Village of New Lenox Planning Commission met March 20.
Village of New Lenox Planning Commission met March 20.
Here is the minutes provided by the Commission:
Call To Order:
A regular meeting of the Village of New Lenox Plan Commission was called to order at 7:10 p.m. by Chairman Mark Muehlnickel.
Mr. Muehlnickel led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Upon roll call, the following were present: Chairman Mark Muehlnickel, Commissioners Rob Moss, Terry Schultz, Andrew Hawkins, Matthew Blackburn, Rebecca Dalseth and Theresa Berkey.
Chairman Muehlnickel announced there was a quorum present for this meeting.
Also present were Community Development Director Robin Ellis, Senior Planner Jeff Smith, Planner Jenni Neubauer, and Senior Administrative Assistant Patricia Hansen.
Request For Approval Of Minutes Of A Regular Plan Commission Meeting Of March 6, 2018
A motion was made by Mr. Hawkins and seconded by Mr. Blackburn to approve the March 6, 2018 minutes as presented. Voice vote was taken. Motion carried.
Request For Special Use For A Preliminary And Final P.U.D. Plat (Public Hearing)
New Lenox Retail Subdivision
10.0 acres located at the northwest corner of Route 30 and Vancina Lane
JD Real Estate – Petitioner
Secretary Hansen swore in those wishing to speak during the public hearing.
Mr. Muehlnickel asked if proof of notice has been received, and Mr. Smith replied affirmatively.
Mr. Muehlnickel asked for a motion to open the public hearing.
A motion was made by Ms. Dalseth and seconded by Mr. Schultz to open the public hearing at 7:10 p.m. Voice vote was taken. Motion carried.
At this time, Mr. Hawkins announced he was stepping down from his seat on the dais.
Ms. Ellis advised that representatives of JD Real Estate had a conflict but were going to try to make tonight’s meeting. She added that representatives of Cooper Hawk are present.
Ms. Jen Kaufmann, Director of Construction for Cooper’s Hawk introduced herself as well as Lauren Williams, Design Manager for Cooper’s Hawk and Dan Bernatek, a representative for the Aria Group. Ms. Kaufmann provided a synopsis of the history of Cooper’s Hawk and explained that in 2018, there will be 35 locations with New Lenox being one of them and that Consumer Reports ranked them as the 7th best restaurant chain. She said they will be hiring about 150 employees and will work with approximately 12 local vendors. Ms. Kaufmann related that 4,000 to 5,000 guests per week will come into the restaurant, and that some of that high volume pertains to the wine club guests.
Ms. Lauren Williams, Design Manager for Cooper’s Hawk, explained that they consider their restaurant polished-casual, or upscale casual dining, and the exterior of the building is considered the gateway to the restaurant experiences of their guests. She said they strive to create clean, modern-looking exteriors that bring in wood tones and some of the elements of Napa Valley, but cleans it up and creates a modern, polished, casual experience that is linked to the Cooper Hawk life style.
Mr. Dan Bernatek of the Aria Group stated that they tried to blend some of the typical Cooper’s Hawk finishes currently in use while incorporating the Village’s exterior requirements. He advised that the primary elevation includes the entry with brick material, which is also used in the patio area and on the south elevation, Mr. Bernatek related there is brick along that elevation as well. He said they are also incorporating a durable wood-looking fiber cement material that is clipped to the wall and includes waterproofing behind it. Mr. Bernatek noted that brick and fiber cement will be used on the remaining two sides of the building, but on the higher walls, EIFS material will be used that is a cleaner, simpler way to create a concrete look that is impact-resistant and quite durable. He said brick will be added to the bottom of these areas for additional durability. Mr. Bernatek said their service yard is fully screened, and all of the trash will be enclosed in this area, with their mechanical units screened behind their taller walls.
Mr. Muehlnickel asked for Staff’s comments.
Senior Planner Jeff Smith stated that the property was annexed into the Village in 2005 and is zoned C-2, but has remained vacant for a number of years, in part due to the lack of a public road access. He explained that with the L.A. Fitness center on the northeast corner, Vancina Lane was built as a public roadway, and in working with I.D.O.T., improvements were made at Route 30 and Vancina Lane resulting in a signalized intersection with frontage along Route 30. Mr. Smith said this property became very viable for commercial development, and the development of an upscale restaurant as well as a high-end grocery store will bring in valuable services and meet the needs of New Lenox.
Mr. Smith indicated that the approximate location of the full access into the shopping center from Vancina Lane will be over 100 feet from the access into the L. A. Fitness facility. He advised that the large Lot 2 will be the location of the Pete’s Grocery Store, and the Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant will be located on Lot 1. Mr. Smith explained that the necessary storm water detention will be located near the northwest corner of Lot 2, and the wetlands, located at the far northwest corner, will remain undisturbed and preserved as part of this project.
Mr. Smith continued by saying Lot 1 is the location of the Cooper’s Hawk, which will consist of 11,883 square feet and will include an outside patio along the east and north sides of the building; he said at the rear of the site is Lot 2 that will consist of the 65,000 square feet Pete’s Fresh Market grocery Store. Mr. Smith said this will be a Planned Unit Development, and one of the requirements is that it is a unified and cohesive development, which Staff feels it is. He said there will be shared parking that will consist of 429 parking spaces for both uses, and that this will provide ample parking for customers as well as the 50 employees Cooper’s Hawk is anticipating will be working during peak hours.
Regarding storm water detention at the northwest portion of the property, Mr. Smith indicated that a substantial amount of fill will be needed in order to make this project work, and that is why a number of retaining walls will be necessary and are shown on the site plan. He said for safety purposes, a protective fence or railing will be required to be placed against, or on top of the retaining walls.
In terms of access, Mr. Smith said they are proposing a limited right-in/ right out from Route 30, which will require I.D.O.T. approval, and this access is situated as far back from the signalized intersection as possible to avoid traffic conflicts and queuing and stacking issues. He said the primary, full access would be provided by a new proposed 25-foot wide curb cut from Vancina Lane, which would be offset over 100 feet to the north from the existing Vancina Lane driveway curb cut for the LA Fitness shopping center, and the entrance driveway is oriented so that it will not be facing directly into the driveway to the east, which provides access to one of the residences.
With regard to pedestrian needs, Mr. Smith explained that there is a trail along Route 30, and as part of this project, they will be installing sidewalks connecting to the main entrance to Cooper’s Hawk as well as providing a new sidewalk along Vancina Lane in order to provide pedestrian access to Pete’s.
Mr. Smith said there are a number of deviations necessary in order to make this project work, and they are outlined in the Staff Report. Overall, he said it is Staff’s opinion that these deviations, as well as conditions to be placed in the Planned Unit Development Ordinance will allow for a high-quality, creative development without impacting neighboring properties. Mr. Smith explained that some of these deviations may be slightly tweaked and referenced some of the parking stalls at the northeast corner of the Pete’s parking lot saying they are being shown as 161⁄2 ft. deep due to some of the grading issues; he said a normal parking stall is 18 ft. deep, and if possible, Staff would like to see an 18 ft. depth for these spaces as well. He related that as stated in the Staff Report, there is the opportunity to provide some foundation landscaping that would include planters along the front of the Pete’s Grocery Store. Mr. Smith noted that the Cooper’s Hawk provided their detailed elevations and worked with Staff to incorporate more brick to meet the intent of the Village’s Building Code. In order to preserve their brand, he said they are asking for some building code waivers, but as seen in the presentation, the result will be an attractive restaurant building.
Mr. Smith explained that the elevations for the Pete’s Grocery Store were not included in packet, but they intend to start construction in 2019 and be open in 2020. As a condition in the Planned Unit Development Ordinance, Staff is recommending that prior to the issuance of a building permit, plans must be submitted for Village Board review and approval to ensure that their development is high-quality and meets the Village’s standards of design and materials.
Mr. Smith addressed a Cooper’s Hawk deviation, which involves additional signage along the east wall of the building, as it faces Vancina Lane and they would like additional exposure. As it is over 200 ft. from Vancina Lane, to provide for additional signage is not out of character and Staff has no objection to this deviation.
Mr. Smith said the proposed monument sign will be located at the far southeast corner of the property close to the intersection. He said the sign will consist of brick, and match the Cooper’s Hawk masonry, but as the Sign Code specifies a maximum height of 15 feet, they are asking for a 20 ft. sign, which is a deviation. Mr. Smith related that with other larger shopping centers, slightly taller signs have been allowed, and Staff has no objection to this deviation. In terms of the sign area, he said they are asking for a total sign area of 185 square feet; the Village’s Sign Code allows for a maximum of 150 square feet. Mr. Smith advised that they are also proposing an electronic message center sign, and that the Sign Code allows for that, but it cannot exceed 25% of the total sign area. He said they will be working with Pete’s and Cooper’s Hawk to ensure that this sign will be in conformance with the Sign Code, but if a slight deviation is necessary, Staff feels it would not be a detriment to this project.
According to Mr. Smith, another issue Staff is still working through is site lighting and the photometric plan, with sensitivity to areas located closest to the Forest Preserve and some of the nearby residences. Through restrictions such as limiting the height of light poles in portions of the parking lot and limiting or restricting wall-mounted lights on the building, he said Staff feels that lighting for this development will not negatively impact adjacent properties. Mr. Smith said they will continue to work with their lighting consultant to ensure that there will be no lighting issues with this project that could affect surrounding properties.
Mr. Smith addressed the detailed landscape plan and subject to some minor modifications, it will allow for a high-quality appearance of the shopping center as well as taking into account the adjacent Forest Preserve as well as the nearby residences. He said a large portion of the northwest portion will be preserved as wetlands, and there are existing trees and vegetation along the western perimeter that would be preserved as well as part of this project. He said subject to some minor revisions, Staff has no objections.
Mr. Smith concluded by stating that overall, it is the opinion of Staff that the requests satisfy the requirements of a Planned Unit Development that are listed in the Zoning Ordinance. He said Staff recommends that the Plan Commission adopt the Findings of Fact that are listed in the Staff Report. In terms of the Planned Unit Development, he said Staff recommends approval of the preliminary and final P.U.D. for what is being called the New Lenox Retail Subdivision subject to working through the final landscape comments, final engineering plans, comments contained in the Staff Report as well as any additional comments the Plan Commission may have.
Mr. Muehlnickel asked for questions or comments from the Plan Commission.
Mr. Muehlnickel asked who would review future submittals from Pete’s, and Ms. Ellis said the Village Board would review and approve submittals in a similar way they review commercial site plans and noted that the Plan Commission would not see these submittals.
Mr. Simon “Bud” Vancina of 426 Vancina Lane said he has resided in New Lenox for 54 years and came to tonight’s meeting with 1 concern, but now has 3 issues. He said his first and biggest concern is the water runoff from the site, as they cannot take on any more water. Mr. Vancina said the property in question has been filled and the difference in elevation at the northeast corner of the property is 15 to 18 feet higher than his driveway. He said any water runoff onto his property would be detrimental, and he and his neighbors want to make sure that storm water is handled properly. Mr. Vancina continued by stating that if the elevations of the parking lot along the east side of the Pete’s Market property remain as they are, this will result in a tremendous slope along that side. He pointed out there is a natural barrier between their paved driveway and property line and they want to be sure that nothing will interfere with this, and that some landscape screening should be placed along that area that will shield the view of this commercial development. Mr. Vancina advised that as there will be a grocery store, they are concerned about trash and garbage blowing off of the site onto their property as they already have plastic bags from the Lowes and Target stores, and all the stores in the commercial development across the highway. He said he hopes this issue will also be addressed. Mr. Vancina explained that he has no objection to the property being developed but wants to be sure that whatever is developed does not impact his home and the rest of the homes in his area.
Mrs. Kitty Vancina, 426 Vancina Lane said she wanted to reiterate what her husband said about drainage and noted they have been horribly flooded on two occasions, and no one would take responsibility for it. She said if it happens again, it will destroy their home. Drainage is critical, for these projects, according to Mrs. Vancina. She asked if the garbage from Pete’s Market will be shielded enough so that when they drive north on Vancina Lane, they will not be looking at all of the garbage receptacles.
Ms. Ellis explained that storm water will drain to the northwest and there will be a retaining wall along the parking spaces that are to the east of the Pete’s. She said she believes the truck docks are facing to the west, and that that the trash containers would most likely be located in that area as well. Ms. Ellis noted that the development will be substantially elevated from Vancina Lane, and from a site line, garbage containment should not be visible from Vancina Lane.
Regarding landscaping on the east side of the parking lot, Ms. Ellis said there is no room to landscape, and it stops being a public right-of-way just north of the entrance. She said the Village is aware of the history and issues that have occurred on or near the Vancina property and will be vigilante in taking a more active role in the development of the site.
Mr. Schultz asked what would happen if the pond cannot take all of the water. Ms. Ellis responded by stating the detention pond is designed to be a dry bottom detention facility and will not hold water on a daily basis. She added that everything drains to the north and west into the wetlands and then eventually drains into the creek.
Mr. Muehlnickel asked what the anticipated hours of operation will be for Cooper’s Hawk, and one of the representatives replied that typical hours of operation are 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and 11:00 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and Sundays. She said they do not like to restrict the hours unless they are legally restricted by the municipality because on occasion, their private events run a little longer.
Mr. Muehlnickel said he is not a cyclist but asked if there are any plans to add bike racks. Ms. Kaufmann answered that although bike racks are not shown on the plan, she would be happy to look into it.
Ms. Berkey asked what type of messages would be placed on the message board, and Ms. Ellis explained that the Village does not regulate the wording of a sign, and it would be up to Cooper’s Hawk and Pete’s to decide. Mr. Muehlnickel asked when the message board signage would go into effect, and Ms. Ellis replied that the sign would require electric service, which would include the metering and a bill generated so at this time, this is an unknown until Cooper’s Hawk and Pete’s make that decision.
Ms. Dalseth commented that there has been an issue on Vancina Lane with who is going to shovel the snow in the area of the bus stop at Vancina Lane and Route 30. She said this is terrifying to her as a parent and was a huge issue this year. She said this must be addressed so the corner is safe for the children. Ms. Kaufmann replied that as it now stands, Pete’s will be responsible for snow removal, as it is specifically stated in their contract. She said until such time as Pete’s is open, the Village will be taking care of snow removal. Ms. Ellis noted that this is still part of the negotiations.
Mr. Muehlnickel asked if enough parking will be provided for Cooper’s Hawk before Pete’s Market opens. Ms. Ellis said due to the fact that Cooper’s Hawk will want the full access from Vancina Lane opened, the majority of the parking will be put in up front. She said when Pete’s is under construction, some type of safety fencing will have to be installed.
Ms. Berkey asked if there will be valet parking available, as it is quite a hike from the southeast, area, and Ms. Kaufmann said because they are a high-volume restaurant concept, the majority of their restaurants do have valet service, when allowed by the municipality. She said they have not yet decided whether or not this location will support this service, but when they do offer it, valet service is always complimentary.
There being no further discussion, Mr. Muehlnickel asked for a motion to close the public hearing.
A motion was made by Mr. Schultz and seconded by Ms. Dalseth to close the public hearing at 7:49 p.m.
Mr. Muehlnickel asked the Plan Commission for 2 motions, one for the Findings of Fact, and one regarding the preliminary and final P.U.D. plat.
A motion was made by Mr. Moss and seconded by Mr. Schultz to adopt the Findings of Fact for the proposed preliminary and final P.U.D. plat for the New Lenox Retail Subdivision.
Upon roll call, the vote was:
Ayes: - Commissioners Moss, Blackburn, Dalseth, Berkey, Schultz, Chairman Muehlnickel
Nays: - None.
A motion was made by Mr. Blackburn and seconded by Mr. Schultz to recommend approval to the Village Board approval of the Special Use for a preliminary and final P. U.D. plat for the New Lenox Retail Subdivision subject to final engineering, landscape plan approval, and the resolution of the items contained in the Staff Report.
Upon roll call, the vote was:
Ayes: - Commissioners Schultz, Berkey, Dalseth, Blackburn, Moss, Chairman Muehlnickel
Nays: - None.
Ms. Ellis advised that the property will close sometime after the first of April, and the issues noted in the Staff Report will be worked through. She said the requests should go before the Village Board mid to late April.
Mr. Hawkins returned to his seat on the dais at this time.
Ms. Ellis reminded the Plan Commission that the annual Planning and Zoning Commissioner Training that is being offered by the Will County Governmental League will be held on April 7, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. If anyone is interested, to contact her, and the last day to sign up for this class is April 4, 2018.
There being no further business to come before the Plan Commission, a motion was made by Mr. Hawkins and seconded by Ms. Dalseth to adjourn. Voice vote was taken. Motion carried.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:53 p.m.