracks and the Wilton property.
In response to a question from Commissioner Przepiorka, –Ms. Miller said that the
minimum facility size would be 20 acre and she did not believe that the M-1 District
south of Seven Bridges was large enough for that use.
Mr. Mays added that cargo container facilities need to be by a rail line. Neither the
Wilton property nor the property south of Seven Bridges are near rail lines and so
would be unsuitable. He asked if there is a recommendation from the Plan
Commission for a height different from the maximum 57 feet proposed. Chairman
Zawacki suggested 30 feet. Ms. Miller responded that this height is for a trailer
stacked up on end and should reflect the typical trailer length. She then referred the
commissioners to the proposed definitions to clarify what the proposed height
regulations apply to.
Stacking is storing cargo containers or chassis on top of each other. Racking is
taking the chassis and putting it up on end so that it’s perpendicular to the ground.
There was Plan Commission discussion regarding examples of stacking and racking
that the Commissioners have seen and the approximate height of those examples.
Chairman Zawacki stated that the proposed regulations were a good start. If a cargo
container facility business comes in and the height regulations become a problem, the
Village can re-evaluate them then. The proposed regulations are better than having
nothing at all covering the possibility.
Commissioner Sydelko stated that he didn't pick up on the 57' maximum height
before and he thought it seemed excessive. Chairman Zawacki stated that he did not
think it possible to stack chassis that high and asked if staff had ever seen it. Ms.
Miller responded that the Will County Model Ordinance provides for it so apparently
someone is doing it.
Chairman Zawacki suggested that the regulations allow chassis to be stacked five
high and a maximum height of 30'.
Commissioner Przepiorka referred to the proposed minimum 1,000 foot setback from
residential areas and stated that, based on this setback requirement, the cargo
container facilities probably couldn’t even be located along 103rd Street. Chairman
Zawacki then called a 5-minute break to allow staff to change the CDs on the
Ms. Miller continued by explaining Amendments 12 and 13 regarding parking
requirements and screening & landscaping for cargo container facilities. Chairman
Zawacki suggested that fences be required around all cargo container facilities for
security purposes. Ms. Miller explained that they are required around those facilities
adjacent to non-industrial districts and public rights-of-way. They are also allowed,
though not required around facilities in industrial districts, and she expected that
based on good business practices, most facilities would probably install fences even if
Commissioner Przepiorka stated that most of these containers are overseas containers
and customs would require them to have security.
Commissioner Sydelko stated that business practices and insurance rates would
require these facilities to provide protection.
Mr. Mays noted that, along the same lines, within industrial office warehouse
districts fences are not required, but many companies install them because it is a good
business practice to do so.
Chairman Zawacki responded that along Interstate 55 to the southwest, many
facilities don't have fences. Regardless of what good business practices would
suggest, fences cost money. He is more concerned about security rather than
attractiveness of the property.
Ms. Miller explained that she wouldn’t go through Attachment #4 which is Chapter
13 reorganized and the proposed changes incorporated.
Chairman Zawacki offered some comments regarding the emerald ash borer. There
were no further comments or questions on Attachment #4.
Chairman Zawacki then called for statements or testimony from persons wishing to
support the applicant. There being none, he asked if there was anyone who wished to
cross-exam or question the applicant.
Bill Thompson of 10 Blue Jay Court, Woodridge thanked everyone for their efforts.
He expressed his concerns about several portable self-storage units that have been in
neighbors’ driveways for up to 6 months already in his neighborhood. He
recommended that there be a permit process to regulate the length of time the units or
dumpsters can be located on a property. He suggested that charging a permit fee
could also be a way to generate revenue.
Mr. Thompson also expressed concern about a commercial vehicle in his
neighborhood that has been parked at the property for five months. He has spoken
with the Building & Zoning Department and knows that the owner has been ticketed
and is fighting the ticket in court. He expressed concern that there is a loophole in
Village regulations regarding commercial vehicles in residential areas and suggested
that the Village close the loophole.
Chairman Zawacki recommended that Mr. Thompson could contact the Village
Administrator or Mayor, but since the Village does have regulations against
commercial vehicles in residential areas, it will be up to the judge to decide in this
In response to Mr. Thompson’s suggestion for a permit process to regulate portable
self-storage units and dumpsters, Chairman Zawacki expressed his preference for
establishing regulations instead of establishing a permit process. Mary Miller
reiterated the proposed regulations for dumpsters and portable self-storage units and
the proposed time restrictions.
Mr. Thompson expressed a further concern that, due to short driveways in his
neighborhood, the dumpsters and portable self-storage units in his neighbors’
driveways block the public sidewalk and his daughter is not able to ride up and down
Emily Dannenberg suggested that the proposed language regulating dumpsters, etc.
specify that the 14-day period begins once the permit is issued to clarify the
beginning and end of the tine period.
Commissioenr Przepriorka asked how residents will know about these new
Ms. Miller replied that it would take an outreach effort by the Building and Zoning
Department to inform homeowners.
Mr. Mays added that one of the things that the Department of Planning and
Development can do is to communicate to residents through e-news and the website
to let them know that regulations are in place. Discussion ensued regarding how
residents are informed about new property code regulations and how the Village
approached code enforcement.
Chairman Zawacki called for statements or testimony from persons opposing the
applicant’s request. There being none, he then asked if the applicant wished to cross-
examine Mr. Thompson. Staff declined.
Chairman Zawacki asked if staff wanted to make a brief summation of its proposal.
Ms. Miller recommended that the Plan Commission recommend to the Mayor and
Village Board of Trustees approval of the proposed text amendments to Title 9.
Chairman Zawacki asked for a recommendation to close the public hearing.
Commissioner Przepiorka made a motion to close the public hearing and
Commissioner Goodwin seconded the motion.
All in favor. The Motion carried.
Chairman Zawacki closed the Public Hearing at 9:28 PM.
B. Review and Consideration
Chairman Zawacki asked if staff had any further comments to which Ms. Miller
replied she had nothing further.
Commissioner Przepiorka asked if staff’s recommendation included any
modifications based on tonight’s discussion. Mr. Mays summarized the modifications
he noted the recommendation to add a definition for portable on-demand storage units
and tying the timeframe for dumpsters and storage units to the issuance of a building
There being no other modifications to the recommendation, Commissioner Przepiorka
moved that the Plan Commission recommend to the Mayor and the Board of Trustees
approval of the proposed text amendments to Title 9 of the Village Municipal Code as
attached to the Staff Memorandum with the two adjustments to the Pods and Storage
section as have been delineated.
Commissioner Goodwin seconded the Motion.
There being no questions, the Chairman Zawacki called for a roll call vote.
All in favor, the Motion passed.
V. Discussion items
Ms. Dannenberg said that Staff had no discussion items.
VI. Update of Previous Plan Commission Items
There were none.
Commissioner Sydelko asked if there were any updates on commissioner vacancies.
Mr. Mays replied that Chairman Zawacki and himself were evaluating candidates
with the Village Board. They received more resumes than they have in the past.
Chairman Zawacki said that there were eleven resumes and there have been only two
meetings to review six people. There will be another meeting next week. The
interviews should be completed by June 4th and then they will give a recommendation
to the Mayor. Chairman Zawacki said that they had some good candidates.
Commissioner Krywaruczenko asked a question on foreclosure activity at Seven
Bridges. Mr. Mays replied that Seven Bridges LLC manages the golf course as a
separate entity. They will continue to manage it as the foreclosure only covers the
Main Street Development, and not Gammonly, the theater, or the Ice Arena. The
buildings currently housing Suparossa, Blue Ginger and Buffalo Wild Wings are also
There being no further business, Chairman Zawacki called for a Motion to adjourn
Commissioner Przepiorka moved, seconded by Commissioner Goodwin to adjourn
All in favor. The Motion carried.
Chairman Zawacki adjourned the meeting at 9:48PM.